Saturday, March 14, 2009

Why I Hate the WBC

This is a piece I did for Baseball Digest. You can read it there too.

Okay, so maybe hate is too strong of a word. But I expressed my distaste for the World Baseball Classic back in '06 and didn't watch or discuss it on My Pinstripes. This year I decided to watch all or parts of games, and keep updates on the blog.

But my biggest issue with the WBC came to light when Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte returned to Yankees camp after the Dominican Republic was eliminated from the tourney.

We knew yesterday (Friday) that Robinson Cano experiencing tightness behind his right shoulder. I was under the assumption that the Yankees knew about the issue that Cano said he had since the start of spring training. Well guess what? The Yankees didn't know, because Cano kept his mouth shut. In all likelihood it was because he knew the Yankees wouldn't permit him to play in the tournament if he had told them. Meantime, Cano played all nine innings in three games.

Marte came back with soreness in a pec muscle. He said it happened after he lifted 25 pound weights prior to going out and throwing one inning in the tournament. He claims it doesn't hurt when he pitches, only when he moves. Huh???

These two incidences prove how wrong ESPN's Steve Phillips is when he says these are just like spring training games. Guys can get the same injuries in spring training games too, is Phillips' theory. Well he is wrong.

Had they known about the injury, the Yankees would have had Cano examined and would have shut him down until they were convinced he was feeling all right. And Cano put his country above his team. While they may sound noble, his country isn't paying him millions of dollars to play baseball.

Had Marte hurt himself lifting in Yankees camp, he would have been shut down until the muscle felt better. He wouldn't have gone out and thrown in a game right after injuring himself, as he did in the tournament.

The WBC is not a "classic" and has no purpose, other than giving players the opportunity to play for their country, and in some cases, even that is distorted. (A-Rod playing for two different teams; an American playing for Italy because that's where their grandfather was from.)

MLB doesn't need to market baseball to China or Cuba, or the Netherlands. The world series doesn't truly encompass the world, and it never will.

1 comment:

  1. The WBC will never be a "classic" when pitchers like Halladay and Santana are absent.
    And thanks a lot, Team USA, for getting knock out by Team Puerto Rico.
    Now can I have my Captain back, please?