Last night the United States won it’s first World Baseball Classic. We don’t yet know what the ratings were but if we look at the games leading up to the championship we should expect a 30-40% jump from 2013. Some are saying the WBC is growing in relevance and I would have to agree with that, but it will never be truly relevant for one big reason.
Unlike soccer’s World Cup or any other major international sporting competition the WBC will never be a huge deal and the biggest reason for that falls on one position on the field, the pitcher.
Most major international sports are played year round and players are always in game shape, but not pitchers in baseball. Pitchers are like fine china these days, very delicate and must be handled with kid gloves. To expect a major league pitcher to pitch his best he would need months of ramp up time, which is why the WBC is played during spring training when players are getting in to game shape. For people to really care about the WBC it would have to something that stood out from spring training and you would have to see the truly best of the best playing, not the best of what is available for loan from major league clubs.
With modern day pitchers having major pitch count limitations and not being able to go all out during spring audiences will never see the best baseball has to offer and because of that the world will never truly care about the WBC. I guess that is one reason no major network carried the english coverage of the finals last night.