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A Mariano Rivera Moment Sheds Light On WBC Criticism


MLB HOF Mariano Rivera opens prior to the World Baseball Classic Pool A game between Panama and Chinese Taipei at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on March 08, 2023 in Taichung, Taiwan.
(Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images)


In the wake of New York Mets pitcher Edwin Diaz‘s freak World Baseball Classic injury – he blew out his knee while celebrating Puerto Rico’s victory against the Dominican Republic that gave the former a ticket to the quarterfinals – many people have turned against the event.

Some have said that’s why they are against the WBC being played in March, or at all.

What they ignore is that freak injuries can happen all the time, to anybody, and in the craziest ways you can imagine.

Players have suffered shocking injuries while taking a bath, cooking, cleaning, walking, and doing the most boring, normal everyday things.

Even the great Mariano Rivera, a legend for the New York Yankees and the game as a whole, had a freak injury that nearly ended his career.

“This happened to the greatest closer of all-time during BP, shagging easy fly balls. Let’s not turn the Díaz injury into a grand-scale indictment of the WBC,” Pinstripe Alley tweeted.

What happened to Diaz in the Classic could have happened to any player.

Yes, players don’t usually celebrate and jump around in spring training, but they do work out with heavy weights.

They jog, they go full speed, they take baths, they cook, they clean.

They shag fly balls, and look what happened to Mariano in 2012.

He tore ligaments in his knee in 2012 and missed months.

Then he returned in 2013 to put up a 2.11 ERA and retire.

The Diaz injury should not make people ignore the success that the Classic has been.

There have been packed stadiums, good ratings, lots of media attention, and most importantly, exciting games.

The 2023 WBC has been extremely attractive and will not be brought down by an injury that can happen in lots of other contexts.

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