"This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner
I enjoy the WBC, I do get caught up in the competition, and I like seeing position players on my favorite team participate in it. But I don't particularly like seeing pitchers on my favorite team participating in it, the injury risk to pitchers does concern me.
"Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons
In a way, it's very similar to how many Americans view the WBC today. Whether that view will be the same in 50-100 years, I don't know? As baseball grows in popularity in Asia and Europe, I could definitely see a future in which some of these leagues decided to bump up their level of play with backing from Middle Eastern financiers. If they could get over history and politics, I don't think it's crazy to imagine the Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese, with help from Persian Gulf-based backers and Russian Oligarchs, banding together to form an Asian Major League to compete on the level with MLB. Who knows with Europe? Baseball could take off like wildfire or fizzle out. However, based on the experience the Home Nations had in International Soccer, I think it's better for MLB and the US to embrace and encourage the global growth of the game rather than keep to itself and let others take the lead.
Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.
I'm looking forward to it. It's pretty much the only international option anymore since they took baseball out of the Olympics (which really ticked me off). I also like that they're putting more restrictions in place for pitchers/managers.
Can't win with 'em
Can't win without 'em
But the audience is still somewhat closed. And MLB isn't getting the best players, just the best available players. Mexico and Japan both have systems that prevent their best players from joining US teams until either late in their careers or with the posting of huge fees. Baseball is expanding into so many countries, and with a billion plus in china to pull talent from, how long before Asia starts to if not dominate the player pool, certainly they can see a larger percentage. 20 years? maybe 30?
This was going to happen, and it will likely gain popularity around the world, once people in these countries realize the economic gain to be had. To say the best players are here is true, but it is also short sighted. Expansion on a global scale will happen. Leagues with talent equivalent to MLB is just a matter of time.
Last edited by TRF; 02-28-2013 at 12:24 PM.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Cue the Spalding World Tour refresher.
Because something that happened 125 years ago is relevant today? Sure, sometimes it is.
60 years ago every team was traveling by train. Now, none do that. The Pirates fly to play the Phillies. The Reds Fly to play the Indians. I bet the Dodgers fly to play the Padres.
Is it really so hard to see suborbital flights to Asia that take under 3 hours in the next 50-60 years? If so, Is it really so hard to see MLB as a global entity, With divisions in Europe and Asia, perhaps even Africa and South America? We have one team in Canada, used to have two. Is it so hard to imagine a franchise in Mexico City? Not tomorrow, maybe not in ten years, but it WILL happen. Because it has to. Because you just know this has been discussed, and will continue to be discussed by MLB brass.
The NFL has almost zero appeal outside the U.S. The NBA does better, with European leagues. But baseball, that's the U.S. sport with global appeal. Maybe Hockey is on a par with it around the world, but mostly just Europe. And hell, Hockey ain't that popular here.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head