Despite Mets closer Edwin Diaz’s knee injury, players are quick to say not to blame the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic has reached maximum controversy.
Mets star closer Edwin Diaz was wheeled off the field Wednesday night in Miami after suffering what appeared to be a serious knee injury during Puerto Rico’s postgame celebration. Diaz had just pitched a perfect ninth inning in a 5-2 victory over the Dominican Republic.
Diaz is expected to undergo an MRI on Thursday afternoon with results likely to be available later that day.
( Mets Notes: Players leave for World Baseball Classic )
Despite outrage from the Mets faithful on social media over the prospect of losing their All-Star closer of the season to a bizarre celebration in an outside competition, Major Leaguers are coming together to defend the international spring tournament.
Mets reliever Adam Ottavino, who is pitching in the WBC for Team USA, said it was just a “fluke.”
“It could have happened in any type of situation, regardless,” Ottavino told reporters after Team USA’s victory over Colombia on Wednesday night. “I don’t think it’s the tournament’s fault, but it sucks. For the team and, obviously, for him.”
( Pete Alonso says playing in ‘high intensity’ World Baseball Classic games will benefit him in October )
In fact, most players seem to agree with that thought, including Dodgers star Mookie Betts.
“Those things, they can happen to anyone at any given time,” Betts said, via the Los Angeles Times. “And you can always try to blame the WBC, but that’s just a freak accident that could happen to anyone at any given time.
“This is so much fun. This is so much fun. And this is so much better than getting four at-bats in the backfields (in spring training). I encourage those of you watching, come together, come play for Team USA. USA, because this is so much fun.
The World Baseball Classic draw is coming to represent his country and the electricity of the crowds that accompany it. This year’s tournament delivery is the first since 2017 and has been highly anticipated since the cancellation of WBC 2021 due to COVID.
The manager of the Venezuela team, Omar López, explained why the tournament is an important part of the world of baseball.
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“This is the game, that is baseball,” Lopez said at LoanDepot Park in Miami on Thursday. “And we play hard and you play for your country and when you represent your country to the best of your ability, anything can happen.
“This tournament has to continue to be part of our lives. We have to take the risk, we have to do everything we can to support each country because the players want to represent their country.”
While Diaz’s injury is unfortunate and the lens in which it happened might encourage teams not to allow their best players to participate in the future, the Mets closer would likely agree with Lopez based on his comments before kickoff. of the tournament.
“He represents my country,” Diaz told the Daily News. “Every player dreams of representing his country. I feel proud to have Puerto Rico on my chest.”
The 28-year-old reliever just signed a five-year, $102 million contract this offseason after a spectacular 2022 season with the Mets.
Diaz posted a 1.31 ERA in 61 games recording 32 saves while becoming a fan favorite in Flushing thanks in part to his electric entrance to the Timmy Trumpets song “Narco.”
( José Quintana shut down at least until July after opting for rib bone graft surgery )
If Diaz is out for an extended period of time, it will be a major blow to Buck Showalter’s bullpen, which will now need to call up newly hired David Robertson or others in the bullpen to close out games.