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Chicago Cubs: Why the World Baseball Classic is good for baseball

Mar 22, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; The United States celebrate after defeating Puerto Rico 8-0 during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; The United States celebrate after defeating Puerto Rico 8-0 during the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ever since MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred took over for Bud Selig, he has been trying to find ways to get more viewers, or speed up the game. The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series was good for the game. The World Baseball Classic should also provide a perfect blueprint.

The World Baseball Classic was started in 2006, as a pseudo-replacement for Olympic baseball, which was going away after the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.  Since its inception, Japan has two WBC championships, The Dominican Republic has one, and the United States has one.  The WBC has provided a perfect blueprint on how to attract new viewers, which has been Major League Baseball’s objective for years now.

Look at the teams of the countries in this thing, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, etc.  All of those players out there had the time of their lives while they were playing.  Children that are watching baseball, and seeing all those players out there having fun and acting like little kids, that’s what kids will enjoy seeing.

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Aside from that horrendously bad 11th inning rule, where runners already start at 1st and 2nd, there really was never a dull moment in this tournament.  All of the games kept you on the edge of your seat, and it was just a great joy to watch the tournament.

 WBC is good for the game

The WBC is just plain good for baseball as a whole, because it exposes casual fans to players they may have never seen before, and it gives them a glimpse of the culture in other baseball countries.

If Major League Baseball is serious about speeding up the game, or improving the game, this tournament provided a great blueprint.  Let the players have fun out there, let the players get flashy. Stuff like that is what the fans want to see, players having fun and doing cool things on the field, such as backhanded flips, or bat flips, things like that.

The fun extends to the fanbases, too, not just the players.  The fans from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Japan all had the time of their lives, too.  Fans smiled for the camera, they sang songs in unison, they even bought instruments and played little tunes throughout the game.  How is that not entertaining and fun?

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Major League Baseball doesn’t need to change the pace of play.  It just needs to take the model of the WBC and let players have fun out there.  Let players be themselves, after all, that’s what baseball is all about in the first place. Having fun.

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