when they were at Petco in San Diego. I went to a baseball game and soccer fans came out. It was a blast. Probably the most fun I've had at a baseball game in years.
Thus eliminating the Cubanos from the competition. I consider this to be a shame -- I think USA-Cuba baseball matchups can be a lot of fun. The USA-Cuba Olympic final from 2000, when the US team consisted of a bunch of promising young Minor League prospects coached by Tommy Lasorda, was a game for the ages. Ben Sheets threw a complete game shutout to win the Gold.
They beat everyone else they played convincingly, though. It seemed like the Dutch team (which includes Curacao, home of Andruw Jones and others) had their number for whatever reason.
There's been some good, competitve baseball. I hope the owners come up with some solutions that allows this to work longterm.
the Americans can barely get top of the line starters to play, what happens with teams in a pennant race and don't want to tack on more innings to their frontline ace?
And it shouldn't, for so many reasons.
There's also the money aspect. No other sport depends on good weather like baseball does. What owner in his right mind would want to give up two weeks worth of gate revenue in the middle of July?
For some reason, no one seems to consider it an option for baseball. Perhaps it isn't considered possible to push the season back a couple more weeks into October/early November.
The fact is that the Japanese baseball league has done exactly what you suggested - put the season on hiatus mid-year - which many consider the reason why they won both previous WBCs.
You can't disrupt rotations like that midseason, and no manager with any kind of a brain is going to let his top starters work innings in the middle of the season in games that don't count. Hell, they treat them with kid gloves as it is just for the All-Star Game where they can only pitch a maximum of 3 innings.
And then there's the effect of a long layoff on everyone else who is not playing. For perhaps most position players it won't matter much. For pitchers - starters and relievers - it matters a hell of a lot.
It's a different sport. Hockey has nothing comparable.
Since they do it in Japan. And in basically every other country in the world, the risks to players of participating in "international duty" are considered part of the bargain of being in the business of pro sports. Pro soccer players in Europe miss league games for international exhibitions ('friendlies') for God's sake. The fact is, having a vibrant international market for your sport depends on having vibrant international competition, but for better or worse Americans simply aren't on the same page. Baseball is going nowhere long term without serious attention to the WBC, so it behooves MLB and its owners to pay attention for the long term health of the sport.
That all said, I'm sure your perspective will win out in the end.
when he uses two question marks you know that it's asking the impossible.
All that is missing is the all caps--IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN and then the inevitable exclamation point string with a "1" mixed in.
It just isn't here.
There's no tradition of "international duty" in American baseball, and personally I don't care if there ever is.
But as I said, I think American baseball fans are being excessively insular and short-sighted in their thinking. Baseball's popularity has already declined in the United States over the past 25 years and without any kind of vibrant international competition, the same could happen overseas, too. American fans only need to care about things like the WBC if they care about the long term health of the sport.