The Edwin Diaz injury is going to hurt for a while. It’s a cat scratch, stubbed toe, and forgotten birthday by a loved one all rolled into a single event. New York Mets fans have reacted in a variety of ways. The latest reaction is to what Francisco Lindor had to say about the World Baseball Classic.
The reactions are mixed and on complete opposite sides of neutrality. You either accept the World Baseball Classic means something to these players or the Diaz injury has convinced you enough is enough. Which side are you on?
Mets fans are divided after seeing what Francisco Lindor had to say about the World Baseball Classic
There isn’t any right or wrong here because unless you are one of the participants you’ll never really know what it means to represent your country or territory. Most of us gave up on our Olympic dreams sometime around sixth grade when we stopped getting taller and began to finish last in every gym class race.
The problem with the World Baseball Classic right now is that it’s far more World Baseball than it is Classic. The tournament began in 2006. For players like Lindor, it’s something they grew up watching. For many older fans of the game, it’s probably never going to catch on. It’s just not something we grew up caring about or taking any pride in.
The World Baseball Classic has a far greater international appeal than it does for the average United States resident who has gotten used to cheering on teams of people from all over the planet, maybe beyond if you take a closer look at how some players behave. You cannot convince me some of these guys are earthlings. Regardless of where each comes from, there is a different mentality with these athletes when it comes to representing their homelands.
International sports, in general, don’t sell well in the United States. The Olympics aren’t nearly as popular as they used to be. The World Cup will never become a major event in this country no matter how many seasons of Ted Lasso they put out to convince people to give soccer a try.
When it comes to Lindor’s defense, it’s something not everyone can understand. That’s perfectly fine. I’m not one of those who can but I can appreciate what it means to him and everyone else participating in the tournament.
The Diaz injury was unfortunate and as freakish as it was, ending something a lot of people enjoy would be a mistake. I don’t like it one bit nor do I really care about the outcome. You’re entirely right to think it’s a bad idea to play in a tournament like this before a 162 marathon begins. You’re not wrong if you think the WBC does matter.
Lindor’s mistake is waiving his Miranda Rights. He’s being honest, which we can all appreciate. But to say the WBC matters as much as the regular season is a slap in the face to Mets fans who are locked in every day and showing up to the games. For those who don’t care about the WBC, it almost feels like the regular season doesn’t matter much at all. This wasn’t Lindor’s intention. It’s just the way this comes across for everyone who sees this as an exhibition.
There is no winning this battle. If Diaz hurt his hand signing an autograph, would we call for the banishment of pens? I could do without the World Baseball Classic. I can appreciate how much it means to those who feel it represents more. Let's spend the next few years after this tournament trying to figure out a way to make it better.