Wright to play for Team USA ….

WRIGHT: To play for Team USA. PHOTO: Mets

WRIGHT: To play for Team USA. PHOTO: Mets

After Alex Rodriguez opted to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic this spring, and with Chipper Jones expected to be the DH, third base opened up for David Wright. Team USA will have an all-New York left side of the infield with the Yankees’ Derek Jeter at shortstop.

Wright will likely be the only Met playing for Team USA, but the Mets could also send Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado (Puerto Rico), Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez (Venezuela), and Jose Reyes (Dominican Republic).

I found it interesting that Phillies Ryan Howard, Brad Lidge and Cole Hamels said they preferred getting their work in during spring training and preparing for the season to play for the team that pays them. Yankees’ CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett said the same thing.

Yes, I am well aware a player can get hurt anywhere, but I’m especially wary about pitchers throwing in game conditions that early in the spring. But, that’s just me. Does anybody have a problem with players leaving teams during spring training to prepare for the WBC and exposing themselves to injury.

26 thoughts on “Wright to play for Team USA ….

  1. What can playing in these things do other than wear them out or hurt them?

    I understand that for the latin players it may be a big deal for their country to see them play together, but for USA, does anyone really care?

    I don’t.

  2. The position players I don’t mind as much. But for pitchers, it scares the hell out of me.

    I really hope Santana doesn’t do this.

  3. I don’t understand the concern …. what’s the difference between pitching 3 innings in a WBC game vs. pitching 3 innings in a spring training game?

    I am not trying to be sarcastic by any means, I just am not as concerned as some others over this.

  4. (4) Because pitching in spring training games, when guys are tuning up for the season, is a helluva lot different than pitching for your country.

    These guys who participate are not going to half-ass it…they’re going to go all out. I don’t need Johan Santana trying to fire 92-93 mph fastballs in the first week of March.

    It just scares me.

  5. as mrmet0805 says. expectations. they should be going one inning and who cares if they get hit?

    in a game played for your country for your honor where you go home and will hear about it..

  6. I remember a lot of pitchers getting hurt last time. Maybe this time around they will start throwing a few weeks before the tournament starts to get loose.

  7. I saw the first WBC and never even gave the health of the players a thought. It’s like the Olympics – you play for your country. Glad to hear David is going – he and Jeter will be great representatives for the USA.

  8. It’s an unnecessary risk.

    The WBC is not the Olympics, no matter what how much MLB wants it to be. These players have an obligation to their employers.

    The Olympics are a completely separate entity, IMO.

  9. i dont love it but i can’t say i hate my favorite met saying he wants to represent his country. Good for David…too bad many other players feel it is unnecessary

  10. There’s nothing wrong with the premise. But, with the salary these guys are making, I wouldn’t want them to take the risk. Especially the pitchers. There are only so many pitches in an arm. … There is something to be said for representing your country, and the players from other countries take it seriously. They play full speed. They throw hard. Yeah, I can see a guy like K-Rod muscle up on a pitch and hurting something.-JD

  11. Since major league players can’t perform in the Olympics, then this is their only chance to repreent their country. Representing your country is the highest honor one can receive in his/her field and is something most of us will never have the chance to do. Great organizations like the Mets surely can develop a pitching regimen to reduce the risk. Or aren’t they that good?

  12. Don’t like it…don’t like it one bit. If they want to have a tourney, take All-Star week off and do it then.

    As for Santana, I heard that Venezuela treated them so badly last time (no hotels, no food, no money for unis), that he’s not doing it this time.

  13. Agree, play it in July.. But how many will then complain that the season will end too late. Or to those that will want to shorten it… do you think Wilpon, Steinbrenner etc will give up a few gates?

  14. A little off topic. MLB Home Plate on XM is reporting that Mets are in “deep negotiation” with Lowes agent

  15. I’m not the greatest expert on soccer but is there a player in the world who would refuse to play in the World Cup for their country? I don’t think so. I think the WBC is a good idea. It may not mean that much right now but sometimes these things take time to grow.
    Hooray for Wright, Jeter, A Fraud, Ichiro, Ortiz, even Chipper, who play for their countries. It’s not one of these meaningless things like the NBA Dream Team in 1992. Japan and Cuba were in the finals 4 years ago, it could easily be two different teams this year. I’m looking forward to this.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Feast of Saturnalia, whatever holidays to all Mets fans out there!

  16. The WBC is not the Olympics.

    The Olympics isn’t the Olympics either.

    Not when you have ‘professional’ players mixing with amateur and all the sponsor money,drugs and all. It’s a sham and I don’t pay much attention to it anymore.

