World! Baseball! Classic! Don’t play it!

DMZ · February 24, 2009 at 9:58 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s didn’t want Beltre to play, but it looks like he might have. But maybe not. Meanwhile, Ichiro! will play for Japan along with Johjima, Greg Halman plays for the Netherlands (wooo! Netherlands!) and Phillipe Aumont’s pitching for Canada (I’m definitely going to see if I can watch that). But the Venezuela contingent is huge: Felix will pitch, the new, slimmer Carlos Silva will attempt to pitch, and Jose Lopez and Endy Chavez will play.

But the question on everyone’s mind: WHAT EFFECT WILL THIS HAVE ON CLUBHOUSE CHEMISTRY!!!!!???????

From the same PI piece:

“What we’re trying to do here in bringing these guys together a little bit and create the work ethic, obviously not having those guys here … you always like to control your own destiny, and with them not here they’re a little bit removed from that,” Wakamatsu said.

Feel free to interpret that as you will.


26 Responses to “World! Baseball! Classic! Don’t play it!”

  1. CMC_Stags on February 24th, 2009 10:05 pm

    Interpretation = sour grapes.

    I understand that Wakamatsu would like to have his whole team together for his first Spring Training. But being such a persistent nag about players playing for their home countries doesn’t seem like a good way to build a strong rapport with any of the International players who are playing for their home countries.

    A better tack might have been to tell the players that the M’s are glad they are considered the best from their nation and had been asked to compete in the WBC. If the players felt that was the best use of their time in the spring, then the team would fully support them. The coaching staff then could have used the last week (and more for those players who came in early) to lay a groundwork for when they return to the team.

    Then again, Wakamatsu knows more about baseball than I ever will… But this just seems like a case study in “How to create barriers between you and your employees” from the Howard Schultz school of mismanagement.

  2. msb on February 24th, 2009 10:14 pm

    as I understand it, Beltre’s name is on the roster because it is easier to take him off than to add him later. He was talking about horn torn he felt this afternoon, saying that he really has no idea how he would feel physically in game situations, and so that was slowing down his decision-making

  3. hansk on February 24th, 2009 10:20 pm


    As a Dutch person I am curious. Why do you say “(wooo! Netherlans!)”?

  4. TomTuttle on February 24th, 2009 10:22 pm

    This just shows why the WBC needs to be in late October/early November rather than in March.

    It’s stupid to make people choose whether or not they want to play for their country or play in spring training games.

    It’s really not that hard of a solution:

    *Reduce the season to 150 games regardless of whether or not there will be a WBC that year, which cuts it back two weeks.

    *Have a bye week between the World Series and WBC

    *Play a 2-3 week, 16-team tournament every 4 years
    for the WBC.

    Problem solved.

  5. DMZ on February 24th, 2009 10:25 pm

    I was in the Netherlands a couple months ago and loved it. I’m a fan.

  6. Breadbaker on February 24th, 2009 10:27 pm

    The real problem is the stupid timing of the WBC. I don’t consider this about some kind of elusive chemistry, but it does interfere with Wakamatsu’s ability to infuse his way of playing on the entire roster at the same time. If you’ve ever worked on a team that is doing something new (introducing a new computer program at work) and had someone miss the first couple of classes, you’ll understand what the downside here is for the M’s. And it’s not like we’re talking about a team of All Stars here who are entitled to just play their way. I understand Wakamatsu’s frustration, though I agree with CMC_Stags that bitching about it isn’t going to change anything.

  7. Conor on February 24th, 2009 10:41 pm

    Grover’s managing Italy

  8. Paul L on February 24th, 2009 11:59 pm

    Guess who is listed as one of the top five people who need to skip the WBC at The Sporting News?

    Ichiro Suzuki. With a new manager and questions about his character, Ichiro’s time would be better spent bonding with his Mariners’ teammates.

  9. joser on February 25th, 2009 12:13 am

    They’re not going to 150 games. You might be able to make a case for 154, since that’s what the schedule used to have, but they’re not going to do that either. Dave suggests using it to replace the fairly-silly All Star game (packing it down to a one-week single mid-season elimination tournament) but that has its own problems. I like the WBC, but I just can’t see it working well no matter when you schedule it.

  10. Tek Jansen on February 25th, 2009 4:01 am

    “Ichiro Suzuki. With a new manager and questions about his character, Ichiro’s time would be better spent bonding with his Mariners’ teammates.”

