Though it’s undoubtably an honor to represent one’s country, feelings are mixed amongst Giants fans regarding the participation of three key players. The tournament starts March 9th, meaning that those playing will miss a significant portion of Spring Training, and be adding strenuous games to the already taxing 162-game schedule.
Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper didn’t mince words when expressing his feelings about the tournament with Murph and Mac on Wednesday morning, saying he’d be happy if the WBC didn’t exist at all.
“When that happens, what is it every two or three years, it just throws a wrench into Spring Training,” Kuiper said. “And I feel bad for a lot of the fans that go down to Scottsdale to see Brandon Crawford, to see Buster Posey, to see Madison Bumgarner, and they’re not going to play in any number of games in a Giants uniform because of their responsibilities in the World Baseball Classic.”
“I don’t think that’s going to go away, I wish it would.”
Kuiper feels that the only potential benefit of the tournament is if it succeeds in growing the game globally, something he doesn’t believe it’s achieving.
“The only way that it’s a win is if it helps baseball globally, that’s fine, but I don’t see any team from London, any team from China,” Kuiper continued. “I mean the teams that are in this classic are usually countries that already love baseball. So I don’t know how this helps the game other than the fact that you’re seeing real games in the middle of March when maybe these guys aren’t ready to play real games.”
China will actually be participating in it’s fourth WBC this March. England has never participated.
Listen to the full interview below.