Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thank goodness for WBC

Down goes Chipper Jones!

Down goes Ryan Braun!

Down goes Dustin Pedroia!

Down goes Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom!

Yes, this World Baseball Classic sure is fun for kids of all ages.

Bud Selig and the handful of other proponents of this unnecessary crock would argue that these players very well might have gotten hurt had they been participating in spring training with their teams. They would argue that injuries are part of the game.

They can argue whatever they want. All I know is that it is the players are paid handsomely by their teams to play for their teams. And they are best served by being with their teams, preparing for the season at a reasonable pace, not trying to wow the world at full speed in overhyped exhibition games.

It only took me an hour or so of research to discover that 12 of the 13 pitchers who worked at least an inning for Team USA during WBC I back in 2006 went on to have higher ERAs - significantly higher, in many cases - that season than they had in 2005. And that doesn't count all of the non-American pitchers and all of the position players who were adversely affected.

And now, here is Lindstrom - the new closer for a young, talented Marlins club that is expected to make some noise in the NL East - straining the rotator cuff in his pitching shoulder in Sunday's game against the Netherlands.

Lindstrom had felt a little soreness while warming up but decided to pitch through it. Of the injury, he said: "It could happen anywhere."

Maybe, but it did happen in the WBC - quite possibly because he felt actual pressure to actually perform in an actual game. Yep, they don't get any bigger than USA-Netherlands.

That the injuries to All-Stars Jones, Pedroia and Braun aren't considered as serious is beside the point.

Lindstrom is the second Marlins player to suffer a physical setback in the WBC, joining valuable utility player Alfredo Amezaga on the list of key contributors who are out indefinitely.

It sure would bite if those injuries cost the Marlins the division title. 

But at least they'd be able to take a little solace in the fact that Team USA scored a huge victory over the Dutch.


Brackets Ahead 

I'll be back Wednesday in The Baldest Truth with my NCAA tourney picks, so get ready to play those million-dollar parlays.


  1. Mike, I agree with you 100%. If I were an owner and had that much money laid out for a player I would put it in there contract that they could not participate in Selig's cluster*&@#.

  2. i agree...like i said before get rid of the extraneous crap including the all quasar game and play 60 real games for all the marbles. . .playoff in early september and the GO HOME ...geez

  3. The idea of country vs country is cool, but the risk involved is great. Yeah -- as an owner I would not be happy either from a business perspective.

  4. Games??? are they televised anywhere? All about money so now some players are out and costing their team. What a watse of time. Nobody in the US careas antway.

  5. Shhhh....I'm secretly hoping this effects the Yomiuri and Hanshin pitchers on the Japanese team for this season in the Central League.

    Is it bad that I, an American, cheer for the Japanese team because they have my favorite slugger on the team (Murata Shuichi)?