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Three Weeks until Opening Day

Written by: Peter Coolbaugh

The countdown continues until our showdown with the revamped (though A-roid less) Yankees on April 6. We will probably be facing new pinstriped millionaire pitcher C.C. Sabathia in front of a sold out crowd at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. But let us not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

It is still spring training and there is a long way to go until final roster shakedown time. We do know that Albers and Liz will not be part of the starting rotation. And that Chris Tillman has been sent back to the minors already to begin the 2009 season. More news will flow from the Warehouse as we get closer to April.

We can also thank that clunker of a tournament for stealing Brian Roberts from the team for a little while. Thanks to injuries on the USA team in the World Baseball Classic, B-Rob was called to help on the fly, and he did well going a home run short of the cycle yesterday with two walks in a win over the Netherlands.

Ask me if I care?

Personally, I think the WBC is a joke. Why it was created, I will never understand. Most of the players in it are already in MLB. They should be working with their teammates in spring training in preparation for the upcoming season, not playing in some exhibition games that really mean nothing. When the Olympics had baseball, you did not see MLB players taking off to play on that squad. It was college guys and minor leaguers that filled the roster.

This sham "world tournament" is a way to appease some countries that have guys who play in MLB. It happened in 2006 and now in 2009. Supposedly the next one will be in 2013. And based on the attendance, most people do not care. And the fact that big stars can (and do) get hurt which is a detriment to their MLB squad only illustrates my point.

Now I love baseball more than most people. I love MLB. Baseball may be a world's game these day, but do we really have to play it with the rest of the world? We invented baseball and it has thrived here since the 1800s. Let us keep playing amongst ourselves in the context of MLB.

Hopefully once this WBC thing is done, and the Oriole guys who are away playing for their home nations return, our club will hopefully begin to gel and become a formidable competitor this year.


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