The World Baseball Classic: Is it the right time?


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MIAMI, FL – MARCH 12: Edinson Volquez #37 of the Dominican Republic pitches during a World Baseball Classic second round game against Italy at Marlins Park on March 12, 2013 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

What is the big time show that everyone needs in order to get through the end of winter? In just a matter of weeks, the World Baseball Classic is coming to televisions near you. It’s a highly anticipated event, being compared to the Olympics. However, the big question on everyone’s mind is: Is the timing right?

With the regular season of the MLB turning the corner, spring training and the preseason are even closer. The World Baseball Classic is a major interruption for players and teams of the MLB. For any player choosing to perform at this event, he would have to abandon his MLB team during the essential parts of the preseason, leaving him and the entirety of his team at a major disadvantage.

We all know that part of the preseason is meant for the players to get back into the groove of the game and get prepared for the regular season, which is occurring during the WBC, but another integral part is to begin building team bonds and chemistry. The entire month of spring training is a time for all players of an organization to get in game experience, not just to improve their games, but to learn how to play with their teammates and how the team can perform at its peak potential. Unfortunately, that process is being stripped away by the WBC because players are not able to get back with their teams until two weeks before opening day. That gives all of the cards to the teams who kept all players from going.

An even bigger risk for teams is the chance of losing a player to an injury. There are nineteen days of games in the WBL tournament, which means nineteen days of perhaps losing to the odds of getting sent to the injured reserve for some, or even all, of the upcoming MLB season. Losing a key player for potentially an entire season would be detrimental to an organization, so most teams advise against their players choosing to go. However, the option is ultimately solely in the hands of the players.

With all of this being said, we will have to wait and see what players will choose. Will it be more important and sentimental to compete for their countries on an international level, or will it be more important to properly prepare for the team in which has given them a contract? Regardless, the World Baseball Classic will undoubtedly be a grand event no matter which decision has been made.