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WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?

Discussion in the Open Talk forum
WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
Why do people complain about the potential for injury in the WBC? Don't people know that the players risk injuries playing spring training games too? They may as well cancel spring training if people are so worried about injuries in the WBC.
Comments
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Mar 25, 2009 9:38 AM ]

Well, there are more hidden messages in the injury concern than meets the eye. For example, Kevin Youkilis openly admitted that he tried to hide an injury and play hurt. That wouldn't have happened in spring training games and it doesn't sit well with people who made financial investment.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Mar 25, 2009 10:25 AM ]

Plus, players don't go all out in spring training games. So, there's a big difference between that and an international competition that means something.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Mar 25, 2009 1:27 PM | HAN Fan ]

It's an interesting issue, that of injuries, and suggests an old fashioned view of players - that they're property. I would argue that, like all risk taking enterprises, one has to expect mishaps.

In short, the answer is to start training and preparing earlier or to move the tournament to mid-season. That, at least, will minimize the risk, but the whole injury issue becomes a red herring when you realize that they can happen at any time.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Mar 25, 2009 3:29 PM ]

- It's an interesting issue, that of injuries, and suggests an old fashioned view of players - that they're property. I would argue that, like all risk taking enterprises, one has to expect mishaps.

Considering the huge sums the players earn nowadays, I'm not really sure you can compare it to the old days, when players really were treated like property. I think players today are more like highly paid contractors, who provide services for their clients, the team owners. (BTW, the analogy isn't perfect, but it's more perfect than the "property" argument IMHO.)

And yes, injuries are part of sports, but I think the owners are probably interested in eliminating unnecessary risk. At the very least I don't think you can totally ignore their views, as they pay the bills.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Mar 25, 2009 3:43 PM ]

- [...] the whole injury issue becomes a red herring when you realize that they can happen at any time.

Is this really a red herring? I just showed a varying degree of risks with the example of Kevin Youkilis. Imagine you are running a company. Calculating risks is really important, especially when multi-million dollars are involved.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Mar 25, 2009 6:30 PM | HAN Fan ]

Well yes it is. Given that an injury can occur at any moment, even if the player is not playing (for example Kubota of the Hanshin Tigers breaking his wrists rescuing his baby daughter), one should not be restricting players on such spurious grounds. Ensuring proper preparation will minimize the risks, but the risk of injury should not be used as a reason for denying a player the opportunity to play for his country.

Whilst players may not be treated as property, attitudes are still quite backward, and I think that in this case the analogy does hold a certain amount of truth. The issue of international competition is a thorny one in any sport (which is why some sports offer contracts to players they want in the national team), but generally having international players in a side adds to its value from the point of view of ticket sales and merchandising.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Mar 25, 2009 7:58 PM ]

- [...] one should not be restricting players on such spurious grounds.

How about attending his spring training camp? Is that spurious? I am sure that's part of the bill and who knows what's written in a contract. What if it says "No WBC" and players agree to that and sign. It's easier for us, who are not paying the bill, to say anything.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Mar 25, 2009 9:15 PM | HAN Fan ]

I have not seen any mention of a clause in contracts saying 'no WBC' which there would be if these actually existed. I have though seen comments by Selig suggesting that MLB actually has powers to compel teams to release players but hasn't exercised them. He further hinted that they may be used but whether that was just rhetoric or not I don't know.

A final comment attending your spring training camp rather than playing for your country is a very spurious reason.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Mar 25, 2009 9:37 PM ]

- A final comment attending your spring training camp rather than playing for your country is a very spurious reason.

In your opinion, yes. Not in many owners', players', and fans' opinion. This is how this discussion ends. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Mar 26, 2009 12:39 AM ]

Spring training has been an important part of baseball in the States since the 1880s. And the WBC has been around for, what, three years? So you can understand the reluctance of owners to allow their players to play in the WBC.

Spurious? I wouldn't think so. But then cricket-loving Englishmen know much more about these things than the rest of us, so we'll just have to accept Christopher's word for it.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Luigi | Posted: Mar 25, 2009 1:10 PM ]

I somewhat agree with this post, seeing how a lot of major injuries actually happen off the field (carrying luggage, slipping on stairs, GUITAR HERO anyone?).
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Mar 26, 2009 1:07 AM ]

It all comes down to the "ALL MIGHTY DOLLAR"; it's only logical that you invest a certain amount of money in something or someone to produce an expected rate, for an expected period of time.

