Before every baseball game, we proudly stand, remove our hats and honour our respective country with the singing of the National Anthem. You could barely get through an at-bat during the USA versus Dominican Republic game without hearing a “U-S-A” chant in the background. So then why all the hate toward a tournament geared at patriotism?
The answer is actually quite simple. The flag-waving fun-loving crowd at these games first and foremost care about their favourite MLB team far more than this tournament. So while it’s cool to see Nolan Arenado represent America, Robinson Cano representing the Dominican Republic and so on, injuries to stars of their respective teams are a legitimate concern. It is written with 100% assurance that if Arenado or Cano were to get injured fans in Colorado and Seattle would stop just short of rioting to block the next installment of the WBC.
If there is a team to lead the fictitious riot to disband the WBC tournament it would be the New York Yankees. The Yankees lost Mark Teixeira to a wrist injury during the 2013 WBC and now may potentially lose Didi Gregorius to a shoulder injury sustained during this season’s WBC.
Reality check folks - - whether Gregorius was playing in the WBC or in regular spring training with the Yankees, this injury still could have happened. There is no threat of the MLB cancelling Spring Training because of injuries, so just stop it with the pleas to end the WBC.
— Hans (@HZ0023) March 6, 2021
There is no issue with a player refusing to play for his country. If you want to ask why the majority of the players who refuse to attend are American, that’s an entirely different article. This is not, and should not be, a mandatory event. Players speaking out against the tournament is no different than players speaking out against Spring Training with the exception of course being that the latter is mandatory.
Fans speaking out against the tournament hoping their stars stay with their team during Spring Training instead of playing in the WBC is also understandable but please do not use the “injury risk” excuse. Feel free to use the team bonding excuse though. Just be honest, you want your best player all for yourself! Seriously, it’s okay to be greedy and wish for your star player to stay in your camp!
If you want to argue that the WBC should be eliminated use a better argument then the risk of injury. Seriously, everyone (including non-athletes) is constantly under the risk of injury. Whether it be slipping in the shower, choking on a glass of water or getting hit by a car crossing the street, one cannot stop doing something because of the risk of being injured!
Players who play in this tournament are typically not players who are battling for a roster spot on their MLB team and would likely be given only limited at-bats to allow for prospects to get in their reps. Understand though that weird injuries do happen and their is no rhyme or reason for them. For example, Ken Griffey Jr. missed a game when his protective cup slipped and pinched a testicle. So a batter tweaking a wrist while hitting a ball, or tweaking a calf while running to first on a routine ground ball is bound to occur at some point this MLB season. Just God forbid it happened in the WBC.
Do not let the fear of injuries allow you to miss some of the great moments this tournament has given us!
— theScore (@theScore) March 19, 2021
ICYMI: At the WBC, Adam Jones had a catch so sick even the batter gave him a salute.
(Oh, and the USA advanced)https://t.co/3weZtya2Vt
— ESPN (@espn) March 19, 2021
The decision made by Javier Baez to play for Puerto Rico and Kris Bryant’s decision to stay home will not affect whether or not the Chicago Cubs repeat as World Series champions. Speaking of the Cubs, their manager would like to see one more game added.
Joe Maddon suggested World Series champ should play @WBCBaseball champ. Would be interesting if WS winner has a player(s) on WBC team.
— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) March 19, 2021
No matter your stance against the WBC, Joe Maddon has a great idea in having the “World Series Champions” play the “World Baseball Classic Champions”. The advertising for the game would sell itself - World Champion versus World Champion to crown the “real” World Champion. How could you not absolutely love that idea?