As the World Baseball Class is coming to an end and the regular season is approaching its time for the game that counts. As players participate to represent their country it is evident that it is pride that overwhelms them. However, it is all fun for the athlete to play with others that share the same culture, but for management it is a risk.
These players are humans. Yes. In the eyes of the organization, an athlete may suffer an injury and become a loss for them throughout the weeks it takes for them to recover. When it comes to this it is safe to say that the player can not be stopped from representing their home team, but with multi-million dollars left in contract in some of these cases it is a risky decision to watch.
Now you may say that if they do not participate they will still be playing during Spring Training. The major difference is the type of play that occurs. In the WBC it is full speed, which in many of these players in the MLB are not ready for since they have not been practicing all year. As for Spring Training it is much more slower in a sense. It is not as competitive and majority of the time a player has days off during the week as well as play partially in the game. This creates a lot of stress for the general manager because it is the team’s problem if any injuries occur.
On March 11, 2017 Salvador Perez of The Kansas City Royals was injured when he was involved in a collision. Drew Butera was rounding third and heading home, which could be seen as an easy out. He slid trying to get between Perez’s legs and ended up banged into his left leg. Needing assistance leaving the field it left the fans and managers uncertain his status.
Yankees also received bad news in the same week regarding Didi Gregorius. The Yankees shortstop injured his throwing shoulder that resulted in his withdrawal from playing with the Netherlands in the final round during the WBC. According to ESPN, “A preliminary MRI revealed that Gregorius has a hematoma of the subscapularis muscle in his right shoulder,” said Joe Girardi.
These two cases happened recently and are just statistics for the amount of injuries that occur when baseball players participate in other sporting events. It is hard to swallow for the manager knowing your player suffered an injury because it limits the flexibility on the roster. In the end it is something that you hope does not affect your team.