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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Someone Please Remind Why the World Baseball Classic Exists

You already got a taste of what a fraud I think the World Baseball Classic is based on my criticism of ESPN for continuing to use A-Rod to promote the WBC in commercials. In that vain, I’m still wondering what the point of this entire event is. Surely I understand that the U.S. doesn’t send its pro athletes to the Olympics to compete in baseball, and that’s fine with me. We already have the highest level of competition playing 162 games a year (not including the playoffs) from almost every baseball-playing country worldwide. The only reason I have to say “almost” is because many of the top Cuban players are forbidden from leaving the country. Still, it doesn’t take much more than looking inside the dugout for any team in MLB to realize we already have a global game going.

MLB has players from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Curacao, Japan, China, Korea, and Australia, and that’s only off the top of my head. The best players in the world already convene in the U.S. to play against each other at the highest level of baseball; they do it in a little something called Major League Baseball. Many teams have international training facilities to further mine the globe for the top baseball talent. Heck, they’re even trying to get players from India now, too. And up until this year when the economy turned sour, MLB had been a vastly successful league with immense popularity and growing fan bases. Knowing that fans already have and support their teams, why are you trying to create some event to supersede what we already have and what’s already working?

Too many players turn the opportunity burden down because their MLB careers are more important, automatically making the WBC inferior in terms of competition to MLB. The WBC allows bogus roster rules, letting guys like A-Rod who were born in the U.S. play for the Dominican, and guys like Frank Catalanotto play for Italy. I suppose if they had a Team Poland they’d allow me to try out considering I’m 1/8th of it. Like that makes any sense. They’re trying to drum things up like this is a matter of nationalism and civic pride. I, along with millions of others, am just hoping my pitchers don’t get hurt or burnt out in a useless event. Just what I need — the Angels bullpen tiring out in July because of a bunch of meaningless innings they threw in March. So one more time, outside of TV revenue, why does the World Baseball Classic exist??



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