Adrian Gonzalez Says He'll Never Play in World Baseball Classic Again

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2017

Mar 8, 2017; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Mexico first baseman Adrian Gonzalez prior to the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks during a 2017 World Baseball Classic exhibition game at Salt River Fields. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez spoke out about the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday and stated he'll never play in the tournament again.

Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times provided comments from the infielder upon his return to spring training after representing Mexico in the WBC.

"It's good to be the hell out of that tournament," Gonzalez said.

He added: "They're trying to be the World Cup. But they're not even the Little League World Series," per McCullough.

Mexico was eliminated from the tournament in the first round based on the runs allowed index, which is the number of runs a team gave up divided by the number of innings it pitched. Since it had the highest total among the three Pool D clubs tied at 1-2, it didn't even get to compete in a tiebreaker game.

Gonzalez previously voiced his displeasure with the format on social media early Monday:

Adrián González @Adrian_ElTitan

We win by two and lose by one, Venezuela loses by 2 and wins by 1? Way to set up a tournament.

He also posted a picture of the Mexican contingent filing a protest:

Adrián González @Adrian_ElTitan

La protesta se hace. Protest being made. 4:40 am https://t.co/YH8DO8Qj2f

Their efforts didn't yield any changes. Venezuela and Italy played the tiebreaker game, with the South American team earning a berth in the second round with a 4-3 win.

In addition to the format problems, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took aim at the event for security issues involving family members. Mark Saxon of ESPN relayed comments one of the sport's best backstops made on his Instagram page while representing Puerto Rico:

MLB, it's a shame that you are more interested in making money and not in the security of our family. It's a shame that the players have to be worried about the safety of our family when you were supposed to have security for them. Horrible organization for the this event, no security for the players family, it's a shame MLB.

When you combine those issues with the fact many of the game's top pitchers avoid the tournament due to injury concerns, the World Baseball Classic struggles to generate the type of mainstream interest of the World Cup. It's become more of a niche event than a true international showcase.

However, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told Ken Belson of the New York Times the league remains "committed" to the WBC since it's "vital to the internationalization of the game" and makes money.

"The WBC has always been profitable, and there's been absolutely no discussion about the possibility of this being the last WBC," Manfred said.

While the tournament may continue in the future, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see more stars like Gonzalez decide to opt out, barring significant changes.


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