While most MLB fans are focused on the playoff push currently underway in the sport, the leaders of the game would rather tell you which one of your favorite players is going to play in next spring’s World Baseball Classic. For those who forgot, the WBC is baseball’s answer to soccer’s World Cup. Of course, the WBC is played during MLB’s Spring Training, when players are vulnerable to injury while trying to hurry up and get in playing shape for a made-up tournament. So, I ask you, why is MLB still playing the WBC?
Believe it or not, we are less than two weeks away from qualifying games being played for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. Germany will host games the third week of September that will allow teams from Europe to qualify for the WBC, all while Major League Baseball will be just days away from the end of their season.
Major League Baseball wasn’t popular enough to survive as an Olympic sport, yet its leaders still feel as if holding the World Baseball Classic during Spring Training is a good idea. Most franchise owners hold their breath and light a prayer candle anytime one of their players signs on to play, and managers dread the time that player is away from the team’s trainers and teammates. I know a lot of fans embrace the WBC since national pride (and the pride of Puerto Rico, which is an American Commonwealth) are at stake.
For me, however, it is a fake, OVERBLOWN tournament that doesn’t prove or mean anything to the sport and is never something that will appear on a player’s resume.
Major League Baseball has an entire season to promote their players, wherever they are from. Teams also have the ability to reach out to their communities and let their fans get to know the players. If a two-week tournament every two years held during spring training is what’s needed to get the name of the best baseball players in the world out into the public, then it is Major League Baseball that should be ashamed of themselves. There are plenty of nationally televised games on during the week, and now with the new schedule starting in 2023, every team will play every MLB team once, so fans will be able to see almost every star every season.
MLB doesn’t need the WBC, all it needs is a new way of thinking about and marketing the game and the players who don the uniform. Because unless you want MLB’s playoff winner to play the best team from outside North American in a true World Series, holding the WBC in March might as well be done by a traveling team visiting every MLB’s spring training facility for a few days and seeing who has the best pitches, hitters and managers.
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Why Is MLB Still Playing The WBC? | TooAthletic.com