Bruce on Team USA
From USA Baseball:
SA Baseball announced today the 24 players who will represent the United States at
the 2007 International BAseball Federation (IBAF) World Cup in Chinese Taipei from Nov. 6-18, 2007.
The roster is made up of professional, non-25-man roster players of the 30 Major League-affiliated (MLB) organizations. This is the eighth time USA Baseball has utilized Major League-affiliated professional players for international competition, including the 1999 Pan Am Games, the 2000 Olympic Games, the 2001 World Cup, the 2003 Olympic Qualifier, the 2005 IBAF World Cup, and the 2006 COPABE Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Among the 24 players selected by USA Baseball include Chicago White Sox (Triple-A Charlotte) pitcher Heath Phillips (Lake City, FL) and Toronto Blue Jays (Triple-A Syracuse) pitcher Lee Gronkiewicz (Justin, TX), both of whom also played for the 2006 squad that qualified for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
“USA Baseball could not be more thrilled with the roster we have compiled,” said Bob Watson, General Manager of Professional Teams for USA Baseball. “The roster has a good mix of youth and experience on this team – specifically in Phillips and
Gronkiewicz, two players who helped us win in 2006. We’re confident that this team will perform well, and it will only help further our preparation for Beijing next summer.”
Sixteen countries will begin IBAF World Cup competition in two groups of eight teams, with the top four of each group advancing to quarterfinals after seven days of round-robin play. Joining the U.S. in Group A will be Chinese Taipei, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, and Spain. Group B features Australia, Canada, Cuba, Germany, Korea, Netherlands, Thailand, and Venezuela.
As a tune-up for the IBAF World Cup, Team USA will spend more than a week in Arizona at the Arizona Fall League (AFL). Along with the Chinese National Baseball Team, the U.S. will compete as part of an International Division against the traditional six teams of the AFL. The U.S. will begin play on Oct. 25 and will play its final game in the AFL on Nov. 1 before leaving for Chinese Taipei.
Davey Johnson will return to the organization as the field manager and lead an experienced staff that will include Reggie Smith (Hitting Coach), Marcel Lachemann (Pitching Coach) and Rick Eckstein (Bench Coach). USA Baseball also named Dick Cooke (Davidson College) and Rolando de Armas (Philadelphia Phillies) as Auxiliary Coaches for the team.