“Brad Ausmus, Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler are backing Israel’s bid for the 2013 World Baseball Classic,” writes MLB.com’s Adam Berry, “significantly boosting the country’s chances of becoming an international contender.” Yes, especially if none of the retired players actually suit up.
The 39-year-old Green, a two-time MLB All-Star, did not rule out playing, saying he would help the team “in any capacity.”
“If I felt like that was a role that the team needed, I would prepare for it … I’m pretty confident that it wouldn’t be too huge a mountain to climb to get back and play,” he said. “I feel a strong connection to Israel and it would be an honor to put on the uniform.”
The current crop of Jewish major league talent includes stars such as Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox and Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers. An Israeli “Dream Team” could also feature Ike Davis, Jason Marquis, Sam Fuld, Danny Valencia and Scott Feldman.
“I think there will be a big interest. There are going to be a good number of guys who want to participate,” said Kapler. “I think it makes sense to dream about it and imagine what could be if the stars align.”
I hate to take exception to Israel Association of Baseball’s secretary-general, Peter Kurtz citing the “star power” of the retired trio bringing credibility to Team Israel, but if Pumpsie Green can be compelled to manage the squad, I might be signing a different tune.