The San Francisco Giants will have 4 players on the various World Baseball Classic rosters, according to the announcement made in Dallas at the Winter Meetings.
As had been announced last week, Barry Bonds will represent the United States team in the 16 team tournament. Third baseman Pedro Feliz will represent a high powered Dominican Republic team. And third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo and shortstop Omar Vizquel will be teammates on the Venezuelan team.
The World Baseball Classic will take place in March, starting on March 3rd for the Asian group, and on March 7th for the rest of the groups playing in North America, and running through March 20th, through most of Spring Training.
The United States team will play in Pool B, which will hold its first round games in Arizona at Chase Field, the home of the Diamondbacks, and Scottsdale Stadium, the spring training home of the Giants. Venezuela and the Dominican Republic will play their first round games in Florida at Walt Disney World. 2nd round games will be played in Anaheim and Puerto Rico, with the finals being hosted by San Diego.
The U.S. team will also play an exhibition against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium on March 5th. The exhibition would not only feature Bonds playing against the Giants for the first time in over 13 years, but could feature a Giant team represented by the young players who represent the post-Bonds era of Giant baseball.
Bonds is expected to be the designated hitter for the U.S. team, and will face a lighter playing schedule in the Spring than if he played with the Giants. Something else that has been noted is that the players in the World Baseball Classic will reportedly face the stricter international standard drug testing, which would add credence to Bonds’ claims that he does not do steroids.
The rosters have not been finalized, and more players may join the various teams. Notably, Moises Alou has not chosen to play yet, but still might, possibly for his father’s homeland of the Dominican Republic. The United States team has over 40 volunteers from the majors, and cuts will be made before the team reaches the 30 player roster size.
Some Giant minor leaguers may also join the international squads. Chris Begg, who played in Norwich last year, has represented Canada at both the Olympics and World Cup held in September. Seung Song, a minor league free agent who last played in Fresno, may represent the Korean team. And the Giants have several young players from Venezuela, including teenage third baseman Pablo Sandoval, and pitchers Waldis Joaquin and Shairon Martis.
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