Remember the great "New Coke" controversy of the 1980s? Well, for those of you too young to recall (or, old enough but with a life), Coke decided to foist a "new" taste on consumers that quickly became a marketing nightmare--turned out people liked the "real thing" just fine, thank you. The Coke people had to re-trench and re-brand their original product "Coke Classic"--which survives until today.
Which brings us to the World Baseball "Classic". Sorry, Bud, this monstrosity isn't truly world-wide; it sure ain't "classic" and it's barely baseball. First of all, the eligibility rules are so lax, that pretty much anybody could qualify to play for Team Uzbekistan if they dug hard enough into their ancestry. Second, the only thing "classic" about this is the classic disaster that could befall any number of clubs when their ace pitcher or stud first baseman pulls a hammy for God and Country (there are 15 Red Sox who could meet this fate). Third, with dumb rules like automatically placing runners on first and second after the 13th inning, it's more attuned to NCAA football than Major League Baseball.
Can we please all grow up, acknowledge the first WBC as kinda cute and all, and move on to adult stuff like the 2009 MLB season? And don't give me the "it's good for global baseball" baloney. Did anyone else notice the robust crowd of 2,405 who turned out for the Blue Jays-Team Canada exhibition yesterday? And that's in Dunedin, Florida, where there are more Canadians than anywhere else outside of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
Please, let's end this silliness this year and get back to real baseball.