Baseball is trying to globalize itself and to some extent, it's working. The third World Baseball Classic will hear the cry of "jugar a la pelota!" or maybe "bal spelen!" this week in another attempt to globalize the game with mixed results.
The game is still not nearly as popular around the world as football (soccer) or even basketball. There has been progress made, especially after players from Japan, Taiwan and Korea started coming to the U.S. to pursue major-league dreams. The success of Hideo Nomo and Ichiro Suzuki, as well as Chien-Ming Wang and Shin-Soo Choo, has led to an influx of talent, along with all the Latin and Caribbean talent that is at the heart of the game.
The next wave of talent could come from South Africa, Europe or even Brazil, where a couple of teams have set up academies. Those places are ingrained in soccer tradition, so maybe adopting a variety of traits from that sport could help popularize beisbol...I mean, baseball around the globe. Let's take a look at several ideas that MLB could pick up on.
Will Carroll is the Lead Writer for Sports Medicine at Bleacher Report. He has written about sports injuries and related topics for 12 years.