What was billed as the biggest night of the week and the most anticipated baseball game in the country in more than 15 years, the finale of the Caribbean Series lived up to the hype on Tuesday night when Venezuela rallied to stun the Dominican Republic with a 5-4 victory.
Twenty-one players representing 10 different nations and affiliated with the Mariners were named to preliminary rosters for the upcoming inaugural World Baseball Classic, but one name on that list figures to raise more eyebrows than any other: Felix Hernandez.
The 60 players identified Wednesday who comprise Venezuela's provisional roster for the inaugural World Baseball Classic reads like a Dream Team: A Cy Young Award winner, a dozen Gold Gloves and no fewer than 10 players who have made at least one All-Star team.
A top Venezuelan baseball official floated the possibility on Wednesday that his country could host a round or two of next year's inaugural World Baseball Classic so that Cuba could participate.
Omar Vizquel grew up emulating fellow Venezuelan and shortstop Davey Concepcion. Now, at age 38, Vizquel's efforts have earned him the honor of captain of the Venezuelan World Baseball Classic squad, for which Concepcion will serve as bench coach.
Mark Buehrle and Freddy Garcia have agreed to participate for their home countries in next spring's inaugural World Baseball Classic. The White Sox pitchers were two of the 177 players announced Monday at the Winter Meetings in Dallas.
All-Stars Bobby Abreu and Jimmy Rollins are among eight Phillies who will try out for their respective countries in hopes of playing in the inaugural World Baseball Classic next March.
Ozzie Guillen wouldn't confirm Thursday that Freddy Garcia planned to pitch for their native Venezuela in the inaugural World Baseball Classic this spring. But the big right-hander did just that on Saturday while playing in a golf tournament in Puerto Rico.