There has been a lot of discussion about potential changes to the World Baseball Classic that could improve the tournament for the future, and Team USA manager Mark DeRosa had a funny response to the question, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports.
“Hot water in Arizona to take a shower, number one,” Mark DeRosa said, via Nightengale.
One of the most popular suggestions is to move the tournament to the middle of the MLB season or after the World Series, and DeRosa did not like either of those ideas.
“I don’t see any way of doing it in the middle of the season,” DeRosa said, via Marly Rivera of ESPN. “To ask guys that are not playing in the event to sit there for two to three weeks. I know for me, as a guy who didn’t go to All-Star games, those four or five days off were welcomed, but that first time back in the box, I was like ‘whoa, alright we gotta recalibrate the fastball here.’ And that was like, four days. You give guys three weeks, you have to ramp them back up again.”
Mark DeRosa says that this is the right time of the year to play the #WorldBaseballClassic pic.twitter.com/fEvdpIlffK
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) March 19, 2023
DeRosa participated in the 2009 World Baseball Classic with Team USA, and he said the players on this year’s team are more prepared than the 2009 team. He also said that the players on teams who make deep postseason runs are probably less likely to participate.
“If you wait till after the World Series, the guys that go deep into the postseason, you’re going to have a hard time getting them to want to do it and they’re usually the best players in the game,” DeRosa said, via Rivera.
The injuries to New York Mets star closer Edwin Diaz and Houston Astros star Jose Altuve have garnered criticism for the tournament, but many fans and players have responded that those injuries could have happened anywhere.
Now the Mets will be without Edwin Diaz for the season, and the timetable for Jose Altuve’s return with the Astros is unknown.
Team USA faces Cuba in the semifinal event in Miami on Sunday night.