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#pounditWednesday, April 17, 2024

Reason Clayton Kershaw can’t play in WBC revealed

Clayton Kershaw smiling

Apr 13, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) returns to the dugout after seven perfect innings against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw has never played in the World Baseball Classic despite being one of the top American pitchers. He was looking forward to playing in his first WBC this year, but those plans did not come through. Now we know why.

A disappointed Kershaw spoke with the media on Friday from Arizona, where Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and catchers reported for spring training a day earlier.

The 34-year-old pitcher shared that he would not be playing for Team USA in the WBC next month. He expressed extreme disappointment over the development.

“Super disappointing,” Kershaw said. “We tried a lot of different things. All sides, we really tried to make it work. Nothing’s wrong with me; it just didn’t work out. I really wanted to do it, I really wanted to be a part of that group. Probably my last chance to do it, so I really wanted to do it. Just didn’t work out for a number of reasons. Disappointing, but it’s OK, I’ll be ready for the season, ready to go.”

What happened?

Players are required to have insurance to compete in the World Baseball Classic. Kershaw was unable to receive an insurance policy due to his injury history. Players typically obtain insurance through a private company that works with MLB. Kershaw even sought separate options on his own and still wasn’t able to obtain a policy.

Kershaw isn’t the first player to face this obstacle. In 2017, when the last WBC was held, pitcher Sonny Gray was unable to be insured.

Kershaw was hoping to join his Dodgers teammates Mookie Betts and Will Smith in competing for Team USA. The US is the defending champion after winning the 2017 event. This year’s event takes place from March 8–21.

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