Mar. 07, 2017
3 Things We Can Learn from the World Baseball Classic
As the World Baseball Classic officially gets underway today, there are plenty of lessons that we can take away from the classic. Here are three top takeaways that we can all learn from the WBC:
1. Baseball talent comes from every country and isn't discriminative. - Based on what we saw in this morning's Israel and Korea showdown, it is obvious that good baseball players come in every size and shape as well as from every nationality around the globe. One player that stuck out in this morning's game was, Seung Hwan Oh of the St. Louis Cardinals, who pitched for Team Korea. Oh had a stellar season last year and has one more season here in the big leagues before he is eligible to either become a free agent within the MLB or head back to Korea to pitch. The Cardinals inked Oh to a two-year deal after seeing him pitch for 9 seasons with the Samsung Lions and for 2 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers. Another talented player on Team Korea came in the form of Dae-Ho Lee who was a Designated Hitter last year with the Seattle Mariners. Lee can absolutely mash the ball and put it into play when it is needed the most based on his .428 slugging percentage and .740 OPS in 292 at bats with Seattle last season. As the classic progresses forward, we will continue to see other bright spots on every team which will prove that there still is plenty of talent around the globe waiting to come over to the MLB. It's only a matter of time before some of those teams release them so that a major league team can sign them here in the United States.
2. Foreigners love their baseball as evident by the level of noise. - Anytime you watch a game played in a foreign country overseas, you will notice one thing: the crowd is constantly in the game and always making some sort of noise. This morning's game between Team Korea and Team Israel was a perfect example of that and there will be plenty of noise to be made in the other games that take place during the classic. Sometimes it is shocking how silent crowds around the MLB get in certain stadiums during the course of the regular season. A lot of the cheering and other traditions that take place overseas need to be transplanted over here in the United States and the same level of fandom needs to be shown. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of diehard baseball fans across the United States and teams that go all out to show support of their team, but we can always do better and learn a lesson or two from our foreign friends. For instance, in this morning's game even when a batter is up at the plate ready to hit, the crowd continued to cheer and kept cheering during the entire at bat. Here in the United States, we treat it differently in that we play music and various noises before the game, between innings, and after the game, but hardly any noise is ever made when a player steps up to take an at bat or while they are completing an at bat. While some might argue that it's a tradition of baseball, this might be one way to keep fans engaged in the game and keep it interesting especially for the younger fans.
3. The WBC is absolutely essential for spreading awareness about the game. - This point sort of ties in with reason number 2, but the WBC is essential for helping to grow awareness about baseball and get fans all across the globe interested in the game. Since the classic first began in 2006, millions of people across the globe have gotten exposed to baseball and will continue to become more and more ingrained in the game as time moves forward. One of the biggest reasons why the MLB pushes the classic so much is because not only does it help generate revenue for the game, it also creates awareness and could play a factor in the future of the game. There have been rumors in the past of baseball possibly expanding to Mexico City or even back to Montreal in the future. If those rumors do come true, the WBC will be a great way to gauge exactly how successful a team would be in one or both of those locations. In addition, since the classic first began, the level of talent and competitiveness has continued to increase which surely helps keep fans interested in the game and attracts fans to the stadium in foreign countries. Besides those advantages, there is also the scouting aspect which comes with the growth of the game and expanded awareness from fans. As baseball continues to grow and expand into new parts of the world, new players are discovered and more and more talent is continually pumped into the game.