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    Notes: Santana to sit out Classic

    Ervin Santana has opted out of the World Baseball Classic. The young right-hander considered over the last few days whether or not to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the Classic, but said the timing wasn't right.

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    Matsui defends decision to skip Classic

    Hideki Matsui joined a long line of Yankees to defend the decision about whether to play in the World Baseball Classic on Monday after he worked out for the first time at the Yankees' Spring Training complex.

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    Notes: Acevedo could pitch in Classic

    Right-hander Jose Acevedo has enough confidence in his ability that he accepted being taken off the Rockies' Major League roster this winter. That same confidence, combined with a love for his home country, could soon take Acevedo away from camp to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

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    Dutch team gets in some early work

    Netherlands manager Robert Eenhoorn decided that it would be best to have his squad leave the frigid Holland winter behind and pack its bags for a two-week pre-tournament camp in Florida.

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    Notes: Classic may affect Zambrano

    Carlos Zambrano was the Chicago Cubs' Opening Day starter last year, but he may not be able to repeat in 2006 because he is pitching for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. "He's the leader [to be the Opening Day starter]," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said Sunday. "But a lot of it depends on how he comes out of the World, and if we can get him on a schedule."

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    Notes: Olivo undecided about Classic

    In the mix for a starting job with Florida, Miguel Olivo also is weighing whether to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

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    Asian pitchers must adjust to Classic balls

    Pitchers across Asia are used to throwing baseballs with horsehide covering, but in the World Baseball Classic, they'll be using balls that are covered in cowhide. That's nothing to fuss about, you might say, but some of the hurlers in Group A beg to differ.

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    Honored Lopez bows out of Classic

    Reds shortstop Felipe Lopez announced Sunday that he has decided not to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Lopez, who arrived early to Spring Training for Cincinnati on Saturday, said he needed to get ready for the upcoming regular season.

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    Notes: Santana mulling Classic invite

    Angels righty Ervin Santana was named to the Dominican Republic's provisional roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. But Santana has a decision to make: whether or not to accept the invitation.

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    Notes: Winn says USA up for Classic

    Randy Winn, San Francisco's lone representative on the U.S. team in the WBC, says the Americans may not be so verbal about the tournament now, but just wait until they put on the red, white and blue uni, wait until the crowds show up and the competition starts.