The ground ball was coming at Walter Ibarra's glove slowly and predictably Wednesday. The Mexican second baseman turned his glove to his backhand and watched the ball hop past him into center field.

As Ibarra turned to retrieve the ball, Ramiro Pena jogged over from his shortstop position to help. Pena tossed the ball to his teammate 30 feet away, but Ibarra couldn't catch it. The ball bounced away again, lazily toward the infield, before Ibarra picked it up and threw it to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

You wonder what Gonzalez was thinking as he watched this sequence unfold between the top and bottom of the first inning at Camelback Ranch. Whatever the thought, Gonzalez didn't let it show.

How mad could he be? It was only infield warm-ups, only an exhibition game between Team Mexico and the Dodgers.

He's loathe to admit it, but Gonzalez faces a big challenge as team captain in the World Baseball Classic

"In Mexico we go by emotions," said Alfredo Amezaga, a major league journeyman in camp with the Dodgers and a teammate of Gonzalez in the 2006 and 2009 WBC. "There's a lot of old players, and when they come they play hard. Before the game it's more fun. What Adrian's doing, he's trying to bring more character to the field, to the players."

To bring those players together "is very, very hard," Amezaga said.