Japan's offense sputtered, aside from a few infield hits, and a three-run home run from Yokohama BayStars third baseman Shuichi Murata was the difference as the Nippon Professional Baseball All-Stars topped Japan, 4-3, in a World Baseball Classic exhibition game Saturday at Yahoo! Dome.
For Phil Brassington, the World Baseball Classic provides an opportunity to dream again. He can reflect on the struggles, the roads not taken, the doors that closed when a talented right arm finally gave out on him because of numerous injuries. And now, he has the chance to reinvent himself as a baseball player on a world stage at age 36.
There are several signs pointing to Manny Ramirez not participating in the World Baseball Classic, although as of Wednesday, there was no official word.
Vernon Wells' absence from camp on Wednesday signaled the first minor setback for the Blue Jays and perhaps Team USA. It was revealed that Wells has been nursing a strained left quadriceps since Sunday, when he injured the leg while lifting weights.
Miguel Olivo said Wednesday that he will not take part in the World Baseball Classic, opting instead to devote his full time to winning the Marlins' starting catching job. Joe Girardi, however, wants Olivo to take his time with the decision.
Outfielder David Dellucci has decided against playing for Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
Aramis Ramirez said Tuesday he has not decided whether he'll play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, and that his No. 1 concern is to be healthy for the Cubs and the regular season.
As they overran Phoenix Municipal Stadium, in their floppy shorts and black socks pulled up to their knees, Paul Rutgers stood at shortstop and called out in heavily-accented English, "Welcome to the big leagues." It's as big as anyone playing baseball in South Africa had ever dared dream.
Arriving at camp in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, Alex Rodriguez said he has accepted Ozzie Guillen's apology for criticizing him for wavering about his participation in the World Baseball Classic and is looking forward to helping the U.S. win the tournament.
Veteran David Dellucci understands the nature of competition at Spring Training, and he is starting to have second thoughts about leaving for the World Baseball Classic.