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As World Baseball Classic opens, Japan tries to make it 3 titles in a row

Discussion in the MLB News forum
As World Baseball Classic opens, Japan tries to make it 3 titles in a row
On 2013-2-28 Janie McCauley wrote:
They'll play in the Far East and the Far West - and in the Caribbean, too. Wherever they are, Miguel Cabrera and R.A. Dickey and dozens of All-Stars in the World Baseball Classic know the team to beat: two-time WBC winner Japan.


[Full Article: http://www.theprovince.com/sports/World Baseball Classic opens Japan tries make titles/8029537/story.html]
Comments
Re: As World Baseball Classic opens, Japan tries to make it 3 titles in a row
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Mar 4, 2013 12:14 PM ]

Anyone know if there's any talk of eventually moving the later rounds to a different country? I can't really take this seriously as the "WBC" if the finals are going to be played in California every year. Japan is obviously more than capable of hosting the final rounds. Then again, I wonder how many American players would be willing to come all the way here in the middle of spring training?
Re: As World Baseball Classic opens, Japan tries to make it 3 titles in a row
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Mar 4, 2013 8:10 PM | YBS Fan ]

That's a good set of questions.

It took a while to get the Asia Series to move out of Tokyo Dome, then out of Japan. I had long thought that the winner deserve to take the series home the next year. It turned out to be a sponsorship issue that finally got it to move. What ever the reason, though, I think that Korea deserved to defend their title on their own turf in 2013.

However, I disagree about the obviousness of Japan's ability to host an international competition in the later rounds. You could argue that the early rounds aren't so important, so there isn't much of a crowd for the non-Japan games in this and the previous WBC games. However, one must assume that Japan may not be in the final (for the sake of argument - not that I doubt them), just as the U.S. must assume that they won't be in the final now. If such comes to be, do you think that Tokyo Dome could be filled for Puerto Rico vs. the Dominican Republic?

As much as I agree that Japan has shown that it deserves more of a role, I'm afraid that the economical safe bet is to stick with the final rounds in North America. If they fail to fill the stadium for any of the Championship Round match ups, though, then that defense is lost and I will join you in a campaign to bring the finals to the victorious 2013 team's country.
Re: As World Baseball Classic opens, Japan tries to make it 3 titles in a row
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Mar 4, 2013 8:49 PM ]

Thanks for the answers Michael, and some good points. I do wonder if Japan could fill the Tokyo Dome for a non-Japan final. Even the opening round games this week featuring Japan have been sparsely attended. I was going to make a comparison with the FIFA World Cup and how it is fairly unlikely for the host country's team to make the finals, but baseball simply doesn't have the global following as football/soccer does.

Do you happen to remember if the finals so far have been sell outs or near that? I imagine tickets are bought before the finals are set, so I seem to remember them being well-attended, despite some disgruntled fans making comments like, "I paid $80 to see Japan play Korea???"
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