I give you guys full permission to label this post as "Click Bait."
I'm not a huge fan of the World Baseball Classic, but I don't hate it either. Don't get me wrong, I'll watch the Canada vs USA game without hesitation, just because... well, I mean, c'mon! It's just otherwise not for me. I get that it expands the game on a more global scale, and this of course is a great thing. But knowing that teams include players that play in the MLB - and to a much smaller scale, the Toronto Blue Jays - I can't help but hold my breath and get a bit anxious about the health of such players. I mean, to some degree I can understand pride and love for one's country and jumping on the opportunity to represent your country while doing what you love. But when we look at the WBC for what it is, it's not hard to come to the conclusion that other than having the whole "Olympics of Baseball" experience, it's otherwise sort of pointless. At least I think so.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't argue with you if you are completely into it and follow your country's team (or even another country!). Actually, I find it admirable. But when the competition for the WBC is pretty high, and players aren't approaching these games as an exhibition, the chance of injury is a little bit higher than it would be if these same players were just partaking in their regularly scheduled Spring Training games and drills. When looking at it that way, I can do without the whole thing, unless it didn't involved Major League players. I don't know many people that would rather see their country win the WBC than their favorite team win the World Series. That being said, is the WBC really worth risking a key contributor for your favorite team getting hurt? Ehhhhh......... Am I that guy if I answer with a "no?" I'm just sayin'....
However, I won't deny that there are some things that the WBC offers that a fan wouldn't be able to otherwise see and, more importantly, appreciate. For instance, how often can we see both a starting pitcher and an everyday right-fielder fielder for the Blue Jays face each other in a (sort of) non-exhibition game? Well, according to Bob Nightengale and Shi Davidi, apparently we'll be able to this Saturday.
Marcus Stroman will start Saturday for Team USA vs the Dominican Republic, followed by Tanner Roark, Jim Leyland says— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 9, 2017
This is something I can get behind.
I mean, don't get me wrong here - this doesn't really mitigate the aforementioned concerns I have regarding the WBC. But it's not like my concerns regarding the whole thing is going to make a lick of a difference. So in that case, I suppose I'll roll with it and make the best of it.
I'd like to believe that both Stroman and Bautista are aware that they will be opposing one another, and that it will be fueled with friendly competition. But, at the same time, it'll be interesting to see just who gets the upper hand. It will also go to show just how much they have paid attention to one another during their time as teammates, in order to have a bit of an advantage. Makes you wonder, would you rather Stroman show some filthy stuff and leave ol' Joey Bats blanked? Or would you rather see Bautista crush one of Stroman's four-seamers into the stands? Ya know, like he did to Team Canada...
These are the questions!
This, alone, makes it worth watching. Well, maybe not all of it, but ya know... this part.
So, ok WBC, ya got me. If there was a game other than Canada vs. USA I was going to watch, it'll definitely be this one. I encourage other Blue Jays fans to do the same.
Ya know, in case you're bored.