New York Yankees third-base coach Luis Sojo has accepted to manage the Venezuela for World Baseball Classic next spring.
“I’m very happy at the appointment, and now we have to put together a team that puts Venezuela’s name high up there,” Sojo said. “It will be very tough, but I think in Venezuela there are enough quality players to win the title. I hope the best are available.”
After 13-year of Major League Baseball, Sojo retired in 2003 after played for Toronto Blue Jays, California Angels, Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees. Now he is the third-base coach of Yankees.
Sojo will be part of the Venezuelan technical team with David Concepcion and Omar Malave, based on Humberto Oropeza, Venezuelan Baseball Official. Oropeza mentioned that each team will have an initial list of 60 players that will be reduced to 30, with 13 pitchers, three catchers and 14 players. Venezuela will announce its final roster by March 2, just prior to the opening of the competition.
Venezuela should be one of the best teams in WBC, with hitters like Miguel Cabrera of Florida Marlins and Bobby Abreu of Philadelphia Phillies, and pitchers including Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins, and their target is very simple, winning the gold.
Venezuela will play first round at Cracker Jack Stadium of Disney World, at the southeastern of Orlando in Florida, with other Group Four counterpart: Australia, Italy and the Dominican Republic. Top two teams will move up, with another round-robin play at second round. Top two teams of second round will play single elimination Semi-Final and Final Game at PETCO Park to decide who the real world championship is.