The Baseball Desert

Thursday, March 09, 2006

It's Never Too Late... link to an interesting post on the WBC. I somehow missed Brian's post first time around, but the points he makes are still valid.
All this event needs is history behind it. Rivalries need to be formed. Games need to be won in miraculous fashion and painful, perhaps, controversial losses need to occur. What the WBC needs most is passion. Right now, fans in the States just don't have an emotional investment. That kind of intensity, one which fuels debate over team selection and drives up television ratings, can only be built over time. This first WBC is just the platform on which that emotion will be built.
Those rivalries are slowly being formed or, in some cases, are being rekindled. The intensity is already there. Games have been won and lost in painful fashion and today sees a must-win game for the U.S.

The one complaint I've heard repeatedly is that a lot of the games so far have been at times when most people in the U.S. are at work. Well that is about to change with the start of Round 2 on Sunday - the majority of the games will begin at 7pm or 8pm ET. Of course, that means that we Europeans are now screwed if we want to watch the games, but we'll deal with it - it pretty much comes with the territory if you are a baseball fan on the other side of the Atlantic. And what's a late night when there's a Cuba / Puerto Rico matchup on the menu?

All things considered, the WBC is definitely warming up. The tournament is still flawed, but people are beginning to take a genuine interest in what is going on, and not just in Pool B. Time will tell if this momentum will be enough to take the Classic through to a second edition, but it's off to a good start.

Vive le baseball!