The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 19, 2013

A matter of pride

PHOENIX — The game is supposed to be America’s national pastime, but the United States has not fared well in the World Baseball Classic.

Joe Torre is putting his manager’s uniform back on to lead Team USA in this year’s competition, but he cautions that there are reasons the U.S. has not won, or even made it to the title game, in the first two editions of the worldwide competition.

Torre, speaking Monday at a news conference in Phoenix, said players usually use spring training to get ready physically for the long major league season, slowly working in the mental edge along the way. But with the World Baseball Classic, they are asked to get that competitive edge in a hurry against countries that take this competition very seriously.

“I think a big part of it is the mental preparation for a postseason type of atmosphere,” Torre said.

Japan won the first two championships, beating Cuba in the finale in 2006 and South Korea in 2009.

There is more than a little grumbling among managers who lose players for two or three weeks at a crucial time when they are supposed to be putting together a cohesive team for the coming big league season. But, officially, MLB is a big supporter of this event, so that mutes the criticism. Those players don’t just go to Team USA, but to Venezuela, Mexico, Japan, Canada, even The Netherlands.

The team hit the hardest this year is the Milwaukee Brewers, who will lose 14 players during spring training, 11 of them from their 40-man roster.

“I get why a player would want to do it. I understand that,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “And we’re fine with them going and doing that, but it just happens that we’re getting hit with a lot of guys. We’re missing both catchers. It’s really important to us. We’ll just have to deal with it.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • No new updates into police probe of Norman assault incident

    There were no updates in the Norman Police investigation into the incident that left a female University of Oklahoma student with multiple facial fractures on Saturday and Sooner freshman running back Joe Mixon as the focus of the probe....

    July 27, 2014

  • Furyk take three shot lead at the Canadian Open

    Associated Press MONTREAL — Jim Furyk moved into position for his third Canadian Open victory, shooting a 5-under 65 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead at Royal Montreal....

    July 27, 2014

  • Pair from U.S. will play for Junior title

    THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Davis Riley outlasted Sam Horsfield on the 21st hole Friday in the U.S. Junior Amateur to set up an all-American final against William Zalatoris....

    July 27, 2014

  • Gordon an Indy threat in 20 years at the Brickyard

    INDIANAPOLIS — The reminders that Jeff Gordon won here 20 years ago plaster Indianapolis Motor Speedway....

    July 27, 2014

  • Dillon races to first career Nationwide win

    INDIANAPOLIS — For a first time winner, Ty Dillon had the Brickyard’s winning tradition down as cold as the celebratory beer he chugged outside his car. “We get to kiss the bricks, baby!” he radioed as he crossed the finish line....

    July 27, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Scott says he will coach Lakers

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they’re apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days....

    July 28, 2014

  • BoSox snap Rays’ streak

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, and the Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 3-2 Sunday to end a five-game losing streak and stop the Rays’ longest winning streak in 10 years at nine games....

    July 28, 2014

Facebook