Anyone going to follow it? Anyone care about it? Anyone even know it existed?
Israel won the opening game this morning 2-1 in 10 innings over South Korea.
While I do acknowledge it has its flaws, I've always liked it as it's "meaningful" baseball for the first time since November.
TV coverage in the US is restricted to the MLB network which will probably hurt awareness and/or coverage of the event. The US team has all-stars, but a lot of non-household names. Not expecting them to really contend for the championship.
I feel as it always has gotten a bad rub mostly due to the timing (owners / managers not wanting their players to miss time or risk injury), but when it begins, it seems like people care...at least a little. In 2013 specifically, players were caught up in it and tweeting that they'd sign up in 2017. I remember Bryce Harper posting it at the time. David Wright had a 5 RBI game and was dubbed "Captain America."
US's opening round robin pool is with Colombia, Canada, and defending champions Dominican Republic. Their first game is 6:00 EST vs Colombia.