by Mike Moffett
Weirs Times Columnist
World All-Star Baseball
Sports Illustrated’s ace baseball writer, Tom Verducci, recently proposed replacing the current Major League Baseball All-Star Game format with a five-day mid-season World Baseball Classic tournament. The WBC presently goes in March where it has to compete with March Madness, Spring Training, etc. An eight-team, five day, international tournament in July that yields a world champion is a great idea.
A 24-man All-Star roster should be sufficient. Presently SIXTY-SIX All-Stars show up for the Mid-Summer Classic—33 from each league = too many.
Hold the event in Chicago or New York or someplace with two big baseball parks. The quarterfinal/first-day round requires four games—i.e two doubleheaders. Then come two semifinal games and a championship game. So we actually get SEVEN All-Star games instead of just one. And with MLB on hiatus, and no other major league sports happening, the WBC gets maximum media attention—both domestically and internationally.
A home run derby and similar All-Star traditions could be worked into the schedule—as in how the NBA turned its All-Star game into a multi-day, multi-event festival.
Hopefully those with the power and influence can overcome inertia and make this happen. The 2018 MLB All-Star Game has already been awarded to Washington D.C. Can this commitment be re-worked? Verducci’s inspired idea deserves consideration. Maybe just use Nationals Park and RFK Stadium and implement the WBC tournament in D.C.
If we can put a man on the moon then we can certainly figure out how to do an international baseball tournament!
NHL ALL-STAR HOCKEY
The NHL is not going to support the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, as they have other Olympic Games. Remember the Sochi Games in 2014? The NHL created a two-week schedule break, and in lieu of an All-Star Game the NHL players played for their national teams in the Olympics. Not just for the USA and Canada, but also for teams from the Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland. The Bruins’ Zdeno Chara played for Slovakia. And the L.A. Kings temporarily relinquished Anze Kopitar to his native Slovenia, where he’s even more popular than Melania Trump!
Sadly, for a combination of reasons, the NHL opted not to accommodate the Olympics by creating a 2018 schedule break. It’s too bad. Surely NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman could figure something out.
If we can put a man on the moon …
RUNNERS … JUNE 3rd RACE
On Saturday, June 3, at 9 a.m., NHTI-Concord will host the “Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness for a Cure 5K Run.” The event will include awards, a raffle, and special surprises for Physical Therapy employees. Proceeds go to educating healthcare providers, materials for support groups, and other activities that raise awareness about EDS. See you there!
What three MLB players each made 24 All-Star teams? (Answer follows)
Born Today …
That is to say, sports standouts born on May 18 include Baltimore Oriole third baseman and Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson (1937) and former Athletic, Oriole, Yankee and Angel All-Star outfielder Reggie Jackson (1946).
“Any player that says they don’t want to go to an All-Star Game is lying to you. It’s something everyone wants to be a part of.” – Derek Jeter
Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Stan Musial were each selected to the National League All-Star team 24 times.
State Representative Michael Moffett was a Professor of Sports Management for Plymouth State University and NHTI-Concord. He co-authored the critically-acclaimed and award-winning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” (with the Marines)—which is available through Amazon.com. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.