The third World Baseball Classic is just off the horizon and I’m not sure at this point to what extent I am going to cover it. I love the idea of it to a certain degree. Baseball is such a global game, it makes perfect sense to have a World Cup-style tournament that features some of MLB’s biggest stars playing for the country of their heritage. It would seem to be a fail-proof idea.
But I have had a hard time following it over the first two Classics. I’ve done a little better with the Caribbean World Series and a lot better with the Arizona Fall League. But taking players off of their MLB teams and spreading them over a different set of clubs is just, for whatever reason, a difficult twist for me.
The other problem with the Classic is the timing. Spring Training isn’t the best time to see the stars of the baseball world at their sharpest. I’m not even getting into how it effects their MLB seasons at this point. I just don’t know how important it is, or isn’t, when you roll all these players out in the spring and see how they play in a win-to-advance format. Daisuke Matsuzaka made a huge splash in both of the first two WBCs but hasn’t panned out in the majors. So what are his two World Baseball Classic MVP awards indicative of? And why haven’t we seen the gyroball in MLB play?
But when else could it be played? The ideal months for baseball are obviously eliminated from consideration due to MLB’s season, with the post-season running to the end of October. To avoid conflicting with the various baseball seasons around the world, the options are very limited. Thus the spring timeframe.
I have a pretty good feel for the MLB calendar, including how Spring Training performance projects to what will take place early in the major league season. I don’t have a very good feel for what I should gather from WBC play. The schedules don’t make for easy viewing and ultimately, it is just hard for me to follow. The All-Star aspect makes me think the results are for entertainment purposes only, but not for serious evaluation.
So, I don’t know, at this late date, how I am going to be posting on the 2013 WBC. If I see something important, I’ll throw it up here. You know, if an MLB starting pitcher gets lit up or even injured. I’ll have something to say about that. But as far as day-to-day play, I will check in on it but I won’t be that interested unless something dramatic happens.
What do you think? Are you all in? Don’t care? Wish it had never been invented? Let me know here.