Japan and/or Ichiro to skip World Cup?
Japan’s participation in next year’s first-of-its-kind World Baseball Classic is up in the air. Negotiations are ongoing, with an important deadline at the end of the month. The Japanese players’ union is the holdup, citing scheduling issues.
If an accord can’t be reached, it would be a big disappointment. Japan’s tentatively slated to be one of the first-round host sites. A baseball-crazy fan base would be disappointed, and the tournament would end up being less interesting.
Perhaps due to this uncertainty about Japan’s participation, both Ichiro and Hideki Matsui appear pretty lukewarm about whether they would want to play.
Personally, I think they’re just taking a wait-and-see approach. The tone of the comments seems to be “we’ll see if this tournament works out, and then we’ll decide.”
This World Cup-style tournament could be great for baseball if the kinks get worked out. May negotiations be smooth from here on in.