Responses to readers

Thanks for all the comments and questions.  A few quick responses:

Stephen — I will talk about November in the blog tonight, but there are logistical and broadcast issues that make it difficult. I think we can look at dates going forward, and will, but November will be hard. On the Olympics, we worked very hard to keep baseball in. Three weeks before Singapore, Paul Archey and I traveled to Lausanne with Aldo Notari, President of the IBAF, and with John Moores and Sandy Alderson of the Padres to meet with Dr. Rogge on this subject. After our presentation designed to meet their concerns, he told us we had no concerns about any vote to eliminate baseball. Three weeks later … out of the blue, the vote was taken. Since that time we have had numerous meetings with Peter Ueberroth, and left the World Series for a meeting in Geneva. We lobbied worldwide for the votes to reinstate, but I think the problem was the reconsideration came too close to the original vote. We’ll keep working to get baseball and softball reinstated. The idea that baseball is not more important globally than some of the sports currently in the Games is preposterous.

Dave — Thanks. I think we have a virtual sellout on Sunday and the crowd will be enthusiastic, I am sure. These two teams have a real rivalry, with Korea still being thought of as the "new kid on the block."

Dominicana — We tried to balance the pools and have geographic rivalries that made sense in Round 1 for fan interest and for travel considerations. There are newer teams in each pool — China over here, Italy in Orlando, South Africa in Phoenix, and the Netherlands in Puerto Rico. And my guess is if they all advance, the USA will not think playing Korea and Japan in Round 2 is an easy road to the finals.

Yeoj — Remember, this was a new event for the broadcasters, too. We are really pleased that all games are being televised on ESPN Deportes. Many of the later-round games will be on ESPN or ESPN2 or ESPN Classic. The schedule is posted on mlb.com and ESPN.com.

GopherHockey — You are entirely correct. Much of the money here is going to the federations for grass roots development and some of it will go to the IBAF for the non-participating countries. Until we get back in the Olympics, we will have to make sure that interested countries continue to get the resources to grow the game. Our funding of Jim Lefevbre a couple of years ago to work with China is a prime example.

9 Comments

I have to say, after catching the Korea/Taipei game last night and reading up on the rest of the competition, I was surprised to find myself getting excited about the WBC as a whole. More than that, the potential a few years down the line.

I wonder if that “surprise” has something to do with the media seemingly focusing on what’s awry (the controversial timing, the big names withdrawing) instead of what should be, for any baseball fan, an intriguing, exciting experience.

One small example was during the game last night, hearing the announcers describing the different ways baseball is played in the various countries in the Far East.

Anyway, best of luck with the rest of the Classic — I bet I’m not the only baseball fan who just needs to learn more about it all.

I’m extremely excited about the WBC, and I find it odd that so many baseball fans aren’t. Spring training is not a sacred institution, despite how some managers and owners seem to be treating it, and players are just as likely to get hurt shagging flies on Field 4 as they are playing in the WBC, so there’s no reason for anyone to be so pessimistic about the potential for injury.

And shame on the players who pulled out because they thought it was more important to get 2 at-bats before playing golf than to represent their country on the field.

I’ve really been enjoying the WBC so far. It’s nice to see South Korea playing well early on.

However, I do have a small complaint regarding Korea’s uniforms. They lack the quality and design of those issued to the other teams. What happened?

-Dale

What’s up with the website? The rules state that each team’s 30-man roster needs to be submitted 5 days before they start playing. All the other teams start on the 7th. And here it is, the end of day on the 4th, and nothing about the 30-man rosters of Mexico, South Africa, Cuba, the Netherlands, Panama, Australia, the Dominican Republic, Italy, or Venezuela. I wanna be able to compare the Domican Republic with the USA. I want to see how many MLB players Australia is going to have. It’s disappointing to be curious about information that should be available somewhere, but due to an oversight by someone, isn’t.

I don’t know why the Rosters are on the Website yet either.

For the Aussie Roster go to this Link

http://www.users.bigpond.com/goreds/WBC2006.htm

The WBC is a great event. Thank you for having organized it. I have one question though. I wrote to MLB.com to get the e-mail address for the media relations director for each WBC team. MLB’s reply stated that this information cannot be released. If the WBC wants to get publicity, why would information about its 16 teams’ media relations contacts be considered secret and confidential?

Dear Mr. DuPuy,

It is extremely gracious of you to respond directly to reader comments. With respect to your response to my questions, I very much appreciate the clear and meaningful feedback. I am particularly glad to hear about the personal intervention made by key MLB and IBAF officials with Mr. Rogge, even if ultimately fruitless, and I could not agree with more with your last line. Thanks again.

On a separate note, MLB and those involved with international baseball could have had no illusions about the competitive chances of mainland China’s team in the WBC. Was (and is) it the belief of MLB that China’s participation in the WBC would help to develop a baseball audience in China even if China’s results were as expected? I’m curious to learn a bit of the analysis behind the decision to include China.

Enjoy the rest of the tournament, I know I will.

Best regards,

Stephan Rapaglia

Dear Bob,

First let me thank you for taking your time to share your thoughts on the WBC and provide us with a different perspective on the tournament and the event. I have read some of the comments in regards to the timing of the event and what the best time might be and I wanted to contribute to this discussion. I agree with your argument that the spring is a better time for the event than November, but I think in the future, if the event is successful enough to have a future, which I hope it does, that the best time for the event is in midseason.

There are obvious issues, but if becomes an important event even followed half as closely as the World Cup of Soccer, which would be quite an accomplishment I think all of those participating could find a way every 3 or 4 years to have a 10 day or 14 day break to hold the event. There is precedent for it, such as hockey with the Olympics. If in the season where there is a world cup there were no all-star game, the difference between 3 days and 10-14 days would not be great. The players would be in their greatest physical condition and rotations could be set up based on where players were on their regular schedule. If the season were to break for it the likelihood of getting more of the better players would be greater. Rather than playing the cup at a variety of sites, playing at one site could help minimize the length of the tourney and I think fan interest would be greater.

I think starting in spring training and maybe holding the first couple in spring training is the best way to start it up, but if the goal is to get the best players, playing at their highest level with the most viewers around the world paying attention then midsummer with a slightly longer all star break beginning the regular season a week earlier or a few days earlier and ending it a few days later, possibly scheduling some doubleheaders during the year to make up for the longer break to me are all feasible solutions.

Excuse my rambling, thank you for taking the time to write and respond to our posts and good luck with the remainder of the tournament.

Dan

I think your comments about fan behavior are quite interesting. I’m sure the umps are much happier than they are in the states! Thanks for your personal accounts about the games.

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