Adrian Beltre will likely enter the Hall of Fame on his first ballot next season: The former Texas Ranger is one of 12 players in MLB history to record 3,000 hits and 400 home runs.
Yet even during his illustrious MLB career, he participated in the 2006 and 2017 World Baseball Classics as a member of the Dominican Republic teams.
The event has generated some backlash for its time, further exposing players to potential injury and the simple fact that it’s not that big of an event.
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But don’t say that last thing to Beltre. In fact, he admitted that he rushed back from injury to participate in 2017.
«There was a year when I was in Texas and they were worried, because I actually got hurt right before spring training, so I just rushed to get better,» Beltre told Fox News Digital in a recent interview. «I wanted to participate in the [WBC]. It happens every four years, and it’s something most of us want to do.»
MLB owners and general managers will never admit it publicly, but deep down, they don’t want their players to be there. In recent weeks alone, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has notably not allowed injury-prone pitcher Luis Severino to participate, even though three other Yankees will play.
Beltre understands why it’s a predicament among front offices.
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«To be honest, I don’t think, unless it’s something different, I don’t think front offices should be able to ban players, but I also get it, because they put a lot of money into the player,» he said. saying. “They are looking for a different goal, which is to win the World Series. I see both sides, but I agree 100% more with the players, because you do want to play, you want to participate, you prepare to do so. , I think you should be able to do it and go play.»
Beltre’s latest baseball venture joins Baseball United, the first professional baseball league in West Asia, as an investor, along with Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera and Barry Larkin. His goal is simple; grow the game in other parts of the world.
The WBC delivers the same sentiment, and while his popularity may not be a fraction of the World Cup, the Olympics, or even the FIBA basketball championships, it’s something the players take pride in, and he believes more fans will too. they will do it.
«You’re actually growing the game. The [WBC] It’s something that a lot of people see. It is a great tournament where you can see the best of each country to win the championship that year. It’s something I really enjoyed playing and something that’s great for everyone involved.»
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The WBC, hosted by Taiwan, Japan and the United States, begins on March 8. The championship takes place on March 21 in Miami.