The WBC poses a threat (just like any other sport) to potentially limit or temporally or permanently injure a player that is paid top dollar to produce for a company (team) and not their country. And who would repay the ownership for all monies invested if it were to happen?

I'm not condoning it; I'm just trying to be objective. The owners do have a point and I can see them try to control it (at least in the MLB) in future contracts for the top players. I also can see the players counter-act with stipulations of their own.

I like to watch players commit to an international event and give it their best; not just go through the motions. It is sad to see how the "dollar" has affected our sense of "pride for country" in some nations. But it is nice to see some nations (like Japan and Korea) let nothing get in their way when it comes to putting on a uniform that represents such country.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Mar 26, 2009 12:29 PM | HAN Fan ]

As I mentioned above, the club/country issue is a thorny one and isn't really settled satisfactorily in any sport. More like some kind of uneasy truce, but most owners of clubs do want the prestige that having internationals in their side brings and put up with the sacrifices that this entails.

The problem infinium and Pat have is a failure to realize that given the chance most sportsmen would like to play at the higher level and that it reflects better on a country's level in the sport. One looks at the example of the US basketball players who realized that playing for the US was much better than playing for the club. Fans would welcome a USA side that was world champions at baseball and if this occurred the boost to the reputation of US baseball would be significant. This would have knock on effects in marketing and player acquisition. One only has to read the US press comment on the WBC to realize how much a boost Japanese and Korean baseball has received.

It isn't really about opinion at all but about taking a long term view of the sport. Too many owners of clubs are incapable of doing this and so fail to see the possible opportunities in a global market. One only has to look at football to see the value of such an approach. Pat does make a reference to cricket but he might like to take a look at the global reach of that sport which far outreaches baseball. The danger for US baseball is that it fails to realise the potential it has because of spurious and short-sighted reasons put forward by its owners and apologists.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Mar 26, 2009 8:38 PM ]

Two points, Christopher:

First, in the US, MLB is the top level, and always will be. Most players would prefer a World Series ring to a WBC title. There's too much history there to be otherwise. Whether you like it or not doesn't really matter to me, but it's a fact.

Second, cricket has worldwide appeal because the top level in cricket has always been the international test matches, not county cricket, not Sheffield Shield or anything else. The players want to play internationals because that's the pinnacle of the sport. It's apples and oranges.

Third, in your pugnacious zeal you may not have realized it, but I'm not actually agreeing with the owners. I'm simply saying that you can't ignore their views because they're the ones who pay the players. There's a lot of money at stake. Now, you may be right in that they're being shortsighted, but unless you've got a few hundred million dollars yourself to gamble on the WBC turning into something bigger than MLB, then I think you should give them a little more consideration. (Just some friendly advice from one "management consultant" to another.)
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Mar 26, 2009 9:28 PM | HAN Fan ]

Actually this is where the mistake occurs. MLB is loosing market share in America which is partially why the WBC came about. It has now been demonstrated that MLB is not so top level and this has been noticed by commentators within America. The performance of the MLB players has not helped MLB which needs to rely on players from outside America. If these were to switch to other leagues then MLB would go into rapid decline

As Selig has hinted about compelling teams to release players it is clear that those in authority are thinking about ignoring the views of the owners. Whether it will come about is another matter but MLB cannot really survive in its current form. It, if you hadn't noticed, is pricing itself out of its market. The costs are such that teams only survive because their stadiums are subsidised. MLB needs the global market and to attain this it needs to change. That is the reality and if it is to survive then the owners have to adjust and abandon their backward attitudes.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Brad BT | Posted: Mar 26, 2009 11:11 PM | SEI Fan ]

I agree Christopher.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Mar 28, 2009 12:23 AM ]

What does loosing market share mean? Something to do with having loose shoelaces or something? Loose lips sinking ships perhaps?

