That’s the World Baseball Classic, by the way, not the World Boxing Council. Though A-Rod versus Mitch “Blood” Green would certainly be worth tuning in for.

From :

After saying he’ll be playing for the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic, it appears that Alex Rodriguez doesn’t have a say in choice of teams.

Shortly after Rodriguez told that he would “make the Dominicans feel proud,” Bud Selig told Rodriguez that it’s a commissioner’s decision, Newsday reported.

“It’s too early in the process for these type of decisions to be made,” Rodriguez’s spokesman, Steve Fortunato, told the paper. “First, he has to be selected to be a part of it. Then he has to decide if he wants to play, or if he will be allowed to play. Then he will be told what country to play for.”

Rodriguez, who carries a U.S. passport and considers himself an American, was born in the United States, but has parents of Dominican descent, Fortunato told the paper.

Selig did not indicate what his decision would be, but when MLB came to Rodriguez about particpating the home run derby, baseball asked him to represent the United States.

“He would be happy to represent either,” Fortunato told Newsday. “Alex is content to let the commissioner decide.”

Writes Nick Stone of New York City,

Wow. Even FiFA, the relentlessly meddlesome overseer of international football, would never be so presumptuous as to tell players which country they have to play for. I’m sure the commissioner’s decision will not be swayed by TV sponsors’ desire to maximize American audience interest by strengthening the American team as much as possible. Why do I get the feeling that Bud Selig wasn’t too offended by the Fox “banner” fiasco? Instead, he probably regrets that MLB didn’t handle the All Star Game Spider-Base„¢ promotion with the same verve.

While Nick is partially correct regarding FIFA —- football’s governing body leaves the issue of citizenship and/or naturalization up to its member nations, it is still necessary to apply for a change, as was the case recently with Sevilla striker Ariza Makukula (above), wanted by the Congolese national team after he’d already starred for Portugal’s Under-21 side.

I fully expect to see Rodriguez taking the field for the U.S. team next March. And after said squad is eliminated, I am equally confident that A-Rod will begin making plans to play for the Dominican team in 2007, if not a third national side in 2008 if he fails to win a championship.