The Baseball Desert

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Broad horizons

As I read Bobby Valentine's thoughts on the projected World Baseball Classic, I found myself thinking: "Maybe he has a point - Major League Baseball seems to be getting a little pushy". Until I got to the last sentence:
Valentine said he instead favors a true World Series, which would pit the best team from the North American major leagues against the best team from Asia.
Uh, hello?? Call me anal-retentive, Bobby, but how can you have a "true World Series" which doesn't take in the world? I know that baseball will never be the #1 sport in Europe or in Australasia, but this tournament should at least be a way of broadening the sport's appeal outside countries where it is already a national pastime.

Maybe, in reality, the final of a world tournament would end up pitting the best team from America (in the broadest sense of the term) against the best team from Asia, but it would be a little unfair to not give other nations a chance. Unless, of course, your view of the world is so limited that it's almost non-existent. Nobody says to countries attempting to qualify for soccer's World Cup: "Sorry, guys - you've only being playing football for 10 years and you're crap. Please go home". They get a shot at trying to compete against the big boys, and I'm sure the Dutch and the Italians and the Australians would love to see how they could perform against teams from the two major baseball continents.

Vive le baseball!