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Iubitul
Jun 27 2005 06:55 PM

[url]http://msnbc.msn.com/id/8379659/[/url]

Valentine rips baseball World Cup idea
Former Mets manager calls plan ‘misguided,’ insulting

TOKYO - Bobby Valentine calls the plan for the World Baseball Classic misguided and insulting.

Major League Baseball and its players’ association have approved the 16-nation tournament, a World Cup-style event that would be played in March 2006. But the former New York Mets manager, who is currently managing in Japan, is not sold on the idea and thinks Japan should not take part.

“I’m all in favor of doing anything to help promote baseball internationally,” Valentine said Monday. “But this idea is misguided. As a manager, there is no way I’d want one of my players to take part in a tournament like this before the start of the season.”

Officials of MLB and its union traveled to Japan this month and set an end-of-the-month deadline for an agreement with the Japanese owners and players. MLB has been planning an announcement of the World Baseball Classic for July 11, the day before the All-Star game in Detroit.

“We told the Japanese we needed their decision by June 30, that was the absolutely outermost limit of time we had,” Gene Orza, the union’s chief operating officer, said a week ago.

Japanese baseball officials have objected to both the timing of the event and the distribution of revenue, which they say overwhelmingly favors the major leagues. Valentine, who manages the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League, agrees.

“It’s just insulting for Orza to come over here and give the Japanese an ultimatum like that,” Valentine said. “The revenue distribution is something like 60 or 70 percent in favor of the major leagues.”

Under the plan formulated by the commissioner’s office and the players’ association, Japan would host one of the four first-round groups of the 16-team tournament for national teams.

Several Japanese players, including Atsuya Furuta, the head of the Japanese players’ association, have said they prefer to have the tournament in November rather than just before the start of the regular season.

Valentine said he instead favors a true World Series, which would pit the best team from the North American major leagues against the best team from Asia.

seawolf17
Jun 27 2005 07:15 PM

Yeah, Bobby! Give 'em hell.

Edgy DC
Jun 27 2005 08:09 PM

The very notion that this is to be run by MLB and not an independent international body like FIFA is highly suspect.

I've long suspected FIFA to be corrupt, but presumably at least for their own interests and not for one nation or league over another.

Yancy Street Gang
Jun 27 2005 09:03 PM

Everyone else's mileage may vary, but personally, I don't think I'd be all that interested in this series. I'd pay attention to how Mets players are doing, as I would a spring training game, but I wouldn't actively follow the games. And I'd only watch if I landed on the game while flipping through the channels. It wouldn't be appointment TV by any means.

Centerfield
Jun 28 2005 10:09 AM

I miss Bobby. I know it's completely unfair to Willie, but with this group of youngsters mixed in with a few veterans who are good in the clubhouse, I can't help but think this is exactly the type of team Valentine would take to the playoffs. And do it with such flair that you can't help but love the team come October.

ScarletKnight41
Jun 28 2005 10:11 AM

I feel the same way CF.

metirish
Jun 28 2005 10:18 AM

I agree with what Bobby V has to say on this subject, the idea that Gene Orza thinks that he can give an ultimatum to a foreign sports organization is noy only insulting but arrogant.



I agree with what CF says, Bobby would have fun with this lot.

Edgy DC
Jun 28 2005 10:40 AM

I imagine that MLB and the players' association (in a spooky partnership!) feel they can put the screws to Japan because they think that the Dominican, Puerto Rico, and Venezuala will jump at this.

But the Carriibean nations have their own championship of sorts in the winter, and the Japanese can happily go to those nations and say that they don't need the Americans in order to do this. They're players also.

This should happen when all the interested nations and leagues send delegates to form and International Baseball Association, they elect a chair, and organize this as equals.

Elster88
Jun 28 2005 11:01 AM

]Valentine said he instead favors a true World Series, which would pit the best team from the North American major leagues against the best team from Asia.
I've always liked this idea, though it's not very realistic either, for all the same reasons.

Rotblatt
Jun 28 2005 11:16 AM

I don't hate Willie by any means, but I agree--it would be fun to watch Bobby V. with these guys.