Do We Care About the World Baseball Classic?

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By the TSB Staff

PAUL M. BANKS

I love this idea in theory, hate it in practice. With all the major stars more concerned with not getting hurt than actually winning, it just feels like a bunch of glorified preseason games. It’s also hard to root for my native country in this made-for-Bud Selig event. Now before the jingoistic ultra-conservative nutjobs out there do to me what they did to the poor Dixie Chicks in 2003, consider this: how many of you would root for the New York Yankees in a tournament where they competed against minor league teams?

Now I’m not saying the talent disparity between the Americans and the rest of the world is on a level with the exaggerated scenario I just put forth, but I am saying this event’s best results should spread the love of the National Past time around the globe. If we dominate it, no one will care, so parity is therefore in our best interests.

Also, I CAN’T STAND how the uniform of EVERY country is written in English! I’m not sure what this means: racism, xenophobia or whatever, but it’s just awfully offensive when you consider the U.S. isn’t even hosting all of it. And aren’t some non-English speaking countries tuning into this event as well? How would you like it if you really wanted to buy a Team USA jersey, but the team name only came printed in Japanese?

MELISSA S. WOLLERING

In the words of Napoleon Dynamite, “[WBC]; you’re eating all our steak and ruining our lives!”

Basically, you’re taking the world’s best talent from THE baseball platform of the world during SPRING TRAINING and using them to play non-meaningful ball for countries that don’t care about the sport.

Now soccer, that’s different. Soccer has no single platform, no singular professional world showcase of a league.  No one country can claim soccer as its own.  Therefore, soccer can by all means pull together national teams and have it mean something.

Baseball is MLB.  Talented players from all over the world do come here and are showcased as such, so a World Baseball Classic becomes meaningless when more world-class athletes are playing in an AL Championship Game than an Australia versus Dominican Republic game. Although, I will give props to the DR guys.


DAVID PALMER

I have been surprisingly intrigued by the WBC so far this year.  Three years ago I didn’t watch a game, but now I find myself putting it on in the background while I do other things.  I’m not even rooting for the US; I’m going for Canada.  Call me un-American, but who wants to root for guys like Jeter, Youkilis, Chipper, David Wright and Curtis Granderson?  Why did we get all the d-bags?  The Asian and Central American teams are surprisingly fun to watch because of their raucous fans and talented pitchers.  It seems like the other team’s fans (except Canada) care about a thousand times more than we do.

It’s not an event that appeals to a large American audience because of East Coast bias and the relative amount of “no-namers” on many of the other teams.  I don’t blame people who don’t care, but I happen to have a serious itch for some competitive baseball right now.

I still think it needs to be at a different time of year, with the format tweaked a little bit.  I’m way more excited about the MLB regular season, but as a baseball addict, the WBC is granting my fix right now.


RIKKI GREENBERG

I tried watching the World Baseball Classic and ended up changing the channel. There’s too much NCAA excitement to care about baseball right now. I’m going to wait until April 6th when baseball really matters and than I’ll get my baseball swerve on. I’m too busy counting down the days to Selection Sunday to put on the WBC cap right now.


ANDY WEISE

I have watched very little of the WBC mainly because much of my time right now is dedicated to March Madness as well as every other sport: NFL Free Agency, NBA and NHL season’s winding down and spring training for baseball.

I must say I like the concept of the WBC but I think the timing needs to be fixed. The issue with putting it at the same time as Spring Training is tough because baseball is such a long season and players need this time of the year to get practice in and focus on the upcoming season. They could move the tournament to the middle of the off-season every 3 years (think December). The only other reasonable option I’ve heard is having a week off for All-Star festivities in July with the games played around that time.

I like the concept because we’ve seen the NBA expand their sport globally and already commentators like Steve Phillips are saying international players have improved since the last WBC. Expanding the game globally and getting more attention over the world will only help baseball and the MLB (think $$$$).

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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    Melissa, that’s true how soccer doesn’t have a dominant global league like MLB is to baseball. I guess the English Premier League might be the closest thing. but I can’t pretend to be anything close to a soccer expert to say for sure. And maybe Americans would find the EPL to be that because of obvious links to the Mother country

  2. Chicago Fan says

    Sorry, only ready for basketball now.

  3. seriously… what a terrible time to have the WBC… during the middle of college hoops tourney time??? dumb.

  4. Peter Christian says

    two points

    1. Soccer is so regionalized because most all major nations have some sort of professional league. The MLS needs to develop through out the western hemisphere if it is going to succeed. Following the lead of the soccer leagues in Europe would be very good for the MLS, teams being relegated to lower tiers or being promoted to the higher tiers would make for exciting soccer (oxymoron, I know) and would create drama.

    2. The WBC higher-ups should realize that the best time to have the WBC is at the end of January. Football is winding down, basketball is still a few weeks away from getting dramatic and hockey is, well, hockey. If the WBC started pool play the week following the NFL conference championship games, they would have two weeks to wrap up pool play, a weekend off (Super Bowl weekend) and then 2-3 weeks to finish the tournament. Instead of extending spring training or removing players from ST, the players involved would just start earlier. MLB teams would probably be more in favor because they could then rest their WBC players for a few weeks to start ST. It isn’t rocket science but it is made out to be.

  5. paulmbanks says

    right on! jan would be the perfect time to have it. well done Pete

  6. David Palmer says

    Lets not pretend we know anything, or care, about soccer, I’m looking at you Pete.

  7. paulmbanks says

    Pete, one of the commenters in the Sox exchange said you had a Keith Olbermann like sense of humor. I know you definitely don’t share his politics, but I guess the callouts do remind me of the “worst person in the world” routine

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