The Major League commissioner on Tuesday denied reports that the 2017 edition would be the last of the World Baseball Classic and added that the tournament remains popular.
The fourth edition of the major league managerial tournament and the players’ union began Monday in Seoul.
Press reports in the United States indicated that the 2017 tournament would be the last due to poor revenue generated. But Commissioner Rob Manfred said that’s not true.
“The Classic will be broadcast in 182 countries,” Manfred said in Tokyo, where the action was launched on Tuesday with Japan’s 11-6 victory over Cuba.
“This will be a $ 100 million event over its less than two weeks. From day one, while it was a profitable event from the start, it has really grown in terms of revenue and popularity around the world.”
Japan won the tournament in 2006 and 2009 with a team loaded with Major League stars including Ichiro Suzuki, Yu Darvish and Daisuke Matsuzaka. But those stars did not participate in the 2013 edition, won by the Dominican Republic, and this year Japan participates with a team that has a single player of the majors – Norichika Aoki, Houston Astros.
Without its best players, the United States has not surpassed the fourth place.
The tournament is held at the time when the players of the Seniors are in spring training. Many players do not participate because they do not want to risk an injury.
Buster Posey, Giancarlo Stanton and Andrew McCutchen are the most prominent names on the US team this year, led by veteran Jim Leyland.