An Instant World Classic?
Much to my surprise, the World Baseball Classic has been much better than the mozzarella sticks to my main course that is the regular season. In fact, it has turned into something that has almost satisfied my appetite (Almost).
If you haven’t been paying attention, the baseball world has been captivated with incredible competition and excellent displays of nationalism. After a few weeks of competition, the United States team has willed itself to the semi-final game tonight versus Japan.
Japan is currently 6-0, even without phenom Shohei Ohtani. As Cub fans, following Ohtani’s posting process will be extremely important once he reaches the age of exemption on the new International Free Agent contract restrictions.
The U.S. has advanced farther than they ever have before after the heroism of Adam Jones and Giancarlo Stanton.
With it being Spring Training, the United States has always struggled to put together a truly “elite” roster. They are filled with dominant relief pitchers, but really are missing some of the games larger stars such as Kris Bryant, Mike Trout, or Bryce Harper. It is understandable that teams focused on larger regular season goals would be hesitant to send some of these players to play full steam so early. However, with the passion seen from teams such as the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, it is hard not to desire more U.S. MLB players to feel the urge to bring home this trophy to our beautiful country, throwing away the notions of injuries derailing the invisible hand of commercialism. However, don’t you dare tell the U.S. players on the field that this doesn’t mean something to them.
What would it take for this event to reach a level that garnishes such attention? Baseball is clearly trying to replicate the popularity of the FIFA World Cup and Olympic/FIBA Championships. This years tournament has been a great stride forward, but has not reached a level that motivates the biggest star in our sport.
All being said, it will still be great to soak in a baseball game at 9pm ET that has October electricity in March.
Have you bought in? Or is this a dish that just doesn’t quiet sit well?