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Marlins commit to Classic


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Marlins commit to Classic

By Joe Capozzi


Palm Beach Post Staff Writer


Saturday, November 12, 2005


INDIAN WELLS, Calif. ? Dontrelle Willis and Carlos Delgado have signed letters of intent to play in the inaugural World Baseball Classic next spring, with Josh Beckett and Miguel Cabrera among Marlins teammates expected to join them.


"It will be an honor for me to represent my country," said Delgado, who will play for Puerto Rico.


Exactly who will play in the World Cup-style tournament should be known by Jan. 17, the deadline for the 16 invited countries to submit rosters.


The 16-day tournament will start March 3 in Asia before moving to the United States, where games will be held in California, Texas and at the Atlanta Braves' complex in Orlando, the only Florida site chosen.


No games will be played at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter or at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, even though the Marlins had expressed an interest in hosting some games.


The tournament will end March 20, prompting some concern among baseball officials about disrupting spring training and exposing players to possible injuries.


Commissioner Bud Selig said all 30 teams were on board.


"None of us today can understand how big the World Classic is going to be and what it will do for this sport internationally," he said.


One particular issue that has generated discussion is pitch counts. The original recommendation was to allow a maximum of 75 pitches, or about five innings. But several teams feel that 60 pitches will be a safer limit.


Willis said the injury risks are the same whether he's competing in a spring training game or pitching in the WBC.


"I'm not saying don't worry about it, but it's one or the other," he said. "You just have to suck it up and represent your country. We're all investments, whether we make $1 million or $10 million, so I understand (teams') concerns."


Major League Baseball's Technical Committee will continue to study the issue and ultimately decide on the limit.


"I think it's a very interesting event," Marlins General Manager Admin Beinfest said. "I look forward to it. I think it will be fun."




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Miami would have been a perfect site to host some games. Dolphins Stadium would have been electric.



for an opening round game not involving the US or two latin countries, it would have been more empty than the average Marlins game. I hope to attend a game from whatever group is in Orlando.

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