Fans think American players don’t care about WBC…

…and you know what? They’re probably right.

Barry Bonds’ withdrawl from the WBC late Monday night was just another in a long line of prominent All Stars who have pulled out of the WBC. While some top players weren’t invited, others have opted out of the tournament, and rumors abound that even more will choose to sit out the tournament in lieu of Spring Training.

With players pulling out of Team USA (a notable point), ESPN.com posed the question to SportsNation: Do you think players will take the World Baseball Classic seriously? The answer is discouraging for the tournament’s supporters.

According to the poll, only 37 percent of voters think players will take the tournament seriously while 63 percent feel the opposte. (Hurray for polls that do not have “I don’t know” as an answer choice!)

Meanwhile, as a tie-in to the poll, the ever-prolific Jayson Stark offers his take on the players’ views of the upcoming WBC.

We want to love this little tournament. We want it to be a goose bump kind of spectacle on the field. We want it to be a raging success off the field. We want life around the baseball-playing earth to be paralyzed in its grip as it heads for its dramatic climax.

But how come, with not even six weeks left until the first pitch, that isn’t the vibe the WBC is giving off at the moment?

We find ourselves focusing more on the players who aren’t playing than the players who are. And that’s not good.

We find ourselves listening to one baseball person after another gripe about the timing of this event. And that’s not good.

We find ourselves wondering why so many questions haven’t been answered, why ticket sales have been so lukewarm, why Danny Haren qualifies for the team from the Netherlands, why the semifinal games have been scheduled on a March Madness Saturday during the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament — and several thousand other things.

Stark goes on to blame the timing of the tournament. American players, at least, aren’t enthusiastic because of the nature of Spring Training. They would rather have the tournament after the World Series and not during the six weeks they have to prepare for a grueling season.

As one of the louder anti-WBC voices on the Internet, I have been saying this for weeks. Spring Training is not the time to have a tournament with serious intentions. Players aren’t ready for it, and the interest in it is lukewarm to say the least. Major League Baseball and the international baseball community want this to become a tradition like soccer’s World Cup or the Olympics. To do so, they need the support of the game’s stars. If they don’t get that support soon, this tournament may be more of a farce than an international exposition.

Meanwhile, it’s interesting to note that those pulling out of the tournament seem to be representing Team USA. I have yet to see top Latino and top Asian players (other than Hideki Matsui) decline an invitation to play. If this is a question of patriotism, the Americans seem to be losing that battle. While most nations would love to see their team take home the championship, would Americans even care if their team captured the tournament title? I doubt it.

Advertisements

1 Response to “Fans think American players don’t care about WBC…”


  1. 1 J January 25, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    I would care if the Americans won the title, and I would also be shocked. I know I am not exactly the majority of America here but perhaps once it gets on TV people will begin to watch. We are waiting for the first pitch from any baseball game at this point, so I think people will tune in just to catch a glimpse of certain players or to see how the teams from the other countries look. If the WBC play if good enough, then once people have tuned in they would (hopefully…) see it through to the finish…

    Of course, at this point, I believe that would be there best-case scenario…


Comments are currently closed.



RSS River Ave. Blues

  • The Rest of the AL East [2017 Season Preview] March 30, 2017
    There has been an interesting bit of parity in the AL East this decade, as every team has won the division crown in the last seven years. The Red Sox appear to be the standard-bearer, with both ZiPS and PECOTA projecting them to repeat as division champs – but both also have at least four […] The post The Rest of the AL East [2017 Season Preview] appeared fi […]
    Domenic Lanza
  • Spring Training Game Thread: Final Grapefruit League Game March 30, 2017
    This afternoon the Yankees are playing their final Grapefruit League game of the year. They still have one exhibition game remaining, tomorrow night at the brand new SunTrust Field in Atlanta, but this is the final game in Florida. Well, at least until the Yankees come back to play the first series of the regular […] The post Spring Training Game Thread: Fin […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Yankees finalize Opening Day roster; Holder, Mitchell, and Shreve make the bullpen March 30, 2017
    Earlier this morning, Joe Girardi informally announced the Yankees’ 25-man Opening Day roster. Aaron Judge will be the right fielder and Luis Severino will be the fourth starter, and the decision to option out Rob Refsnyder means Pete Kozma will be the utility infielder. Also, Girardi told Bryan Hoch that Bryan Mitchell, Jonathan Holder, and […] The post Yan […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Girardi on Aaron Judge: “He’s our right fielder” March 30, 2017
    Common sense prevails! Joe Girardi announced this morning Aaron Judge will be the Yankees’ starting right fielder this season, according to Erik Boland. “He’s our right fielder,” said Girardi. The club was reportedly considering sending Judge to Triple-A as recently as yesterday. Judge, 24, is hitting .345/.406/.569 with three homers so far this spring. He’s […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Rob Refsnyder Optioned to Triple-A March 30, 2017
    Earlier today, the Yankees announced that Rob Refsnyder had been optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 26-year-old was batting just .209/.314/.349 in 43 at-bats, and was openly put on the trading block three weeks ago. There was some talk that he could have a shot at heading north in a bench role on the heels of the […] The post Rob Refsnyder Optioned to Tr […]
    Domenic Lanza
  • Passan: Yankees will use Luis Severino as fourth starter March 30, 2017
    According to Jeff Passan, right-hander Luis Severino has made the Opening Day roster and the Yankees will use him as their fourth starter. Neither Joe Girardi nor anyone with the team has announced anything yet, however. Still, all signs point in this direction. This isn’t exactly a surprise. Severino, 23, has allowed six runs in […] The post Passan: Yankees […]
    Mike Axisa
  • There are many pros and only a few cons to signing Sanchez to a long-term contract March 30, 2017
    February and March make up extension season in baseball. Most pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players hammer out their contracts for the upcoming season this time of year, and inevitably some strike long-term deals with their teams. In recent weeks Tim Anderson, Rougned Odor, Jose Ramirez (the hitter, not the pitcher), Kevin Kiermaier, and Carlos Ma […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Open Thread: March 29th Camp Notes March 29, 2017
    Your browser does not support iframes.The Yankees are officially Spring Training champions. They clinched baseball’s best record this spring with their win this afternoon. Neat. The Yankees are now 23-8-1 while the second place Cardinals are 20-8-4. Both teams have two games to play. Aaron Judge had two singles this afternoon and he even stole […] The post O […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Poll: The 2017 RAB Prospect Watch March 29, 2017
    One of our longest running features — I hesitate to call it a feature, but whatever — here at RAB is our annual Prospect Watch. We pick a prospect and track his progress throughout the season in the sidebar. Simple, right? Also kinda silly, but hey, people seem to like it, so it continues. Think […] The post Poll: The 2017 RAB Prospect Watch appeared first o […]
    Mike Axisa
  • Brian Cashman and the 2017 trade deadline [2017 Season Preview] March 29, 2017
    Welcome to another contract year for Brian Cashman. Don’t worry: Cashman has enough job security that he isn’t about to trade the farm for some short-sighted fix that harms the Yankees’ future. He’s acquitted himself quite well over the last two decades and it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the job right now. It […] The post Brian Cashman and the 2017 trad […]
    Steven Tydings

Blog Stats

  • 62,328 hits

%d bloggers like this: