PHOENIX – Go ahead, keep cursing the baseball gods.
Keep shouting to the heavens.
Keep telling everyone you know that the World Baseball Classic is responsible for all of these injuries, despite the severity, from New York Mets All-Star closer Edwin Diaz to Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman to Mets reliever Brooks Raley.
However, for Diaz and the Mets, the injury came at a big price. The Mets will likely be without their star closer for the entire 2023 season after he suffered a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. He will undergo surgery on Thursday.
It’s time for the WBC to go away and never comes back, right?
Sorry, it’s not working.
Go ahead, you try telling tell Mike Trout and Mookie Betts of Team USA that the WBC is a waste of time.
You look into the face of Jose Urquidy of Team Mexico and laugh when he says that pitching in the WBC on Wednesday felt the exact same as when he pitched for the Houston Astros in the World Series.
You scoff at San Diego Padres star Manny Machado when he honestly doesn’t know which would have meant more, a WBC title for the Dominican Republic or a World Series championship in San Diego.
You tell those passionate fans in Japan and Korea, and Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, and everywhere else outside the U.S border that the WBC is nothing more than an exhibition.
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The WBC may have flaws. It drives managers crazy with the restrictions placed on players by major-league teams. Pitchers still get nervous ramping up early. And there are teams infuriated by the preferential scheduling treatment for Team USA.
Or didn’t you happen to notice that USA was the only team in their pool who didn’t have to play a day game after a night game, and that FOX-TV shifted the schedule so USA can play on prime time Saturday night, giving them and extra day of rest.
Yet, try to find a single player critical of the tournament, and who won’t be volunteering to do it all over again in 2026.
“This is the funnest experience,’’ Trout say, “I have had on the baseball field, to represent your country. It’s been a blast.’’
Says Betts: “This is so much fun. It’s so much fun. This is way better than…
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