2006_03ssuzuki.jpgWhen Japan advanced to play Cuba in the finals of the World Baseball Classic, the matchup was not what Major League Baseball commissioner had envisioned or set up the tournament to produce. On Monday, Japan won the game 10-6 and the first championship of the World Baseball Classic. As they celebrated, Gothamist was left to wonder whether the tournament can become a fixture in the United States.

Several problems exist. Although fans of other nations had no problems getting into the tournament, American fans had March Madness to distract them. What's the best time for the tournament? Mid-season is out of the question, and after the season, when soccer plays it's World Cup, might pose as many problems as this pre-season format. Even given the untapped talent on Japan's and Cuba's team, much of which might be able to play in the Major Leagues, does the tournament really need South Africa, Australia and the Netherlands in the tournament? The first WBC turned out better than expected, but it needs some work before it can become a mainstay. It will be held again in 2009.

Photo by Lucy Nicholson (Reuters) via Yahoo