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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I understand that we’re supposed to be all-in on the World Baseball Classic and that players who don’t take it seriously have the wrong attitude and are otherwise “idle heroes,” but I’m sorry: if a general manager for a baseball team is saying that participating in it is going to have negative implications for you, you should not be playing in the WBC. If I’m Martinez’s agent I have him call the Spanish manager, say “smell you later,” and make sure my client’s butt is in Osceola County Stadium from the first day of Spring Training until the team breaks camp so as to give him the best chance to win a job.
Calcaterra makes a lot of good arguments. Read also the quote from Jeff Luhnow via astros.com writer Brian McTaggart:
“The big challenge is … a guy like Fernando Martinez, who’s trying to make our club, [being] gone for an extended period of time. I think that potentially hurts him, even if he does well in the Classic,” Luhnow said. “It hurts him because he’s not there with our coaches, being seen firsthand. It makes it a little bit more difficult. The fact he’s playing for Spain means he’s not going to be gone the whole month. Nothing against Spain, but they’re not likely to make it past the first round.”
The WBC is Bud Selig’s baby, but no matter how badly he wants it to work, his modus operandi has always been to take what he can get and push for more later. And in this case, “what he can get” equates to the situation we have now where it is in most players’ best interest not to play in the WBC.
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