The World Baseball Classic is a wonderful event. Japan, Dominican Republic, United States, and Canada are all serious contenders to bring glory to their home country.
However, amid the excitement among baseball fans to see a meaningful baseball game in March, it was pretty easy to miss the new team being added to the mix: the DL All Stars.
The team was formed by Pete Rose, who was banned for life from Major League Baseball for gambling on the Reds during his tenure as manager.
Rose said he was just looking for some attention when asked why he formed this team.
He's got it.
Right away, pitcher Mark Prior, once one of the best pitchers in the game of baseball (in the '90s at least), enlisted to be the ace of the staff for this DL team.
Prior wasn't alone in the pursuit to join the World Baseball Classic. Pitchers Pedro Martinez and Kevin Millwood also elected to play in the Classic under Rose.
After a phone call from Pedro's agent, former Boston teammate Nomar Garciaparra as well as current Cubs' right fielder Milton Bradley joined up to take starting spots in the lineup.
Kerry Wood was invited to play for the team, but he politely declined, noting that he is looking to get over his DL days, although a reunion with Prior sounded fun.
Rose is awaiting response on invitations sent to J.D. Drew, Eric Byrnes, Jason Schmidt, Troy Percival, Billy Wagner, Dave Roberts, and A.J. Burnett.
However, Rose doesn't expect Wagner to accept the team's invitation, since he is currently on the DL. Being on the disabled list, and out for the 2009 season, Wagner will sit and cheer for the DL at home.
Rose said that the team has several corporate sponsors for the world-wide baseball tournament when asked how the team will be able to afford the tournament "sponsorship".
Bengay, Icy Hot, Advil, Tylenol, and GNC are sponsoring the team. Braces will be supplied by KneedIT. The team already has prepared an injury accommodating arsenal of products, including a fleet of wheel chairs, stretchers, and crutches. The team also has a number of regional hospitals on speed-dial in case injuries occur during the Classic.
When asked of his team's chances of winning the tournament, Rose said they'd be lucky to be cleared to play by their doctors.
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