The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

Baseball United brings baseball to the Middle East

Julia Jensen/ Art Director

The baseball world is expanding to the Middle East and South Asia, as Baseball United is set to be the first baseball league in that region. 

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Baseball United and the four teams that make up the new league: the Mumbai Cobras, the Karachi Monarchs, the Dubai Wolves and the Abu Dhabi Falcons.  

Baseball United was founded on Jul. 26, 2022, and the four teams are set to debut in the league on Nov. 24, 2023. Baseball United has decided to revamp existing cricket stadiums into baseball stadiums for the teams to compete in. The league is set to play in the Dubai International Cricket Stadium for the nine inaugural games.  

Baseball United will have a lot of competition, as they are trying to win over cricket fans from the Middle East and South Asia. The cricket fan base makes up nearly a billion fans in that region.  

Kash Shaikh, the CEO of Baseball United, said the league will have rules that will be things you have never seen in other professional baseball leagues to try to draw cricket fans to the new league, per Associated Press News.  

“The new league seems like the new LIV Golf tour,” said William Scott, a freshman marketing major. “LIV has successfully drawn golf fans to their tour, so I don’t see why Baseball United can’t. The rule changes will be interesting to see, but for me personally, if the game is changed drastically, then I don’t know how involved I will be.”  

Baseball United has had some Major League Baseball presence thus far, whether it is players competing for teams, stakeholders of the league, or honorable general managers. Beloved Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera and Barry Larkin were named founding stakeholders of the league.  

For the Dubai Wolves, six-time All-Star and AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez was named honorary General manager of the team alongside manager John McLaren, who managed the Seattle Mariners in 2007.  

The four teams in the league selected multiple former MLB players in the first draft. Eight-time All-Star and former New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano was drafted sixth overall in the draft by the Dubai Wolves. Cano is looking for redemption after his forced exit from the MLB. Cano was busted for performance-enhancing drugs twice in his career. His latest positive test was with the New York Mets in 2020, which forced him to sit out the 2021 season and forfeit his contract.  

“As a lifelong Yankees fan, it will be cool to see Robinson Cano still playing baseball,” said TJ Murphy, a senior accounting major. “He has a chance to clear his image, but I feel it may be more for the money than clearing his image at the end of the day.”  

Another notable player selected in this year’s draft is starting pitcher Bartolo Colon. Colon, who was known for his lengthy career, will be suiting up for the Karachi Monarchs at the age of 50. Throughout his tenure in the MLB, Colon won a Cy Young Award, recorded 2,535 strikeouts and had 247 wins in his 21 seasons on 11 different teams.  

Two other notable players selected in the draft are Didi Gregorius and Andrelton Simmons. Gregorius, mostly known for his time on the Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies, was selected third in the draft’s first round to the Dubai Wolves, while Simmons was selected eighth in the first round to the Mumbai Cobras. Simmons is renowned for his elite defensive ability at shortstop. Throughout his MLB career, he won four Rawling Gold Glove Awards and one Platinum Glove Award.  

Baseball United is breaking down barriers and opening new opportunities to different regions of the world with their new league. Will Baseball United take over as the biggest league in baseball? It is too soon to go that far, but it is a possibility in due time with this most recent expansion. 


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