(Audacy) The World Baseball Classic has been the talk of the town for the past two weeks with big upsets, fun celebrations, no-doubt home runs and, unfortunately, injuries.
Mets closer Edwin Diaz’s knee injury has been the subject of debate since his Puerto Rico team's win over the Dominican Republic last Wednesday night. Diaz was hurt in Puerto Rico's postgame celebration after its win.
White Sox reliever Joe Kelly has made his thoughts known on controversial topics in the past, and the author of “A Damn Near Perfect Game: Reclaiming America's Pastime” didn’t hold back when talking about Diaz's situation.
Kelly joined WEEI’s Rob Bradford on the Audacy Original Podcast “Baseball Isn’t Boring” and took aim at critics of the World Baseball Classic.
“The guy got hurt having fun celebrating with teammates," Kelly said. "Who gives a s–t? It was very unfortunate. But it is what it is. I can get hurt right now driving home and get paralyzed and break my neck in a car accident. It doesn’t matter. People are always going to give an excuse.
“If you have an excuse saying like, ‘Oh, he shouldn’t have played,’ shut up, dude. Just shut your mouth. It doesn’t matter. That’s not why he got hurt. It could’ve happened game one of the playoffs or it could’ve happened game on of Opening Day of him jumping and if his cartilage was already weak it could’ve ripped.”
While there's risk in the World Baseball Classic of pitchers throwing high-stress pitches earlier than expected, that wasn’t the problem for Diaz. He struck out the side before suffering his unfortunate injury.
“Every spring training, there’s stupid injuries," Kelly said. "That one year, bro, I f—ing broke my back pretty much holding 80-pound crawfish boil at my house and I was picking up the pot and I almost like herniated one of my discs. So there’s always going to be something stupid that happens. Someone cuts their hand making dinner.”
The World Baseball Classic has been electric, especially in the elimination stage, and that should only encourage more players to represent their countries the next time around.
“The World Baseball Classic is great for baseball, and you want every superstar playing in it as much as you can,” Kelly said. “Injuries happen.”
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