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steig
02-16-2006, 10:43 PM
I found it interesting that he will only be with the team for two weeks before departing. I wonder how the teams development will work with several key players being out of spring training for an extended period of time. Especially Willy Mo and Felipe. I would much rather have Willy Mo working with instructors on defense and pitch recognition.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/02/16/sports/s161035S63.DTL


Griffey Eager to Play in World Classic

Thursday, February 16, 2006


(02-16) 16:10 PST Sarasota, Fla. (AP) --

Ken Griffey Jr. is eager to represent his country in the World Baseball Classic, a first-time tournament that many other superstars are sitting out.

The Cincinnati Reds center fielder showed up at the team's spring training complex Thursday, the reporting date for pitchers and catchers. Unlike the last few years, he's healthy and ready to play when camp opens.

And he's looking forward to representing the United States in the Classic next month, joining Johnny Damon, Jeff Francoeur, Matt Holliday, Vernon Wells and Randy Winn as outfielders on the U.S. roster.

Griffey went from high school to professional baseball in 1987, and never had a chance to represent the United States in the Olympics or an amateur competition.

"It's an opportunity I didn't get before turning pro," Griffey said. "I'd like to represent my country."

He'll be in camp with the Reds for about two weeks, then head to Arizona for the games, leaving his teammates behind.

"That's going to be weird," he said. "But I'll still be on the phone and looking at the paper in the morning (for Reds news)."

Griffey, 36, won the National League's comeback player award for overcoming a major hamstring injury and having an impressive 2005 season .301 with 35 homers and 92 RBIs. It was his best season since 2000, his first in Cincinnati.

The next four years were spent overcoming one major injury after another torn hamstrings, torn knee tendon, dislocated shoulder. The most serious of all came during the 2004 season, when Griffey tore his right hamstring from the bone.

Doctors reattached the hamstring with three screws a potential career-ending injury. Griffey wasn't ready when spring training opened last season, and didn't get back to form until May. Once the leg was strong, he showed he was still one of the game's best when healthy.

Griffey played in 128 games last season, his highest total since 2000. For the first time in years, he didn't have to spend an offseason getting his body back in shape from a major injury.

"That's a good thing," he said. "Now it's just trying to get in baseball shape."

Several other Reds are expecting to play for their countries in the Classic shortstop Felipe Lopez and catcher Javier Valentin for Puerto Rico, outfielder Wily Mo Pena for the Dominican Republic, left-hander Jung Keun Bong for Korea and infielder Frank Menechino for Italy.

Cedric
02-16-2006, 11:28 PM
Exactly why people like Steinbrenner make me sick. He has no idea the scope of the problem with baseball and marketing and worries only about selfish things. In my opinion baseball needs progressive ideas and I like this one from Bud. Can't believe I said that :)

TeamBoone
02-16-2006, 11:38 PM
OK, you lost me.

What does Steinbrenner have to do with the world classic?

And, do you mean you like Selig's idea of having the world classic?

Sorry, I'm a bit confused.

Cedric
02-17-2006, 01:05 AM
George is moaning and groaning about his players being in the game. And I love this idea from Bud.

TeamBoone
02-17-2006, 02:17 AM
Ah, thank you.

I like the idea of the World Games as well. I just hate the timing... unfortunately, there is no good time.

Ron Madden
02-17-2006, 05:13 AM
I could never blame any player for wanting to represent his Country...but then again I can see how it would make a Team Owner kinda scared of injury to his Clubs"Star Player"

reds1869
02-17-2006, 05:48 PM
I love the idea of the WBC. Butthe definition of a player's "country" seems a little loose to me. It should be like the FIFA World Cup, where you are eligible to play for a country only if you meet citizenship requirements for said country. This would mean nations like Italy would be terrible, but so be it.

Heath
02-17-2006, 05:53 PM
Go from 162 games to 154, drop the all-star game and play two weeks in June/July for the WBC in rotating cities across the country.

Just an idea.

dougdirt
02-17-2006, 06:00 PM
Heath that is a good idea, and it was brought up somewhere before, I think Marty B. actually brought that idea up. But he also said the odds of it happening are slim and none because those 8 games bring in so much money. And of course, everything is about $$$$ these days.

Heath
02-17-2006, 06:04 PM
Heath that is a good idea, and it was brought up somewhere before, I think Marty B. actually brought that idea up. But he also said the odds of it happening are slim and none because those 8 games bring in so much money. And of course, everything is about $$$$ these days.


8 games of revenue of 16 teams probably could be gotten in raising ticket prices and then having inflated prices of WBC tickets.

But if Canada played the US at Cincinnati, wouldn't you go?

steig
02-17-2006, 06:17 PM
I like Heath's idea also but I would think there may be even more complaining about the injury threat or use of pitchers as teams get ready for the post season drive in August and September.

dougdirt
02-17-2006, 06:38 PM
I would go if it were in Cincinnati, but top to bottom, 8 games times 30 teams is a lot more than just raising ticket prices though. The thing is though, would you go to Mexico vs Italy? It surely wouldnt sell as many tickets as a Cubs vs Cardinals game.

Heath
02-17-2006, 08:44 PM
I would go if it were in Cincinnati, but top to bottom, 8 games times 30 teams is a lot more than just raising ticket prices though. The thing is though, would you go to Mexico vs Italy? It surely wouldnt sell as many tickets as a Cubs vs Cardinals game.


Play Mexico & Italy in Houston.

I don't have a whole lot of time currently - but maybe down the road I can figure out a WBC schedule that fits everyone. It might be like a NCAA tournament bracket...