In a press release, the FEBEKO (Curaçao Baseball Federation) announced it will follow its own course in an attempt to get a higher position on the WBSC world ranking. This could very well be the end of Team Kingdom of the Netherlands.
In an attempt to achieve this, the FEBEKO has created the Curaçao Baseball Sport Development Project. The island within the Dutch kingdom wants to play international tournaments under its own flag. Last week, there were already “rumors” about the island wanting to participate in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. This would be with their own MLB players like Jurickson Profar, Jonathan Schoop and Ozzie Albies.
One doesn’t have to know a lot about Dutch baseball to realize that this will be a huge blow for team Kingdom of the Netherlands and its participation in the World Baseball Classic. Let’s be honest, the Dutch team got this far in the previous two seasons thanks to the big contribution of the players from Curaçao. Even during European championships, minor leaguers from Curaçao big contributors to the Dutch national team.
This attempt is supported by the aforementioned players but also by Andruw Jones. The FEBEKO thinks that Curaçao belongs in the top ten of the WBSC ranking. With the big pond of talented players, the federation may be right.
The big champion of team Kingdom of the Netherlands was Hensley Meulens. His philosophy was that both the Netherlands and Curaçao could make each other stronger by cooperating. This led to consecutive semi-finals in the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classics.
There is a big chance that without players from Curaçao, the Netherlands will drop several spots out of the top ten of the WBSC world ranking.
This move by Curaçao was an “accident” waiting to happen. Every sensible person with a little bit of baseball knowledge could see this would happen sooner or later. It was only a matter of time. With the talented players the isle of Curaçao produces, they have every right to play under their own flag.