Happy Thursday folks!
I hope you all enjoyed the World Baseball Classic title game between the United States and the also-kinda-United States last night. The WBC has given us a lot of really cool moments and gave us a taste of competitive baseball just weeks before the MLB season begins.
However, Buster Olney argues that the WBC needs to go hard or go home. I must admit: I’m not a WBC diehard. I probably watched a total of two games during the entirety of the tournament. I consider myself to be a pretty big baseball fan. If the WBC can’t attract someone like me, who is it going to draw?
Obviously the WBC has many fans. I’m sure there’s a good chance that you — the reader — watched more WBC games than I did. But I’d be surprised if there’s anyone who followed the WBC who doesn’t follow some form of professional baseball — be it the MLB, NPB, KBO, or other.
That’s a pretty significant problem for the tournament. Unlike soccer and basketball, which have diehard fans all over the globe, baseball is popular in small pockets of the world. Its lack of global appeal makes an international tournament tricky, especially when the best team in the world can’t convince many of its star players to participate.
I understand that the WBC is important because it highlights baseball in different regions. I appreciate that it brings out a sense of national pride for everyone involved. And the good news is that viewership for the event actually went up this year. But that trend is going to have to continue for the tournament to be successful going forward.
With that said, here’s the rest of the day’s news.
In Mariners news...
- Some injured Mariners made positive steps in their recoveries.
Some #Mariners' injury updates: RHP Shae Simmons (forearm) played catch yesterday; RHP Steve Cishek (hip) will throw first bullpen tomorrow.— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) March 22, 2017
Around the league...
- Former Mariners reliever Joe Beimel inked a deal with the New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League.
- Royals Review came up with a pretty funny ballpark food generator.
- Former MLB outfielder David DeJesus announced his retirement on Twitter.
- Somehow I missed this, but a little while ago our very own Isabelle Minasian wrote about the impact of the World Baseball Classic in a piece with The Hardball Times.
- Grant Brisbee thinks the United States should have been crowned WBC champs a long time ago.
- The University of Washington unveiled its new head men’s basketball coach yesterday. But he and assistant Will Conroy have a lot of work to do if they want to keep the incoming recruiting class intact.