|Yankees SS Derek Jeter would like to play in World Baseball Classic again next year|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 24 February 2008 14:29|
The 2009 WBC will have the same 16-team field that competed in the inaugural tournament in March 2006.
``I'd like to. I enjoyed it,'' Jeter said Sunday after the New York Yankees' workout.
The tournament, organized by Major League Baseball and the players' association, last week invited the eight teams that failed to advance past the first round two years ago: Australia, Canada, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Panama, South Africa and Taiwan.
Last April, organizers invited the eight teams that made it to the second round: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United States and Venezuela.
Several other prominent Yankees are undecided about participating. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who played in the 2006 event, said his focus is on the upcoming season.
``First things first,'' Rodriguez said. ``I haven't given it one thought.''
Star closer Mariano Rivera, from Panama, didn't take part in the first WBC and is unsure about competing next year.
``It's too far into the future,'' Rivera said. ``I'll talk to you next spring.''
Hideki Matsui, a former star in Japan's Central League, also said it is too early to make a decision.
Organizers said they plan to establish qualifying rounds for the 2013 tournament. Japan won the inaugural event two years ago.
In other news, Chien-Ming Wang, the Yankees' expected opening-day starter, and Joba Chamberlain each threw 40 pitches, split into two segments, during their second batting practice session Sunday.
Chamberlain won a coin toss with Ian Kennedy and will start Friday's exhibition game against South Florida. Phil Hughes and Kei Igawa are also scheduled to pitch against the college team that features former Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez as a volunteer coach. Martinez is also a special instructor with the Yankees.
Mike Mussina, scheduled to pitch in Wednesday's intrasquad game, had a 13-minute bullpen session.
Notes: Matsui, who had surgery on his right knee last November, said he is pleased with how the knee has responded so far. Matsui isn't sure when he'll play his first exhibition game, but still expects to be ready for opening day. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been impressed by RHP LaTroy Hawkins, who could wind up working in the seventh and eighth innings. ... RHP Humberto Sanchez (elbow ligament replacement surgery) is set to start throwing off a bullpen mound in three weeks. He could start pitching in minor league games in mid-May.