WBC: Who’s the bigger fool, the fool or the fool that buys the fool’s jerseys?

From the comments section.

Tournament is not stupid it is a great idea just awkwardly placed and poorly managed and promoted by MLB. They have great ideas but other leagues take them and run better with them.

I went to Spring Training 24 years straight starting in 1984 seeing Mets v Cards in the opener when both were in St. Pete. Was in clubhouse and on field that day and got a great amount of autographs and spring training was fun but it was real. The teams were down there for business and they played about 25 games in ST. he top prospects were there as well in addition a few invitees and organizational men. After the 1st couple of games you saw the team play and a few prospects or a walk on vet actually being put in game situations to see if they can make the team.

The past several years it has become a farse the play 30 or so games , every minor leaguer is in camp and plays most the games and most of them will never see AAA let alone MLB. The vets are entitled and wil not take even an hour bus trip to visiting game, even though they are home by 6. They limit access off field and on field to players because no one plays. Even when guys are sent to minor league camp they appear game after game in the major league games. People are buying tickets at MLB regular season prices and sometimes more for these games and you may wait all winter to see your team at a ST game in a visiting city and absolutley no player shows up. Did you see the line up for Nats a few days ago Mets?

To complicate this we have the pre mature games in last week of Feb. to accomodate the WBC. The U.S. pool does not play till March 7 . They plop the WBC smack into ST thus cannabilizing ST more than they already have with the indifference they show above . As you say watching its as if you are not ready to watch yet so in middle of winter. Enough anticipation has not pent up.

Why not start WBC late Feb into early march? The particpants can start ST 10 days early in prep for these games. As WBC games begin the rest of MLB then does ST and the exhibition games start say a day after WBC ends about the 8 or so of March. The WBC guys who were in final round take a couple of days off after WBC and then join for the exhibitions. They can get away with about 20 to 22 games if they actually played them for real instead of how the just play non factor players now..they can ave a cople extra intra squad games early during prep time if they need more work, and they do need more work because they skate thru ST coddling the MLB guys and they can get through6 innings in April. Many pitchers would go 8 or 9 in last week of ST in the past! So I see why you are a bit off on ST this…but it is still baseball and ilook at it but d/n want to peak to soon either. It beats football , hoops expecially the NCAA tournament and NHL any day!

Thanks for writing in Vincent.

david wright wbc road jerseyMe?  I think it’s stupid.  This is a money grab, and from me they grabbed money.  I’m a sucker for jerseys (I will have gone just shy of three days without buying a jersey when this posts 6am on Friday – unless I bought one last night) and I bought not one, not two but three USA jerseys because they look nice and they come in three colors.  I am a dope.  A fool.  A sucker.

In terms of baseball games?  I don’t care.  I want David Wright safely under the care of the Mets trainers back in PSL.  I don’t care about this tournament.  If the USA wins, I don’t care.  If they lose, I don’t care.

Maybe perhaps if they did this in November it would interest me.  I’d be more interested in seeing if the World Series champ could beat the Japan Series champ.  Or if the World Series Champ could beat the Japan All Stars or the Cuba All Stars or whatever.   This tournament, not so much.

But MLB wants the sport to grow.  I’m not sure if 6 people at a Brazil-China game adds anything, but they got $330 out of me.  Who’s the bigger fool, the fool or the fool that buys the fool’s jerseys?

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3 Replies to “WBC: Who’s the bigger fool, the fool or the fool that buys the fool’s jerseys?”

  1. Shannon:

    My initial comment was …good idea but applied awkwardly..you seem to agree a bit but that it is applied stupidly…I watched some of the Italy game and some of the Dominicana game (good team)yesterday…very long games. This is not how to grow the game especially here because the same audience that views MLB knows about WBC. This would be a good time to practice game pace improvements and maybe make the games 7 innings until the finals.Pitchers are not ready…I also hold my breadth that Cano or Wright et al come out unscathed..Texiera is already down for the count as are a few more MLB players..they used to barbstorm thru November, but that was to make money for the under paid players and Football was not a media factor then, so the post season idea may not fly either and please d/n consider a post all star game fiasco as some commentators are tossing around.

  2. I agree with Vincent – the tournament is a great idea, just not well executed. I will be attending the semi-finals and final game in San Francisco later this month, my second WBC final (I was at the first in 2006, but missed the 2009 tourney because I was on my honeymoon) and cannot wait. The energy level among the national fans – especially those from Korea and Japan – is unbelievable.

    I don’t see this as a money grab per se (jersey buying aside – and I am guilty of that as well), any more than the soccer and rugby World Cups. This is an attempt to grow the game on an international level. And you know what? It’s working. There are more teams in the tournament this year than in the first two, and the level of interest (outside the US) is greater than ever before. In fact, the only country where interest is not huge is the US. But that’s ok because we are not the primary audience. We already love baseball here, and there are other ways that MLB can increase participation and interest here.

    Now that said, there are ways that the WBC can improve and it’s primarily around scheduling. I don’t think keeping it in Spring Training is the right move. Players aren’t quite ready, and neither are the fans. This time of the year is meant to reawaken the baseball spirit that has laid dormant throughout the winter. Vincent dismisses the idea of doing the tourney during the All-Star break. I actually think this is a great idea.

    Once every 4 years the All-Star break is expanded to 2 week period. The preliminary rounds of the WBC are still held during ST but the round robin and championship round are moved to mid-summer, when baseball interest is high and it is the only sport going on. Let’s say the first half of the season ends on a Sunday. Monday is an off-day so the round robin begins on Tuesday with day/night doubleheaders for 6 days. That brings us through the first week and ends on Sunday. Monday is another off day. Tuesday they play the Futures Game and Celebrity Softball game (both I think could be eliminated though). Wednesday is the Home Run Derby. Thursday is Semi-Final Game 1. Friday is Semi-Final Game 2. Saturday is the WBC Final. Sunday is the All-Star Game. Off day on Monday. Season resumes Tuesday.

    By doing the tournament in the summer you are not limited to warm weather sites in March. MLB could literally own a city for 2 weeks. The amount of foreign tourism dollars that could be generated would have cities bidding on this. The All Star Fan Fest now becomes an International Baseball Festival.

    There will be critics who will warn about injuries and such. You are going to have those concerns whenever the WBC is scheduled so that’s a given regardless. So then it comes down to the best time to generate awareness and audience. Baseball is a summer game – the “World Championship” should then be played in the summer.

  3. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: as long as Sandy Alderson is the GM, I won’t be buying any more jerseys. Because I know exactly what will happen: I’ll buy one and then the player is traded. And I don’t know if I’d even be safe buying a Harvey or Wheeler jersey as I’d really be shocked if we reap the rewards that these guys are promised without seeing them traded first. I went and bought a whole bunch of Dickey stuff and looked what happened. Fool me once…

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