It’s not enough that more players have bailed on the World Baseball Classic — Manny Ramirez and Francisco Cordero being two of today’s latest names to bow out —- now, the managers are jumping ship as well. From the Associated Press :
Roberto Kelly (above) has quit as manager of Panama’s team in the World Baseball Classic, complaining he didn’t get enough support from local baseball officials.
“I can’t work with the federation in the way it’s being run,” Kelly said in a local radio interview this week. He was with the San Francisco Giants spring training camp in Arizona, where is an instructor.
“If they don’t give us the backing we deserve as manager, we don’t have any reason to be in charge of the team,” Kelly said.
He complained that local officials had some players back from the Classic so they would play in the Panamanian championships and alleged that he had been the target of racist comments.
He was replaced by Anibal Reluz, a veteran of the local league.
The AP quoted Tommy Lasorda as saying “I’ve seen a couple of guys who were asked to play and they turned it down. They turned it down? I don’t like that one bit. I think you owe something to your country.” Hopefully every member of the Cuban national team agrees with the WBC’s goodwill ambassador.