Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Fightins' and the WBC

I guess I'll kick this thing off.

I'll be blogging about the Philadelphia Phillies, and I wanted to start by discussing the members of the Phils who turned down invitations to participate in the World Baseball Classic.

To me, the ideal situation regarding your favorite team and the WBC is to have players turn down spots. That means they are good enough to participate, yet they are not going to get hurt playing in a glorified exhibition.

Brad Lidge, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard all withdrew themselves from consideration to play for Team USA.

The Phils are still well-represented in the event, with Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino playing for the U.S., Carlos Ruiz playing for Panama, J.C. Romero pitching for Puerto Rico and Matt Stairs playing for Canada.

But the Phils' four marquee names are sitting out, and that's for the best.

You don't want Lidge or Hamels blowing out his arm in March, you don't want to see Utley rush back from his hip injury before he's ready, and you don't really need to see Howard over-exert himself either.

Let everybody else's stars tire themselves out in the WBC. The games are entertaining enough that you don't need to see the players from your preferred teams to make them worth watching.

The Phils will be ready to go April 5.


  1. Have to disagree with you here, man. The USA could really use Cole Hamels as we enter the semis and (if Peavy and Oswalt don't self-destruct) finals. My post from today wasn't intended as a response, but the counter argument is definitely in there. And you can't tell me you wouldn't burst your little red pinstripes if Cole Hamels pitched his way to a WBC MVP trophy to put next to his World Series joint.

  2. Well seeing as how Hamels apparently can't even handle his basic spring throwing program and likely won't be ready for opening day, I don't think he would have been of much use for the USA.
    His arm troubles both prove and disprove my argument at the same time. On one hand, you hate to see guys get overworked in March. On the other hand, Hamels skipped the WBC and still got hurt, so touche.