Ah The World Baseball Classic ……….
Well this quadrennial event much like the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants. When it comes creating a hullabaloo this may well be the one sporting event that by its very own creation may well be about as relevant as the pageants mentioned themselves.
The only thing is whereby the participants of the pageants seek something of relevance at the end of the day . The World Baseball Classic only seeks to apportion some sort of credibility to a game that as of late has shot itself in the foot more times than one would care to mention.
And it certainly hasn’t bode well for the game domestically that its hierarchy has been about as proactive in dealing with many of its problems about as much as the Federal government has been in dealing with the current economic crisis. The game’s most prominent star domestically is under a cloud of suspicion and his actions as of late have been deplorable. And now comes word that he’s curtailed his availability for his national side, the Dominican Republic. What makes Alex Rodriguez’s actions even more suspicious at this juncture is his every move thus far has been orchestrated in order to amass degree of sympathy from the public. Hip injury or not and with allegations still surrounding and his steroid use. Could it be that this might’ve been borne out of his of the illecit substances ?
As to the event itself if it is to be the showcase that Major League Baseball anticipates and that of the game’s international governing body. Then the game’s major stars who are representing the various international concerns will have to step up to the plate and make sure that this event is a memorable one to say the very least.
The event itself has already started and we’ve already witnessed a surprise with the Netherlands defeating the Dominican Republic 3-2. They were viewed as the presumptive favorites to win the competition outright. But then again the US team was also viewed as a presumptive favorite at the Classic’s inception. And we can all remember how badly the competition went for the team can’t we ?
The United States’ team makes its formal entry today with a game against Canada. And it’s being viewed with a great deal of expectancy. Its roster is filled with a litany of All Stars and they’re expected to overcome the play of the northern counterparts with some ease. But as we’ve already seen anything can happen and will. We’ve already had a number of players saying that “ they’re playing with and for the pride of their country” . It’s not something that ought to be undermined but in reality for many of these players it’ll be the only opportunity that they’ll ever get to play at this level and infront of a viewership on this grand a scale.
The sixteen teams in this round robin event are chasing after glory and the recognition that at the end of it all. The team who ends up being victorious will be viewed as the world champions ? But in reality at the end of it all it’s nothing more than a competition created out of a fabric that’s merely there to attract an audience that’s intrigued by the game out of curiosity . The well meaning fans who already versed in the nuances of the game. They’re more interested I’d dare say and are more inclined to be interested in the games of Major League Baseball. Rather than that of an international competition that resonates with just a few rather than a magnitude of fans.
The tournament itself having begun on the 5th March culminates with the Finals itself on the 23rd of this month. And it is hoped that the event itself does fulfill the wishes of the bodies behind the event. With the eyes of the world watching and the hope that the game can once again find itself within Olympic competition. Any positive sign and public acceptance may well go a long way in changing the minds of the International Olympic Committee’s governing body. That’s the stage if anything is where the world will take notice as it is on a much grander stage to begin with.