The 2013 World Baseball Classic kicks off the start to the baseball season. This four-year tradition sparks up controversy each year. Should regular season teammates have to play each other?
The Detroit Tigers have three players who will take part in the event. Pitchers Miguel Cabrera and Anibal Sanchez will both play for Venezuela. Octavio Dotel is playing for the Dominican Republic.
The Tigers teammates will go head to head in their opening game when Venezuela and the Dominican Republic play each other Thursday, March 7, at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Cabrera told Detroit Free Press, “Everybody is talking about how we are going to do in the World Classic, how we are going to play. It’s good pressure. It’s more national pride. We have to beat the Dominican, we have to beat Puerto Rico, USA, Cuba, too.”
Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland is not thrilled about the World Classic. “It is what it is,”he said.
“I think the concept [the Classic] is a brilliant idea by the Commissioner, but it can get things out of whack a little bit,” said Leyland.
One major drawback of playing in the World Baseball Classic is the initial “wear and tear” done on pitchers and catchers, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The World Baseball Classic begins on March 2 and will be televised on MLB Network-the exclusive English-language partner in the United States.