Spring Training is in full swing (hehe) all around baseball, but already some MLB players are involved in big time games, I’m talking about the World Baseball Classic!! The games started on Friday, March 1st, with Pool B duking it out in Taiwan. After their six games, Chinese Taipei and the Netherlands emerged to head to the 2nd round.
The games for Team USA kick off this Friday, March 8th, in Phoenix as they take on the team from Mexico. If they advance from their pool (Pool D), they will head to Marlins Stadium in Miami for their next set of games. If they end up on top after that set of games, they will head out my way, to AT&T Park in San Francisco, for the Championship Round. The winner of the 2013 World Baseball Classic will be crowned on March 19th.
Seven Orioles are taking part in the World Baseball Classic, playing for six different teams (Brazil, the Netherlands, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Australia & the United States). The two most recognizable names from a list that includes minor leaguers Allan de San Miguel, Chris Robinson, Jonathan Schoop, Jonatan Isenia and Rafael Moreno are big leaguers Pedro Strop and Adam Jones. Strop and Jones will be playing for two teams, the Dominican Republic and the United States, that figure to be competitive in the tournament right down to the very end.
We won’t know the starting lineup until Friday, but it is pretty safe to say that Jones will be manning center field for Team USA under manager Joe Torre.
Strop will presumably be a setup man for Team Dominican Republic, along with veterans Octavio Dotel and Fernando Rodney. The lineup pop should come from infielder Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez and José Reyes, as well as possibly from former Oriole Miguel Tejada.
I’ll be back with recaps of Team USA’s games as they march toward the Championship Round. If they’re able to make it to the end, I’ll try to get some fun pictures of the atmosphere in San Francisco, one of the great baseball fan cities in the United States. Trust me, I’ve seen how they celebrate the World Series (twice!), they’ll be ready to welcome everyone for the championship round. Until then, Go USA!