Legacy of the World Baseball Classic moving forward

As I type this up, highlights from this past Friday night are still fresh and replaying across my social media feeds. A tiny island nation, cheered on by roughly 7 million of its citizens, either abroad or in the US, has so far gone undefeated in this years international tournament, the World Baseball Classic. The last iteration of the Classic, in 2013, brought the Puerto Rican national baseball team to face off once more against the Dominican Republic team, a team Puerto Rico had failed to beat twice before. The Championship match of the tournament would be no different, as Captain Robinson Cano, MVP of the Classic, made sure of that. As a senior in high school, it was a crushing defeat brought on by that Dominican team. Not my first experience with bitter defeat, but it still stings to this day. Of course that victory over the Dominicanos on Thursday, helps out quite a bit. As an immigrant from Puerto Rico, I’m obviously going to root for them, aside from giving my perspective on their place on the international sports platform.

Molina

©Getty Images

This brings me to a strange side of things… a lot of baseball folks in the US don’t care for the WBC. Which is a mystery to me. I was raised and taught to love and enjoy your heritage and country. Respect the roots from which you grew and all that jazz. Throughout this tournament I’ve been cheering for Puerto Rico with a ridiculous bias. Of course, always nodding my head with enjoyment at each US win. The amount of times I’ve seen a fan or media head talk about how these players need to focus on their current MLB team, to not to engage in the silliness of the Classic, is astonishing. The MLB, for all intents and purposes, is a product. The WBC is the greatest international showcase for that product. The emotion, the intensity, the camaraderie among players; It’s all for the greater purpose of bringing the most enjoyment to the fans of baseball not just in the US, but across the globe. And while the US’s brightest stars (Bryant, Trout, Harper, Kershaw, etc.) aren’t on the US team, its important to dispel this notion that the Classic is just some spring training camp. Not every country is throwing out their best in this tournament and yet their citizens are STILL cheering with an emotion and enjoyment I haven’t seen in an October for quite a long time (Not counting Chicago’s latest of course.)

adam-jones-catch-photo

The Renaissance Piece known as “Adam Jones cementing the Classic legacy” – ©MLB Photos

I’m hoping that with more iterations of the WBC in the future and more memorable moments (such as in the above art) that the WBC becomes a brand of baseball that creates excitement in the US. Emotion needs to be implanted in the baseball mind if it’s to garner new fans and newfound attention. The reason this WBC has been so much fun to watch, is because of the emotions and intensity from players, fans, and even countries. This tournament has broken attendance records across countries, broken television viewership records, its gaining popularity due to these emotions. Embellish a home run or a great catch. Thump your chest. Get loud on the field. Let Yadi get his fist pump on after a strikeout or solid defensive play. You see Adam Jones and all of Petco Park explode after he robbed his own teammate? Yeah more of that please. When the players have fun with the World Baseball Classic, so does everyone else. One day soon we will see the Classic on the same level as the World Cup. Next up though; the FIBA World Cup level.

 

-KC

 

Sports, E-sports, and Money

In 2016, a small game released by developer Valve, the more mainstream market of consumers, would not have heard of before. Defense of the Ancients 2, more commonly known as Dota 2, handed out prizes equated to $95 million dollars in 2016. This is not revenue. It is simply money awarded to players for winning or placing in tournaments. Their largest tournament, The International, hosts 80 players, all from different regions of the globe, leaning towards their early 20s, all competing for the largest prize pool known to e-sports history. $20,770,460. The reason for that abnormally high total is the equally as abnormal fanatics of the game. They purchase certain items or bundles for the actual game and all the work the developers put in gets rewarded in excellent matchups. Money makes the world go ‘round. That’s a simple fact. If there’s money to made by companies, advertisers, players, organizations, whoever, you can bet they will have a toe in that water.

2016 World Series  - Chicago Cubs v. Cleveland Indians: Game Seven

Photo: Rob Tringali—MLB Photos

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Welcome to this (as of right now) Lackluster blog!

Hey folks, I’m Kevin C, and this is a blog where I will put words to some of my experiences and thoughts on various things ranging from movies to sports and esports, and other various things I enjoy and find interest in. If you enjoy some of the content I put out, feel free to let me know, or if you take issue with something I wrote about or posted pictures about once again let me know.

Now language is a powerful thing and I’ll try my best to keep it simple and clean, but do know that I have a slight tendency to use terse language at times or quote people using naughty words or phrases. I will try to keep it as professional as a young 20-something can. This isn’t church, so don’t expect the niceties of it, unfortunately.

So that was the “what” and the “where” (as in “what is this nonsense?” and “where is this going?”), on to the who, why, and when.

kevin-and-early-man

Early man and Later man will meet many a times in here.

Who am I? 

Kevin Correa, born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, currently residing in the DFW Metroplex, working for 103.3 FM ESPN as a Board Op/Reporter, Graduate from Mansfield Timberview HS, attended TCC and currently attending UNT. In the athletic department I was a failed baseball player after my sophomore year in high school, but still followed it religiously. I worked at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington later that year and was witness to the playoff run of the 2011 Rangers squad. I joined Mansfield’s own Ben Barber CTA Radio classes and became proficient at keeping up with my interests which included weather, celebrity gossip, music, and of course sports. I got into radio on whim and its lead me down this curious path of things I’d never thought I’d get to experience. I became especially interested in the area of online gaming competitions, colloquially known as “esports,” around 2012. It started with a game called Starcraft 2 and spiraled off from there to the point where I’ve actually been to these competitions on stages in Dallas, Las Vegas, and San Jose. Which leads me on the next ‘W…’

Why are you typing at me?

Because I think that I can put into words and give a different perspective on the things that people see, or don’t see, and get some reactions on my thoughts. I’m just another blogger in the wind, typing as I see fit. My main goal is to share. Among other things, I would like to help facilitate communication on the differences and similarities between athletic sports and the online esports platforms. I think people have a lot to enjoy from both, but due to stereotypes on both sides there’s a disconnect and some folks would just rather not listen at all. I’m open-minded and I hope to help people understand two sides of the same coin.

When is this thing gonna pop off? 

Hopefully within the coming weeks. Schoolwork is starting to die down a bit and I have few things lined up to post here. Possibly some interviews with media on both the sports and esports side of things. A compare and contrast of the World Series of this past week and the League of Legends Worlds Championship Final. Possibly will be posting a podcast with one or two others. We’ll see what angles I can go with and how far I can take it. This is as much a test for myself as it is for whoever’s reading this.

If you have anything to ask or question me about feel free to send me Tweet or however that works and I’ll answer promptly.

See ya soon, folks!

-KC