But leaving aside the sloppy editing, I don't quite understand how it's been demonstrated that MLB is "not so top level." The winning team had Johjima, Ichiro, Matsuzaka and a whole host of other MLB players, and other players who may eventually end up in MLB. Which means that the MLB attracts the top talent. Many top MLB players didn't even play in the classic for one reason or another (which is why we're having this conversation). So I don't think this tournament "demonstrated" anything about the standard of play in MLB as such.

I understand what you're saying about the need for changes in attitude, and management improvements, salary reforms, and all of that, but you're wrong to imply that the WBC or any other international baseball tournament will ever be able to match MLB for fan interest. The fans (and I'm one of them) say, OK, the WBC was an interesting distraction. But now that it's over, let's play some real baseball. I'll say it again: there's too much tradition involved. The World Series is the ultimate prize in baseball, and will remain so.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Mar 28, 2009 9:56 AM ]

Pat, "ignorance is a handicap that objectivity can overcome" (TM).

Market share (in sports) is what the fans watch/attend/purchase merchandise most of/from the sports followed in any given country. MLB is one of the major market share holders in US (along with NFL and NBA) and is trying to increase its market share worldwide; hence the WBC, and its importance and/or value.

The MLB players you mentioned are all imported players; take away all the imports (Latino players too) and what's left in the MLB? Exactly.....if Japanese and Latino players decided to go back to play in their countries; the MLB wouldn't be the top level. Instead it would be the league with most history, prestige/recognition and money (with 2 of them in jeopardy). Hence the "not so top level".

The World Series is the top event in baseball only because of its rich history and tradition; but with time, hard work, dedication and EXPOSURE, the WBC can do for baseball what the WORLD CUP has done for futbol (soccer). And I am all for it, "team over individual"; or in this case "sport over league.

Oh, and for the record I am a fan too; I love to watch baseball all year long. Latino leagues, MLB, NPB, Caribbean Series, Little Leagues, etc. If its baseball I will be watching it over any other sport. And I believe NPB is at par with MLB talent wise (when considering percentages of teams and players).

Don't get me wrong, I love watching my CUBS play (and the MLB) more than anything in the world; but my BayStars are a very close 2nd place (and the NPB).

Kroon, come back home please!!!
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Mar 29, 2009 2:41 AM ]

LOL - I know what market share is - I'm not quite sure what loosing it is all about though.

"The MLB players you mentioned are all imported players; take away all the imports (Latino players too) and what's left in the MLB?"

Yeees, I know. So what's your point? We have to ask why are they in the MLB to begin with? Because - MLB - is - the - highest - level - of - baseball - in - the - world. I'm just wondering whether anyone understands plain English around here. How can I express this more clearly? MLB is the best, it attracts the best, and therefore it will continue to be the best - unless you and Christopher want to spend a couple of billion setting up a rival league in some exotic location somewhere.

For the life of me I can't imagine how a two-week tournament held once every four years will ever be able to compete with MLB. Sure, it's fun, enjoyable, exciting, and all the rest, but it's now over, and won't return for another four years. MLB is the focus now - and that's where the talent, the money, and the fan interest really is.

Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Mar 29, 2009 9:49 AM ]

My point is times are changing, and it is not the history of the MLB that attract foreign players, but rather the $$$$.

If their were any other country in the world as big as the US and not in constant conflict and had as much interest in baseball ; the idea of a league that would compete with the MLB would be very realistic and possibly in effect. Just look at the NBA were AMERICAN players are headed to Europe; why? Because of $$$$ and not history or records or prestige. It would be the same case for baseball.

The only reason it has not happened is because the demand or interest in baseball is NOT that great internationally. But if it were, we'd be having a different conversation.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Mar 29, 2009 1:09 PM ]

Cyphre, OK I understand where you're coming from (I'm not going to suggest you're ignorant or anything like that). But the problem with your logic is that it assumes all sports are the same, and that the same dynamics apply in every situation.

Simply put, baseball is not basketball, it's not soccer, it's not cricket - and the fact that some American basketball players are heading to Europe simply means that some American basketball players are heading to Europe. It has no relevance to anything else.

