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While David Ortiz and other members of the Dominican Republic team were coaxing Alex Rodriguez, a member of Team USA in the original WBC, into playing with the Dominican team in the second WBC come spring, officials putting together the American team were scrambling.

Already CC Sabathia, Brandon Webb, Cole Hamels, Josh Beckett, A.J. Burnett, Brad Lidge, Josh Hamilton and Ryan Howard made their rejections of invitations public. Similar decisions are expected from Tim Lincecum, Roy Halladay, Jake Peavy and Ben Sheets.

And there will be more before manager Davey Johnson and his staff finally put together a roster for the United States team.

It would seem that putting together an American team would be easy.

But it isn't.

There were 1,188 players to appear in major league games last year, and 864 of them were born in the United States. The best of them want nothing to do with the WBC.

They don't want to interrupt their spring training. And what makes it easy for them is that the American fans don't care.

The American players have an easier time saying no because there isn't the baseball-induced national pride that hangs over players from the Caribbean and Asian countries.

For the American players it's not about a sense of national pride, it's about dollars and cents. And ballclubs who have multi-year investments in the premier players aren't about to force the issue with the players, even if commissioner Bud Selig and the folks in Manhattan came up with this idea with the hopes of expanding the market for souvenirs.


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Author:Fox Sports
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Added: December 26, 2008

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News » When it comes to WBC, Americans don't care 2008-12-26

When it comes to WBC, Americans don't care 2008-12-26

When it comes to WBC, Americans don't care 2008-12-26
The World Baseball Classic isn't.

A marketing creation devised when the Olympics gave baseball the boot, designed to promote an international event in America's national pastime, the Classic hasn't caught on in the United States with fans or players.

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