It’s called the World Baseball Classic, yet it’s anything but. Tonight begins the WBC tournament that comes around every four years, we think, since the time in between the event has been changed a few times already, and it’s the worst sporting idea ever.
It was created mainly because baseball was taken out of the Olympics as a sport so the IBF, International Baseball Federation, found a way to decide which country has the best baseball players in the world. So they put their heads together and came up with the event known as the World Baseball Classic and this year’s tournament will be the third installment of the series.
Did I already mention what a moronic idea this was, because if I didn’t I would like to do so now. Honestly, very few people care about the Olympics anymore and having am Olympic type of event is not going to garner more interest in baseball. It’s already a beloved sport by millions of people and creating an event that’s played every four years will do little to promote the sport anymore. It also won’t help the ratings for MLB, a disguise for the event, which have consistently decreased for a few years now. It’s too slow of a sport, there’s not enough action, the games are way too long and in a world where we everyone has a much shorter attention span because of the new age of technology, it doesn’t hold our interest anymore.
And that is just beginning of the foolishness of the tournament. Whoever scheduled the WBC should be fired immediately because it makes zero sense to hold a tournament when MLB players are in spring training. Players should be taking it slowly and easing into a baseball season, not taken away to some meaningless tournament that means nothing. By scheduling it in March, teams and players are forced to decide whether they want to get ready for a real baseball season or risk injury in the WBC. I’m guessing MLB teams are no more thrilled with the timing of the event than I am.
Spare me the talk about playing for national pride because that’s a bunch of bologna. Some of the world’s best players don’t even play for their countries because they’d rather get ready for the MLB season so we aren’t even close to getting the best each country has to offer. If you ask any of them if they would rather win a World Series title or a World Baseball Classic championship, 99.9% of them will say a World Series title is more important. So how does it make any sense to interrupt their preparation for the MLB season by taking them away for a few weeks?
By the way, also in March, something called March Madness. Right around the time the WBC Classic gets down to its most meaningful games, here comes college basketball to take away fans, and viewers, attention. Even though the NCAA Tournament starts later this year than it ever has, conference tournaments have become just as exciting and few people will care about baseball during that time.
Mid-March is also a time for NFL free agency, the NBA heats up and we can’t forget that hockey season is still going during this time. Nascar and golf are also back into full swing, so the timing of the WBC couldn’t be worse.
It’s possible holding the WBC might work at a different time but I’m just not sure when? You can’t do it in the fall or winter because football rules those seasons and obviously you can’t do it in the summer because baseball is in full swing so there may be no good time to hold the tournament.
The World Baseball Classic is a misfit event that doesn’t have the correct timing or enough interest to be relevant. In short, it’s a dumb idea.
you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi