For dozens of Major League Baseball players plucked from their camps around Arizona and Florida, the journey is about to begin.
The Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez, Luis Cruz, Hanley Ramirez, Ronald Belisario, Javy Guerra and Nick Punto, along with Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, leave today to train with their respective countries in the World Baseball Classic. They could be gone for as few as eight days or as many as 18, depending on how far each team advances in the tournament.
The third edition of the WBC holds different meanings for different fans; the same is true for the players.
"For me and Adrian, we've been talking, waiting for this," said Dodgers third baseman Luis Cruz, who will be joined by Gonzalez and Guerra on Team Mexico. "I think all our country has been waiting for this. We're ready, man.
"I think everybody at this time is ready. Me and Adrian have been training since January 11. I think we're ready mentally."
Guerra told the Dodgers on Saturday he would be was added to the Mexican roster as an injury replacement.
Gonzalez, Cruz, Guerra and Punto (who will play for Italy) won't have to travel far for now. They're in a four-team bracket with Canada and the United States playing games in Phoenix and nearby Scottsdale. Mexico even has an exhibition game against the Dodgers scheduled for Wednesday at Camelback Ranch.
Some Dodgers, Angels leaving to prepare for World Baseball Classic
L.A. Daily News | Mar 3