White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko thinks he knows how to increase participation in the World Baseball Classic. Here's what Konerko told ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine on Thursday:
"Maybe the best thing to do is take two weeks off in the middle of the season if you want get at it the right way having best versus best," Konerko said. "I am sure that would take a lot more planning and that would be tough to do."
Specifically, Konerko is thinking of July -- perhaps immediately after the All-Star break. Such a scenario would not be unlike the way in which the NHL has accommodated the last two Winter Olympics.
There's no ideal way to time such an event, but it's an event worth having and promoting to the extremes. If, as Konerko suggests, scheduling it during a time frame when players are in regular-season shape makes teams less inclined to discourage participation, then it makes sense for the sport.
Again, there's not a perfect answer, but Konerko's somewhat off-hand idea merits consideration.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook. Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: @MattSnyder27, @daynperry and @mikeaxisa.