While meeting with the media during Team USA’s World Baseball Classic opener against Mexico on Friday night, commissioner Bud Selig discussed his ultimate goals for the tournament and his long-term visions for the game as a whole.
Among them, he hopes and believes, will be a time when the game crowns a true world champion through a legitimate ‘World’ Series.
"What is the final goal long after I'm gone? The thought of having a real world Series and the interest in the world I can't even imagine," Selig said. "Yes it has economic potential that is huge, but from a sociological standpoint that is greater."
As an example, Selig cited a series between the champions of Major League Baseball facing the champions of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan.
"The goal here is to internationalize the sport," Selig said. "This is what we're trying to do. In my judgement if we do it right you won't recognize the sport in a decade.We'll look back on this in retrospect one day and we'll see a sport that is legitimately a worldwide sport. Is this doing what we set out to do? You bet it is."
Selig's desire to take the game global really isn‘t a big secret, so while the comments here are certainly interesting, they aren't all that surprising. And as he acknowledges, we’re a long, long way from his final goal becoming realistic, but he obviously believes progress is being made.
I think he’s right, too, as we’re beginning to see countries like Brazil close the gap in world wide competition. But I guess we’ll just have to check back again in 10 years to see just how much progress has been made, and how different the game truly looks.
Strange injury alert!: St. Louis Cardinals reliever Marc Rzepczynski could miss as much as a week after being struck near his left eye by a golf ball on Friday. Here’s Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch with a few more details.
Cardinals reliever Marc Rzepczynski was injured during a golf outing Friday when a golf ball ricocheted and struck him around his left eye.
Rzepczynski was scheduled to pitch Saturday for the Cardinals against the Marlins. He will instead rest the injury as the team gathers information and determines the severity of what could be a bruise in or around the eye.
First, we hope this proves to be nothing serious. Second, if Rzepczynski is forced to take an eye exam, we hope he gains an appreciation of the struggles we go through attempting to read, pronounce and type his name.
Leyland plans on sticking around: Rather than leaving his future open to be discussed and debated throughout the 2013 season, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland decided to make one thing perfectly clear on Friday.
Here’s not ready to retire.
In fact, as the 68-year-old skipper told Tony Paul of he Detroit News, he’s nowhere near that point in his life.
"I'm not retiring," he said bluntly, sitting in his office at Joker Marchant Stadium before a day game against the New York Mets. "Whether we win or we don't win.
"Now, they (owner Mike Ilitch and GM Dave Dombrowski) might have a different thought, but it won't be mine. I feel good, I like what I do, I have no intention of retiring."
"I don't know about years, but I know I'm not ready to go home. I love what I do."
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A lot can change in a matter of eight months so it’s not safe to etch anything here in stone. Still, he sounds like a guy that’s committed to 2014 and beyond as long as his health cooperates. Here’s to hoping he gets what he wants.
Photo of the Day: Cleveland Indians reliever and Team USA member Vinnie Pestrano shows how ready he is for the World Baseball Classic.
Pestrano showed it on the mound, too, retiring Mexico in order in the sixth of Friday's opener. Unfortunately, the rest of Team USA didn’t follow suit in their 5-2 loss and now they’ll face Italy in a must win game on Saturday.
Video of the Day: For Andrew McCutchen, there's no such thing as a day off at the ballpark. Even when Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle holds him out of the lineup, he finds a way to keep busy and stay productive.
For example, during Friday night's Grapefruit League game against the Baltimore Orioles, McCutchen was a no-go on the field, but contributed to the Root Sports broadcast as a cameraman during the bottom half of the third inning.
World Baseball Classic video on Yahoo! Sports
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