SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jim Palmer never had to say no to the World Baseball Classic.
Just as well.
"I never would have pitched," the Hall of Famer said Tuesday.
Palmer no doubt would have been one of the first pitchers asked, had the WBC existed in the 1970s (the first WBC was held in 2006). But he said he would have declined, just as top American starters Justin Verlander, David Price and Clayton Kershaw all declined to pitch in this spring's event.
"It took me seven starts to get ready," Palmer explained. "You want to be ready for opening day. I know they want to grow the game, but you need the time to get ready."
The Orioles had no problem with center fielder Adam Jones going to the WBC, but they seemed very happy that only one of their pitchers (reliever Pedro Strop) will be going.
"I understand the value of it, but I'm not interested in sacrificing pitchers' innings before the season begins," general manager Dan Duquette said.