You can’t control weather, so you don’t worry about it. You make contingency plans, that’s it.
That’s why, for the World Baseball Challenge, a rain date is planned in, should the final day, or even the second-last day, be pushed back by rain. Monday, July 18 is in play, though the hope remains of a Sunday, July 17 afternoon final between two of the finest teams in the world.
But that rain date, it is there for a reason, and it’s called planning. Not impossible, is it? Nope — we’ve seen that all week. Losing opening night was not a good thing for the event, in so many ways.
Rain played a part again Wednesday, delaying play. The grounds crew manned the tarps, dried things out, and allowed the teams time to get ready for the big game between Chinese Taipei and Beijing, followed by the matchup with Canada and Toshiba-Japan.
The World Baseball Challenge is big news for this city. As a former media guy, I know it’s simply impossible to give something on an international level like this too much coverage, and so many of the local media outlets get that, and get it clearly.
It’s kinda like providing too much hockey coverage in winter — impossible, it doesn’t take much in the way of smarts to come to that obvious conclusion. This isn’t a badminton, bowling, cribbage or soccer town — those sports have participation, but not readership/listenership interest. Only someone with no news sense would think otherwise.
The fact there is media from other countries (Bahamas, Japan) in Prince George to cover this spells the importance of this event, not just for local people but for greater community profile. What sports attract major league talent scouts to Prince George? The answer is two — hockey, as in Cougars, and baseball, in the form of the World Baseball Challenge. There is a direct correlation between scout interest and fan interest, people want to see the best of the best, the top levels possible, and then discuss, rehash and debate everything about those sports.
That’s why 5,531 people were at the park on Tuesday, a workday, and a day with threatening clouds. Double that number, and you get approximately the same number of people who voted in the last civic election.
Baseball is a game of numbers. Those numbers, they speak volumes.