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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Fehr wants '09 WBC to be in March

The head of the Players Union weighs in on the World Baseball Classic scheduling:
"The problem is, that when you attempt to coordinate the schedules, you back into March," Fehr said Thursday. "On balance you look it and go, 'Well, whatever its benefits would be in terms of some calendar association, it really doesn't work.' ... It's impossible, I think, to do it any other time next time than in March."
Looks like Selig is going to get his way on this one. As I mentioned last year, though, I strongly disagree with this assessment. March is an awful time to hold the Classic. Major league players are rusty, managers treat it as spring training, and injuries, should they happen, are almost certain to impact the regular season.

The alternative, as I see it, is to hold it following the World Series, starting the first or second week of November. Benefits:
  • Most players would receive a month off prior to the classic to recover from the regular season, yet wouldn't be off so long that they'd get rusty.
  • Injuries, should they happen, would be more likely to have healed prior to the start of the next season.
  • Managers wouldn't be under pressure to get stars into shape for the regular season, so they could just focus on winning.
  • It doesn't require interrupting any standard major league activities. Period.
While I'm sure we could come up with downsides to this option as well (it's cold outside of San Diego, Phoenix, and Florida...'course, it's cold in March too), it seems to me that this is the best available solution. I hope it gets more consideration.