to Play in WBC
After several months of doubtfulness, Alex Rodriguez has decided that he
will participate in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), and that he will
do so wearing a Team USA uniform. After struggling with his decision
whether or not to represent the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez’ country
of origin, the American League MVP came to a somewhat surprising
conclusion on Tuesday night, as Rodriguez posted on his Web site that he
would represent the United States in the initial tournament.
NEW YORK -- After several months of uncertainty, Alex Rodriguez has
decided that he will participate in the World Baseball Classic, and that
he will do so wearing a Team USA uniform.
The WBC saga of
the reigning American League MVP came to a somewhat surprising
conclusion on Tuesday night, as Rodriguez announced on his Web site that
he would represent the U.S. in the inaugural tournament.
discussion with my family and agent, the Commissioner, and the Major
League Baseball Players Association, I have decided to participate
in the World Baseball Classic," Rodriguez said in a statement on
AROD.com. "In recent weeks, following dialogue with caring friends
and players, both Dominican and American, I reached the conclusion
that if I played in the Classic, I would play for the United States
and honor my American citizenship.
"I appreciate the support and understanding of my fellow Dominican
players and friends who aided me in making this decision," he added.
"The World Baseball Classic offers baseball and its fans an exciting new
forum and I look forward, if selected, to representing the United States
in what will be baseball's greatest international competition." In
mid-December, Rodriguez said that he was leaning toward representing the
Dominican Republic, which would have been his right because of his
parents' citizenship in that country. Just days later, he changed his
mind, saying that he would skip the event altogether as not to offend
either the Dominican Republic or the U.S. MLB and union officials
lobbied the Yankees' third baseman over the past few weeks, trying to
convince him to play in the event.
Earlier in the
day on Tuesday, it appeared that Rodriguez would stand by his plan
to sit out the tournament, even though the Dominican Republic had
placed him on its provisional roster on Monday. USA Baseball was
prepared to leave A-Rod off its roster, as union officials informed
the U.S. that Rodriguez planned to skip the WBC. But as the day went
on, Rodriguez changed his mind, ultimately deciding to represent his
home country along with teammates Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon and Al
Rodriguez is one of 52 players on Team USA's provisional roster, a list
that includes four other third basemen: Eric Chavez, Morgan Ensberg,
Chipper Jones and David Wright.
"He's one of the best players in the game," said Paul Seiler, USA
Baseball's executive director and chief executive, of Rodriguez. "We'll
be thrilled to have him on our team."
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