Javier Báez tags out Nelson Cruz during the 2017 WBC
Three Batter Minimum

Three Batter Minimum: Losing the World

There are few things in life that bring me joy the way that a baseball game can bring me joy. The best baseball games are joyous by their very nature. The back and forth play, timely hits, good pitching, etc. and etc. It’s all so overwhelmingly joyous and the experience that keeps bringing me back to baseball no how much the sport may upset me at times.

This week I find myself upset at baseball. One of my favorite baseball events has been canceled. There will be no World Baseball Classic in 2021 and as of right now maybe not until 2023. A myriad of legitimate reasons exist as to why there will be no WBC next year. That doesn’t mean I am happy about the loss of a tournament that brings me so much joy.

It’s kind of funny to think about the haphazard way in which the WBC was constructed. The WBC was cobbled together for one reason only, to make Major League Baseball more money. I can’t tell you whether it has been successful in that regard. Truth be told, I have no desire to ever know how profitable WBC has or hasn’t been. That’s not why I watch baseball and I’m not about to reduce one of the most joyous parts of my baseball world to a breakdown of economics.

For now, I am left with my memories of big moments from past WBC games. They are great, but they are not new and that makes me sad. I want to once again find myself immersed in the energy of a Puerto Rico versus Dominican Republic showdown. Baseball fans deserve to see Walker Buehler on the mound for the United States pitching his heart out in a game where the Los Angeles Dodgers would rather he throttle it back a little. We deserve the very best that baseball has to offer and against all odds, the WBC ended up being worthy of that statement.

Hopefully, the WBC will be back in 2022 or 2023. It will suck to wait even longer for the next installment of great worldwide baseball. Every year without the tournament will be a lesser baseball year than it could have been otherwise. Then the tournament will return and the special joy that the WBC provides will be back. I can’t wait for that day, what can I say, I love to enjoy baseball.

Lead photo courtesy of Denis Poroy – Getty Images

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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