Towards a Truly World Series

NHL_ALL_STARS.jpgWhen the NHL switched it’s All-Star game format in the late 90′s from the typical conference vs. conference match-up to a North America vs. The World battle royale, it seemed to herald the dawn of a new, global style of sport. Of course there are the Olympics and the World Cup but if sports like hockey were going to take on an internationalist bent, it was only a matter of time before the whole world came on-board.

Five years later the game reverted back to it’s traditional format and globalism had lost a bit of its luster but the overall move towards a more universal sporting life continued to pick up steam.

Just take a look around the major American sports. The NBA is still dominated by Americans but Europeans, South Americans and even the Chinese have become stars in their own right. The NFL is probably the only league that can still claim to be nearly 100% American but that probably owes much to the fact that the rest of the world is more than happy with their own version of football.

Even the most traditionally American of sports has taken on a greater international context in the past decade with the creation of the World Baseball Classic. And MLB has no plans to stop there. Just this past week it was reported that Bud Selig has been in discussions with his Japanese counterpart for a match-up between the two countries’ respective champions. Maybe it’s only two countries at this point but there’s no doubt that baseball will follow soccer’s lead and institutes some sort of World Club Championships pitting the best club teams from around the world against each other.

It makes sense. There seems to be no end to what consumers are willing to suck up and with all the money to be made from the merchandising, not to mention the actual playing of these games, the different national leagues would be foolish not to join in. Bud Selig will do anything at this point to have his legacy be something other than the steroid era and this would definitely be one way to do that.

Lost in all this is the fact that despite its near collapse a few seasons ago, the NHL may have had it right after all. You can fight globalization and maybe you’ll win some battles. But the war has already been won and it’s here to stay. Baseball appears ready to embrace that.

-A

6 Comments

I think this is a great idea… its a very simple concept you bring up, but has some really cool possibilities. I have always wondered about the term “World Series,” being as it technically isnt that. Pitting champ vs champ in different leagues would be awesome. Do you see any resistance from the players union with the extended playing time or the clubs worries about injuries?

What happens in Life happens in Baseball. What happens in Baseball happens in Life. The WBC is like the NAFTA of baseball. Selig-Burger-Burger-Selig and his New World Order. But I have to admit, I’m a Classic fan.

What happens in Life happens in Baseball. What happens in Baseball happens in Life. The WBC is like the NAFTA of baseball. Selig-Burger-Burger-Selig and his New World Order. But I have to admit, I’m a Classic fan.

Bud’s last hurrah at changing baseball? i do like the idea. however the traditionalists probably would not let it happen

http://pittpeas.mlblogs.com

The only problem is that us Americans are very egotistical, and a loss to a Japanese team in a series would be disasterous to the sport here in the states. Imagine if the Yankees lost to the Swallows, it would be like the Cowboys losing to the Argonots. A clear set of rules would have to be established also.
Mike
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

I thought that the World Baseball Classic was suppose to be that definite World class Championship to reward the baseball loving countries that dot the globe.
But then again, so many small countries would feel left out or abandoned by Big Brother and cry foul.
But I would love to see a format that would maybe mirror the FIFA World Cup qualifying matches that pit regions against each other to advance to the World Cup finals.
Maybe in my future grandkid’s lifetime, but not during mine…dang it!
Oh Alan, by the way, on Feb 14th according to the Chinese calendar we will be entering the …..YEAR of the TIGER.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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