Thursday, December 29, 2005

The WBC

Is there really a need for a World baseball tournament ? Aren't all the best players already playing in the Major Leagues ? And does it really matter to most which country has the best team ? Bud Selig has done an admirable job of promoting the WBC and trying to get people to buy into it, but I don't think it will be the success that he probably wants or is expecting. There are several reasons why the WBC won't fly :

1) It's happening during spring training while the players are just starting to get ready for the regular season. It is hard to imagine that any player will be trying too much harder than they do during a normal spring training game. I would be quite surprised if the intensity level is any higher than it has been in the recent All-Star games. After all, players realize that their loyalty should be towards their employer, not their country.
2) Some of the best players wonÂ’t be participating. If the most famous American player (ARod) and most famous Japanese player (Matsui) arenÂ’t playing, how serious can we really take the WBC ? Maybe Commissioner Bud will twist their arms and ultimately get these guys to play, but I doubt it. It is clear that some teams are frowning on letting their players participate. They are just looking out for their own well being, just as they should be. Can you imagine the outrage if a great player got hurt while playing in a meaningless exhibition ?
3) Are there any fans inside the United States that even care about the WBC ? Ok, there may be a few soccer fans that enjoy international competition, but the vast majority of people could care less about countries competing against one another. This is why the Olympics are largely ignored in the U.S. compared to in other countries.

Maybe I'll be wrong, but you won't catch me attending any games or watching any on TV (will they even be broadcast ?).

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your web site and check in on your blog periodically. For once, I don't agree with you. I'm going to some WBC second round games in Anaheim and I'm looking forward to it. I think it's a cool idea. Maybe it's because I'm a hockey and soccer fan too and I enjoy watching the national teams play each other.

Ed Verhamme said...

Hi
I want to start saying I like your website and weblog.
I would like to share my opinion from a non US perspective though.
I'm a Dutch baseball fan.
In the US the Tigers are my team (lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan for 4 years).
Furthermore I'm a fan of the Dutch National Team when playing like at Baseball World Cup 2005 or the World Port Tournament, Rotterdam and the Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands (both by far the biggest baseball-events in Europe beside the European Championship of course).
I think it will be a great opportunity to see MLB players participate in this WBC.
So I'm all set to go to Orlanda(exhibition game Dutch team and Braves) and San Juan,PR where the Dutch team will play Panama, Puerto Rico(both beaten by the Dutch team during Beseball World Cup 2005) and Cuba (we beat Cuba at the 2000 Olympics)
So it will be interesting to see how the team stands up against these countries in this event.
Looking forward to see some of the best players again, now playing for their countries.
I hope the this WBC is the first one of a long tradition to come.
Hopefully it will also help to get baseball back on the list of Olympic Sports.
regards and keep up the good work
Zevenbergen , The Netherlands.

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm a little late on this comment, but I thought I would post my thoughts since I did end up going to 2 games in Orlando.
It was a huge hit there and the Dominican and Venazula fans were nuts about this thing and it now stands as one the best baseball experiences I've ever had. From a fans point of view these games topped all of the spring games that were going on.
In the end the best part about the whole WBC is it will only take place every 4 years, why was this not mentioned before the tournament as the only reason I was against it in the beginning was that it took place in spring training?

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