MLB’s Manufactured Tournament Is Designed To Make Money

The WBC is a major event in some baseball playing countries.

The World Baseball Classic is coming to an end and the reality is that this tournament was never designed with the American baseball fan in mind. It was all about creating new revenue sources from international markets, some traditional baseball markets and others that are developing markets. The World Baseball Classic has already cost the New York Mets. The team has lost reliever Edwin Diaz for the 2023 season as he suffered a freak injury following a Puerto Rico victory over the Dominican Republic. Diaz has a major knee injury. Ask Mets fans, ranging from those who buy luxury boxes and premium seats to those who cannot afford cable TV but follow the team through radio broadcasts about the WBC and they probably are not too pleased with the manufactured baseball tournament.

The WBC is very tricky for Major League Baseball owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association. Both sides want to grow the industry in non-traditional baseball outposts like Great Britain, Italy and Israel because there are caps and jerseys and T-shirts to sell. The players play for their countries and in some cases, winning the WBC tournament is more important than winning the World Series. But the games take place side by side with spring training which means the players are just getting ready for the season and injuries pop up every spring training. Edwin Diaz is collateral damage for MLB and the MLBPA. The way they look at it, things happen but it cannot be an impediment in the pursuit of creating extra revenue. MLB would like to showcase its players in the Summer Olympics but the International Olympic Committee delegates are not very interested in baseball if the stars are unavailable and MLB is not shutting down in July or August to accommodate the IOC. The manufactured tournament is not going away.

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Cuban players celebrate after defeating Australia in their World Baseball Classic quarterfinal game at the Tokyo Dome Tokyo, Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)