Tagged: World Baseball Classic

MLB: Pull the WBC off of ESPN ASAP!

I know the Korea / Venezuela game taking place tonight is a blowout – and inevitably, baseball announcers tend to talk about other things duirng a blowout; but Jon Miller (Giants guy), Joe Morgan (players and players’ union guy) and Steve Phillips (front office guy) spending 1 1/2 innings complaining about the World Baseball Classic is totally unacceptable.  Major League Baseball needs to insist that they not be allowed to announce future WBC games; or perhaps even pull the WBC off of ESPN and instead air it the MLB Network exclusively!

First off, I like the  World Baseball Classic.  I love seeing players – both familiar and unfailiar – represent their respective countries.  Perhaps even more than that i LOVE then intensity that foreign fans bring – not only in baseball – but also in other international sporting events.

To hear Joe Morgan get on his player/union member soapbox and lament that “it’s too much” to ask American players to participate during spring training  makes me sick.  I understand that MLB plays a much longer season than any of the other participating countries; but we are talking about professional athletes who make more money per year, per season, per week, per game, per AT BAT than I make in a year!  Once a member of the players’ union, always a member of the players’ union…

Look, I don’t expect announcers to be total yes men and pimp whatever Bud Selig decides to sell. I respect each pf their opinions.  In many ways,  I agree with Mr. Morgan.  But when announcers are complaining about the format of a tournament that they are covering during the event itself, it makes me want to change the channel.

 Remember the big stink when Joe Buck said that he really didnt watch any baseball beyond the games he covered and that more American probably find “Desperate Housewives” more exciting?  That was in an interview, off season if I recall correctly.  Imagine if he had said that on-air, live, during the World Series

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weighing in on the WBC

I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but if you’re not watching the World Baseball Classic, you should be.

Earlier this week, the Netherlands gave us the greatest upset in the history of international baseball.  The Dominicans get their rematch tonight.  i got a feeling this one won’t be pretty, but the Netherlands team has already shocked me once this week…

It was nice to see China get their first win and continue to embrace the game.  With population of over 1 billion, there have to be some great ballplayers out there, statistically speaking.  It will only be a matter of time before they are a world powerhouse on the diamond too.

Can ANYONE recall seeing Pudge Rodriguez playing with so much intensity?  Maybe the Tigers should throw him a one-year, league minimum, incentive-laden contract?  He’d probably still want to play everyday – which is the problem the Tigers had in the first place…

Where else but in the WBC do we as Americans get to see the Cuban national team (now that Olympic baseball is history)?  Or even the Japanese team for that matter?  Sure we see Ichiro, Iwamura et al all season long, but there’s so much that  we, as American fans, donlt know about Japanese ball.

I’ve noticed how intense the fans in other countries are about their sports.  The crowd at the Japan – Korea game reminded me of a European football/soccer crowd: rowdy, intense, passionate – they were making noise, lots of noise, for the ENTIRE GAME. The last time I recall hearing anything near that noise level in an MLB game was the Metrodome duing the 1991 World Series.

If you love great competition, you need to be watching – especially as the tournament rolls on and the weaker teams are eliminated.  What else are you going to do during Spring Training – wait for Manny to suit up?  Sit at A-Rod’s bedside while he recuperates.

 

Of course, if you’re planning to catch a game in Florida or Arizona, that’s good to spend your winter too…