Adrian Gonzalez, the First baseman of Texas Ranger plans to play for the Mexican team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic next March; Tampa Bay Devil Rays infielder Jorge Cantu might also join him too.
Although nothing is official yet, Gonzalez expresses his willing to play for Mexican Team, the only issue could be his citizenship. Although his parents were from Mexico, Gonzalez was born in San Diego and raised on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. He has dual citizenship and will be allowed to pick which team (either USA or Mexico) he would like to represent.
2006 WBC is scheduled to begin on March, a few weeks after the start of Spring Training, but Gonzalez does not see it as a problem. He said, “Spring Training is about playing, and we will be playing, so I don’t think it will affect us that way. Maybe it could have an effect on managers and general managers, because all the players won’t be together in the clubhouse and they might not have enough time to see everybody.”
As for Jorge Cantu, he also expects to be asked to participate with the Mexican team. He said he plans for the offer to come in the off season.
Besides, a representative of Mexico’s leading sports confederation met with Cantu earlier this month. Cantu said he plans to meet with Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada in November. “We got together about baseball,” Cantu said. “We are going to try getting some propaganda of baseball in Mexico.”
Cantu mention that baseball is not very popular in Mexico, and although he was able to watch baseball on TV when grew up near the border, many people are still prefer soccer than baseball. He hopes to do something in World baseball Classic to do a lot for baseball in Mexico.
Among those players expected to play for Mexico are Esteban Loaiza (Starting Pitcher, Washington Nationals), Oliver Perez (Starting Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates), Rodrigo Lopez (Starting Pitcher, Baltimore Orioles), Elmer Dessens (Relief Pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers), Luis Ayala (Relief Pitcher, Washington Nationals), Erubiel Durazo (Designated Hitter, Oakland Athletics) and Miguel Ojeda (Catcher, Seattle Mariners). Outfielder Karim Garcia, who is currently playing in Japan, will also be asked to join the Mexican Team.