World Baseball Classic showcases star players


Julian Mejia, Reporter


This year’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) has been rated one of the best experiences for the sport of baseball. Many countries from around the world participate in this tournament to represent their country to face against some of the best players in the game of baseball.

Fans from all over the world also travel to these games to watch their team play against other countries. The WBC also brings out the sport of baseball to these smaller countries who do not play the game as much as other countries.

MLB teams do not like the World Baseball Classic because it exposes star players to injury like Edwin Diaz of the New York Mets who hurt his knee during the celebration after defeating the Dominican Republic, and Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, who got hit by a pitch which fractured his thumb. With this risk of star players getting hurt, MLB teams are concerned of their upcoming season and Playoff chances if a player does get hurt.

On the other hand, while there are superstars playing for countries, there are also everyday workers playing for their country as well. The Czech Republic is one of these countries who had mostly day workers playing for their team. These day jobs consisted of electricians, woodworkers, sports managers, youth coaches, sales managers, and other jobs with some minor league experience.

With Japan winning their third championship in the past five WBC, it is fair to say that Japan is a powerhouse for baseball. Many teams in the 2023 World Baseball Classic put up fights against other countries and some countries even upset others like Venezuela defeating the Dominican Republic and Mexico beating the United States.

The knockout stage games were definitely some of the most entertaining games baseball has had in a while which are similar to wild card games in the MLB. One of the best moments to come out of these games was definitely the U.S. versus Venezuela game. The U.S. was down 7-5 in the bottom of the eighth with Trea Turner up and the bases loaded. His count was 0-2, and he still managed to hit a Grand Slam to not only take the lead, but to also win the game since no other runs scored with the final score of 9-7 U.S.

Another amazing game was Japan’s walk-off against team Mexico when Japan was down 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth. Ohtani led off the inning and hit a first pitch double and with a walk after him. Murakami then hit a walk off double to left center to advance to the World Baseball Classic Championship against the United States. Then team Japan won against the U.S. with a hard fought game right down to the wire with Shohei Ohtani facing against Mike Trout in the bottom of the ninth with two outs on a 3-2 count. This match up was probably one of the best ends to not only a game but a WBC since Ohtani and Trout will probably never face each other again.