The rosters for the 2009 World Baseball Classic are beginning to take shape….and at least two Cubs want to participate while one has chosen to skip the second go around of the WBC. The World Baseball Classic is slated to start on March 5th and run until March 23rd….pushing back the opening of the 2009 season by a week.
Several Cubs participated in the first tournament back in 2006. Derrek Lee, Carlos Zambrano, Henry Blanco, Michael Barrett and Neifi Perez played for their country nearly three years ago while on the Cubs’ roster….Aramis Ramirez was slated to play but decided against it in late February.
According to a report from MLB.com, Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol have signed on to play for the Dominican Republic team led by manager Stan Javier while according to a report on Cubs.com, Carlos Zambrano has decided to sit out of the WBC this time around. From Cubs.com: “Carlos Zambrano has said he doesn’t want to pitch in the 2009 event because he doesn’t want to risk injury.” Derrek Lee bruised his shoulder in the 2006 WBC and several of the players that participated in the games three years ago came up with injuries during MLB’s regular season.
Sammy Sosa is scheduled to play in the second WBC and reports suggested during last season that Slammin’ Sammy would officially announce his retirement after the tournament is completed.
Two players rumored to be of interest to the Cubs this off-season, Jake Peavy and Raul Ibanez, are on the possible 2009 Team USA Roster.
Kosuke Fukudome said it would be an honor if he was asked to play for Team Japan for the second time. Fukudome made a name for himself in the States during the first World Baseball Classic.
Some teams were reluctant to allow their players to participate in the Inaugural Classic back in 2006 and several players backed out of the games due to injury (or injury concerns) as the tournament approached. The Cubs have not officially announced if they will allow Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol to play for the Dominican Republic in the upcoming tournament.