Putting the well-being of themselves and their team ahead of Major League Baseballâ€™s suspect new marketing event, Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle and second baseman Tadahito Iguchi wisely decided to say "thanks, but no thanks" to the inaugural World Baseball Classic this spring.
Buehrle, who was slated to pitch for the United States, revealed his change of plans on WSCR-AM 670â€™s â€œWhite Sox Weeklyâ€ radio program, while Iguchi, asked to play with Japan, relayed his decision to Japanâ€™s Kyodo News.
This is great news for Sox fans as Buehrle and Iguchi, key contributors to 2005â€™s championship (to say the least), will now be able to devote their entire spring to the Soxâ€”working with their own coaches and teammates at their own pace. That means less risk of injury and more concentration on the big task at hand: a World Series repeat.
Cloaked in phony patriotism, the World Baseball Classic is a contrived money-making scheme with no real relevance. The sooner it ends, and Major Leaguers can return to Spring Training, the better every Major League team, including the Sox, will be.
Now if we could only get Freddy Garcia and Javier Vazquez out of this thing also. Garcia especially is at risk for injury, considering his huge work load last season and the fatigue he has shown at the end of 2004 and 2005. The less work those two put on their arms in March, the better their pennant push starts will be in September and October.
Come on guys, just tell â€™em your dad has you doing housework so you wonâ€™t be able to make it. Always worked for me.
One other piece of news from the WBC: the event may lose its sanction if Cuba is not allowed to participate, so you can add â€œinternational politicsâ€ to the list of WBC controversies. Thereâ€™s a chance the tournament would be cancelled altogether if denied the sanction.