The WBC is well underway as all pool play is over and various parts of the world were able to enjoy it in their countries. Back in the United States, MLB teams are making cuts to their rosters and trying to finalize spots without some of their premier talent.
Like I alluded to a few weeks ago, the WBC is under heavy controversy by MLB teams and managers because of the risk it puts their players through. These risks are legitimate and have happened during this WBC. There have been several injuries to key players so far, most notably Miguel Cabrera, Salvador Perez and Martin Prado to name a few. With only weeks to go before the 2017 season, this can not happen because these injuries are detrimental to the hopes and plans of these teams for the upcoming season.
Yankees' skipper, Joe Girardi has given a possible solution to the format of the WBC. He said that they would play the pool games and establish who would make it into the next round and who wouldn't during spring training just like it is now. However the change comes when instead of continuing the tournament, they would hold off until the all star break and they would extend the break for the players and allow them to continue the playoffs at a later time.
Girardi's idea is a bold one, there are not many tournaments that stop in the middle right when everyone wants to see and tells their fans to wait four months. However the Champions League in soccer does something very similar. The MLB should adopt this rule because it will limit the amount of injuries players could sustain before the season. It will create anticipation and buzz for the fans and players around the All-Star break and it would give other players a few more days to relax before the the final run of the season.
The down side would be the fact that a player could get injured in the middle of the season and be out for crunch time of the season but that could happen in the all star game as well. Bottom line is players want to play in this tournament, they want to honor their countries of origin or their parents. They want to suit up in their national colors and compete for a championship. This only happens every four years but the buzz gets greater every single season and it truly is the key to expansion.
Therefore, change the format of the tournament because it is flawed but do not get rid of it entirely.
Carmine DiPalma writes for Scout.com's Hardball Scoops