Today’s Newsday is reporting that Mets ace Pedro Martinez will not pitch in the first round of the World Baseball Classic (WBC). He hopes to play in later rounds if he feels up to it. This comes on the heels of Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Vernon Wells opting to skip the first round due to a leg injury.
Why would a player do this? If you’re injured wouldn’t it make more sense to spend time getting healthy and in shape for your real job then to get kind of healthy and go play in some tournament?
In Pedro’s case it’s more a matter of getting into shape and seeing where his toe is going than it is a rehab situation. But what about guys like Wells. Don’t they realize what side their bread is buttered on? What happens if you play in the second round of the WBC on a partially injured leg and end up aggravating the injury? Wouldnâ€™t you feel stupid if you ended up missing games in the MLB regular season as a result of coming back from an injury too early so you could play in the WBC? And what if your bat could have made the difference for your team in one of those games and your team ends up missing the playoffs by one game? Stranger things have happened.
This is the main reason why Iâ€™m against the idea of playing the WBC during the spring. Guys have taken some time off and need the time to get back into playing shape. You want to do a WBC then do it after the world series. There are plenty of locations in all of the involved countries where you can still play well into the winter if you want to. Just donâ€™t interfere with the business of getting ready for and playing in the MLB season.