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Introducing Team USA

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  • Introducing Team USA

    Bevy of stars head US WBC roster
    A-Rod absent, but Bonds, Griffey among notables
    By Barry M. Bloom /

    NEW YORK -- Team USA announced a portion of its provisional 60-man roster on Monday, and right now Alex Rodriguez, the two-time American League Most Valuable Player, isn't on it.

    Otherwise, among the 42 men tabbed for the roster is a virtual Who's Who of Major League Baseball stars. From Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Ken Griffey Jr. to a bullpen replete with Brad Lidge, Huston Street and Billy Wagner.

    The U.S. has until 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday to add players to the squad and officials said they weren't done yet.

    "We've got a roster of players on board who are committed to the team and I'm very pleased with that," said former Toronto manager Buck Martinez, who will be the skipper of the squad. "Our position players and bullpen are very deep. This gives us a roster that's as good as any team."

    The World Baseball Classic is the first international tournament to boast Major League players and is currently scheduled for March 3-20 in the U.S., Japan and Puerto Rico. Major League Baseball officials have been waiting since Dec. 22 for the U.S. Treasury Dept. to review its earlier decision and allow Cuba to play in the tournament.

    That decision was expected last week, but it has yet to come down. With the International Baseball Federation threatening to remove its sanction if Cuba isn't allowed to play, the tournament may be hanging in the balance.

    The 60-man rosters of all 16 teams are supposed to be filed with the IBAF by the Tuesday deadline so players can begin random drug testing under international rules. Team Canada announced a portion of its roster in Toronto on Saturday, including Jason Bay, Matt Stairs and Corey Koskie. Teams don't have to go to a full 60, but no player can join a roster after the deadline.

    Only half that amount of players will be in uniform for each team when the games begin in Japan's Tokyo Dome on March 3. The U.S. opens camp in Arizona at newly christened Chase Field on the same day, and Martinez said he would have his squad cut to the 30-player limit on that date.

    At this stage, the U.S. has 19 pitchers, six catchers, 10 infielders and 11 outfielders.

    By virtue of the players announced on Monday, Martinez could field a starting position team that would include Derrek Lee at first base; Chase Utley at second base; Derek Jeter at shortstop; Chipper Jones at third base, Jason Varitek behind the plate; Griffey, Johnny Damon and Vernon Wells in the outfield and Bonds as the designated hitter.

    The starting pitching staff includes Clemens, Dontrelle Willis, Jake Peavy and Andy Pettitte.

    Martinez said he wasn't convinced, though, that Clemens would play.

    "But I am encouraged," he said about the seven-time Cy Young Award right-hander. "Clemens has the desire to play. He's sticking to his conditioning program and I'm anxious to see what kind of shape he's in."

    Clemens finished his 13-8, 1.87 ERA 2005 season for the Astros with a hamstring injury that hampered him in the postseason. He came out of the first game of the World Series in Chicago against the White Sox after the first inning and didn't pitch again. A free agent, in December the Astros declined to offer arbitration and now can't sign him until May 1. Even so, Clemens, now 43, has yet to announce whether he'll play his 23rd season.

    Additionally, the U.S. has been waiting word from Rodriguez whether he'll join his Yankees teammates Jeter and Damon on the team.

    Rodriguez has changed his mind on several occasions about playing in the tournament, first saying he would compete with his native Dominican Republic and then opting out completely. He had several conversations, though, with MLB and player association officials this past week and may indeed play for Team USA.

    But Martinez said he had no update on A-Rod's status.

    "I know about as much on that as you do," he said.

    Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

  • #2
    Here's the initial 42-man provisional roster;

    Starting pitchers
    Bonderman, Jeremy, RHP -- Detroit Tigers
    Clemens, Roger, RHP -- Free agent (formerly Houston Astros)
    Halladay, Roy, RHP -- Toronto Blue Jays
    Hudson, Tim, RHP -- Atlanta Braves
    Leiter, Al, LHP -- New York Yankees
    Peavy, Jake, RHP -- San Diego Padres
    Pettitte, Andy, LHP -- Houston Astros
    Sabathia, C.C., LHP -- Cleveland Indians
    Willis, Dontrelle, LHP -- Florida Marlins

    Relief pitchers
    Cordero, Chad, RHP -- Washington Nationals
    Fuentes, Brian, LHP -- Colorado Rockies
    Jones, Todd, RHP -- Detroit Tigers
    Lidge, Brad, RHP -- Houston Astros
    Nathan, Joe, RHP -- Minnesota Twins
    Shields, Scot, RHP -- Los Angeles Angels
    Street, Huston, RHP -- Oakland Athletics
    Timlin, Mike, RHP -- Boston Red Sox
    Wagner, Billy, LHP -- New York Mets
    Wheeler, Dan, RHP -- Houston Astros

