Masahiro Tanaka recently announced that he will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic in 2017.
This is great news for the New York Yankees and their fans. Tanaka is the Yankees ace and seeing how his elbow still may be a problem going forward, the less wear and tear he puts on it, the better the long term prospects are.
I have never been a fan of the World Baseball Classic. While bringing baseball and players from many countries around the world together for a tournament is a great idea, using actual MLB players during Spring Training, simply increases work loads on those players as well as increases the injury risk to those players.
I know I would not want a pitcher to run out of gas in September because he threw more in March for what is basically a useless tournament. I know I would hate to lose a player to a season-long or even career-ending injury due to a useless tournament.
Hopefully, the World Baseball Classic is coming to an end, at least from the standpoint of MLB’s involvement. The way to grow the game is through faster games, less commercials and marketing the actual teams and talent on the field, along with trying to get the younger generation interested in the game.
So thank you Masahiro Tanaka for deciding to sit out the WBC! I know Yankees fans around the world are very happy with that news.