You say IF there were any countries as big as the USA, and IF they had as much interest in baseball and IF they were not in constant conflict - then, what, MLB would be in trouble? I suppose I could say the same thing - if I were rich, if I were better looking, etc., then I'd be able to marry and keep a trophy wife. Well it ain't gonna happen.

And anyway, if I were really cynical I'd say the WBC was only set up to enable MLB teams to have a larger pool of players to draw upon. It's all about nurturing the game in other countries to strengthen MLB, not the other way round. They're not about to lose control of the game I can assure you!
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Mar 29, 2009 2:53 PM ]

... so just to finish my point, although it could indeed be in the owners' long term interests to allow their players to join the WBC, it's not difficult to understand why they don't. While Selig may be looking 10, 20 years down the track, most owners don't have the luxury of doing that. I don't blame them either, with all the money at stake. You may say that's a bad thing, but again, I challenge you to raise the many millions of dollars it takes to buy a franchise, only to see an expensive star player of yours wind up on the DL because you allowed him to play in a relatively meaningless international tournament.

Anyway, I'm not necessarily on the owners' side, I'm just attempting to explain things from their point of view.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Mar 30, 2009 12:37 AM ]

Pat, first off, I never intended to call you or suggest you were ignorant; it was a metaphor, a figure of speech.

I have said all along (and agree with you) the owners prospective; like Rod Tidwell told Jerry McGuire, "show me the money." I also agree that the MLB is the pinnacle of the sport, and the grandest stage for baseball is the World Series; under the circumstances I mentioned before.

We really can't say 'something' will never happen, because anything can happen. The Titanic was never going sink and the US was never going to lose a gold metal in Olympic basketball. The US was not supposed to lose the WBC because it's an American game, especially not the 1st two ever; but it happened.

We just lock our thoughts into one idea an believe that nothing will ever change. But IF (big 'if' that is a realistic possibility) Europe were to have (or develop) half the interest that they have in futbol (soccer) guided towards baseball; the possibility becomes a reality. And who is to say the top MLB talent would not head that way for top dollar. Yes, I understand the owners would 'cough' up the $$$ to keep the talent; but who pays that money? The fans do, and the current economy would present a great burden.

Hopefully it will never happen, as I like it the way it is; top talent coming to MLB and challenge the records set by whom WE consider the greatest players ever. But it is a very realistic possibility.

I hope the MLB never changes (as it can withstand several strikes and still go strong) and get back in the saddle as the premier sport in America. But I also hope for a positive global expansion, so we can watch the talents of the world develop into the next superstars and be the ambassadors of the game. Only then will baseball be able to challenge for a spot as a top global sport.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Mar 30, 2009 8:46 AM | HAN Fan ]

I mentioned in an earlier post that the attitude was short sighted. An earlier start to training or moving the tournament to a different month (for example replacing the all star games, and remember it is only every four years) would mostly remove those difficulties. For development of your business, ensuring a steady profit stream, and expansion of your franchise you need to adopt a long term approach, particularly if you are spending millions of dollars.

The problem with branding an international tournament 'meaningless' is that it isn't the case. The international tournament, because it gathers together the best from a company, is immediately higher level than the local leagues. Add to that a four year cycle and you have a rarity value, America cannot now challenge for the best in the world for four years now. The prestige from being no 1 in the world and proving it cannot be replaced by league play.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Apr 6, 2009 2:40 PM ]

Christopher, I didn't see this post of yours until today. The problem with moving the tournament to another month or starting Spring Training earlier is that it will never catch on with the fans, owners or players. The All Star game is more important than you probably imagine, and Spring Training is not called Winter Training for a reason. It starts in spring, has always started in spring (since the 1880s I believe) and always will.

Sure, there's money to be made in the WBC, but you've got to work out whether risking injuries to players, or alienating the fans by canceling the All Star Game are really worth it. It could dilute the value of the franchise - as a business type you'd understand that.

Anyway, I'm not against the WBC - I just believe it will never replace MLB, and although it will remain part of the MLB calendar, it won't (and nor should it) replace the regular season in terms of importance or emphasis.

- The prestige from being no 1 in the world and proving it cannot be replaced by league play.

