Blog Entry

The WBC - Overrated or Under Appreciated??

Posted on: March 23, 2009 10:04 pm
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I'm really curious to hear opinions on this because it's a topic I struggle with myself at times. 

On one hand, it's a very nice way to see many of the world's stars prior to the season starting and is almost like a mini multi-cultural all-star game on most nights.  On the other hand, not all of the MLB stars play in this tournament and there were a few players on the US team that I could not even name whom they played for.

There are some more detailed reasons on why the World Baseball Classic is a good thing.  Probably most importantly is for many MLB stars - it gives them the chance to compete at a high-level of competition prior to the season starting.  You look at Derek Jeter, for example, who after the 2006 WBC had one of his best years offensively.  Could this have been coincidence - of course it could have been - but I think for pitchers and hitters alike, the extra time can never hurt.  Another very good thing about the WBC is that it gives many international players exposure on an international level.  You look at much of the Cuba team this year or the stellar performance of Dice-K in 2006.  For a baseball geek like myself, it's exciting to see this young talent and know what could be coming to MLB within the next couple of years.

Now the bad things.  Biggest problem I have with the WBC is that the timing of it couldn't be worse for the MLB players.  This doesn't just affect the US team like I am so sick of hearing on PTI, Around The Horn, and SportsCenter - it affects almost all of the teams!  Many MLB teams do not want their star players going out and over-working their unconditioned bodies.  There are a few teams (Tigers, Red Sox, Twins, etc) that will not hold back their players from competing for their country, but many do have worries about their players getting hurt or being overworked - and rightfully so.  This leads to another downfall of the WBC is that it is not a true showcase of the entire world's talent.  Stars such as Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Grady Sizemore, etc all were either scratched due to concern or not playing in the tournament.

I think there's a lot that could be done to make this tournament better, but for now it's a great source of good competitive (usually) baseball and for a guy like myself this time of year...it definitely keeps me interested! Smile

Your thoughts?

 

 

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Comments

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: April 3, 2009 1:44 pm
 

The WBC - Overrated or Under Appreciated??

 I think that it is under appreciated. I say this because the WBC doesn't happen every year. It is like the World Cup and the Olympics on how they don't occur every year. The sad part about the WBC apart from the World Cup and the Olympics, is that it doesn't get the attetion as it should. Baseball is a sport that is played worldwide evidently.  Can't there be ways to change the WBC so that it can get the ratings as a top level tournament?

 How about having the WBC in Dec-Jan? If this was the case, players who should be competing with their countries and not their MlB team, would be playing. This will allow for the big time players to show what they got for the world. It could be an elite tournament that every baseball player hopes to play in besides the World Series. Of course the questions are raised up about injuries in the offseason. But can't that be a risk for players to take? Or even a risk for the WBC to take in order to try to make it bigger than it is.

Don't get me wrong... I still think that the WBC is great and I love watching it because it gets me excited for baseball season. I just think that it has the potential to become an elite tournament.




Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: March 30, 2009 11:22 pm
 

The WBC - Overrated or Under Appreciated??

Most of these players play year round. to start this type of play after the season would not be same. Two reasons...1). after the World Series, there will be less intereset and 2). this is only the second time around. the crowds are still great for this time of year, beginning of Spring Training. most of these people come from far away and far east places to come watch this game and witness what it's like to watch a game in the U.S.

the teams in these other countries do have the skill level. Maybe a little behind with the coaching staff and focus to hitting and areas of that nature. but each country plays it a different mind set than the U.S. We are accustomed to watching the game as America plays it. Some of the play calling, I agree was entertaining but still, worth the watch.

Remeber one thing as well, these players all either volunteered to play or were asked and said YES!! who could say no at such an offer, to play with the greats that represent their countries? A Great Honor, anytime of year.

 


 

 




Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: March 30, 2009 11:21 pm
 

The WBC - Overrated or Under Appreciated??

 Most of these players play year round. to start this type of play after the season would not be same. Two reasons...1). after the World Series, there will be less intereset and 2). this is only the second time around. the crowds are still great for this time of year, beginning of Spring Training. most of these people come from far away and far east places to come watch this game and witness what it's like to watch a game in the U.S.

the teams in these other countries do have the skill level. Maybe a little behind with the coaching staff and focus to hitting and areas of that nature. but each country plays it a different mind set than the U.S. We are accustomed to watching the game as America plays it. Some of the play calling, I agree was entertaining but still, worth the watch.

Remeber one thing as well, these players all either volunteered to play or were asked and said YES!! who could say no at such an offer, to play with the greats that represent their countries? A Great Honor, anytime of year.

 




Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: March 30, 2009 11:12 pm
 

The WBC - Overrated or Under Appreciated??

 The WBC is definitely for Baseball Lovers. I myself consider myself to be one of those. It's like getting to watch the baseball in the Olympics which there are no more of. Truly an underrated, under appreciated,. To see baseball played on a world stage is great for the whole world and not just America. I am starting to enjoy watching the Asian Teams play. they play our game but it seems they made it better, Flawless at times and many glimpses of greatness from Japan and Korea once again. I only wish I could have gone to Los Angeles to watch the game at Dodger Stadium. What a grand place to witness this event.




Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: March 30, 2009 1:03 am
 

The WBC - Overrated or Under Appreciated??

 I think its good for the game and its under appreciated.



Terez Owens
Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: March 29, 2009 7:34 pm
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Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: March 29, 2009 4:01 pm
 

The WBC - Overrated or Under Appreciated??

