Thoughts from the WBC

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I love the World Baseball Classic. I think anytime you can showcase the world’s best talent in a major sport you are bound to have a winner. Yes there are some flaws to the product so far, but in my opinion it is a winner. But the one thing they have failed to do is convince more American stars to play.

I understand the timing of the World Baseball Classic is not good, coming during Spring Training for many MLB players, but still. I watched the Dominican Republic play Venezuela last week and only one  player in the starting lineup was not in the big leagues. That truly is amazing to me. Seeing so many players represent their country, despite using this time to get familiar with teammates and coaches. I think it is actually pretty amazing.   While all of the players on Team USA are in the big leagues, they are not all superstars. Which to me begs the question, what does the WBC need to do to convince the major talent in Major League Baseball to participate.

I would love to see Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Matt Kemp fill the outfield. How about Buster Posey behind the plate? I like the rest of the infield, with Brandon Phillips, Jimmy Rollins, and David Wright (obviously minus Mark Teixiera who has been on te decline lately). There are some good choices mixed in, but I think it is a little sad that American players are not jumping at the chance to represent their country. I like the idea that some of the players from the World Champion San Francisco Giants but Ryan Vogelsong over Matt Cain? What about Justin Verlander? His teammate Miguel Cabrera, who won the TRIPLE CROWN last year, is representing Venezuela. I just don’t understand it.

Don’t get it twisted, I am not saying that the players on Team USA aren’t good enough or worthy of being there. I just want to see the elite Americans play some meaningful games together. Sorry to break your heart, but the All-Star game is not real. Nor is the idea that you can make it somewhat meaningful by attaching the home field advantage perk onto it.

I love the camaraderie that we have seen between players from the Dominican Republic, Italy, and Venezuela (to name a few). Each team has brought some sort of pizazz and cultural flavor to the game. Seeing the Dominicans playing with some much swagger and pride, its something that I envy. Something that gives you a real idea of what this means to them. I love the product on the field, along with the excitement. The first round was amazing and with USA playing Puerto Rico tonight in the second round, the real excitement begins.

Hanley being Hanley, bat flip and all.

 

 

 

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