A few weeks ago, the WBSC sent out an e-mail in which it warns players not to join the newly erected European Super League Baseball. According to the governing body, the new league is not sanctioned.
The e-mail was sent around the time the ESLB was organizing European tryouts. With this e-mail, the WBSC wants to frighten players so they will not join the league because it is not sanctioned by the governing body of global baseball.
The first thing that struck my mind was the memory of the way the former ELB was treated by the predecessor of the WBSC Europe, the CEB, and the KNBSB (Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation). Fearing to lose any influence, both governing bodies made the life of the ELB impossible which resulted in its demise. Like Yogi Berra said: It’s Deja Vu all over again.
To be honest, yours truly has his doubts about the feasibility of the league. Does it really think baseball will become popular with teams made out of mainly imports from South and Central America? And does it think that baseball will gain ground in Portugal, a soccer loving country where the sport is still in its infancy? But when the WBSC starts to mess around, the ESLB will not survive for sure.
Why the double standards regarding a league that wants to grow baseball? The WBSC should be happy there is an initiative that promotes our beautiful game. But no, chairman Fraccari and his cronies rather counteract a beautiful initiative like this. Likely they also fear to lose influence.
Why the double standards mr. Fraccari? Why are players allowed in the Minor Leagues, in the Mexican League, in Japan, in Taiwan, in Korea? Those are foreign leagues as well. Instead of supporting this initiative, Fraccari rather ruins baseball by cutting the number of innings by two so the sport becomes more attractive as an Olympic sport. As long as the best players do not participate, Olympic baseball is a stillborn.
In the past, similar cases arose in speed skating. Several athletes were invited to skate in games in Dubai. These skaters could earn a lot of money with it. Of course the international skating union (ISU) opposed and did everything in its might to prevent the event from happening. Eventually, the initiators and the speed skaters went to the European court and the latter ruled in favor of the initiators.
So, this case has created a clear precedent. No sports union has the monopoly on organizing games in its branch of sports. Yours truly hopes that the organizers of the ESLB will go to the European court. I think there is a very big chance they will win. It is time that the WBSC is taught a lesson.
And perhaps the WBSC should think about this: According to rules of the European Union, everybody is free to work where he wants to work.
A big thank you goes out to Dimitry Sagalchick for making me aware of this.