..and is so serious about it, he’d like to see it before his term expires in 2012. SI.com has the report:
TOKYO (AP) — The champions of U.S. Major League Baseball could face the champions of Japanese professional baseball in a regular Global World Series under a plan being discussed by the two countries.
In meetings with Japanese commissioner Ryozo Kato in Milwaukee, MLB commissioner Bud Selig proposed that the Japanese and U.S. champions play each other, the Nikkansports newspaper reported Thursday.
“I was surprised, Mr. Selig said he wants to realize the plan before his tenure ends,” Kato told the Nikkansports.
Selig is set to retire in 2012.
When he took office in 2008, Kato, a former Japanese ambassador to the United States, said one of his goals was an international series between the world’s two biggest baseball nations.
Japan is the two-time defending champion of the World Baseball Classic, a national-teams tournament which involves professional players from leagues around the world.
I suppose we shouldn’t be overly surprised by this report, the World Baseball Classic has been Bud’s baby for years, the NFL and NBA have made attempts to go international in recent years and it seems to be where US professional sports are heading. But to actually play a series against Japan after the World Series is over would be one of the silliest things imaginable. First, it takes something away from the finality of the World Series. The season isn’t quite over yet, there’s still another exhibition to play halfway across the globe. Although most fans would probably consider this like the Pro Bowl played after the Super Bowl, an event that nobody takes all that seriously.
Next, Japanese Baseball isn’t on the same level of competition that MLB Baseball is. Washed up, aging MLB players have been going to Japan for decades and feasting on the talent over there. It’s something akin to AAAA, and we see what happens to those kinds of players when they have to face big league players, much less premier MLB competition. That’s not to say that there aren’t Japanese players here and there who succeed on the MLB level, but on a 25 man roster that may be a tiny handful of players. The starters on the Japanese team would be comprised of players who in all likelihood wouldn’t make the US team, even as bench players. This would be like the Olympic basketball ‘Dream Team’s of recent years. They would destroy the competition, which wouldn’t be much fun for either country. If the US team was to ever lose, it would be an embarrassment and a disgrace. It’s a lose-lose situation for the World Series champs. Bad idea, Bud.
(image courtesy of Business Week )
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