Other than when a Mexican guy chants "Japan" it sounds like "Yeah, Pants!" I think a couple of things:
There are flaws in the format. The team selection and groupings are pretty arbitrary, and still seem geared more towards spreading the MLB Gospel to prospective markets than crowning an International Champ. The timing does too. Injuries aren't the problem with having the WBC in the Spring. Guys get hurt in regular camp every day. It's the fact that a huge number of your players just aren't in a regular baseball rhythm. It affects the pitchers, it affects the hitters and as long as guys aren't in top form it will always feel like an exhibition for teams primarily composed of Major Leaguers.
Dumb people that write dumb columns on why they don't like the WBC will probably continue to dislike it until the US beats Russia for the title on some walkoff homerun from Rocky Balboa. I tried chronicling all of these as they came out but there were too many. Formatting changes won't change people that see International Competition as somehow inferior to American Pro Sports. But for people that get some enjoyment out of this tournament (me, and I think most of our readers included), smart formatting changes could cement its big event status.
- Baseball is a simple game. Lloyd summed it up this morning in this post. Pitch efficiently, play defense, and have some power. It's led Japan to two straight titles. But, I take issue with anyone that calls this "throwback baseball" as if no one in MLB does it. It took the Rays to the World Series last year. Japan's success just reinforces the point.
Granted I just said that I enjoyed the tournament, yet I watched a single inning of last night's game. The dramatic 10th inning. But on the whole I watched far more of this year's WBC than the inaugural one, and it wasn't even my beat. I give it 3 out of 5 shrimp.