In its third year of existence, the World Baseball Classic will see a world-class manager leading the USA team. It was announced Thursday night that Joe Torre would manage team USA in the upcoming WBC. The tournament, featuring teams from all over the world, first began in 2006. Japan won the first tournament and the second tournament held in 2009.
This year, qualification for the WBC begins in September and continues in November. The tournament itself will begin in March of 2013. The WBC has been a huge success in large part because of the level of talent involved. When baseball was part of the Olympics, only amateurs could participate. This excluded the world’s best talent. In the WBC, that talent is put on display on a nightly basis.
With the increasing number of foreign-born players in Major League baseball, teams from across the globe will be fielding rosters full of All-Star talent. This, of course, includes team USA.
The 2006 roster for the United States included players like Roger Clemens, Jake Peavy, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Matt Holliday, and Derek Jeter. The 2009 roster had names like Roy Oswalt, Chipper Jones, David Wright, Ryan Braun, and Evan Longoria.
Torre, who led the New York Yankees to four World Series victories in his time as their skipper, will step out of the executives offices of Major League Baseball where he serves as Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations. He will return to the dugout for the first time since 2010 when he managed the Los Angeles Dodgers.
USA Baseball released a statement from Torre that read in part:
I have been fortunate to have many different experiences throughout my career, but being a part of Team USA will be a first, and I am very excited about it
Torre is 71 and will be 72 by the time the qualification rounds start this fall. Team USA will start play in March.