Bud Selig’s latest innovation to go global

Why the World Baseball Classic will work – just not in spring.

Major League Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig can’t do anything right in the eyes of the baseball community. With signs of spring all around, eager baseball fans would usually be overjoyed to see their team back in spring training after a long winter. But this year, hey see a shell of their beloved ball club taking batting practice and playing pointless preseason games. The reason for their disappointment is Commissioner Selig’s attempt to globalize baseball, the World Baseball Classic.

With ideas like the wild card and expansion teams, Selig knows a good idea when he sees one. But with proposals to contract teams and have the All-Star game decide home field advantage in the World Series, Selig is continually ridiculed for his questionable decisions.

Because baseball is being kicked from the Olympic Games, this idea seems to be Selig’s way of saving the international game. If this tournament has the upside that the commissioner thinks it may, there may be no need for baseball to seek reinstating. However, the tournament has received criticism from major league clubs, most notably from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Because the tournament is held before the season begins, players are just starting to get back into the swing of things, and this concerns owners.

Pitchers have a lot to lose from this preseason contest. This early in the spring, pitchers are still building pitch counts. When they are forced to pitch in games that have greater significance than a preseason exhibition, they are forced to throw just a bit harder to make the outs. That little extra effort puts a lot of stress on an arm that is not yet prepared. To counteract this, the World Baseball Classic will be enforcing strict pitch counts to protect pitchers and to keep owners happy.

If this tournament were moved to the postseason, I think more owners would support it. Pitchers and players would be less at risk because they are already in game shape. The potential that comes with an upcoming season wouldn’t be looming over players who are trying their hardest not only to win, but to not get hurt doing it. If Selig plays his cards right by moving the event to fall he could have another great idea on his hands, but, if a star gets injured, look for owners to be calling for Selig’s head and for the tournament to be a one and done experience.

Andy Steinke is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]