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Will the WBC be competitive?

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  • Will the WBC be competitive?

    From Rob Neyer:

    Now that Cuba's in, it's appropriate to get excited about the World Baseball Classic.

    Not too excited, though.

    Look, the games are going to be on ESPN, and I would be watching even if they weren't. But if you think these games are going to be as hard-fought as, say, soccer's World Cup, I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed. In the World Cup, everybody's primary motivation is winning. In the World Baseball Classic, everybody's primary motivation will be not getting hurt. Everybody's secondary motivation will be not bruising egos (or not having one's ego bruised). And coming in third: winning. Which is fine. It's the same formula we see in the All-Star Game every July, and that's certainly a pleasant diversion during three otherwise MLB-less days. But that's all the WBC will be: a pleasant diversion during an otherwise action-free March.
    I'm starting to feel that the WBC will be like the All-Star game, a lot of shuffling players in an out and not too much of a hard-fought competition. We shall see.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

  • #2
    Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
    From Rob Neyer:



    I'm starting to feel that the WBC will be like the All-Star game, a lot of shuffling players in an out and not too much of a hard-fought competition. We shall see.
    Why bother? The Amazing Kreskin himself told us everything except for the score. But, I'm sure he's just saving that for his next story.
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    • #3
      Unlike World Cup Soccer, most of the players in this World Championship of Baseball play professionally in the USA. However, Cuba and Japan may well field a competitive team using players unknown in the USA.

      It still seems artificial to me that MLB players born in the USA may still choose to play for another country, if that is where their parents were born! IMO, A-Rod should play only for the USA -- but his FATHER could play for the Dominican Republic.

      With rules as they are, the D.R. should certainly have a competitive team. USA, Japan and Cuba should round out the final four.

      I am surprised that MLB owners are allowing their players to participate in this event -- thus missing much of Spring Training and perhaps risking injury.
      Luke

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      • #4
        It still seems artificial to me that MLB players born in the USA may still choose to play for another country, if that is where their parents were born!
        Its no different than the rules for the olympics. I think its perfectly fine, especially for A-Rod who lived in the DR for a while when he was young. A lot of second-generation US citizens identify as much with the home country of their family as they do with the US.

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        • #5
          I think that "risk of injury" argument is a load of bullcrap. Injuries can happen in spring training too. Isn't there always a risk of injury when playing any baseball game, no matter what the stakes?

          EDIT: And, by extension, regular season injuries are okay, because they're played in games that "mean something?"
          46 wins to match last year's total

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SamtheBravesFan
            I think that "risk of injury" argument is a load of bullcrap. Injuries can happen in spring training too. Isn't there always a risk of injury when playing any baseball game, no matter what the stakes?
            I've been saying the same all along - I see it as a cop out excuse for many of those who don't agree with the WBC. Maybe the WBC is just a PR exercise for the MLB or maybe they really do want to take baseball to the world with the best players, only time will tell. If it becomes a tournament like the All Star game where the top players are treated with kid gloves then it is just a PR exercise and a waste of time, but if, as they should, allow the players to be competitive it should be a real success!!
            "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

            No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SamtheBravesFan
              I think that "risk of injury" argument is a load of bullcrap. Injuries can happen in spring training too. Isn't there always a risk of injury when playing any baseball game, no matter what the stakes?

              EDIT: And, by extension, regular season injuries are okay, because they're played in games that "mean something?"
              Except that in spring training, especially for the vets that were chosen, they don't have anything on the line in ST. When playing against other teams, those teams do have something on the line, and if the USA (or the other MLB-laden teams) wants to win, those players will have to make an extra effort. That's where the injury can occur.

              In spring, the only people who have to really prove anything are the guys who were invited to the spring roster. The vets, if they get destroyed in a March game, who cares? In the WBC, I think they'd want to avoid being humiliated.
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              • #8
                The WBC should be played either in July or after the World Series.
                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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