World Baseball Sleeper?

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Has anyone checked out the list of committments to play in the World Baseball Classic this spring? MLB better continue the recruiting efforts to even the competition or the Dominican Republic is going to cake-walk through the tournament.

If the games were played today (with the current MLBPA committments), here is how the Dominican team would look:

C - Alberto Castillo
1B - David Ortiz
2B - Alfonso Soriano
3B - Adrian Beltre
SS - Miguel Tejada
OF - Manny Ramirez
OF - Albert Pujols
OF - Vladimir Guerrero

And the top of the pitching rotation would include Pedro Martinez and Bartolo Colon.

Meanwhile, thus far the only player annouced for Team Netherlands is Andrew Jones. Team Panama's featured player looks to be Carlos Lee. And Team Australia is hoping to stay competive with the likes of Justin Huber.

With this kind of inequity amongst the teams, will the WBC enact a "Mercy Rule"? Will the Italian team really need to trot out Matt Mantei and Mike Gallo in the 5th and 6th innings already down 35-0?

Discluding Alberto Castillo, who was merely a part-time player, Team Domincan Replublic accounted for 246 HRs and 806 RBIs during the 2005 season! Between 7 position players. This same bunch averaged a .295 BA and has a collective 3 MVPs and 4 Cy Young's.

If MLB doesn't enhance its recruiting efforts for some of their competitors, the games against the Dominican Republic look to be less "competition" and more "outright embarrasment". But, man, won't it be fun to watch the fear in their opposing pitcher's eyes every time they take the mound?

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