MSNBC Blames Colonialism For Mets Pitcher's Injury At WBC

John Simmons | March 20, 2023
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New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz tore the patellar tendon on his right knee after celebrating a save after a 5-2 win for team Puerto Rico over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) last week. 

Díaz was being surrounded by teammates near the pitcher's mound when he awkwardly landed on his right leg, sustaining an injury that will likely prevent him from pitching for his MLB squad for the 2023 season, just months after signing a 5-year, $102 million contract -- a record for relievers.

Naturally, this has raised questions about the validity of the WBC and if MLB players should play in this tournament (and whether the Mets are utterly snake-bit.) However, one MSNBC “journalist” thinks that colonialism -- yes, colonialism -- is to blame for Díaz’s injury.

The genius Julio Ricardo Varela blamed American fans for Díaz’s injury, saying they forced him to play in a meaningless tournament solely for their enjoyment.

Varela wrote in his op-ed:

“Because Díaz wasn’t playing for the Mets or another professional American baseball team when he hurt himself but instead was playing for the place where he was born, arrogant American baseball fans have decided he hurt himself in a “meaningless” game being played in an equally meaningless tournament. How colonial of them.”

MSNBC really is just a factory of idiots.

I can’t even try to explain how these jumbled thoughts mean that Díaz was the victim of colonialism.

If players were forced to play in this tournament against their wishes, then this argument would have validity. But that’s just not what happens. In fact, MLB teams don't really want their players participating in the WBC, for the very reason that they can get injured before the season. Most MLB fans would probably prefer their guys were back in spring training with their teams. The WBC is for two constituencies: the fans in the countries the players are representing, and the players themselves.

The players who make these rosters cherish this opportunity, doing so of their own volition and not because American fans are desperate for entertainment. The play to prove themselves in a different arena, and to represent their home countries. They don’t treat the games like they’re meaningless. During these matchups, you’ll see excitement, emotional investment, and effort from all teams at a level you don’t normally see until the MLB playoffs.

“I understand how Mets fans are hurting. But while for so many people the regular season is what counts, playing in the WBC means just as much to all of us,” Francisco Lindor, who is a teammate of Díaz’s on both Puerto Rico’s squad and the Mets, said in response to those who criticized the reliever for playing in the WBC. "It is the dream of every Puerto Rican ballplayer to wear Puerto Rico’s colors and to represent our country. And not only Puerto Ricans, but every player in the WBC considers being here the ultimate honor.”

Do you see colonialism anywhere in that response? If you don’t, congratulations, you’re normal! Players are at the WBC because they want to be, not because Americans are rounding up helpless Latinos for sport.

What Díaz experienced was certainly unfortunate and no one wanted it to happen. (And again, the second a pitcher signs with the Mets, don't stand too close to him lest you get struck by lightning or hit by a meteor too.) But if you’re going to play the sport, you assume the risk that freak accidents like this can happen. The only thing we can blame for his injury is bad luck.

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