This is ridiculous. (I'm sorry, I don't use that word lightly - this idea really is.) For Americans, the prestige of winning the World Series will always outweigh that of winning the WBC. As an Englishman, I know that's a concept hard for you to get your head around, but it's real. Sorry.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: Mar 28, 2009 4:31 PM ]

If you look at the numbers of players playing in NPB in the 2 finals in WBC and MLB. If that is an indication of global baseball then NPB is superior. But there also is a reason to why many NPB players choose to go to MLB. It is generally regarded as a league with a slight higher level than NPB.

These debates are moot though. In football terms as I am European, people do not argue about which league is the best, they just play each other. Americans are reluctant to do that. I find their attitude to be cowardice they wish to live in a dream fantasy bubble and remain ignorant.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Mar 30, 2009 12:54 AM ]

N26, although I think you make a great point with the different sports perspective between eastern and western countries; saying "the Americans" are one way or another is "stereotyping" and too suggestive.

Not all Americans are that way and a lot of Americans would like to see their favorite sports reach new heights.

I would love to watch baseball grow to compete with futbol. I wish all the major baseball leagues would have a tournament and play each other as do the Latin teams in the Caribbean Series and the Asian teams in the Asian Cup; it would be great for baseball.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: Mar 30, 2009 4:22 PM ]

"Americans" was a bad choice of words and a stereotype. I should have said "some Americans," or rather "the owners of MLB teams." But then again, I don't know how many times I have read in the North American media about Japanese baseball where they are compared with AAA. I have heard that too many times. And whenever Japan wins then it is the "Major League does not take it seriously." This arrogant attitude seems to be quite normal among quite a few people in North America.

In general though there does not seem to be a culture for national teams and international competitions in US, and the owners of MLB teams do not seem to be interested in playing champions from other leagues, yet claim their champions as "World Champions" and the "best league," etc., etc. Before making such claims it would be better to actually prove it. This would also help baseball at a global scale in the long term.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Mar 30, 2009 10:06 PM ]

Point well taken N26; and a good observation too; people in general tend to look up to the MLB as the premiere league (and it is); but the arrogance of "nothing compares and never will" is an overcast that holds the sport's growth.

To compare other leagues to triple A ball is sometimes insulting. I think the NPB is up to par (talent wise) with the MLB. Their marketability is what is in question.

The owners have in their hands a potential for growth (outside of Japan) and can not see it if it hit them. If they were to better market their product they would not have to "post" players and would stabilize the league's economic flow; which would benefit all teams because there are only 12.

I for one (and I know lots of fans are with me on this one) would purchase a package that would allow me to watch the games outside of Japan (like MLB.TV). And in US there would be a great market all over the west and Hawaii; this not including other markets around the world.

I see a lot of growth potential in the NPB (globally) and this would not only help this league, but also help baseball expand worldwide.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Apr 3, 2009 12:18 AM ]

I've been away for a few days.

- Pat, first off, I never intended to call you or suggest you were ignorant; it was a metaphor, a figure of speech.

Ah yes, now the backtrack. But I wonder why you went to the trouble of including the quote. Mmmm.

Anyway, I'm just puzzled by the view (and I'm getting this impression from what you and others are saying) that if only those shortsighted Americans would drop their silly obsession with their domestic baseball leagues and concentrate on international tournaments, that somehow you'd have this worldwide flowering of the sport. That the Europeans would undoubtedly take it up as their summer pastime, that the sport would become as popular as soccer with a real world cup and everything, and next thing, you know, you'd have lions and lambs laying down together and an outbreak of peace and harmony everywhere. Or something like that.

Get real. It's not arrogant to say that the Major Leagues in the United States will continue to attract the world's best ball players. Or that the best cricketers will continue to be found in the British Commonwealth. Or that soccer will continue to be the most international of sports. Not arrogant - realistic. It's about history, tradition, culture, geography, and even the very nature of each respective sport.

Regarding international play, just think about it for a moment. Soccer (and the World Cup) is always cited as a possible model for baseball. But a soccer game can be played anywhere, anytime. Night or day, summer or winter, rain or shine. And players don't have to worry about getting burned out either. A couple of day's rest and they're good as new. You can play throughout the year and run a couple of competitions at the same time: two domestic competitions, World Cup qualifying rounds, international club tournaments etc. Soccer is perfect for international play.

