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Classic Must Be Changed

By Ricky Campbell

After news of first baseman Kevin Youkilis' injury in the World Baseball Classic Wednesday, fans of the Red Sox, along with the rest of baseball, should be wondering why the tournament even exists.
Youkilis joins teammate Dustin Pedroia, Chipper Jones, and Matt Lindstrom as injured Americans in the Classic.
Even though the two Sox players won't be missing too much time, they may have not faced these problems had they stayed at spring training. The WBC puts players in an awkward position where they leave their teams they'll spend nine months with and play fully competitive games against other players they may see later in the season.
The Classic is a double-edged sword. A player can represent their country and can also miss well-needed training and conditioning. By leaving for the WBC, players can get injured, since they haven't had the repetitions and conditioning they may need after the winter break.
The WBC needs to seek an alternative. It pressures professionals to leave their paid jobs and produce a team that is equivalent to the Olympics. The format, timing and schedule should be changed for the Classic due to the amount of players who go down during the event. It puts more stress on the players to perform in a short time, more stress on managers and clubs with their players participating in the tournament, and more stress on those who watch their beloved players become endangered through the rough and rapid play.

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