MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Detroit TigersAccording to a report by Neftali Ruiz of elcaribe.com Fernando Rodney will pitch for the Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Baseball Classic (via Hardball Talk). And Rodney spoke about the thrill of representing his country and whether the Rays granted him permission (translation via Google translate)…

The star closer Fernando Rodney made ​​the decision to represent the country in the World Baseball Classic and has two months preparing it. “I want to represent the country, will be a pleasure to be there with the Dominican uniform,” said Rodney, who was in Chosen the roster for the game Sunday against the Stars. Response to the question about the permission of the [Tampa Bay Rays], Rodney was clear. “To represent the country does not need permission,” said the native of Samana to emphasize its decision.

Obviously if Major League Baseball is going to allow players to participate in the WBC, teams cannot keep players from choosing to play (outside of existing injury concerns). But you can imagine that most teams are probably strongly discouraging the participation of their pitchers. And one of the Rays’ most important pitchers is going to be pushing himself hard when most other pitchers are just easing into shape.

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9 Comments

  1. Dave L says:

    Well there is Winter ball which alot of ML participate in. I think its mostly starters teams worry about. JP participated in the last one no?

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Howell did pitch. However, Balfour did not pitch after the Rays asked him not to.

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      • Dave L says:

        Yeah I remember at the time thinking that maybe they were afraid the talent starved Aussies would work him like a rented mule and he would gladly oblige. While JP would perform his usual role with the USA Squad. There no shortage of Dominican hurlers so I for one would think it would be a good thing.

        Non american pros seem to take this much more seriously than highly paid american pros in all team sports. Its just my opinion and I have no hard evidence to back it up just my observations over the years.

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        • Cork Gaines says:

          Good point. And I am not overly concerned about Rodney. David Price is really the only one I was worried about. Somewhere in the back of my head I am wondering that the quick contract avoiding arbitration might have included a little extra (it was more than projected) as a bribe to decline the WBC.

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  2. Don says:

    Rays quietly back off, said "they would comment later, other words, "WE can't do anything about it" Reality: Rodney is his own man...

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  3. Jeff says:

    The WBC is a amateur and minor league player event. Why any MLB player would look at it as anything else is beyond me?

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  4. Craig says:

    Good for Rodney. Life is short. A professional baseball career is even shorter. If, in his mind, the potential rewards are worth the potential risks, why not?

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  5. George says:

    molina and joel peralta are also in the wbc

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