    Barrett, Michael -- Chicago Cubs
    Lo Duca, Paul -- New York Mets
    Mauer, Joe -- Minnesota Twins
    Moeller, Chad -- Milwaukee Brewers
    Schneider, Brian -- Washington Nationals
    Varitek, Jason -- Boston Red Sox

    Counsell, Craig -- Arizona Diamondbacks
    Ensberg, Morgan -- Houston Astros
    Hall, Bill -- Milwaukee Brewers
    Jeter, Derek -- New York Yankees
    Jones, Chipper -- Atlanta Braves
    Lee, Derrek -- Chicago Cubs
    Rollins, Jimmy -- Philadelphia Phillies
    Teixeira, Mark -- Texas Rangers
    Utley, Chase -- Philadelphia Phillies
    Wright, David -- New York Mets
    Young, Michael -- Texas Rangers

    Berkman, Lance -- Houston Astros
    Bonds, Barry -- San Francisco Giants
    Crawford, Carl -- Tampa Bay Devil Rays
    Damon, Johnny -- New York Yankees
    Griffey Jr., Ken -- Cincinnati Reds
    Wells, Vernon -- Toronto Blue Jays


    • #3
      How the heck did Al Leiter make that team? He's pretty good, but I'd have thought they'd have chosen a certain much taller Yankee lefty (Unit) to put on the squad.

      Great stuff, BTW.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mattingly
        How the heck did Al Leiter make that team? He's pretty good, but I'd have thought they'd have chosen a certain much taller Yankee lefty (Unit) to put on the squad.
        Lol, I agree.

        Clemens has said he'll be pitching only one inning in WBC? Why is he listed as a starter then?

        The starting pitching, the bullpen and offense looks very good at this point forTeam USA. Good looking roster.


        • #5
          Can they beat the Dominican Republic? Big question mark.


          • #6
            Any word on the best team: Cuba?

            Just read the Puerto Rican roster is stocked with MLB talent, including Delgado, Beltran, I-Rod, the Molina brothers, Romero, Padilla, and Pineiro. They look like a formidable squad, too. Here's a link, but no complete roster, yet.

            Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words ~Ernie Harwell


            • #7
              Originally posted by christian gentleman
              Can they beat the Dominican Republic? Big question mark.
              Hard to say. Both teams lack A-Rod. So none will have that advantage.

              What could be the reason for him not being on the US roster? Normally, a player of his caliber would make the team.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mattingly
                How the heck did Al Leiter make that team? He's pretty good, but I'd have thought they'd have chosen a certain much taller Yankee lefty (Unit) to put on the squad
                Andy Pettitte.

                I'm only second guessing here, but maybe Randy didn't want to play in WBC, he is quite old.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AstroBrit
                  Andy Pettitte.

                  I'm only second guessing here, but maybe Randy didn't want to play in WBC, he is quite old.
                  So are Roger Clemens, Al Leiter and Barry Bonds...


                  • #10
                    I know more will be announced later today...but looking at these 42, and knowing that they need to dwindle it down to 24 by the time the tournament starts...I wonder who is going to get cut? I can see some possibilites, like Craig Counsell, Bill Hall, Dan Wheeler, Scott Shields etc. But that still won't be enough, they may have to even start cutting guys like Chipper Jones, CC Sabathia, Lance Berkman, Vernon Wells etc.

                    What do you guys think the final 24 (or is it 30?) man roster will look like?
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jermz
                      What do you guys think the final 24 (or is it 30?) man roster will look like?
                      It's 30, btw. And I have no idea how you cut down an All-MLB team like this one.
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                      • #12
                        It is a very impressive line up, and even after culling to 30 will be hard to beat. Barry as DH - is that a little bit of "cotton wooling"?
                        "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

                        No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda


                        • #13
                          A-Rod on Team USA, so we got our starting 3B.

                          Didn't the Yankees made sure Randy couldn't play in WBC or just that Randy didn't want to play?

                          Dominican Republic? Lethal hitters, but Team USA got lethal hitters and with the addition of A-Rod, make our line-up more than a match to face of against the stacked Dominican Republic offense. Question is what big name pitcher does the Dominican Republic have? I know Pedro and Livan, but who else they got? I'm speculating, but I know Pedro will be limited more so than other pitchers.


                          • #14
                            Why not Chone Figgins as a utility player?????


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jake83
                              Why not Chone Figgins as a utility player?????

                              A Dogger fan with sense how orginal. Craig Counsel over Figgins what is this one player per team rule.
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