The World Baseball Classic continues to make headlines across the globe. So much so, the Japan vs. Italy Quarterfinal matchup was the most watched Samurai Japan game ever. Almost half, 48% of all households in Japan were tuned in, Fox Sports’ Ben Verlander reports.
Amidst controversy of the value of the WBC, it is interesting to see the popularity of the tournament. For just a pool play matchup between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, 61% of TVs in Puerto Rico were watching.
Edwin Diaz suffering a most-likely season ending injury celebrating Puerto Rico’s win vs. the Dominican Republic has stirred the pot amongst MLB fans. Across social media, members of the media and fans alike are bashing the value of the WBC after the Mets star closer’s injury.
Albeit the debate, player opinions and viewership indicates that the World Baseball Classic is not going anywhere. Along with all the eyes on the 2023 WBC across the world, many of the players have been very vocal about how much they enjoy representing their country on the front of their uniforms. Dubbed ‘Captain America’ and arguably the best player in professional baseball, Mike Trout has been leading the charge in support of the tournament.
The biggest stars in the sport are currently vying for global baseball supremacy, and that should be proof enough that it is good for the game. The upcoming matchup in Miami between USA and Venezuela has the USA roster preparing for a playoff-like atmosphere.
No one wishes for injury and baseball fans are wishing for a speedy recovery for Edwin Diaz. Nonetheless, if Japan vs. Italy is any indication, TVs will be turned on for the rest of the World Baseball Classic.