A Closer Look at the WBC

Ironically, for my first Mets Merized
post I will not be focusing on the Mets, but rather the World
Baseball Classic. Love it or hate it, Mets fan might want to pay
attention to it – since there is a major league high sixteen Mets

Whether its the idea of the world’s
best players squaring off in an international format, or I am just
starving for some competitive baseball after the winter – I am very
much looking forward to this year’s WBC. In fact, in a few hours, I
leave for Toronto, where I will be attending the United States first
game against Canada.

Unfortunately, many people in the
front office, and many players don’t feel the same way. I understand
players who are coming off of injuries, but many just declined
altogether. The owner’s and general managers for the most part
pledge their support for the WBC, but when it comes their high priced
pitchers – things change quickly.

I understand the fear of injuries –
but injuries can and do happen in Spring Training as well. I think
in today’s game, pitcher’s (as well as position players) are treated
too delicately. I may be wrong here, but it seems to me like more
players are injured today then ever in the past. The Met’s front
office is allowing all of the player’s to participate unless there
is a good reason not too (Johan Santana).

If I could change anything about the
WBC – I would shift it one week later then it is currently. It
would give the players a little more time to prepare themselves.
Another argument against the WBC is that the players will get tired
at the end of the season. There was no solid evidence of this in
2006 though. I can’t imagine that Cactus and Grapefruit league games
are much better – they have to be more mind numbing and mentally
fatiguing as the spring goes on.

On a personal note, I am hoping the
United States advances further then the inaugural WBC. But if not,
the high number of Mets participating will keep my interest up. I
will be excited to see out new bullpen participate – both JJ Putz
and K-rod will be playing. Also, I will be paying to how Oliver
Perez performs coming off of his new contract. Although no longer a
Met, Pedro Martinez will also be pitching – and it will be
interesting how much he has left.

Mets Playing in the World Baseball Classic:

Australia – Stefan Welch

Canada -Shawn Bowman

Dominican Republic – Jose Reyes, Fernando Tatis

Mexico – Elmer Dessens, Oliver Perez

Panama – Ruben Tejada

Puerto Rico – Pedro Feliciano, Nelson
Figueroa, Alex Cora, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Jesus

United States – J.J. Putz, David Wright

Venezuela – Francisco Rodriguez