With baseball, on the other hand, unless you have a dome, you can't play in the cooler months, rain outs (and the resulting scheduling headache) are a problem too, but more importantly, pitchers, arguably the most important cog in the baseball machine, face the problem of burnout, not only within each game, but over the full season as well. Add to that the sheer number of games played in a regular domestic league, and you'll realize that you just can't have teams taking a few days off to play a friendly international halfway round the world. The schedules are just too finely calibrated for that. So yes, the WBC was nice, it was fun. But it, or any other type of international play, is simply not going to replace the traditional 162-game season or equivalent in each country. There's no room for it.

So, taking international play out of the equation, what about these domestic seasons? Sure, you can try to nurture the game at a grass roots level around the world, but who's going to pay for it or organize it? Australia, for example, has been trying on and off for years to set up a viable pro league. The biggest crowd they've ever attracted was 4000, and that's only because about 3000 of the tickets were complimentary. Most promising Australian players go to North America to hone their skills, and they stay there. Because that's where the action is. And so the major leagues are strengthened as the best players from non-baseball playing countries wind up in the American system. The best attracts the best - that's just the way it is. Sorry.

So it's not just my (or anyone else's) "arrogance" or "ignorance" that's determining the future of baseball - the nature of the game itself determines what's possible.

Yes we can dream, but with all due respect, I think you'll find that my "nothing compares and nothing ever will" is more realistic than your vague notion of "market it and it will come."
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Apr 3, 2009 1:50 AM ]

You backtrack when apologizing. I wasn't apologizing; merely explaining this is one of my "sayings" (as in "when in Rome....").

Mike Tyson was arrogant about being the "the baddest man on the planet" until a "washed-up-never-haze-been" knocked him out (ironically in Tokyo, Japan).

Obviously Pat, you're set on your Ideas and cannot see anything else in an objective way, I can respect that and move on.

You are correct, MLB is the pinnacle for baseball players (I believe this is true also). But it doesn't mean that status will never change, I won't say that.

Just because my Aunt makes the best Pot-Pie in the world means it is .... That would only be my perspective.

I just try not letting the way I feel get into a discussion, because I will not be able to make everyone think like I do; and if I could it would be boring. Like wearing the same color suits to work everyday, or eating the same meal.

Anyhow you do have some valid points of view; just don't get rattled when someone sees it differently.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Apr 3, 2009 2:42 PM | HAN Fan ]

Pat,

It is - if I may say so - short-sighted to assume that MLB will continue to attract the best players in the world. Just because it has continued to do so in the past does not mean that it will continue do so in the future. It has taken a severe dent to its reputation with the WBC and how it responds to this new challenge will determine if it continues to be the preeminent league. If it fails it will just become one (admittedly well paid) of many attractive options.

I agree that soccer is, perhaps not, the best analogy, but then take a look at the success of rugby and cricket on the global stage. The aim of a global tournament need not necessarily be to attract new members but to attract revenue. The potential new market for baseball is China. This is an enormous market with enormous potential, but to demonstrate that it is the place to go MLB has to sell itself by a commitment to a global environment. Furthermore, don't under-estimate the possibility of this environment to force changes on MLB.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Apr 6, 2009 12:46 PM ]

Well then, where is the competition to MLB going to come from? Japan? Korea? Italy? Unless you can come up with some serious scenario of how this expected seismic shift in the baseball world is going to come about, then I think we'd have to assume things will remain much the same.

You see, WBC is a creature of the MLB, so it's designed to enhance the power of MLB. So even if it becomes a popular tournament (albeit only once every four years), it's only going to cement the prestige of MLB, not diminish it. (All the most recent tournament did is dent the prestige of Team USA - not MLB itself. Everyone knows many of the best MLB players from various countries weren't in the WBC, so how could its prestige have been dented?)

But, you know, baseball has always been an innovative sport, and I see WBC as just another innovation - something that strengthens the sport but at the same time maintaining its timeless structure. I think that's what you're overlooking - the ability of those in charge to change when they need to.