    Absolutely. Ichiro could invite Silva to In-N-Out Burger for four triple/triples.

  11. Mike Snow on February 25th, 2009 7:51 am

    I like the WBC, but I just can’t see it working well no matter when you schedule it.

    I think it’s great where it is. The only issue might be that pitchers aren’t really stretched out, but what else is a full bullpen for when you only have a handful of games? And it’s much more entertaining to have real, meaningful contests rather than spring training exhibitions.

  12. Tek Jansen on February 25th, 2009 7:56 am

    What really bothers me about Wakamatsu’s quote, and the sentiments of others from various teams, is that MLB is backing the WBC. So the Commissioner’s office, whose salary is paid for by the owners of all the clubs is telling players that this is a great event and tournament, yet the teams affiliated with MLB are telling the players the opposite. In effect, MLB has created a tournament in which it wants top players to participate, but if the players do participate then their MLB clubs will be upset.

  13. bakomariner on February 25th, 2009 8:56 am

    I’m worried Aumont will get hurt…at least they are only using him as a reliever…

  14. joser on February 25th, 2009 8:59 am

    Yeah, it’s pretty schizophrenic. But I think you’re seeing a conflict between short- and long-term greed by MLB (aka the owners). In the short run, they want to protect their players. In the long run, they want to expand baseball’s marketing reach in the rest of the world, and especially to China (which is still viewed as a lucrative virgin ground for American pro sports). Hence the mixed messages.

  15. Evan on February 25th, 2009 9:01 am

    I hate the WBC. It creates too much risk for the players.

    I’d like to see the Mariners start putting bonuses for failing to play in the WBC in their standard contract.

  16. jwytt on February 25th, 2009 9:04 am

    I don’t think any team denies how great the WBC can be for MLB. What they worry about is their multi-million dollar investments into players who could get beat up during the tournament. Its an issue of which goal is better for the individual team…long term revenue due to an expanded global market, or someone like Ichiro going down for a season with a broken leg because of a freak accident @ the WBC.

    (btw, first time long time. howdy ya’ll)

  17. micahjr on February 25th, 2009 9:54 am

    I think this is a real boon for the Mariners. They get to take extended looks at some of their fringe players that they wouldn’t get to otherwise. Endy Chavez playing for Venezuela is an especially nice boon. We get to see if Wlad can be taught to field LF, and Johjima playing helps cement Clement in the battery.

    Wak needs to stop complaining. It will also give Morrow and RRS more opportunities to show us what they got.

    Anybody look at the US outfield? It’s horrible! Only Sizemore can field. The infield could be good or terrible. It all depends on who they put up the middle. Jeter will probably get to start, which is retarded.

  18. Kazinski on February 25th, 2009 1:11 pm

    For anybody that isn’t a big fan of the WBC I’ve got one word for you:


    He’s one of four outfielders on the Australian roster.

  19. bratman on February 25th, 2009 2:31 pm

    Is Junior playing for the United States?

  20. joser on February 25th, 2009 3:47 pm

    No. Even if they asked, I don’t think the Mariners, or his knee, would allow it.

  21. micahjr on February 25th, 2009 3:53 pm

    Nice joke bratman. One of the outfielders got a “DH gold glove” which somebody, can’t remember who, made up to signify the worst fielder that is allowed to start, the fielder who would give the greatest advantage by being made DH.

  22. Auggeydog on February 25th, 2009 10:53 pm

    So can anyone tell me if Silva got hurt playing in the WBC would we still be liable for his contract or would the M’s get a lucky break? Maybe that would be a way to get out of the contract and open a spot for a younger talented pitcher.

  23. DMZ on February 25th, 2009 10:56 pm

    If his contract’s insured, they get the money back.

  24. westcoastseattleboy23 on February 26th, 2009 12:40 pm

    I’m sure most of us living in the Seattle area have seen a Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball game or two this year, and have seen how their closeness and friendship off the court has contributed to their gameplay and teamwork. What will it take for the Mariners to form something close to this? How much will Griffey bring the team together? How can they put aside their differences and form bonds that surpass wearing the same uniforms 162 times each year?

  25. DMZ on February 26th, 2009 1:05 pm

    And does it matter?

  26. westcoastseattleboy23 on February 26th, 2009 1:51 pm

    Of course it matters! I wouldn’t mind a team that could put up a winning season and has clubhouse problems that make the team a joke in Major League Baseball.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.