One day, the World Baseball Classic will become a such a big deal that all baseball fans will anticipate its arrival with bated breath. Office WBC pools and lavish ceremonies wherein the groups are drawn. “WHO’S IN THE GROUP OF DEATH?”, we will nervously lament, hoping our home country avoids an confrontations with Japan until the final.

But that day is yet to dawn. For now, the groups are sort of pre-set and the roster information trickles out ahead of the official announcement. Teams are understandably jittery about sending their valuable assets humans off to battle away from the prying eyes of in-house medical staffs, but these brave men do it for their country!

Ryan Braun announced his intention to play for the US of A yesterday, and now Troy Tulowitzki says he will don the stars and bars. Wait, Troy Tulowitzki? He’s still alive?

Of course, Troy Tulowitzki is one of the finest baseball players in all the land. It might be difficult to recall the breadth of Tulo’s greatness, as Troy Tulowitzk didn’t play a single Major League baseball game after May 30th. Tulo missed the lion’s share of 2012 with a groin injury, an ailment so severe he “couldn’t lift his leg to tie his shoe”, as Troy Renck of the Denver Post relays.

Missing time due to injury is difficult for most players, hyper-competitive cyborgs who reach the highest levels of the game by combining supernatural physical abilities with an uncommon drive to be the best. That switch has no “off” position. Troy Tulowitzki is no different, and his frustration boiled over in October when his wonky legs refused to cooperate with his aggressive rehab schedule.

Now claiming to be 100% and ready to go, Tulowitzki wants to use the WBC stage to not only represent his country but prove he ain’t no punk.

The biggest thing is that I felt like I was letting my team down. I know there are people who doubt me, thinking I am soft. That only drives me,” said Tulowitzki, who is signed through 2020 with $140 million remaining on his contract. “As an athlete you find things that get you going. I didn’t have to look far. I want to prove people wrong.”

Hey, Tulo. Nobody thinks you’re soft. Sure, you’ve only played more than 150 games twice in your seven year career, but stuff happens. You play a very demanding position at an almost unbelievably high level. Relax.

The Rockies aren’t about to let their $140 million dollar man trot onto the field in the World Baseball Classic to prove a point. In the same DP piece, Tulowitzki acknowledges that playing in the WBC represents an opportunity to play at full speed, one not really afforded by the breezy pace of most Spring Training tilts. A fine point well taken, if we’re being honest.

As a player who finished the season on the disabled list, Tulo must past a physical before he is permitted to play in the WBC. If he is good to go, he is just the sort of talent who makes the WBC exciting.

The best players playing games that matter, even if only in their own minds. In Tulowitzki and the aforementioned Braun, team USA has a roster full of recognizable faces standing poised to be embarrassed by Japan, just like everybody else. An triannual tradition

Comments (6)

  1. I hope that in the future there is somewhy to use the MLBPA collective agreement to ensure that any players that wants to play in the WBC can do so and that teams can’t stop them.
    There are probably a lot of ways to make this work. Maybe the teams are compensated somehow… I dunno.

    • Soccer does it, I don’t see how it is such a big deal for North American sports.

      • Right…. How does Soccer handle that anyway. Is it just that your contract with your team is not “exclusive” or is there more to it?

        anyone know?

        • Soccer’s international governining body matters, is respected/feared, and is in charge of everything.

          Baseball, hockey, football, basketball don’t have an international organization with anywhere near the power of FIFA running the show.

          • But the WBC is MLB sponsored/ supported, n’est pas?
            So the issue would be the balance of power between Bud and the Gang and the individual team owners?

  2. Um I have Tulo in my keeper pool and I’m nervous about this. I wonder how the Rocks feel.

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