So, it's here. The World Baseball Classic. The 16-team international baseball tournament -- a product of the many great minds at MLB coming together for the greater good of international baseball.
I have no problems with international competition, but shouldn't that be left to something like the Olympics? Of course I'm aware that baseball (along with softball) has been officially voted out of Olympic play. So, where does that leave international baseball competition? One decision had nothing to do with the other, the Classic was planned way before baseball was axed from the Olympics. But, if baseball can't drum up enough support for the Olympics, how will the World Baseball Classic make it?
It almost seems like a nuisance, this international competition in several different locations around the world, held during spring training when teams are supposed to be gearing up for regular season play. How do players benefit? MLB? International baseball? I hear so many different things through the grapevine. I think it's a love / hate relationship really. There's pros and theirs cons, as always, but which weighs more?
Sure, players love the camaraderie, but shouldn't many of them be back with their teams, getting ready to play 162 games and building team camaraderie?
What about injuries? Sure players run the risk by playing in the tournament, but they're just barely ready to play - let alone travel and compete in an international tournament. What about fatigue that could hit earlier because they wore themselves out too early, too soon?
And, what about the state of the economy? Surely that has to effect ticket sales. What kind of crowds will there be at each location? Will there be too little ticket sales to warrent discontinuing this?
I'm curious to see the aftermath of the 2009 Classic . . . I think it comes down to $$ and in this day and age, nobody seems to have any to spare.