World Baseball Classic
Yep, the World Baseball Classic is back in spring training.
Clearwater, specifically Bright House Field, will serve as the home of Team USA, one of 16 teams from across the globe that will compete in the tournament that runs from March 5 through the 23rd.
All WBC players must report to their National Teams on March 2. For the USA, practice will take place at Bright House Field. Whether the workouts will be open to the public is yet to be decided.
On March 4, we play the Canadian team at 1:05 p.m. at Bright House. The next day, March 5, we’ll face the US team at 12:05 p.m., also in Clearwater. Tickets for individual Clearwater games will go on sale on January 9, but 3-Packs in spring training are on sale now.
Former Phillie Davey Johnson will manage the USA squad. Mike Schmidt will be the third base coach.
Chase Utley played in the WBC in 2006 and loved the experience. Because of his hip rehab program, he won’t be able to participate this year.
Rosters will be announced in early February. According to Paul Hagen in the Philadelphia Daily News today, Brad and Cole have declined invitations, while Jimmy and Ryan are thinking about it. Potential players from the Phillies on other rosters include Carlos Ruiz (Panama), J. R. Romero (Puerto Rico), Matt Stairs (Canada), Brad Harmon (Australia), Pedro Feliz (Dominican Republic), Carlos Carrasco (Venezuela).
Always looking for players, yesterday we announced that 10 minor league free agent players will be coming to our major league spring training camp, which by the way, opens seven weeks from this coming Saturday. Seven weeks until baseball!
Chances are most of the 10 will wind up in our minor league system, probably the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. But, one never knows.
Over the course of a baseball season, and sometimes in spring training, injuries happen. That’s where these non-roster players can enter the picture. Last season when Mike Cervenak and Andy Tracy spent time with the big league club.
In 2004, one of the names was Chris Coste and we all know how that turned out. He’s certainly contributed.
Phillie Phanatic appearances for 2008: 516. Despite that, he/she/it hasn’t lost one ounce of fat.