Team USA Is Looking MLBbro Formidable For World Baseball Classic Title Defense | Tim Anderson Is In The Building
Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is taking the phrase “SouthSide Worldwide” to new heights, as he is the latest MLBbro to join the Team USA roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The inaugural WBC was played in 2006 and had become one of the most unique events used to globalize the sport, until COVID caused the cancellation of the 2021 Classic.
— MLB (@MLB) August 26, 2022
Anderson is currently out with a hand injury, but the Chicago star has once again been one of the best hitters in baseball when healthy. On the year TA7 is hitting .301 with 100 hits, six home runs and 25 RBI out of the leadoff spot. Anderson is one of the best table setters in baseball, so adding him to a roster loaded with heavy hitters made perfect sense.
TA is expected to be fully recovered from his injury by the tournament time in March, where he will join LA Dodgers superstar and 2018 MVP Mookie Betts and Baltimore Orioles building block Cedric Mullins as the only MLBbro’s on the roster.
Betts has been one of the best players in baseball this season, and, if not for the Triple Crown pace of St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, would be a frontrunner for National League MVP. Betts is slashing .355/.412/.839 over his last seven games with four bombs, eight RBI and 11 hits.
Mullins hasn’t been the same 30/30 player we saw last year, but he has still been a solid contributor for Baltimore. Mullins currently has 11 home runs and 23 stolen bases for an Orioles team that is looking to make some noise in the postseason for the first time in a while.
The roster for Team USA won’t be settled until the off-season, so there are still a handful of MLBbros who should be locks for the roster should they choose to participate. Names like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Byron Buxon are surely being considered for the final outfield spots, with Judge being the lone lock if he wants it.
The pitching rotation for Team USA is yet to be announced, but young Black starters like Cleveland Guardians Tristan Mckenzie and New York Mets Taijuan Walker along with Milwaukee Brewers reliever Devin Williams should all be considered for the squad.
Team USA won the last World Baseball Classic in 2017, and despite the talent being stacked by countries like former champions in the Dominican Republic and Japan, the Americans will have a great shot at a repeat.
It is well documented by now that whether if it’s mainstream media or in blue-collar workplaces, representation is vital. The representation of a gender or race has proven to be effective in attracting more of that class that is being initially represented. The same logic applies to professional sports. Major League Baseball is the third most popular sport in the country yet less than 8% of the league’s players are represented by black players. This is largely due to fewer opportunities for Black and brown American born baseball players to gain notoriety.
That is why the announcement of Hall of Famer, and all-time great outfielder and MLBbro Ken Griffey Jr. as the Hitting Coach for Team USA is exceptional. As one of the most notable MLBbros of all time, representing not only the MLB but America on this big stage is a great way to represent the minimal black presence in our game.
In his playing days, “The Kid” as he was known, was arguably the most dynamic player to ever step onto a baseball field. The true definition of a five-fool player, there was nothing he could not do on the field. He played with a charisma and flair that had an effect on young black kids all over the country. He made a sport that was known as boring and uneventful to some and made it seem cool and remarkable. It is only fitting that someone of his caliber be placed on to the Team USA coaching staff. Not only will his influence be welcomed with the team, but his mere presence brings not only black fans but potentially more black future players.
Griffey Jr. is more than qualified to teach the art of hitting. With over 600 Home runs, 2700 plus hits, and 1800 plus RBI he is one of the best all-around pure hitters the game has seen. He posted these numbers while batting .284 over a 22-year big league career. Not to mention “The Kid” has one of the most recognizable and iconic swings of all time.
The World Baseball Classic does not officially return until 2023, but with the addition of Griffey Jr. to the staff, the team is already gaining momentum and giving fans reason to be optimistic about a repeat of its 2017 championship. Seeing him work with the roster of some of our best players in the game should be a welcome sight. It will also be interesting to see him work with young MLBbro Cedric Mullins, who has similar tools to Griffey Jr. whose His Hall of Fame impact should have a great influence on the entire club.
With the announcement that MLBbro Cedric “CM Storm” Mullins would be participating for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, there are some other Bros who we would love to see suit up for their country.
Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts and Hunter Greene need to be locks for Team USA ahead of this summers’ WBC.
The international baseball extravaganza is the game’s biggest global event, as some of the best players across the Majors represent their home countries in a tournament held every four years.
MLBros surged USA to the gold in 2017. A home run robbery by former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones in an elimination game and MVP Marcus Stroman who no-hit Puerto Rico in the Finals through six innings, led the way.
Never Forget when Adam Jones robbed Manny Machado in the World Baseball Classic 🔥 pic.twitter.com/DKDEquvGbL
— Baseball (@mlbelites_) February 6, 2022
The team has already announced outfielders Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, infielders Paul Goldschmidt, Trevor Story, Nolan Arenado and catcher J.T. Realmuto.
It was announced over the weekend that they will be managed by former 16-year veteran Mark DeRosa and his first order of business should be adding these three bros to his roster.
