Wait, I’m supposed to stop watching every Peter Gunn episode (con continuous loony Ken Nordine tape loop) in order…for the WBC?
Here is a message for all those players, managers and GMs who view the World Baseball Classic as a nuisance:
Get over yourselves, and think about your sport.
Yes, the WBC is an inconvenience, a disruption to spring training, an extension of a baseball calendar that already is too long.
But the benefits are so vast, and the long-term importance so significant, the tournament should be embraced, not scorned.
The bigger this thing is, the greater the impact. And while the impact in the U.S. remains minimal — thanks in part to the refusal of many top American stars to participate — the WBC is breathing life into the sport internationally, giving baseball a global reach.
The elimination of baseball as an Olympic sport after 2008 left the WBC — which begins Friday with first-round games in Japan and Taiwan — as the biggest event on the international calendar by far.
“To globalize the game, you need events that will continue to motivate countries to get better,” said Robert Eenhoorn, a former major leaguer who is the director of the Netherlands team. “The WBC is this event.
“Everything starts with a dream and the dream should be to become the second biggest sport in the world (after soccer). The dream for every kid should be to play in the WBC for his country. The WBC is the catalyst to this dream.”
And beyond that, a necessary reality.
...So really, the U.S. loses on every level when its stars decline to participate. The reluctance of aces such as Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and David Price is understandable, given the fragile nature of pitching. But position players such as Buster Posey and Prince Fielder? And youngsters such as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper? C’mon.
The WBC isn’t a nuisance. It’s an opportunity.
Everyone needs to put aside their self-interest and contribute to the greater good of the sport.
Posted: March 01, 2013 at 10:16 AM | 39 comment(s)
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