I grudgingly admit that I enjoyed the WBC first time around.Â I went in kicking and screaming.Â Didn’t see the point of it, didn’t want to have it, blamed Bud Selig for another money-making venture that didn’t take the fans or players truly into consideration…I hated the entire idea of it all.
Then it started and I got quite into it.Â No surprise really, I love baseball…this is baseball and you get to see players you don’t normally watch.Â Fun for all.
Until my favorite player spent the better parts of the regular season either on the disabled list or just fighting through his dead armÂ – and my opinion of the tournament began to sour again.Â (Granted, he busted his ass in 2005, pitching more than he ever had in his career,Â and I’m sure that also had a lot to do with it.)
This year we’re already being told Daisuke Matsuzaka and Dustin Pedroia are both going to play in the WBC.Â – Matsuzaka for Japan and Pedroia for the USA – and I choose to agree with our manager when he says, in regard to players in WBC, he’s all right with position players playing but not pitchers:
â€œBut just you look at it, regardless of whose team, these guys are not ready to compete. Thatâ€™s why when they get to that third inning or whatever, the first count of the day, we take them out of the game. If they want to throw more we take them down to the bullpen where itâ€™s a controlled environment. Now all of a sudden they have two on base and two out and it makes you nervous.â€
Tito is nervous at the idea of his pitchers participating in the WBC.Â Â And now we all get to be “nervous” about Daisuke (as if we aren’t usually nervous about him already).
But fear not fans!Â There is one pitcher we don’t have to worry about:Â Joshua Patrick Beckett.Â According to MLB.com:
The Boston Globe has confirmed that Beckett will pass on the international tournament in order to fully heal from an oblique injury suffered toward the end of the 2008 season and ensure that he’s ready for Opening Day.
The Red Sox would have advised Beckett to skip the tournament, since compared to pitchers, they feel that position players can better deal with the rigors of playing in a tournament before the season begins, as evidenced by Mike Timlin’s difficulties in 2006.
Poor Mike Timlin. He will always be held up as the reason why no pitcher should play in the WBC.Â Â Such a legacy.
Anyway, both Beckett and Mike Lowell have decided that it’s better to rest up than it is to play in the WBC.Â I’d love for Matsuzaka and Pedroia to make the same decision, but who am I to judge?
In NON WBC-related news, Old friend Lenny Dinardo has signed a minor-league deal with the Kansas City Royals.Â Well, KC is closer to Cincinnati than Oakland is.Â Still no word on where Kyle Snyder will be landing in 2009.Â I still have hopes for a Lenny/Kyle/Bronson bullpen at some point in my lifetime!
A storm is coming, it’s 36 degrees out (feels like 29 according to weather.com) and I have baseball on the brain.Â February, truly, can’t get here soon enough.