That is the question. The World Baseball Classic has become a major issue around baseball between players and team management. I’m sure owners around the league aren’t too happy about their investments risking their bodies for another team. It’s just a natural reaction that anyone in their position would feel. Imagine if your best player hurt himself playing in what is essentially an exhibition game. That team’s entire season could be drastically changed by an injury happening in a National team’s camp. Ahem, Mark Teixeira. Now, I’m not saying that he’s the Yankees best player. It’s clear that he’s not, but he was going to be heavily relied on for power with the injury of Granderson taking place.
Mar 6, 2013; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; A detailed view of a Team USA hat and glove and baseball at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
It’s sad to see another player go down. Especially one who can provide offense like Teixeira. No matter how much I rag on the guy, the fact stands that he’s one of the team’s most productive hitters. Is the World Baseball Classic the cause of this? Somewhat of the injury has to do with the World Baseball Classic. I mean, the injury did take place in team USA’s camp. However, injuries are about of baseball and sports. They’re going to happen. Would the team feel better if it happened in a training session held by the Yankees? I’m not so sure. It’s my personal opinion that Teixeira might have started to hit better in the earlier months by playing some competitive games early.
I’m sure more and more teams are cautious of their players leaving for the World Baseball Classic. Even players are concerned risking their season for exhibition games. But is the World Baseball Classic just a bunch of exhibition games?
To me and a lot of fans around the world it’s not. The World Baseball Classic is an exciting tournament for the world to see. If it were just exhibition games I wouldn’t care, but I do. I do care about the World Baseball Classic and how team USA is playing. I have a sense of pride when this team does well. As Americans we should all have pride in this team. Baseball is America’s sport. It’s a shame the best players don’t always come to play. I would love to see Justin Verlander go out and pitch for team USA. That just isn’t going to happen this year though.
The good thing is even USA’s second and third tier players are better than most national team rosters. This team should be good enough to go deep into the tournament despite not having all their best players.
If a player is given the opportunity to play and isn’t coming off an injury I say they should play. I’m sure all of these players are truly into this tournament. There’s an indescribable feeling about wearing your nations colors. Due to the pool play the teams are automatically thrown into must win situations. This gives the World Baseball Classic a post-season like feeling.
So those who get angry about their favorite players going into the World Baseball Classic, think again. This tournament is bigger than you. It’s bigger than the MLB for the time being. This is not city vs. city. This is country vs. country. For that reason, let’s have some pride.