Playing in the World Baseball Classic every three or four years for your respective country is a great honor that every major league ballplayer has to have in the back of his mind.
This March, the third annual World Baseball Classic will take place. Spring training begins on March 1 for the Orioles, and the first game of the WBC is on March 8.
The Birds’ center fielder and team leader, Adam Jones, will be representing team USA, reliever Luis Ayala will be playing for Mexico, reliever Pedro Strop will sport the Dominican Republic colors and Jonathan Schoop will be on the Netherlands squad.
Last season, Jones broke out the home run bat and belted a career-high 32 long shots. He was leading the team until Chris Davis jumped one in front with seven home runs in the final week of the season.
Although he failed to set a career mark in RBI, the former Mariner drove in 82 runs—one shy of his career high, which he posted the year before. He finished the season batting at a very respectable .287 average, which was another career mark. The previous season, he tapered off towards the end of the year and finished at a .280 clip.
The question this week is whether playing in the WBC will be detrimental or helpful to begin the season. I think it could be very helpful for Jones to play with a new squad and see new looks on the mound. But there are also a couple of negative aspects of playing in this tournament