Jimmy Rollins has been named to the roster for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. This is the second time Rollins will suit up for Team USA, and with Derek Jeter and Troy Tulowitzki coming off injuries, Rollins was an obvious choice for the team. It makes sense that Rollins, who won another Gold Glove last year, will get some serious playing time in the tournament.
Rollins is still considered one of the best shortstops in baseball, and his passion and love for the game makes him a great addition to any team. No other Phillies player was asked to participate, but former Phillie Shane Victorino joins Rollins on the team. Rollins, Victorino and Brewers slugger Ryan Braun are the only three players returning from the 2009 USA team. Rollins also is one of only three former MVPs to be on the team, along with Braun and Joe Mauer. It’s true he is not the player he once was, but he has plenty left to give to baseball.
The starting lineup for the team projects to be Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, Rollins, Mets third baseman David Wright, Twins catcher Joe Mauer, Braun, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones and Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. It’s a good mixture of older/proven players, and young/up-and-coming all-stars. It would have been nice to see Mike Trout and Bryce Harper on the team, but I’m sure they will play in the WBC many times before their careers end.
The World Baseball Classic is frowned upon by many who don’t like the fact that some of the best players must leave their teams and “risk injury” to play in a tournament, but I love it. I think that any publicity for the great game of baseball is a good thing, and having players like Rollins representing the USA can show how great the game is.