Maybe it's me. First I complain about the interminable Olympic games. And now, it's the WBC. It's not the tourney itself. That idea is so-so. But having it in March before the long MLB season is the equivalent of going for a 5 mile run before competing in a marathon on the same day. It's no wonder everyone and their teammates are pulling out of this thing.
Initially players thought it was a good idea, something akin to the Olympics and they wanted to play for their countries. Then logistics are recognized and waffling ensues. Minor injuries and/or soreness started popping up on many of the players. And they started dropping out in droves, realizing that possibly ruining their season for an exhibition tourney is not all it's cracked up to be.
Write this down: 5 years from now, only the truest of sports geeks will remember who won this thing. But bet your season ticket package that people will always remember that a player from their favorite team got hurt and ruined their chances that year, or even ruined his career.
This tourney might have been a better idea if played in November in a warm climate. Or it might have been better in say, 1977, when the globe wasn't so global and MLB wasn't filled with players from all around the world. There's nothing to be revealed here. And being an American, it's not as if we have anything to gain from this. It's like Olympic hoops. It's no celebration if we win because the USA should win. But if we lose it borders on despicable.
Although pitch limits are established the risk of injury is still there. But how about this angle: can we really determine what team is the best in the world when our stud pitchers get all of 65 pitches? Or what about players dialing it down some? Says Carlos Zambrano, "I will pitch the same way I pitch with the Cubs, with less intensity." Kind of like a Spring Training game?
Derrek Lee and Michael Barrett were denied in their requests to come back to Arizona, where the first round games are, to practice with the Cubs. This concerns Barrett: "I'm a little shocked actually. It makes me a little more anxious about playing time. I'm a little concerned because on the depth chart I'm the third catcher. I was thinking, if I needed the at-bats, I could come back." But now he can't. As a Cub fan, I don't really need to see my starting catcher warm up guys in the bullpen when he could be getting at-bats in Arizona and more importantly fine-tuning the pitchers.
So am I missing something? Or is this just the most unnecessary and irrelevant tourney ever?
In other news, maybe the Cubs need a "No Coreys" policy. Yesterday minor leaguer Bryan Corey did not retire a batter and gave up 3 home runs. No word on whether he will be pulling out of the WBC.