Fantasy Baseball Fans—Beware of the WBC players in your drafts.

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Fantasy Baseball Fans—Beware of the WBC players in your drafts.

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By Bill Smith

Note to readers: Niblets will return next Saturday.

There are two reasons that you should shy away from drafting WBC participants. We have seen the list of injuries that key players have sustained. As bad as those injuries are, they may represent just the sales tax on the costs to teams that allowed their players to participate.

First, there is a much higher chance of injury than a given player would have had he not played in the WBC. The level of competition was way too high way too soon. They did not have the usual slow process of most springs working into game shape. That lack of warm up time and intensity of competition against national teams that were ready for the games will show up in mid season injuries.

Be particularly careful drafting pitchers that were in the WBC. The usual spring pitch count limit in the first 2 or 3 appearances for starters is 30-50. Some WBC starters went 100 to 120 pitches in game conditions not in the laid back or laid out games of spring training. That is a prescription for injury later in the season.

The second risk is reduced production. Success in the WBC should not be used as an indication of a great season or even an average year. In most cases the pitching of WBC teams is far below MLB regular season levels. The hitters are also not facing MLB quality pitching either. WBC stats should be ignored. They are less reliable than spring training stats which are useless in projecting regular season performance.

So, for players in the WBC, it is Buyer Beware! The team you save will be your own along with a good measure of sanity.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: wbc,World Baseball Classic,Fantasy Baseball,Major League Baseball,MLB,injuries,pitchers,pitch count,spring training

World Baseball Classic has been canceled due to lack of interest—or at least is should be.

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By Bill Smith

If you are test driving a used car and as you leave the lot buzzards are circling overhead, maybe buying this vehicle is not a good idea. The players and owners should have gotten that same message about about the WBC.

Rockies right fielder Brad Hawpe received four stitches after being accidentally spiked on a play at second base and Cleveland Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore suffered a strain in his left groin. Relief pitcher Brian Fuentes suffered an unspecified injury. And these injuries happened BEFORE the games even started!

Matt Lindstrom, Marlins reliever, injured his shoulder Sunday night in the game against The Netherlands. It ended up that the injury was in his right rotator cuff which is one of the most feared injuries by all pitchers. Ryan Braun is out with a sore right side. Other game injuries include Kevin Youkilis (left ankle), Dustin Pedroia (left oblique), and Chipper Jones (right oblique). David Wright fouled a ball off his big toe, cracking the nail.

In my column The World Baseball Classic is neither Baseball nor Classicdiscuss! on March 12th I predicted that injuries to players that participated in the WBC would hurt MLB teams. The injury situation is so serious that Team USA has only a catcher on the bench as a field player reserve. Outfielder Adam Dunn was forced to play first base after the Youkilis injury and committed a series of errors that resulted in a loss in their last game. The meaningless game was played just to establish seeding for the next round.

The smart players decided to pass on the honor of participating in the WBC. ESPN reported that the US team had to make 2 or 3 calls to get 1 player to agree to play. Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan pulled out of the World Baseball Classic due to concerns about the current state of his mechanics. Twins closer Joe Nathan bowed out of the WBC due to discomfort in the AC joint of his right shoulder.

The WBC is an event without a home. Players are not in shape to go full out in early March. That has led to the rash of injuries this Spring. November is not an alternative either. ESPN gets a 4.5 to 5 share of the audience for a college football game between Whats-A-Matta U and Sisters of Perpetual Misery. WBC has not released TV ratings after admitting that it had a 0.4 share in the first round.

The only thing that might work is to stop the MLB season for 2 weeks to replace the all star break. Even then, MLB would risk injury that could wipe out the teams hope of the playoffs. Even in the summer, WBC would only have a 1.0 rating.

Maybe the organizers of the WBC should contact the NHL to find out what kind of a deal the Vs. network gave them.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

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