Cueto won't pitch in the World Baseball Classic
FEB 21, 2013 12:55p ET
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The disappointment was clear on his face but his words said all the right things to keep peace in the family.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto wanted to pitch for his country, the Dominican Republic, in the World Baseball Classic, but the Cincinnati Reds put a stop to it by invoking a medical clause.
And Cueto says he is fine with it. It is a sensitive issue because MLB is staunchly behind the WBC, but Reds manager Dusty Baker probably jumped up in his office and clicked his cleats.
“I don’t know if happy is right word about him not going, but I’m more relieved than anything,” said Baker “I understand the pressure that is put on him from Latin America. If he was a 10-game winner he wouldn’t have the pressure put on him, but being a 19-game winner makes a difference. There is tremendous price in the Latin American countries. The best baseball in the world probably is played there and every country wants to be the best.”
For the first time in his career, Cueto started a meeting with some members of the media without a translator and was doing an excellent job. But he didn’t understand the fourth question asked and summoned infielder Cesar Izturis to his side to translate
Asked about the WBC, Cueto said, “The Reds were afraid of the oblique, but it is 100 percent and I feel great.” Cueto injured the oblique in the first game of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants.
“I was ready to go and said I wanted to go, but the team said no and that’s all right,” Cueto added. “I talked to my agent and he said, ‘You are not going to go,’ and I said, ‘OK, no problem.’”
Cueto wanted to pitch winter ball, too, but he said the Reds told him if he was going to pitch in the WBC they didn’t want him to pitch winter ball. So he didn’t. But they don’t want him to pitch in what Cueto calls, “The Classico,” either.
“I’ll watch the Classico on TV and I respect their decision and now I’ll just get ready for the season,” said Cueto
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