The World Baseball Classic is trying hard, but like many of the Major League Baseball players who have pulled out of the tournament, I don't care.
The WBC odds show that the American team is the favorite to win it all, which is fairly surprising since they didn't even make the final four in 2006.
Joe Nathan, B.J. Ryan, Brad Hawpe, and Grady Sizemore were the most recent pullouts from the American team, and who can blame them?
Let's be honest: There isn't a ton of nationalistic pride involved with this tournament (at least in North America anywhere). In comparison to Olympic basketball or even Olympic hockey, the amount of nationalism—or even coverage in general—for the World Baseball Classic is minimal.
Major League ballplayers care about this tournament about as much as NFL players care about the Pro Bowl. The goal, for many of the athletes, is simply to avoid injury.
With the tournament installed right before the start of the Major League season, most players don't want to wear themselves out before the dog days of summer.
Most pitchers only have a certain amount of annual mileage they can use anyways, so now they are going to spend some of it in a nothing tournament instead of potentially helping their team win a World Series.
Given the choice, most players would opt for a shot at a World Series ring rather than being the WBC odds on favorite or having a chance to win whatever trophy you get for winning the Baseball Classic.
The prizing sucks, there is minimal nationalism since more people care about the MLB season, and the players aren't paid. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
If you want to watch the American team give a half-hearted effort to win some anonymous trophy, all the power to you. I'll be watching other things when the Baseball Classic comes around.
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