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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Will WBC ruin Mets' season?

HOW MANY PITCHES WILL YOUR $36M STARTER THROW?

WILL YOUR NEW $37M CLOSER BE ASKED TO THROW ANOTHER FOUR-OUT SAVE?

TUNE IN TO THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC TO SEE MLB PLAY RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH YOUR STARS

DON'T DELAY! AT THE RATE THESE PITCHERS ARE BEING OVERUSED, YOU MAY NOT HAVE THE SAME CHANCE TO SEE THEM AT THEIR BEST DURING THE REGULAR SEASON!

There are some people who only watch a NASCAR race to see if there will be a crash. I wouldn't put it past Bud Selig to adopt a similar cynical marketing campaign for the World Baseball Classic.

Or is baseball so cynical that, now that Oliver Perez and Francisco Rodriguez have landed their guaranteed long-term contracts, it doesn't matter if they get hurt?

As Metsblog points out, Oliver Perez threw 85 pitches in his last game - after throwing 65 pitches the game before. Weren't there supposed to be pitch counts in the WBC?

This on top of K-Rod being asked to make not one, but two four-out saves, after making NONE all last season, according to the Post. In other words, the Angels, knowing that K-Rod was in his walk year and was likely to leave the team, protected his arm more than the WBC is doing.

The most disturbing thing, also from the Post article (and also highlighted in The Mets Police):

USA Today reported last week that its own study showed nearly four of every five pitchers in the 2006 WBC recorded a higher ERA that season than the previous year. Even more ominously: More than one in three WBC pitching veterans spent time on the disabled list in '06, including 14 who landed on it in April and May.

I'm not even going to get into David Wright getting kneed in the head and feeling dizzy afterwards. After all, Ryan Church suffered his first concussion last year during a Grapefruit League game.

At least, according to Kevin Kernan, the WBC news is not all bad for the Mets. Carlos Beltran is having a great tournament. And K-Rod threw only 20 pitches in his last save and said "I'm not going to put my future at risk at all... I feel tremendous. If I feel like I can, I will. If I cannot do it I will not do it."

I hope he's right. But if something happens to K-Rod, at least the Mets have a good backup closer this year. Oh, wait, J.J. Putz is in the WBC, too.

This tournament can't end soon enough.

What do you think of the WBC?

3 comments:

Metstradamus said...

Jon,

I kinda warmed up to the tournament during the first round where the Netherlands was performing their miracle against the D.R. But these little nicks and cuts are scary. I still can't get over my cynicism about why this tournament exists ... I believe it was done by Bud Selig FOR Bud Selig, or at least the legacy of Bud Selig, and that it was less about growing the game internationally.

And on Ollie, the pitch limit actually goes up in the second round, and up again when the tournament reaches the final stage. I think it goes like this: 70 for the first round, 90 for the second, 100 for the final. Either that or 70/80/90.

Anonymous said...

I am getting sick of reading whiny posts from hack sports bloggers about how terrible the WBC is. To suggest that the "MLB PLAY's RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH it's STARS" just makes me think you are out of touch with reality. These are professional athlete's that have played in hundreds of games. The idea that they are going to be injured and their careers ruined during a 3 week tournament is absurd. Can injuries not happen during spring training,cooking dinner, driving a car or even taking a shower?
What the MLB is doing is show casing its stars. The WBC will inspire countless kids all over the WORLD to try to be like Beltran, Felix Hernandez, Ichiro or any of the 200+ classic players, ensuring that the game continues to grow on a global scale now and in the future. It also generates millions of dollars for the league which also makes the game better in terms of development and the quality of the product they field. This doom and gloom mentally of yours seems selfish, are the Mets the only team with players in the WBC? Or do you only want American born players in the Bigs?

Symphony said...

The WBC isn't helping promote baseball where it needs it the most. In the US where great young athletes want nothing to do with baseball.

What channel was the US v. PR game on last night? Did I not flip through enough channels to find it and gave up too soon?