Aaron Judge stays humble, but we consider him the face of Major League Baseball after his demolition in 2022. When the Classic rolls around he’ll already have his first career MVP award and have signed the biggest bag this offseason.
Judge’s 46 home runs, 102 runs batted in, 98 runs scored and .654 slugging percentage all lead the league and he can find his name near the top of every offensive category outside of steals, which he has a personal career high of 13 this year.
Mookie Betts sends a message and talks about his DJ skills and his favorite rapper. pic.twitter.com/nnTdS1Pal7
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) July 23, 2022
What better way for Mookie Betts to get his message of “WE NEED MORE BLACK PEOPLE AT THE STADIUM” across the world than to have him be a part of Team USA.
Betts is the best player on the best team in baseball, and although many have crowned Goldschmidt the National League MVP, do not count Mookie out just yet. He leads the NL in runs scored and is in the top ten in home runs, OPS and slugging percentage. Betts has been voted an All-Star in seven consecutive seasons while also having a MVP, five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers on his resume.
This one may be a stretch, but it would be great for baseball to have what could be their next Black Ace pumping gas on the mound. Greene was a top pick in the 2017 draft but did not make his Major League debut until this season due to the Tommy John surgery he had back in 2019.
He has wasted no time getting acclimated to the Bigs.
In three of his starts this season, Greene has set records for most pitches thrown over 100 MPH in a start recorded in the stat cast error. His most dominant start of the season came back in May when he threw 7.1 no hit innings and has 17 games this season with at least six strikeouts.
Greene has been on the Injured List for a few weeks but threw a bullpen Sunday.
Tony Reagins Named USA’s GM For 2023 World Baseball Classic | Former LA Angels GM & Current MLB Diversity Czar Is Going For A Second WBC Title
USA Baseball today named Tony Reagins Team USA’s General Manager for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). Currently the Chief Baseball Development Officer for Major League Baseball and a member of USA Baseball’s Board of Directors, Reagins, a former GM for the LA Angels is tasked with leading the red, white, and blue to back-to-back world titles after the 2017 squad won the WBC after defeating Puerto Rico 8-0 in the championship game.
Reagins will make his first appearance on a WBC staff with USA Baseball but is no stranger to the role. In 2007, he became the fifth African American General Manager in MLB history when he was promoted by the Los Angeles Angels, beginning a tenure in which the Halos went 363-285 (.560). He led the 2008 Angels to their first 100-win season in franchise history and won consecutive league titles in 2008 and 2009. In 2021, Reagins served as the General Manager for the U.S. Olympic Team that won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
— USA Baseball (@USABaseball) July 13, 2022
“It’s an honor to be named General Manager of Team USA for the 2023 World Baseball Classic,” Reagins said. “We’re looking forward to assembling a talented coaching staff and roster that will build off the success of the 2017 team and make our country proud, while competing against the best players from around the world.”
Allow us to introduce our @WBCBaseball General Manager:
MLB's Chief Baseball Development Officer has been tasked to lead Team USA in its title defense.
— USA Baseball (@USABaseball) July 13, 2022
A native of Indio, California, and graduate of California State University, Fullerton, Reagins began his career as an intern with the Angels and worked his way up to the Director of Player Development before taking over as General Manager. Under his direction, Reagins was responsible for the free-agent signing of Torii Hunter in 2007 and drafting Mike Trout in 2009.
He joined the Commissioner’s Office in March 2015 as Senior Vice President of the first-ever Youth Programs department and became the Executive Vice President of Baseball & Softball Development in March 2018. By the time Reagins was named Major League Baseball’s Chief Baseball Development Officer in 2020, baseball and softball were the most participated team sport in the United States, and participation in baseball rose 20% since 2014.
He continued the development of PLAY BALL in partnership with USA Baseball and USA Softball with the implementation of initiatives such as Fun At Bat and has led the ascent of diversity-focused programs such as Hank Aaron Invitational, DREAM Series, Breakthrough Series, and the Elite Development Invitational.
Additionally, his efforts to grow the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program in the United States, South America, Canada, Europe, and Africa have shone, amounting to a nearly 160% increase in participation from 2016 to 2020.
Team USA will begin its WBC title defense as part of Pool C in Phoenix, Arizona, from March 11-15 and will face Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and a to-be-determined qualifying team. The Pool C winner and runner-up will advance to the quarterfinals in Miami, Florida, from March 17-18, and match-up against the winner and runner-up of Pool D.
The fifth installment of the Classic, which will be played from March 8-21, 2023, will take place at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan; the Tokyo Dome in Japan; Chase Field, the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in Phoenix; and LoanDepot park, the home of the Miami Marlins, in Florida. LoanDepot park in Miami will also host the semifinals and finals of the World Baseball Classic from March 19-21.
The U.S. won its first WBC title in 2017. Marcus Stroman was named the MVP after throwing six scoreless innings in the final and finishing the tournament with a 2.35 ERA. USA Baseball will look to identify the coaching staff and roster over the next several months.