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.
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.
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.
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 $$$$).
Leave a Reply