I for one am excited for the the Word Baseball Classic. An truly international tournament for a sport that is truly international. Its very exciting to see that these teams are really into it the tournament and actually care about winning. Pride has always fueled these type of world cup events. The US is not walking away with this one either. There has been much coverage about the team from the Dominican Republic featuring their “fila de los asesinos”. They will be tough to beat. As will Cuba, which was thankfully allowed to play. I’m hoping Japan can compete with these western teams as well.
There has been a World Cup of Baseball for many many years. And the USA has participated. But the problem is that this has never been endorsed by Major League Baseball. I feel that for an international competition such as this to take off, the United States must be a big part of it. The WBC has the benefit of having MLB organizing it, so there is no shortage of support from the US. Clearly, this is something players from this country have been hoping for. Just look at the willingness of top US players to play for a team in the WBC. People putting money and stats on the line to play for their country. It’s actually beautiful.
Yes, there is some controversy. Mainly from MLB owners, managers, and fans who worry that players will get hurt or will tire out for the coming baseball season. These are real concerns and I would never fault someone for feeling reserved about the tourney. However, I feel that the competition is important enough to put some assets on the line. It is a change we might have to get used to if the WBC is a hit. So baseball teams have to move things around once every four years. It’s good for the game. Recognizing the injury factor, the WBC will have a few rule changes that are designed to protect players.
The WBC started two days ago. Japan is 2-0, crushing both China and Taiwan. South Korean is also cruising by crushing their opponents.