To be perfectly candid, I have never been a fan of the World Baseball Classic. It is an international event and one that clearly began with good intentions. However, after the melee that developed in the Canada-Mexico game on Saturday, I have serious doubts if it serves any purpose whatsoever.
If it is carved from some multi-cultural, warm and fuzzy fantasy that “we are the world” or “let’s all get along”, the project is a failure.
The Classic, when framed against the backdrop of a ‘pro/con’ list there is not much that I would place in the left column.
For starters, it is not like the USA puts its best foot forward. It is not my intention to belittle anybody on the squad, but come on, look at some of these names: J.P. Arencibia, Willie Bloomquist, Steve Chisek, Tim Collins, Luke Gregorson, Derek Holland, etc. It is hardly a rundown of the best players America has to offer.
The majority of the rosters of each time, far-east countries, cuba notwithstanding, are made up of MLB players. All of these MLB players are taking time away from the spring training that their respective teams are participating in.
Don’t forget the possibility of injuries. Nothing can guarantee that your favorite player won’t get a broken leg, concussion or pull a groin muscle keeping them out for a month or longer.
Then we come down to the ugly events of Saturday.
After Canadian Chris Robinson lays down a beautiful bund, Mexico third-baseman Luis Cruz actually tells pitcher Arnold Leon to hit Rene Tosoni with the pitch. How bush league is that? Two failed inside pitches and a warning from the umpire are followed by a fast ball to the back which eventuates into a bench-clearing brawl. Talk about detente. Do we have a peacemaker in the house?
So, now you tell me what is good about the classic?