The World Baseball Classic has been filling up baseball fans’ time and timelines over the last few days. Baseball has been labeled as a dying sport in recent years, and it’s paramount that MLB gets new fans fast. This is why MLB needs the World Baseball Classic to be as electric as it is right now.
The Apollo Spring Training boys made the drive down from West Palm Beach to Miami to catch the Dominican Republic super team face off against the Nicaraguan team. If you haven’t read Dez’s blog about that experience, stop what you’re doing and feast your eyes on that masterpiece.
The World Baseball Classic is basically the World Cup for baseball. The best players from every country, or for the most part, looking at you U.S.A. starting pitchers, are teamed up for about a month and compete against each other. It starts of in the group stage, just like the World Cup, and will advance to to a knockout stage until one team is crowned champions.
The group stages are taking place in Miami, Phoenix, Taichung, and Tokyo. The atmospheres that have been created in these locations are identical to MLB playoff games or even World Series games. The players are playing for not only the guys in the playoffs, but their entire home countries. This scenario creates the energy and vibes that show how special the sport of baseball is.
I’m not saying that baseball needs vuvuzelas, or noise makers at every single Wednesday afternoon day game in the dog days of summer. But I would just like for the energy at MLB games to be fun and energetic. Could you imagine MLB fans passing around Yordan Alvarez’s game 6 World Series clinching home run ball around to take pictures and then eventually the ball getting back to the fan who originally caught the ball?
Shohei Ohtani is a baseball player unlike any other in the modern day sport. He is one of the best hitters in the best league in the world, and also happens to be the same as a pitcher. The dude is otherworldly, and has transcended the sport. He began the World Baseball Classic with 1.7 million Instagram followers. That’s one of the bigger numbers of followers across the league, probably due to him having the entire country of Japan rooting for him in Anaheim. He now has 3.3 million Instagram followers since the beginning of the World Baseball Classic. That’s a 1.6 million follower jump in basically a week. Transcendent.
The MLB needs the World Baseball Classic to show people that baseball is exciting, and worth following for 162 games and potentially many more games in the playoffs. The World Baseball Classic is showing kids that cheering, bat flipping, passion, among other things are not only allowed in the sport of baseball, but encouraged.
I need the WBC to change its format and happen every two years like the Ryder Cup does. If MLB has any say in this manner, they should be sprinting to their computers to type of this proposal. The WBC is the MLB playoffs on crack, and I’m in dire need of it to happen more often than not. It’s been six years since the last WBC, and I don’t think I can make it another four years without it in my life.
Viewership for the World Series in November was down from the previous year, and had one of its smallest viewerships in the last 15 years. I’m not entirely sure that the WBC is going to directly correlate to more viewers for the World Series, but I do think it would have an impact on regular season numbers. All MLB has to do is get rid of TV blackouts because it’s the most outdated thing on the planet, and viewership will automatically rise.
This event even has Mike Trout feeling things! This is why MLB needs the World Baseball Classic.