Credit: AP/Alan Diaz
According to his representatives, Felix Hernandez is going to pass on the World Baseball Classic because of his impending contract deal (5 year extension worth $135.5M by most reports). At first glance, you might think it was part of the agreement for him to not pitch. But in reality, there are still details of the deal to be worked out, and the Hernandez camp does not want to risk the agreed-to money by participating in the tournament.
The former Cy Young Award winner is coming off another All Star campaign in which he tossed a Perfect Game. Certainly one of the more impressive stats for Felix is that he is still only 26 and has thrown four straight seasons of 33 starts and 230 innings or more. But you would hate to have some WBC stress lead to anything bad for his potential Hall of Fame career.
This blog may have to reshuffle initial projects that had Venezuela bringing home the hardware. Which was, indeed, based upon Hernandez ability to win the big games with Venezuela stacking their rotation accordingly.
Unfortunately, it’s another “ding” in an imperfect system for this tournament. There’s no good time of year to have it, too many stars skip out (it just hasn’t reached soccer or rugby world cup status yet in terms of glory for country).
I hope that one day, all the best players come out and represent their country and we can get a true measure of world baseball talent as well as a darn entertaining show!
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