What you think of the World Baseball Classic depends a lot on who you are

What does the World Baseball Classic mean to players and fans from other countries, and to players and fans from the United States? I am going to break it down for you here based almost entirely on pure conjecture, and we'll see that both the attention to it and the meaning of it vary wildly depending on who you are.

Player from some tiny faraway country, for you, coming to the United States and signing with a major league team must be something akin to living with a new adopted family. When you see your countrymen on other teams, you say your hellos pre-game, but you must maintain your loyalty to your adopted family, and that puts a perceptible wall between you. And now with the World Baseball Classic, for a short time every few years, you get to have a family reunion with your real family, but more than that, the wall between you comes down for that time. You get to feel a kind of pride that you don't get to feel all the rest of your playing days. It must be sweet. I feel happy for you, Player from tiny faraway country.

Player from the United States, for you the WBC must seem more like a novelty. With such a large pool of players to represent the United States, you'll ask to participate if you're among those players with the most national pride, and you'll be allowed to participate if there's relatively little chance of injury, or if you're not a franchise-critical player. But absent that strong sense of national pride, you'd probably just as soon get on with preparing for the games that really matter to you most, the regular major league baseball games. And if you're on the team I root for, I'd just as soon you did that, too.

Fan from some tiny faraway country, you may have been rooting for the individual players from your country moreso than rooting for any particular team. Now you get to root for, and identify with a team. That's probably pretty special for you, maybe even exceptionally special for you. I feel happy for you, fan from tiny faraway country.

Fan from country so far away that you can't even get regular baseball broadcasts, as OOLF points out, and which I hadn't known, this is your one chance to watch actual baseball broadcasts, to which I say, I'm happy for you, but I am very curious, how did you get to be such a big baseball fan without them?

Fan from the United States, if you're like me, you would have found the first World Baseball Classic interesting. The different nations represented by their actual natural born (sometimes former) citizens! Real national pride gets to come out! Players from non-English-speaking countries don't have to feel quite so much like a fish out of water! I sure hope they enjoy it. But after the first one, well, speaking for myself, I was left only with the accompanying concerns ... hey, how can these guys be game-ready at the time of year when they're supposed to be getting into game shape? Won't injuries be more likely to happen, playing full-out before their bodies are ready for it? And even if you don't get injured, won't it mean that the regular baseball season wears you out just a few weeks sooner? Maybe we should do this in November. But participation may suffer with so many guys finally having had a little time off, and wanting to stay that way. Oh, I don't know. I guess it is the best time of year to do it, for the sake of the WBC itself, but I really don't care about you, WBC, not even as much as a spring training game. And I quite intentionally force myself to not care about spring training games because they tell you so little about where your team is at, they're false data points, they're red herrings that I won't allow my baseball-starved self to get excited about. So go have your fun, guys, especially those of you to whom this means so much, but please don't ruin my enjoyment of the regular season by getting injured because of it. If I learn about how your team did, it was an accident because I wasn't trying to pay attention. All I want to know about the WBC is that you made it through without getting hurt, and you're back and ready to help the team I root for.

And I don't feel bad about feeling so ambivalent. I should be ambivalent, in my position. And you players and fans from tiny faraway countries, you should be loving it, and for you I am happy, and that's the only joy I get from the WBC.

=== UPDATE 3/5/2017 ===

It occurs to me that I never answered the Fanpost Friday question of how to alternatively accomplish global expansion. My idea is not too far from what Ricochet! had to say, though a bit different. I think the most effective thing MLB could do to start is to open "baseball cafes", gathering places that show piped-in baseball feeds. I think it would be the best way to both reach new people who are not already interested in baseball, while also bringing together those who already like baseball, serving as a kind of incubation location for organizing further activities such as actually forming baseball teams. Of course the internet can do some of these things, but whatever the internet can do for baseball interest in foreign lands it is probably already doing. The social aspect of things is just much stronger face-to-face. Just providing the feeds in foreign lands also doesn't provide as much the social aspect of it, and I feel the social aspect will do the most for creating new fans. I don't like the idea of bringing major league teams overseas to play regular-season games - for one, that only really works in places with strong fan bases anyway, and also it really is hard on the teams that must do the traveling.