WBC lessons for the Miami Marlins
By Neil Raymond
The Miami Marlins saw a new acquisition do really well in the World Baseball Classic and the rotation do well in Spring Training for the most part. Spring Training is coming to a close, but it's the World Baseball Classic that is the subject of this article. The WBC ended last night with Team Japan beating Team USA in a nail biter. The Fish technically hosted the WBC and loanDepot Park saw sell-outs throughout the tournament. There's a lot to uncove rhere so let's dig in...
The Miami Marlins have interesting things to learn from the WBC.
Let me preface this by saying that I was very disappointed to see Team USA lose in the final to Team Japan. The reality is that the starting pitching on Team USA was atrocious. Look at this list, none of the top 20 starting pitchers from last season pitched for the team, despite multiple ones being eligible to pitch for it. Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Max Scherzer, Aaron Nola, Max Fried, Shane McClanahan, Spencer Strider, Clayton Kershaw... none of them pitched for Team USA. Can you imagine a rotation of any 5 of these players? Team USA would've finished the competition undefeated. Even on the hitting side, Team USA was missing Aaron Judge.
The lesson from all this is that when players care about the competition, results are different. The reason why all of those players didn't play is because they saw the season as more important than the WBC. If the Miami Marlins players put all of their importance on winning, this team can win. It seems obvious, but the right mindset can play a major difference in a team winning.
The financial lesson from the World Baseball Classic is that sell-outs are indeed possible at loanDepot Park. The secret? Have meaningful games that people care about. Not all players thought that the WBC was worth playing in, but the rarity of the event and the excitement in many international markets over the event led to the sell-outs. We know that if a team is winning the fans show up to games. The lesson here is for Bruce Sherman needs to spend on development in the Minor Leagues and in free agency. He can afford it.