Though it lacked the pomp and circumstance of the American roster unveiling, the remaining WBC rosters went public yesterday on the MLB Network. A flurry of big names and small surprises as fans tracked all the big name players filling out rosters for their respective homelands. Also: Willie Bloomquist!
Just like with the US team, some big name players chose not to represent their countries, opting to get into Spring Training with their club and get to work for the 2013 season. Albert Pujols won’t play for the second consecutive tournament and David Ortiz also offered the Sergeant Roger Murtaugh excuse for staying home.
But we cannot concern ourselves with who stays home, only with who will play. The tournament is fun with or without the biggest names, even though many superstars are indeed taking part.
As a brief reminder, the World Baseball Classic is broken up into four pools for group play (across multiple venues and countries), then a knockout round staged in Tokyo and Miami before the whole deal wraps up in San Francisco at AT&T Park.
The groups are as follows, with some notable names:
Korea (Lee Seung-yeop, Lee Dae-Ho, not that guy OR the other guy)
Venezuela (Felix Hernandez, Miguel Cabrera, Elvis Andrus, Pablo Sandoval)
USA (Giancarlo Stanton, David Wright, Ryan Braun, Craig Kimbrel)
Venezuela looks like they might be pretty good, though it remains to be seen how much an advantage good starting pitching offers with the rules hamstringing that edge.
And the rest
Do comments from Astros GM Jeffrey Luhnow highlight the problem with the WBC? On the surface his comments are damning but the Fernando Martinez‘s of the world are not the players are clamoring to see. [Hardball Talk]
FOURTEEN members of the Brewers organization will play in the WBC. FOURTEEN! [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]
Crashbag! [Crashburn Alley]
Wait, the Blue Jays almost made a DIFFERENT blockbuster trade before dealing with the Marlins? [National Post]
Cleveland demands discipline from their young players. [Beyond the Boxscore]
Free Friday at Baseball Prospectus, go nuts! [#want]