Rugby and cricket are not baseball. As I noted before, the top level in cricket has always been international play, which is completely different to the baseball tradition, and in rugby it's much the same. Rugby is essentially a new sport ever since it turned pro, so many of the traditions and alignments have broken down over the last decade or so. There are other differences too, but I just don't have the time to go through them point by point. I'm not going to convince you or Cyphre, so I think I'll just leave it at that. Suffice it to say that rugby and cricket have always been international sports, and baseball has never been so.

Anyway, I just want to get one thing straight (because Cyphre seems to be overly sensitive about this), that I accept that you have the right to disagree with me. I know that you have a different view of the role of international sport than I do. Yes, I have strong views, yes I express them robustly. That's what this forum is all about. I think you're totally wrong about the WBC and its impact on MLB, and you believe I'm wrong. That's fine. I have no problem with that at all. But that won't stop me from arguing my point of view.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Apr 6, 2009 8:02 PM | HAN Fan ]

I would think that Japan and Korea would represent the strongest challenges. Just recently the Taiwanese pitcher Cheng Kai-Wen signed with the Hanshin Tigers. In doing so he rejected offers from Major League teams. Yu Darvish has consistently stated that he has no intention of pitching in MLB. Don't expect things to change quickly but it has already started.

Certainly, the WBC is a creature of MLB but these things have a way of growing beyond their boundaries. The timing (every four years) is pure World Cup and this is how it's going to be viewed. You set up a tournament like this with an international participation and a four year cycle and you create a World Cup. It takes on a form of its own and this is how it's already perceived in Asia. No amount of marketing can change this perception because of the format. Other countries also perceive this event as on a similar plane.

You are also mistaken to think that the tournament dented the prestige of the USA by using a false separation of MLB and US baseball, and remember that the Venezuelan and Dominican Republic teams were packed with MLB players. No, MLB has taken a knock to its reputation as the best.

So why is the WBC in danger of running out of MLB's control? The answer is money - it is obviously lucrative particularly in Asia and so will continue. It also provides an entry into China, MLB's holy grail market. But here it has to compete with global sports like soccer and basketball. It has to go into China on the same level and thus rather has to accept that the WBC is the World Cup and the winners of the tournament are world champions. That is the only way it will have the status to compete with the other sports for the China market.

However, at some time other baseball nations are going to wake up to the fact that they could have more from this tournament and this is going to cause MLB problems. How does it deal with the issues? There are already demands for the final to be in Japan next time. If this happens then WBC is no longer an MLB vehicle.

MLB has prided itself on being innovative but in fact this is an illusion. It is basically a conservative sport (which is not a bad thing as I have a lot of time for tradition) which has been adaptable enough to survive. But it is pricing itself out of the market and facing competition from other leisure activities. Unless you arrange a Yankees/Red Sox World Series most viewers will not tune in. It isn't the major sport in America but costs keep on increasing. It needs the global market and it needs China. To do that it has to adapt and become an international sport. As I mentioned before Selig hinted at compulsion to ensure that players were released for the next WBC. I have no idea whether he has the ability to make good on this comment but the fact that he can utter it means that some have thought seriously about the possiblity.

The owners may think that they can avoid WBC but this attitude is becoming short sighted. Once you globalise a sport the forces you release are enormous. These forces are quite capable of overwhelming even MLB resistance.
Re: WBC Injuries Risk that People Whine About?
[ Author: Guest: Pat | Posted: Apr 6, 2009 11:48 AM ]

- I wasn't apologizing;

No, I didn't think you were either. FYI, I walk around quoting Shakespeare for no reason at all. People think I'm nuts.

- ...you're set on your Ideas and cannot see anything else in an objective way, I can respect that and move on.

Interesting take on the exchange. I thought it was rather more the other way round - I feel my views are totally objective, looking at things in a realistic way, rather than clinging to some dreamy notion of how they ought to be. You don't agree with me, fine, but there's no need to get so bitter about it, using words like "ignorance" and "arrogance" to describe my views. I'm just trying to express my point of view. Obviously you don't agree. I do accept that. I've no problem with that at all. But as I said, I'm not about to call your views ignorant or arrogant. That's the difference.
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