The US victory over Puerto Rico may be the defining moment that propels the WBC into the limelight.
Then again, don't hold your breath.
While MLB has done a poor job marketing the WBC beyond the hardcore fan, this one game may draw the attention of the casual fan.
There are quite a few sponsors of the event, look at the Best Buy shoulder patches, but you do not see the sponsors doing anything to promote the event. MLB has scored a fail on bringing the WBC to the people.
Right now I think many fans have a hard time rooting for players they hate 162 games out of the season. I can't imagine Yankee fan standing up and chanting "Youk" just because he plays for the USA. Even Yankee fan still sees him in a Boston uniform.
Can you fault the fans though?
The season hasn't started and Davey Johnson is approaching these games as nothing more than exhibition games. Why else would he have left Peavy in to get some work. Swap short stops just to get each player some reps.
IF MLB wants the WBC to truly capture the imagination of the casual fan, they need to tweak a lot. There are too many days off, especially for players trying to get ready for the MLB season.
They should break things out World Cup Soccer style. Play qualifying tournaments in spring, the during the All-Star break or after the season, have the championship rounds.
If nothing else that would save Chipper Jones a few eyebrows, or at least let them grow back.
While David Wright's single captivated every hardcore baseball fan in America, the casual fan will not take notice, especially come Thursday when March Madness takes the country by storm.
Could you imagine the NHL or NBA playing any games on Super Bowl Sunday?
Why would baseball try to take on the Madness?
How many fans didn't get to see the game tonight because they don't have the MLB network?
I am one. I tuned into ESPN and saw, NIT basketball.
Can you believe the NIT got the nod over the WBC?
What does that tell you Bud?
The WBC should be wrapping up qualifying rounds now, and playing for the championship later when the general sports fan may take notice.
BTW March Madness:
The time is coming for March Madness. As in past years, BTW is running a March Madness Pool. I am working on a gift certificate deal that will go to the winner of the bracket. More details to come, but it will be at least a $20 gift certificate if things pan out. Join other BTW readers, The Buccos Forum regulars and random bloggers from around the interweb in an intense battle for March Madness Supremacy!!!
Here is the Link:
IF it requests a password: pirates