Selig defends World Classic, dismisses injury fears

3/4/2006 - MLB

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig defended the
World Baseball Classic on Saturday, dismissing criticism that
players put themselves at further risk of injury by participating.

New York owner George Steinbrenner has said he is worried star
players might get injured, and some general managers have not been
enthusiastic. At Legends Field in Tampa, Fla., the Yankees posted a
sign apologizing to fans that some players were missing because
they were at the WBC.

"You mean guys don't get injured in spring training?" Selig
said. "Guys get hurt walking down the street. "All the managers,
pitching coaches [are] very sensitive. Look, you can always pick at
something, but there's a broader picture, a grander picture."

Several stars, such as Pedro Martinez and Barry Bonds, dropped
out of the tournament because they are rehabilitating injuries.
Manny Ramirez won't play because he doesn't think he is ready, and
Vladimir Guerrero opted out after three cousins were killed in a
car accident.

"If a player has a physical problem, I understand," Selig