Anyone who knows me knows how much I am against the upcoming World Baseball Classic. That’s why I was relieved to hear yesterday that Hideki Matsui would NOT be playing in this contrived tournament. I know it had to be a very tough choice for Hideki as he is very loyal to his native Japan and he had to say no to the team’s manager, Sadaharu Oh, the Babe Ruth of Japan. But I applaud Hideki for his choice. He knew the travel between the US and Japan would be quite wearing, and could effect him during the season. I do wonder though if his being overpaid in his current contract might have influenced him. I just hope if it comes down to it Mariano Rivera makes the same decision. We don’t need Mo blowing out his arm in March for a meaningless game.
I know there are many people out there in countries outside the US that don’t consider the WBC a bunch of meaningless games. These games are much more important to them than it is to the American baseball fan. I would not be opposed to these games if they were played after the World Series. Major league baseball’s, or should I say varmint-head’s, argument has been that the season is long enough and the players will be too worn out by then. HELLO! In March, most players are barely ready for the start of the season. So now you’re going to jeopardize their health, their MLB teams, by throwing them into a highly competitive situation before they’re physically ready?
Damn! It bit me
What this comes down to as does just about everything else in sports, is money. Money does make the world go around, and varmint-head loves that clinking-clanking sound as much as anyone. This tournament will not increase baseball interest in the US, and to be quite frank, I really don’t care about the impact it has on other countries. Instead of playing this ridiculous tournament, help establish baseball schools in Latin America and abroad.
On top of everything else, the US government has to stick its nose into this as well. They have denied Cuba’s right to participate. Hey, Fidel Castro may be a scumbag, but is he any more of an outrageous figure than other world leaders whose countries may participate? Did we not learn from boycotting the 1980 Olympics in Moscow? Is the government going to deny China from playing or other countries who quell their citizen’s human rights? My thinking is that it is more likely the US has a fear of losing to the Cubans.
If anything, Cuba is the one taking the risk here since there’s always a chance a player(s) will try to defect.
I for one will not watch this tournament and I implore others to do the same.