Spring Training started in Major League Baseball this week. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred did an interview on Thursday and he emphasized that he and the owners would like to see the World Baseball Classic continue beyond the 2017 edition.
“I am always open to the idea – whether it’s timing, structure – that we could make the WBC or anything else better, but the idea that this will be the last WBC is not one I’d be supportive of,” said Manfred. “I devoted an entire one-per-club session a couple of owners’ meetings ago to the WBC and owner support for it. I had unanimous support among the owners that this is an important initiative for us. You may get some wishful thinking from baseball operations people who’d rather keep their guys in camp, but I don’t see it at the ownership level.”
A couple of weeks ago rumors surfaced which stated that the 2017 WBC will be the last unless it’s going to produce profits. This year’s edition with 16 teams will be played in Seoul, Tokyo, Jalisco, Miami, San Diego and Los Angeles from March 6 to 22. European Baseball will be represented by the Netherlands, Italy and Israel.