I love baseball.
And I love the concept of the World Baseball Classic. Individual countries with rosters made up of predominately major league players playing for the bragging rights of the best country in the world.
Have it all take place during the dog days of Spring Training? All the better.
I've just got one caveat. I don't want a single Red Sox player participating in this glorified exhibition tournament if I can help it. Mike Timlin in 2006 is still too fresh in my mind. I realize Big Papi will more than likely play for the Dominican team and Jason Bay will be wearing the Canadian uniform. (Bay I can get; how many guys playing in the bigs are actually from Canada to begin with?) Papi I sort of understand as well; dude is a Legend in the Dominican and besides, without him they've got Miguel Tejada and Sammy Sosa bugging the crap out of the poor girl who has to answer the phone having to tell them everyday that while they appreciate the sentiment they've got another direction they've decided on.
So it was with great relief I saw where Papelbon, Jacoby, and JD Drew weren't on the American roster. Yeah, Youk and The Munchkin decided to play but this is not a problem, at least in my eyes.
They took the two guys who, if they weren't selected, would have asked to play every Spring Training game anyway and who most likely spent the offseason playing in pick up games wherever they could find them. In Pedie's case he probably went down to the local schoolyard everyday since the ALCS ended and did his best Kelly Leak impression for all the middle school kids hoping to make the JV squad next year.
All in all I'd say the Red Sox should escape the WBC in pretty good shape.
However, if Pedie doesn't win the WBC MVP all bets are more than likely off.
4 hours ago