Much like the other posters, I love baseball... the WBC was a truly remarkable event... I have a funny feeling that we as citizens of the USA do not understand the magnitude that this game holds around the rest of the world. The WBC classic is a significant event in countires such as the Dominican, Cuba, Japan, Korea, Venezuela, even the Netherlands... and when teams like Canada, Italy, South Africa and Australia care more than we do as a nation, it speaks volumes for what baseball has become here in the US.

There will never been an ideal time for a baseball tourney... during the season, people will worry about injuries, before the season, we will not be prepared, after the season too many players will decline after a long season...

to me it is simple... we have to make this tourney a priority...

First we have to establish baseball as a viable game for the children of today... Steve Phillips made a wonderful point during one of the games, he mentioned that pick-up baseball still occurs in many of those aformentioned countries... that is no longer the case here... the children that do play baseball here are in legion ball or little league and end up getting burned out at a young age... many of the better athletes ending up in other sports as they get older... it has been mentioned that we baseball no longer attracts african american children, baseball used to be a game that prospered in the inner city (anybody that has swung a broomstick at a Spaulding knows what I am talking about)... many of the greats developed their skills swinging sticks at rocks as children (Willie Stargell comes to mind)... this no longer happens...  other sports have become the sport of choice...

Secondly, we as a nation have to care... I was fortunate enough to go to the US game versus the Netherlands down here in Florida... a dismal turnout of about 12,000 people made their way to Dolphin Stadium on a beautiful evening... as I walked through the parking lot, I realized that I was in the minority... as an American... this was the US versus the Netherlands for crying out loud... yet the stands were full of fans from Puerto Rico and Venezuela (understandable as they were in the bracket) but the US fans were outnumbered by the Dominican fans??? and the smattering of Cuban fans were close in numbers to those supporting the US... let me not forget the loud and easily visible orange clad Netherland followers... we as Americans did a wonderful job responding to their cheering with chants of USA... USA... USA... long enough to drown them out... but we never made it a point to be proactive in supporting our team... let it be known that the teams that reached the finals, not only filled  Dodger Stadium to support their team, they had a stadium filled in their native country watching a Jumbotron

Lastly, the reason I believe the classic was and will be a great event, we get to see baseball played at an amazing level... teams like Japan and Korea play the game well... they are drilled in the finer points of the game... shorten a swing with two strikes, moving runners along for the betterment of the team, hitting cut-offs... this harkens back to the days of the 50's and 60's of the US... playing the game the right way... as we have progressed in terms of covering the  game, the game has lost its innocence... players look for the wow moment... they know the camera is on... they want to do the spectacular... all sports have been through this... basketball has turned into a dunk contest with a 3 point shooting contest in between... football has become a video game full of big hits and one handed catches... baseball is all about 100MPH on the gun or the 500 foot HR...

I am afraid our disdain for this tourney goes deeper than the worries about injuries... or even money... it quetions our way of life... have we as a society allowed what makes us great ruin us??? when winning is everything (and it appears to be like that) you have to do the little things needed to win... they do not always make the highlight reel on the evening news...




Since: Mar 25, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:57 pm
 

The WBC - Overrated or Under Appreciated??

Well if each of the countries had a team(s) that were apart of this new league, they would have to get the players the same way other teams do by paying them money. You would have to get owners for the teams etc... but the enventual goal would be to recruit talent from your own country and bring them up to the big league level. getting players could become similar to recruiting at the college level. You can get a lot of players from around your area, but you can also recruit from outside your country. The players should choose who they play for.

I agree this will probably never happen but it just sounded like a good idea. And you are right Major League baseball should have put more thought in the World Baseball Classic before they introduced it. People in the U.S. just dont care that much because they are more interested in their teams that they root for and the health of those players. Also the classic may have been more popular if it hade been created say 30-40 years ago. Baseball isnt as popular as it used to be, football is very popular and so is basketball so baseball has a smaller fan base than it used to. I think they have some changes that need to be made before the next classic. 




Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2009 5:47 pm
 

The WBC - Overrated or Under Appreciated??

I see what you are saying dlee7674, but I have a question.  If something like that were to ever happen, which I'm not sure it would, would you then have to play for your respective country?  For instance, would Jason Bay no longer play for the Red Sox but instead play for Canada?  Or would A-Rod have to play for the Dominican Republic?  That would be the only way to incorporate what you are saying into Major League Baseball and it still represent what the World Baseball Classic is all about.  I think the MLB had a good idea coming up with the WBC, they should have just thought about it a little more before bringing it into play.




Since: Mar 25, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 4:39 pm
 

The WBC - Overrated or Under Appreciated??

I have thought about this for a while now and have come up with a solution that could branch MLB and the world Baseball classic together. Now im sure some one has thought of this before but i just want to express myself here. MLB should expand the league to all the countries who want to participate in the World Baseball Classic, MLB can absorb any proffesional teams that country has into the league. For example the Japanese have their own proffesional league, instead of it being a league they could become their own regional divison. MLB would have to restructure the divisons but this would be a good way to expand the league an incorporate new teams and expand the market for Major League Baseball. We could expand the playoffs to hold more teams and make it similar to the World Baseball Classic. The benifits from a global baseball league are awesome. Thousands of people across the world could have a chance to play MLB baseball that couldnt in the current system we have. It would bring the people of the world much closer together and the revenue that MLB would bring in would eventualy pay for the money spent expanding the league.Im sure this wont happen right now but it sounds like a good goal for the future.   



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