Hooked On The NinersBianchini's Market

On the Tunney Side of the Street 10

by Jim Tunney

After Further Review ... During Major League Baseball spring training this year, they played a thing called the "World Baseball Classic" at Los Angeles' Dodgers Stadium. It featured teams from all over the world (of course), and did have a classic final game finish. Japan beat South Korea 5-3 on a two-run single in the 10th inning by Ichiro Suzuki, who, incidentally, plays for the Seattle Mariners in the American League. The interesting aspect of that final game was that the United States T.E.A.M. wasn't in it!

The U.S. team had lost in the semi-finals to Japan, who had 16 players from U.S. Major League rosters. What happened to the great MLB stars that we watch from April to November each baseball season? Well, most of them didn't show! Our "superstars" didn't care much for this game and declined to participate.

Japan had 3 MLB players and South Korea had only 1 MLB player. One Major League manager said, "Most of these teams have players that probably could play in the big leagues." Some major league scouts feel that more than a few Japanese and Korean players could - and should - be playing in the "big show." One of the Korean players said, "Korean and Japanese players are excellent and, perhaps, have better skills than some of today's Major League players."

Where were the MLB stars? Well, most were with their teams in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, getting ready for the 2009 season. Why do they play this game now and why title it World Baseball Classic? The All Star game played mid-way through the regular MLB season is always a classic. The players selected want to play, not just for the "honor," but because if their League's All Star team wins, that League's team gets home field advantage in the World Series - a worthwhile endeavor! While this World Baseball Classic drew a crowd of almost 55,000, it makes little sense to play now. Maybe $$$, but not much sense.

The National Football League used to have a college all-star football game played in the pre-season between the previous year's NFL champion vs. a collection of college all-stars, but that was discontinued in the early 1970's. Many teams felt the NFL players and coaches involved needed to be working with their teammates to get ready for the season.

Will you support All-Star games that don't include the top players?

For more information about Jim Tunney, please visit his website: www.JimTunney.com, or if you would like to respond to this message, please send your email to Jim@JimTunney.com