OTTAWA – Baseball Canada today announced Ernie Whitt as manager and Justin Morneau as the first player on Team Canada for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Whitt was the Manager for Team Canada at the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, leading the team to a 2-1 record which was good for a three-way tie with the United States and Mexico at the top of Pool B. However Canada was eliminated in the first round due to tie-breaker rules.
This marks the sixth time that Whitt will be at the helm for Baseball Canada’s Senior National Team, including leading the team to a fourth place finish at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece and winning a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan-Am Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Morneau is joining Team Canada for the second time at the World Baseball Classic and will once again be handling the starting duties at first base. Morneau hit .308 in the inaugural tournament, with three doubles and two RBI in three games.
Team Canada begins tournament play in Pool C on March 7, 2009 at 2 pm when they take on the United States at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Canada will also be joined by Venezuela and Italy in Pool C.