Home

WBC Sets New Attendance Record; Does Event Need To Be Part Of MLB All-Star Weekend?

WBC Sets New Attendance Record; Does Event Need To Be Part Of MLB All-Star Weekend?

Published

This year’s WBC is assured of surpassing 1 million in attendance for the first time
The '17 World Baseball Classic has set a new attendance record with a draw of 976,828 through the tournament’s second round. The figure exceeds the total attendance of 885,212 in '13. With semifinals tonight and tomorrow and the championship game Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, this year’s WBC is assured of surpassing 1 million in attendance for the first time in its four iterations. Tokyo set a record as the most attended first-round site with 206,534 and the most attended second-round site with 209,072. Saturday’s U.S.-Dominican Republic game, in which the U.S. clinched a semifinal berth, drew 43,002 at Petco Park, the largest crowd ever for a second-round WBC game played in the U.S. (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).

CATCH THE FEELING: YAHOO SPORTS' Tim Brown wrote under the header, "Adam Jones' Stunning Catch May Have Finally Given The U.S. Reason To Believe In The World Baseball Classic" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/19). FOXSPORTS.com's Ken Rosenthal wrote, "If there was no such thing as Team USA lore in the World Baseball Classic before, there is now." Jones’ catch Saturday was the "stuff of legend, the kind of play that, had it happened in the World Series, would be celebrated for generations." It is time for people to "stop complaining and just watch the games, the riveting, rollicking games that are as tense and dramatic as many you will see in October." Rosenthal: "For all its flaws, the WBC is a baseball carnival" (FOXSPORTS.com, 3/19). In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote the WBC has been a "smashing success on the field, with exciting games, stellar plays, and colorful players who have made it fun." If MLB could "package this type of excitement for the regular season, baseball would be king" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19). The N.Y. Daily News’ Mike Lupica said the WBC will "never have the feel of the Ryder Cup, even though that's clearly what Major League Baseball is shooting for here. ... but I still think the WBC is cool. ... I loved the crowd shots from Miami and San Diego and shots of the dugouts in big moments. ... All I've seen over the last couple of weeks are big leaguers, ones who have chosen to play for their countries, acting like little leaguers in a good way" ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 3/19).

COMING TOGETHER: U.S. C Buster Posey, comparing the American players with those from other countries, said, "Definitely here in the dugout, you know guys are into it and they care. From an outsider's perspective, I don't know if a lot of guys' personalities are on display. We grow up in different parts of the world and play the game differently. I don't think it's really fair to players from different backgrounds to act a certain way for a tournament. But it doesn't mean there's less fire. There are just different ways we grew up playing the games" (ESPN.com, 3/19). In N.Y., Billy Witz writes the U.S. players have "quietly developed an edge as the tournament has progressed." They have had to deal with the facts that their games have been "somewhat overlooked" in the U.S. -- although "certainly not by the announced 43,002 fans who jammed the park on Saturday night -- and that their more businesslike approach on the field has been unfavorably contrasted with the unabashed enthusiasm (and the occasional bat flip) of Asian and Latin American players" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/20).

BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL
: In N.Y., John Harper writes under the header, "World Baseball Classic Hurting Itself With Late Start Times." Under the circumstances, Jones' catch on Saturday was "one of the greatest catches you’ll ever see," Jones "leaping high above the center-field fence to rob Manny Machado in the seventh inning of a tension-packed, do-or-die game between the USA and the Dominican Republic." Except you "probably didn’t see it -- at least not live." After all, it happened at 1:00am ET, "three hours into a game" that did not end until nearly 2:00am. Considering how hard MLB "works to promote this tournament, the late start on the East Coast for such an appealing game made no sense, especially since it’s on their own network." If the tournament is ever going to get the "exposure needed to make it something of the Olympics for baseball," MLB and the MLBPA are going to have to "take some form of the suggestions from [Yankees manager] Joe Girardi and others, and play at least some portion of it during the All-Star break." Harper: "In the meantime, earlier starting times sure wouldn’t hurt, either" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/20). In Boston, Christopher Gasper wrote MLB needs to start thinking of the WBC as the "new Midsummer Classic to reach its potential." One way to "provide entertainment, star power, and meaningful competition is to have the semifinals and final of the WBC replace the All-Star Game every four years." Gasper: "The WBC needs to change its timing to grow into a marquee event, and MLB needs to get with the times with the All-Star Game" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).

Classified Advertisements

Home