    If they want to have a WBC they should do what ChiliGTC says above, suspend the season for a few weeks and let them have at it. This way they are all in shape and can do their thing.

    Baseball of course won’t go for it because they will lose major $$. I doubt the players will too because they may not get paid during that time..

    As some have suggested above. What will the reaction be if KRod goes into the WBC and blows out his arm so we lose our closer playing in something we really don’t want him to?

    Do we start blaming Minaya for yet another disappointing season? What if our ace gets hurt?

    The expectations of NY are enormous.

    This is just stupid.

  17. Dan Gurney (16)

    The difference is that all club teams around the world give up their players during the Cup to allow them to participate.

    Baseball is not doing the same. They started this thing to ‘grow’ the sport but will not support it in the same way.

    You want it to be a world event every 2 years or whatever? Fine. You want it to be a friendly national rivalry? Fine. Do it during the season. Let it run for a month or so. Continue playing your games and have some teams lose games they may not have.

    That ain’t gonna happen. It is a side show for them. If they are serious they should put their money where their mouths are and do it at midseason. Either suspend baseball so the standings don’t get hurt or just play on.

    Either way…

  18. dave: Your Olympics complaint are very old and incorrect. There have been drugs in the Olympics since the Cold War started. The teting is better so the result are fairer then they used to be.
    Adding the pros has made the Olympics better not worse, since there were always pros under phony jobs in some countries it now is on even keel. Hockey and Basketball have only benefitted world wide by having everyone in it.
    Baseball is no longer in Olympics because mlb wouldn’t suspend the season. So pre or post season is only option left.
    The injury line is bogus in my opinion. Guys get hurt all the time. It seems it is a function of fan greed. My guy might get hurt. Well what when they get hurt in the season, in Winter ball, in the backyard, Guys will get hurt anywhere.
    What will the reaction be if KRod got hurt? In Queens fans would whine, in the rest of the country nobody would care. If Utley were to get hurt they’d whine in Philly but in Queens? hardly…. Did Met fans whine when Utley had surgery and will be out for a while not during the WBC…
    Fact is getting the world involved in baseball is good for the game.
    There was a time when only white guys could play, and many were upset when the color line was broke. Now all the America’s and Japan and Korea are flooding the game and Europeans are starting to come and guy from India were just signed. It all only makes for a better game. The past wasn’t the best in many respects….. In baseball or the Olympics.
    Happy holidays.

  19. Harry

    The injury thing is not bogus because these guys are just warming up but they are ‘playing for real’.

    This is not a midseason event, it is a preseason event. It should be midseason like soccer.

    I agree about the players tho. No one rooting for another team will care about some player being hurt. However, in the past teams have forbade players from participating.

    Personally I don’t think the Mets’ players should go. Not unless the players and the owners can agree to do this midseason as has been proposed.

    It may grow the sport if they do it right. I am surprised at the Indian players. Didn’t know they played ball there. Thought cricket was the thing. I have never heard of any Europeans playing baseball, but what do I know? I only know the boys from Queens.

    As for the Olympics, it is not about competition and excellence in athletics. It is about money. I ignore the games except for the sports that the US media ignores.

    Back to injuries. If a player does something stupid in the offseason and gets hurt, they risk voiding their contract. In winter ball, the team has sign off or tells them to play to work on their game. No team that I know of is saying go play in WBC. The player is doing it for their own reason which is fine. But most teams probably don’t want them to play.

  20. WBC was created by MLB and is run by MLB. At least a majority of teams mut have signed off in agreement, no?
    We can argue the injury point forever so….2 points only…It seems that the difference between Spring training outing and WBC is intensity. The spring game a guy might work on a new pitch, might not throw his curve ball… So have the pitchers start a bit early like suggested above. They are on absolute pitch count, even to the middle of an at bat. If it were in July would people complain non WBC pitchers were at risk from not being in comptetition for two weeks?
    The Marlin have a guy from Holland, Rik Vandenhurk (?). The Pirates signed two guys from India who were in a pitching control contest. Baseball needs to make this work or it could have the same problem worldwide it ha in the US, namely talented athletes looking to other sports as firt choice.

  21. Happy holidays to you too dave and DELCOS and Sadecki and Annie and whatever happened to Mike C the only guy who I could say made me look very positive about Minaya and co, happy holidays to him to and Steve the original and Steve C etc……

  22. Harry (24)

    Thanks for the Holiday Greetings and I’d like to pass them along to all of you who make this blog The Place for Mets fans to meet and greet year round. Thanks for all your posts, suggestions and ideas. Baseball lives here.