The Norman Transcript

National Sports

February 19, 2013

A matter of pride

(Continued)

PHOENIX —

The pitchers are, alphabetically, Jeremy Affeldt, Heath Bell, Mitchell Boggs, Steve Cishek, Tim Collins, R.A. Dickey, Luke Gregerson, Derek Holland, Craig Kimbrel, Kris Medlen, Chris Perez, Glen Perkins, Vinnie Pestano and Ryan Vogelsong.

Gio Gonzalez had intended to come along, but announced he is staying with the Washington Nationals, at least for now. He might be added should Team USA make it to the second round in Florida, where the Nationals conduct their spring training.

Torre hasn’t managed since he retired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. He has no interest in the grind of another major league season in that job, but he gladly will accept a three-week chore of running Team USA, jokingly comparing it to the role of a grandparent who after spoiling the kids gives them back to their parents.

On a serious note, though, he recalled how he felt as New York Yankees manager in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“It was at that time I realized that baseball represented more than just entertainment on the field, that we meant a lot to a lot of people,” Torre said, “and our responsibility was far beyond just playing the game. It really struck me and I said to my players in our first meeting ‘This NY on my cap represents more than the Yankees. It’s the game and people need this game to hide out from their problems.’

“This is going to be a similar emotion, but certainly not the sadness that was part of that,” he said. “But I think emotionally, once you put that uniform on, it’s responsibility. It’s not necessarily the winning part of it, I think it’s just the way you carry yourself and the way you go about it. The one thing I’ve preached to my players is you represent yourself and in this case you represent your country. And you certainly want to leave everybody a good taste in their mouth.”

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