The World Baseball Classic: a deep-rooted tradition of the planet dating back to the ancient time when a not-so-dead Amy Winehouse was tearing up the charts, an archaic era when we hadn’t yet found out how Lost, the Harry Potter books, or The Wire would end and an age when “Katrina” was just a cute girl who sat next to you in your tenth-grade algebra class. Yes, it was back in early 2005 that this “classic” was founded, a tournament simply made in reaction to the International Olympics Committee deciding in 2005 to remove baseball as an Olympic sport after the 2008 games in Beijing.
The WBC was an awful idea from the start and, as far as terrible vehicles to pass off as entertainment go, the WBC is just as bad and annoying as anything that was ever on The WB.
Okay, so this will only be the third running of this historically non-prestigious and gimmicky tournament and you want me to support a few Detroit Tigers’ decision to put their health on the line and participate in it? Yeah, despite my pro-America tendencies and my proclivity for asserting our dominance over countries without Rascal Scooter-accessible McDonald’s on every corner, I would greatly prefer Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander to sit this one out, even if it means Team USA struggling.
Yes, I know that Miguel Cabrera and Anibal Sanchez have already agreed to play for Venezuela and that Octavio Dotel is committed to playing for the Dominican Republic. Frankly, I’m not happy about any of them playing in it, but I especially don’t want Verlander to take the risk.
At the end of the day, I’m selfish—I don’t want to share Verlander with the rest of America; I want to see all his baseball efforts helping Detroit end a 28-year World Series drought and I’m not in favor of him risking his health to help America win some silly tournament. When you consider that every throw a pitcher makes puts some level of strain and fatigue on his throwing arm, you wonder if participating in the WBC might factor into and potentially inhibit Verlander from throwing another 122-pitch October masterpiece, like he had in the deciding game of last year’s ALDS.
Bottom line, I want Verlander being able to give 100 percent for Detroit, which means not chancing an injury by suiting up for Team USA. Corruption, unemployment, rampant obesity: yes, we have our problems in Detroit—I just don’t want to risk adding a Verlander injury to that list before the 2013 season even starts.