I have been wondering if the World Baseball Classic means really anything to a lot of baseball fans. In light of the Hot Stove, and what players would go where, there has been very, very little talk of the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
The 2009 rendition will take place between March 5th and 23rd at various venues in North America along with Asia, and the championship round will take place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Ca. Right now, it looks like Baltimore's Melvin Mora and Cesar Izturis will be participating for Venezuela, while Nick Markakis declined due to family obligations -- mainly the upcoming birth of his child.
So far, the American players include Red Sox second baseman -- and reigning American League MVP -- Dustin Pedroia, Braves catcher Brian McCann, Angels pitcher John Lackey and Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Others include Mark DeRosa, Kevin Youkilis & Ryan Braun. Meanwhile, stars like Ryan Howard, Josh Hamilton, Cole Hamels, and Brad Lidge have passed on it.
My question is does the American public care for the event contrived by Major League Baseball to foster the game throughout the world, as well as to make more money and sell merchandise?
It seems that players born in the United States either have a passion -- or don't (one could say that their employers or their personal wishes trump national pride), in comparison to their counterparts, especially from Asia and Latin America.
I'm debating if I want to check it out in Florida or Toronto during my spring baseball excursion; however, I simply might do the regular spring training routine and barnstorm Florida.
Here's the text from the article: "An Evening with Cal & Eddie" will take place at Sports Legends Museum from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and feature a "fireside chat" with Ripken and Murray hosted by longtime Baltimore broadcaster Scott Garceau. Each guest will receive an item autographed by both Hall of Famers and have a photograph taken with Ripken and Murray. The evening will also include a cocktail reception, and guests will have access to the galleries in Sports Legends Museum.
Tickets are limited as just 150 tickets are available for purchase at $500 each. They may be purchased by calling 410-727-1539 ext. 3013 or contacting Mary Hennemann at MaryH@BabeRuthMuseum.com.
It should be a great night out there for sure; however, at $500 a ticket in these tough economic times may pose a hardship for some. Nevertheless, the event to be held in February should be for hardcore Oriole fans who want to rub elbows with Baltimore sports legends.