If Major League Baseball is going to become increasingly international, how do you want to see it happen? I think there are a few options: An exhibition game based approach, the relocation/expansion of teams, league integration, and/or an emphasis on national teams for a tournament such as the World Baseball Classic.
Given the scenario that the internationalization of Baseball continues, I'm curious what direction most of you would want to see it take?
The simplest and smallest option is to have some exhibition games in Australia and Europe--even Japan, Korea or Hong Kong.
I can also imagine the movement of the Marlins to, say, Cuba, in some // future where communism fails and the country gets rich off trade relationships with the US. That wouldn't be so different from a Canadian team. Where I think this gets tricky is when you start wanting teams in Japan, Australia, or England--that's FAR away.
The World Baseball Classic is fundamentally limited by the combination of 2 things - it's not during the Major League Season and the Major League Season is too long for ML players to be able to take other seasons or tournaments seriously.
Some have suggested that we let winners of other leagues into the Major League playoffs for the World Series--like the Champhions' League. That could be great, I consider it a reasonable option. However, it's not my favorite of the ways to go...
What makes most sense to me is for ML teams to form relationships with cities in other countries that become as second homes for maybe 8-16 games a season. They would have to play other teams that had made deals to play home games in cities that neighbor their second homes. I could imagine teams in the East would form relationships with European teams and teams in the West would form relationships with cities in Japan, S. Korea, China, and Australia. I wouldn't be surprised if the Braves, Marlins, Rays and maybe another team playing in S. America. Maybe you really don't like this idea, I'm curious how you'd like to see it work?
One of my favorite ideas is the baseball stadium cruise ship that puts into port in Mediterranean or E. Asian cities.
There are obvious challenges, like how would drafting work - could young and tenured players reject being drafted or traded to teams in foreign continents? Would this (have to) lead to more international players in the sport?
How much money is there in this? Would it go strait to the team or to the league to be distributed evenly? I'd hope the playoffs are always at home stadiums, but I suppose I'd be alright with the All Star Game and Home Run Derby being wherever, still, that could be some bad jet lag mid season.
Anyway, I just wanted to open up some of the questions and see if a conversation catches. I look forward to hearing what the various takes are on this.