World Baseball Classic
Major League Baseball puts on a tournament every four years called the World Baseball Classic. It started in 2006, due to the vote of removal as an Olympic sport. It is molded like the FIFA World Cup, with 16 teams that come from around the globe and try to be crowned the best in the world. Because of this, many players want to compete and win, while the front offices want the players to rest before the MLB season starts.
The Case for Playing
Every competitive athlete on the planet wants to play more games. As a kid, they want to play every day, all day, and all year. Even as a kid, it is very enjoyable. In addition, being dubbed “The Best on the Planet” is pretty sweet, no matter how old or young. For many baseball players, all they know is competition and playing as hard as possible. This is why they want to join the WBC every four years.
Another reason for players joining is the country on the front of the jersey. Putting on a uniform and representing your home country is one of the greatest accomplishments anyone can ask for. Having millions of fans rooting and watching relentlessly in hopes of a win must be an amazing feeling. One of the greatest honors in baseball is performing in the World Baseball Classic.
The Case for Not Playing
Many general managers have already come out and said they would rather not have many of their best athletes playing in events that do not pertain to the MLB season. Only the best players are chosen from their respective countries, forcing good players on a team to leave and risk potential injury.
The tournament is from March 9 to March 22, right in the middle of Spring Training. Due to this, many players leave their major league teams. Chemistry is a big component of clubhouses, and not being with the team for three weeks can put this on hold. In addition, the baseball season is already long, spanning six months. Adding almost another month the grueling schedule can cause many people’s bodies to start breaking down. This could affect performance not only this year, but also for many years to come depending on how severe an injury is.
The players have complete control on whether to play in the World Baseball Classic. While there are many great reasons for putting on that jersey and competing, there is a momentous risk for injury. Many players combat the backlash from their respective front offices, although many believe they will not receive an injury.