Former Yankees manager Joe Torre is going to manage Team USA at next year’s World Baseball Classic. From a USA Baseball press release:
Currently Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations, Torre will be making his debut in red, white and blue next March for the third installment of the WBC. Dates and locations are to be announced, but first-ever qualifiers are set to be held in September and November of 2012 across four international venues.
“I am honored to be selected to lead Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic,” Torre said. “I have been fortunate to have many different experiences throughout my career, but being a part of Team USA will be a first, and I am very excited about it. I look forward to the challenge of representing the United States when this tournament celebrates the global growth of our national pastime next year.”
A few other notes and links on this off day…
• Jon Heyman talked to castaway catcher Francisco Cervelli about his unusual and unexpected demotion to Triple-A. Not surprisingly, Cervelli is still struggling to come to grips with the decision. “(The Yankees) always know what they are doing,” Cervelli said. “Sometimes we don’t understand. I am going to make them understand I can play in the big leagues.”
• The home plate umpire who called Matt Cain’s perfect game last night is the same umpire who called David Cone’s perfect game in 1999. Ted Barrett is the first Major League umpire to be behind the plate for two perfect games.
• Apparently Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher aren’t particularly popular among their peers. For whatever it’s worth, Rodriguez is a tough person to know, but I’m convinced Swisher’s over-the-top antics aren’t an act. That’s just his personality. Like him or not, that’s who he is.
• Remember when the Yankees lost Triple-A first baseman Steve Pearce to an opt-out clause? Well the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lineup hasn’t missed him because Russell Branyan has been even better, hitting .361/.511/.889 through 11 games. He’s been with the team for roughly two weeks, and has already won an International League Player of the Week award. Branyan and Jack Cust have been three-true-outcome superstars for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
• Ever wondered what Robinson Cano would look like standing next to Iron Man? Turns out, Cano actually visited Marvel Comics during the Yankees west coast trip last month. Some of the pictures are pretty funny.
• For those of you who love prospects, check out this interview with Mason Williams. ” I have my same stance, same swing from when I got drafted,” Williams said. “But when I got drafted, I was a little bit of a slap hitter. Now I’m learning to use my legs more during my swing and not slapping as much. I’ve been able to drive balls a little more.”
• The Mets are appealing to ask that R.A. Dickey’s one-hitter be ruled a no-hitter based on a chopper to third base. Wonder if they’ll appeal the missed call that helped Johan Santana throw his no-no.
• Finally, a good cause: Lisa and Serena from the Traveling Baseball Babes blog are organizing a cancer research fund raiser taking place June 23 at at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. If you’re interested, check out the Fred Ks Cancer website.
Associated Press photo