Last month, Japan wrapped up its second World Baseball Classic championship after wiping the floor with the United States and Korea.
When learning the world’s best would tough it out on the diamond every three years, I wanted the WBC to succeed and become a huge event. But isn’t the 162-game Major League Baseball year exactly that?
Lack of the U.S.
The United States was ousted in the semi-finals last month and as it looks from my perspective, the Americans just don’t care. I guarantee, though, the general managers and owners of every club that has a player on a WBC roster is sweating bullets at every ball put in play.
The U.S. doesn’t care and never will. When it comes to baseball championships, the World Series is the only one that carries weight in this country. Japan is celebrating another title as if it just colonized Mars.
Ignore the watered down reasons of importance given by the media. Players under contract for Major League teams shouldn’t be wasting time in an exhibition tournament that proves absolutely nothing when their teams are preparing for a six month long marathon.
Ratings up in ‘09
The United States’ match against Venezuela on March 8 was the highest rated game in WBC history with more than 2.5 million viewers tuning in, according to bizofbaseball.com. Sure, the WBC offers baseball lovers a superior fix over spring training, but let’s not emphasize its importance.
The tournament only runs every three years, so maybe Bud Selig and his henchmen will use this time to improve on its current state.
I’m not arguing against the WBC. I think it’s a great way to help generate interest globally, but American’s will never care as long as its bullpen consists of Washington’s Joel Hanrahan and Houston’s LaTroy Hawkins.
Find a new season
It makes sense to think the WBC can serve as an alternative for veterans who have experienced spring training for a number of years, but the timing of this tournament is awful. Everybody knows the month of March belongs to college basketball. With conference tournaments and the Big Dance dominating the headlines, the WBC plays second cousin during the birth of spring.
Until Mr. Selig figures out a better and brighter plan, the WBC will continue to get little respect from the average sports fan.