Dodgers Catcher Austin Barnes Defends World Baseball Classic Amid Controversy

Whenever the brightest stars of any professional sport decide to partake in an event, there is bound to be critics analyzing every move they make. This year’s World Baseball Classic has had an amazing turnout of talented players from every country sign up and compete.

There is not a whole lot that can be compared to the feeling of throwing on a jersey with your home country spelled out across and knowing that you are representing them with the sport you love. Similar to other international competitions, the WBC only takes place every four years and it makes the winner of each tournament that much more special. However, there is one big problem surrounding it right now that is hard for fans to ignore.

It’s been amazing to watch a number of our Boys in Blue hit the field these past couple of weeks and showcase what they will bring to Dodger Stadium this season. Unfortunately, due to everybody playing at their highest level and the MLB season lingering just around the corner, athletes from a number of countries’ teams will not be able to suit up this year due to some serious injuries.

There has been an uproar against the WBC following a knee injury to Puerto Rico’s Edwin Diaz and Venezuela’s Jose Altuve who is out indefinitely after getting hit by a pitch and suffering a broken thumb. Certain people do not understand why this competition is placed right before official games start and argue it poses a big risk of these types of injuries happening.

It has been the players themselves who have stepped forward and shut down any talks of them agreeing with such opinions. Just like when they take the field at any time with their MLB squads, the possibility of getting hurt is always there and they are solely focused on trying to honor the country they are from in the WBC.

Austin Barnes, who is suiting up for Mexico in the WBC, has spoken out in support of the tournament per Jose Castillo of the LA Times.

“I think this tournament’s a great idea. For baseball worldwide, there’s nothing better. Besides the World Series, the atmosphere is like none other. The people saying this is a stupid thing, I don’t think they understand how much it means to everybody around here”

(Per Jorge Castillo)

At the end of the day, these athletes are going to what they do best and that is try and win baseball games. There will be always be injury concerns in the back of their head, and some more than others, but the same risks pose themselves in Spring Training and we’ve seen plenty happen this year.

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Noel Sanchez

Noel has a deep passion for sports and content creation. He is a huge fan of all Los Angeles teams and is currently pursuing a B.A. in Multi-Media Journalism at Cal Poly Pomona.

One Comment

  1. They play in the WBC because they want to, not because they have to. Nobody is bending their arm back. This will make Baseball bigger throughout the world.

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