New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz tore the patellar tendon on his right knee last week after celebrating a save after a 5-2 win for team Puerto Rico over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic (WBC). Having just signed a 5-year, $102 million contract (which is a record for relievers), Díaz will likely kept out of pitching for his MLB squad for the 2023 season.
Edwin Diaz appears to have suffered an injury during Puerto Rico's celebration pic.twitter.com/G9Md6SBrEj— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 16, 2023
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.
One couldn't even try to explain how these jumbled thoughts meant 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.
Rather, the players who make these rosters cherish this opportunity, doing so of their own volition and the desire play to both prove themselves in a different arena, and represent their home countries. They don’t treat the games like they’re meaningless.
“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!