From Timmy Trumpets To Taps: Why Did The Mets Allow Edwin Diaz To Play In The WBC?

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The baseball world held its breath last night after New York Mets closing pitcher Edwin Diaz went down with what the Mets called a right knee injury while the Puerto Rican national team was celebrating a victory in the World Baseball Classic. The Mets have since announced that Diaz tore his patellar tendon and will undergo what is expected to be season-ending surgery.

The video shows Diaz’s teammates running towards the mound after Puerto Rico’s victory over rival Dominican Republic. The Puerto Rican players all began jumping up and down when suddenly something happens and Diaz goes down.

The follow-up video showed an emotional Diaz being carried off the field by teammates in front of a hushed crowd.

It may have been silent in the stadium, but you can be sure that Mets billionaire owner Steve Cohen was cursing up a storm at his house. The worst-case scenario of allowing players to play in the poinltless WBC just happened to Cohen’s team.


Listen, I get it. Some of the MLB players that are participating in the World Baseball Classic are doing so because they actually want to. Baseball especially has an important national heritage aspect to it. Many players want to represent the countries they came from.

But just because a player like Diaz wants to doesn’t mean he should be allowed.

The WBC didn’t give Edwin Diaz a five-year, $102 million salary this past offseason. The New York Mets did.

I’m not a “protect the owners” person, but it’s now the Mets and Cohen who have to find another closing pitcher on what was supposed to be a historic World Series run this year. The Mets are spending $364 million on this year’s team alone, and now their high-priced closer is out due to an injury that happened during a celebration of a game that doesn’t matter whatsoever to the Mets.

Edwin Diaz was hurt during a celebration in the World Baseball Classic. (Fox Sports 1)

Sometimes players can be their own worst enemies, and that’s when the team needs to step in.

For example, New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman refused to let starting pitcher Luis Severino participate in this year’s WBC. His reasoning? He didn’t want Sevy getting injured or hindering his longevity for the long MLB season.

“I respect he wanted to play, but I gotta protect the Yankees first,” Cashman told 670 The Score in Chicago.


You can be absolutely sure that Diaz’s injury will have dramatic effects for future WBC participation. If a player wants to play that bad, see if they would be willing to forfeit their contract should they get injured or hurt.

When Aaron Boone hurt his leg playing a basketball game (that eventually led to the Yankees getting Alex Rodriguez) the Yankees released him and Boone didn’t get his $5+ million contract. When another Met, Yoenis Cespedes, suffered an ankle fracture while riding horses on his ranch, the Mets amended his contract to reflect his injury and paid him less.

All of that happened because the player participated in something outside of their MLB duties.

I don’t see a difference here. If a player is that hell-bent on wanting to play in the WBC, then include a no-payment clause in their contract should they get injured and see how many would think twice about it.

New York Mets Steve Cohen
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has an estimated team payroll of nearly $360 million this year (Getty Images)


Curious: Without Googling, can you tell me when the last World Baseball Classic was?

Without Googling tell me who won the last World Baseball Classic. Please, tell me.


But every Mets fan will know and curse the WBC for years to come because of what happened to Diaz.

It’s one thing to get injured in a preseason game (another Mets player, Jose Quintana just did this week) but to significantly injure yourself during voluntary participation in something that DOES NOT MATTER is wild.

You have multi-million dollar athletes playing baseball next to literal electricians. And some baseball fanatics want to tell me that the WBC matters just as much as the World Series?

I am not going to the bar to hang out with friends and scream in excitement when the USA plays in the World Baseball Classic. I am, however, if the New York Yankees play in the World Series.

One thing’s for certain, if Diaz’s injury is as bad as it looks, CitiField won’t be playing Timmy Trumpets anymore. It will be replaced with Taps as the Mets mourn their season ending before it ever began.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.

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