From: PDX (and now) London, UK
ORIGINAL: Ian R
Its not just "another team". Its the USA team. Wearing red white and blue shirts, and representing their country on the field of (sporting) battle. Carrying the emotions, hopes and dreams of all Americans with them.
I don't care how much they get paid, representing your country's #1 side in any international sport should be the pinnacle of the sport. And the MLB clubs should be forced to release the players for that national team.
We are going to have to disagree on this one.
You have to remember the US is a big place with a long sports tradition, baseball being it's most historically relevant game. It has local and regional rivalries and a very US focused media and populace. The USA team is well supported in virtually all sports, and would be in baseball whether it's amateurs, lower-level professionals or the top 25 players in the US.
People can only take in so much, and with overlapping seasons, four big sports leagues, and university level sports in all of those types, it's a lot. In the UK there are many fewer major sports, with football and rugby dominating, and often with fans being invested in one or the other, not both. Tennis is a focus, but only sporadically. In OZ you have Footie, rugby and cricket. A bit of tennis. Not much else. Those sports have shorter seasons and more sporadic schedules than baseball, basketball and hockey especially.
It doesn't really matter how much it's cool to represent your country if your job takes 3/4 of the year and you know you will be playing 160+ meaningful games plus another 10-20 non-meaningful games every year. Even more if you make the payoffs. Is there any other sport with that gruelling a schedule?
There may be a time when the international focus on baseball could work more effectively, but maybe it would have to take place in a good weather destination in the winter rather than in the summer, and it would still require a lot of backing from the MLB owners. What's the incentive for them?
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill