The Chicago Cubs are reporting that stud first baseman Anthony Rizzo will be playing for team Italy during the World Baseball classic which kicks off early March.
Rizzo, who was born in Florida and raised in the United States of America, qualifies to play for the Italian team because of his ancestry. The rules are a little strange considering Rizzo is about as American as apple pie, but so be it. Nothing wrong with a little bit of national pride in the game of baseball.
The bracket includes the USA, Canada, Mexico and Italy. I might have to root for 3 of those 4 teams all at once….
The official rosters won’t be released until thursday but Rizzo and the Cubs have already confirmed the roster spot. Starlin Castro has been rumored to be playing for the Dominican Republic team, but the Cubs have yet to confirm this.
Should we be concerned that the Cubs top young talent are playing extra baseball and could be injured in the process? Likely not, but the competition is relatively fierce. If anything, it’s an opportunity for the players to play a few extra games in a quality setting and have a little bit of fun before real baseball kicks in.
Having Cubs’ players play in the WBC is nothing new to the squad. Kosuke Fukudome,Ted Lilly, Alex Maestri, Carlos Marmol, Vince Perkins and Geovany Soto have all represented their countries while under team control.