Chipper Jones: ‘WBC format needs to change’

After aggravating his strained oblique muscle during batting practice for Team USA in preparation for a game against the Netherlands, Chipper Jones says that the format for the World Baseball Classic needs to change.

“There’s some serious problems with the WBC setup,” said Jones, who will skip the rest of the tournament. “I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. But I wouldn’t do it again under the current format. There’s way too many days off. This tournament could be over by now.”

Jones, who also played in the inaugural WBC in 2006, said he won’t play again if the format isn’t changed.

“Just way too many days off,” he said. “We stayed in Toronto for a week and played three games. I don’t know if you ever stayed in Toronto, but it’s not exactly Las Vegas. To say that we were plucking our eyebrows out one at a time would be an understatement.

“You’re not getting the work in that you should. You’re getting reps, but you’re not getting the at-bats that you need.

“Getting to share a clubhouse with the guys and getting to know people on a different level is the cool part about it. But when you’re talking about a three-week tournament, and you could literally play eight games in three weeks, it’s just too much down time for spring training.”

I’m sure Chipper speaks for a lot of players regarding the WBC. The timing of it is strange and it has to be a small mental and physical grind for the major league players involved. It’s nice that some of these players want to represent America, but having the tournament butt right up against the regular season makes no sense.

If they’re going to have the games be played in doors, why not have the tournament run right after the regular season? They would still have players bow out because of injuries and other concerns, but at least the athletes who do participate would have an entire offseason to rest up before spring training starts again.

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