OTTAWA – Baseball Canada, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, released their final 28-man roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
The roster features 10 current Major League players including Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, Russell Martin of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jason Bay of the Boston Red Sox, Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds as well as Scott Richmond of the Toronto Blue Jays, Mark Teahen of the Kansas City Royals and Matt Stairs of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Also being named to the roster are Team Canada stalwarts Stubby Clapp (Windsor, ON), Mike Johnson (Edmonton, AB), Adam Stern (London, ON) and Chris Begg (Uxbridge, ON) as well as highly touted prospects Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, QC) and Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC).
Of the 28 players, 11 were part of the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 which includes Morneau, Bay, Stairs, Peter Orr, Jesse Crain, Clapp, Steve Green, Stern and Begg.
To see the entire Team Canada roster, click here.
Much has been made of Team Canada’s lack of experience concerning the pitching staff, but Team Canada Manager Ernie Whitt is convinced that his young staff will rise to the challenge.
“We’re confident that they will be able to throw two or three innings for us and keep us right in the ballgames and we’re hoping our offence will carry our team,” says Whitt.
Team Canada will report to Dunedin, Florida on March 1st where they will begin preparations for the WBC which includes three exhibition games against the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. Canada will kick off the World Baseball Classic on March 7th at 2pm against the United States at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. In March 2006, 486 players – 235 of them from MLB organizations – representing 16 teams from across the globe competed in the inaugural event. More than 740,000 fans from 48 states and 15 countries attended games – 16 of which sold out – and millions more watched on TV as Team Japan was crowned the first-ever World Baseball Classic Champion. Broadcast by 48 media outlets in 10 languages to 205 countries and territories around the world, the inaugural tournament had 50 official sponsors and 21 official licensees. Media members representing 25 different nations attended the 39 games in seven host venues across three countries/territories. The next tournament will be held in March 2009 and will again feature 16 of the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held every four years thereafter, with plans in place to expand the participant field beginning in 2013.
Team Canada WBC Schedule
World Baseball Classic Games Schedule