A-Rod leans to Dominican Republic

Alex Rodriguez - 4/26/05 10 Runs Batted In
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez probably will play for the Dominican Republic over USA in inaugural World Baseball Classic next spring.

When the Major League Baseball announced players who commitments to play World Baseball Classic during Winter Meeting, Rodriguez, who was born in New York but his parents are Dominican, listed “Undecided” and is eligible to play for both the Dominican Republic and the United States.

“That seems to be pretty much where I’m leaning,” Rodriguez said during an interview on WFAN radio. “I think it’s going to be the team I’m going to represent, kind of like what (Mike) Piazza’s doing with Italy.”

If Rodriguez joined Dominican Republic, it will add more power to the lineup, which already includes stars like Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Tejada and Alfonso Soriano.

“I think the Latino teams are going to have a major advantage, I know the guys in the Dominican are taking this real seriously.” Rodriguez said. “I think that American team might take it more like an exhibition and these guys are kind of playing for their religion down there, the pride of their country.”

Talking about injuries concern, Rodriguez said. “I am excited and a little nervous, about obviously guys getting injured,” “That time of year you pull a hamstring and you are out three to four weeks. That may impact the whole season. I mean, you may have some type of ill effect going into even June or July.”

But he still wants to play. “I only know how to play one way once I’m between the lines. I love to compete, I love to play, and I’m going to go all out.”

Rodriguez is one of three Yankees to commit to play, joining second baseman Robinson Cano (Dominican Republic) and shortstop Derek Jeter (United States). Catcher Jorge Posada wanted to play for Puerto Rico, but the Yankees blocked him from participating. Other players like Hideki Matsui, Chien Ming Wang still undecided about whether to play or not.

A-Rod, who is well-known for his strenuous offseason workout, will begin baseball activity earlier than usual. Instead of beginning his hitting work around Jan. 1, as usual, he plans to step into the cage in the next 10 days. “There is definitely a sense of urgency for me to get ready a little earlier,” Rodriguez said. “To get more game ready, start throwing earlier.”

Rodriguez’s spokesman, Steve Fortunato, said the decision will be made by Major League Baseball and the players’ association. “Alex’s comments are based on discussions with the tournament organizers,” Fortunato said. “The organizers are ultimately going to recommend what team Alex should be placed on, and he would follow that. We’re waiting to see what that is. He wants to do whatever is best for tournament.”

A-Rod leaning toward Dominican
A-Rod likely picking Dominican team over U.S.

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  1. Global Voices Online Says:

    Cuba, Dominican Republic, USA: World Baseball Classic

    Steven Mansour asks for the justification for not allowing Cuba’s baseball team to play in the inaugural World Baseball Classic. Meanwhile, World Baseball Classic Blog says that New York-born Alex Rodriguez is currently leaning towards playing w…

  2. silvano Says:

    I have always said it, Cuba may be the best amongst amateures but, when it comes to competing against the country’s best, they’re no longer the best. Dominican’s best players play for the Major leagues, along with Puerto Rico, velenzuela, and the United States. Whenver cuba plays opposing countries such as Dominican and Puerto Rico, they dominate because they are not playing Dominicans best players, Cuba however is using its best players and that is why they win many times. Cuba plays against minor leagers and against those who could not and did not make the cut on major league rosters. But, now, it becomes a different story, they compete against the countries best players and if Cuba indeed gets past Dominican, Puerto Rico and Cuba,, then they got my vote as being the best of the world.

  3. cartero Says:

    Wow, silvano, how’s that humble pie tasting? The Cuban team did get their act together and beat the best roster of professional players the DR could muster, so what’s this again about their not being in the same league. Mind you, I was rooting for PR the whole time, but you gotta hand it to these folks that REALLY wanted to be in this event, that trained together for months (as opposed to PR that trained together for only a week), and that won not as individual stars but as a TEAM facing expectations and pressure the likes of it the DR team would not know about (I’m talking about the noises made by the Exilium Tremens). They proved that being HUNGRY for victory can give you an edge against pro players looking not to return hurt to MLB spring traning and lose out on $$. Anyhoo, it’s funny that the team that the US fought so hard to leave out of the party is now going to the finals, while it’s the end of the road for a DR team w/o A-Rod, not to speak of the American team, losing at home at the sport they invented, boo hoo. The only valid excuse? Hey, it’s a round ball and a short series, and with talent roughly equal on both sides, it can go either way. Hey, there’s always next time. Only thing though, watch out for Puerto Rico.

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