2017 World Baseball Classic Preview

wbc17-preview

When the IOC began debating the value of having baseball as a part of the summer Olympics the baseball world went about finding a new way to highlight the best in the world.

The MLB looked to create a new tournament that would feature the best teams in the world with the best players, namely those from the MLB.

It would replace the Olympics and any other tournament out there by showcasing the talent at the level of the best league in the world.

The league would ensure that the top players were available for their teams by hosting it before the season began.

That way the best of the best could take the time out of their schedule to play in the tournament and the tournament would truly determine the top team in the world.

As the tournament came into shape there were plenty of people seeing it as a way to develop international talent while the Americans ruled for the first few tournaments.

There was certainly plenty of talent beyond the USA but nobody believed that there was enough on one team to beat the Americans.

That thought persisted even when the Americans announced their team without their biggest stars as even the B team could beat the rest of the world.

Then the one team that everyone knew was going to be the best of the rest turned out to be the best in the world.

Japan had long been one of the top baseball countries in the world but their Japanese league was widely considered about as good as Triple-A in the USA.

The Japanese team was made up of a few MLB players but mainly players from their own league meaning everyone expected that they were sure to be good but not good enough.

2006 was the year that everyone realised just how good the Japanese system is and just how behind the Americans actually were.baseball-sidebar

The Japanese took the first title in 2006 showing everyone that no matter where their players play they are the best in the world.

The Americans didn’t even finish in the top four as they were out of the medals altogether and the baseball world was in shock.

All of a sudden the USA was not the best country in the world at the sport that is considered their national past-time.

When the next tournament came rolling around the Americans had something to prove as they wanted the chance to prove that they were the best.

More stars showed up this time but it wasn’t enough as Japan asserted their dominance on the national stage and proved that they were the best baseball country in the world.

It changed the face of the game as Japanese baseball proved to be just as good if not better than the same game being played in North America.

More Japanese stars began to take hold in the MLB and they continue to do so largely due to the exposure they received in the WBC.

Japan’s reign ended in 2013 when the Dominican Republic took the crown thanks to some of the best players in the league playing on the same team.

What stood out more was that, for the third straight tournament, the Americans were still sitting out of the medals.

They had lost the bronze medal game and after three years of the biggest international baseball tournament, the country where the game was created had yet to win a medal.

In three separate tournaments, they have been unable to capture a medal which many thought was going to be an easy thing for the team.

The WBC was meant to serve the purpose of highlighting the best talent in the world on the best teams in the world.

What it ended up doing was showing just how international the sport of baseball really is as it certainly isn’t just for the Americans.

There were so many more countries playing at a high level but nobody ever got to see them because the best players were playing in the MLB.

The World Baseball Classic got them onto the same team playing at the highest level and that shed light on a much bigger footprint than most people expected.

Now the WBC is back for the fourth time and more teams are getting better with multiple teams having a shot at taking the gold medal.

The Americans return looking to take the medal that everyone thinks they already should have while the Dominican Republic and Japan are back with great rosters.

Meanwhile, there are more stars that will play for Mexico, Korea, Cuba, and the Netherlands giving them at least a shot.

The tournament returns and the only thing that the past three tournaments have taught us that there are more than a few favourites in the world of baseball.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 162 other followers

%d bloggers like this: