For those who haven’t been following the World Baseball Classic news, the Dodgers have eight players expected to participate in the 16-team tournament and this really has a chance to be a great baseball showcase.
Most recently, Olmedo Saenz (in the photo with Ricky Ledee) announced he was going to play, even though he had originally decided not to. The decision was based on the fact that his home country had given him such support during the recent loss of his mother and he wanted to be able to give something back.
For all of us Dodger fans, baseball is never far from our minds, but once the last out of the World Series has been recorded, the idea of games being played doesn’t come back to our thoughts until early March. For so many Latin players, they return home to their native countries, where they get the chance to play with and in front of so many of their childhood friends. If you’ve never had the chance to witness baseball in Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic, you should definitely plan a trip. The passion is almost unparalleled.
This year, we’re expecting that Odalis Perez (Dominican Republic), Saenz (Panama), Jose Cruz Jr. and Ricky Ledee (Puerto Rico), Hee-Seop Choi and Jae Seo (Korea), Hong-Chih Kuo (Taiwan) and Oscar Robles (Mexico) will all represent their countries. In fact, Seo and Choi leave tomorrow morning at 5:30 a.m. for a flight to Fukuoka, Japan, where they’ll start practicing with the rest of the Korean team. Tommy Lasorda is currently in Puerto Rico as the Ambassador to the WBC and we might even have some broadcasters getting involved (be on the lookout for news on that front in the next couple days).
This truly has the chance to expand the game of baseball in ways never imagined years ago. In fact, this Inside the Dodgers blog could very well be read in all of the different countries where baseball is played, so feel free to share your thoughts on the WBC here and with all your friends around the globe.