Should MLB Restrict Players From Competing At WBC?
We all saw it and it sucks. MLB Opening Day is about two weeks ago and Edwin Diaz’s 2023 season is over before it ever began in a game that didn’t count for anything. All I know is if I’m sitting in a general manager chair right now, I’m pushing for a rule change that prevents MLB players from competing.
None of this is really hindsight bias from my perspective. I said the same thing about the Danilo Gallinari ACL injury when he suffered his injury playing for team Italy. It was a bone head move by Brad Stevens to give all that money to an injury prone player and then have him risk it in games that don’t count for you.
Keep in mind, the Mets just made Diaz the highest paid reliever in the history of baseball. Keep in mind, the Mets have the highest payroll in the history of the sport. We’re talking about a lot of money and a big tax big flushed down the toilet. For what? So that you have bragging rights about a tournament that has no real history that was created in 2006?
This isn’t the Olympics or the World Cup that has been around for hundreds of years. Want to hear what makes even less sense? We have players opt out of playing in the Olympics all the time. Check out the last Olympic roster the USA just put out. Sorry but you’re not going to convince me that the WBC has more relevance than the Olympics. If guys aren’t playing in the Olympics, then it should be the same for the WBC.
I get it to some extent. There is national pride on the line. Even Francisco Lindor spoke in support of the WBC despite the injury to Diaz. I’m sure there are tons of people in the Caribbean and Asia who want to see their country win. I get all of that. I just think teams should also have the option to void GUARANTEED money (which is what baseball contracts are) if a player gets hurt in games that don’t count for them. Let’s see how many players have national pride and show up to the WBC if their contract is voided. We know the answer to that question. Except these guys don’t care cause they will get paid anyway. There is no injury risk for them.
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t watched a second of the WBC. If I want to watch baseball, I’m good waiting another two weeks for real baseball season to begin. You know, the same season where the casuals will drop out by May because the season is already 162 games. The crazy people that are watching the WBC will still watch regardless of who competes. It also would be a great spot to watch minor leaguers or fringe guys who are fighting for roster spots. Right now there is nothing to gain from this other than risking star players get hurt.
I’m out on the WBC and I’m not going to pretend like a tournament founded in 2006 has this prestigious shine. If guys aren’t playing in the Olympics then they shouldn’t be playing in this either.
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