FanDuel - WFBC

November 07, 2012

Darvish Won't Play in Baseball Classic: Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish will not play for Japan in the World Baseball Classic next year. "After much deliberation, which has included a lot of consultation with my coaches and trainers, I have decided that I will not play," he said. "This was a very difficult decision for me as it is always a tremendous honor to represent my native country of Japan."

posted by rcade to baseball at 08:14 AM - 10 comments

I like his commitment to the Rangers, but playing for your country in the WBC should be something that's expected of the top Major Leaguers.

posted by rcade at 12:14 PM on November 07

The Japanese press is going to be all over him. You think the Boston sports media eats its own? They got nothin'.

posted by ursus_comiter at 01:05 PM on November 07

The Japanese press is going to be all over him.

He's a Ham Fighter. He can take it.

posted by beaverboard at 01:51 PM on November 07

I like his commitment to the Rangers, but playing for your country in the WBC should be something that's expected of the top Major Leaguers.

Why? Playing for a pittance at the expense of perhaps injuring yourself and limiting your ability to earn into the future is a lame expectation. It's not something anyone agrees to when deciding to play baseball as a kid, go to college or sign with the pros, so why anyone should have the expectation put on them after the fact I don't get.

Most people object to things outside of their job description they aren't well compensated for - this is no different.

posted by dfleming at 01:58 PM on November 07

Why?

For the same reason that the best soccer players participate in the World Cup. Baseball is an international sport. Competing internationally helps further its growth and gives the world's fans a chance to see the greats from different leagues face each other.

posted by rcade at 02:05 PM on November 07

For the same reason that the best soccer players participate in the World Cup.

Excellent point.

posted by Folkways at 03:47 PM on November 07

He's a Ham Fighter. He can take it.

He's a fighter, not a Ham Fighter. Nippon Ham is the name of the company that owns the team. Fighters is the team nickname. Just thought I'd clarify.

posted by Mothball at 04:37 PM on November 07

For the same reason that the best soccer players participate in the World Cup. Baseball is an international sport. Competing internationally helps further its growth and gives the world's fans a chance to see the greats from different leagues face each other.

After round 1, the 2005 and 2009 Classics were entirely hosted on U.S. soil. The semi-finals and finals are entirely hosted in the U.S. in 2013. I mean, it's nice to think that this is a treat for international fans, but perhaps actually, you know, hosting the important games internationally might help get people to want to play.

Growing the game internationally is great, but MLB creating and then running a tournament through the IABF largely on its own soil isn't growing it in markets where it's not grown now. Japan has games and a major professional league. Right now, this looks like a money grab after the Olympics kicked baseball out and not wanting to be part of that is pretty reasonable when you aren't making any of the money.

posted by dfleming at 06:50 PM on November 07

Pitching all year around didn't seem to benefit Dice-K much. Didn't he suffer problems during the World Classic that have pretty-much endured to this day?

I can't blame pitchers for not playing. Arm fatigue and potential career-altering injury in the day and age of pitch counts seems to make playing in an event like this ridiculous.

posted by dyams at 07:02 PM on November 07

"He's a Ham Fighter. He can take it."

He's a fighter, not a Ham Fighter. Nippon Ham is the name of the company that owns the team. Fighters is the team nickname. Just thought I'd clarify.

Thanks, Mothball, you beat me to it.

Does anyone recall what happened to Matsuzaka in '09? He injured himself while preparing for the WBC--an injury he didn't reveal to anyone--which contributed to his disastrous '09 season for Boston, all while Boston is paying him in excess of $8 mil. and picking up the tab for his rehabilitation; and probably a major contributing factor to their second-place finish and failure to get past Anaheim in the ALCS. It's not that I don't want to see the best of the best playing in the WBC, but I would certainly understand why MLB teams would not want their players involved.

posted by billinnagoya at 07:14 PM on November 07

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.