The Boston Red Sox have two Major League players participating in this year’s World Baseball Classic. Right-hander Alfredo Aceves will pitch for Mexico, and Shane Victorino will playing center field for the United States.
“It’s an honor to play for the Native Mexicans,” Aceves said. “Hopefully we can play before 50,000 people; that would be great.”
He will be the starter for Mexico according to Red Sox manager John Farrell, but this is apparently news to Aceves. “I’m just going to show up and do whatever they want me to do. I’m not sure what they want,” he said.
Mexico will start to play March 7 in Arizona. The team is also in pool play with Canada, Italy and the United States. The top two teams will advance to the semifinal round in Miami starting March 12.
As for Victorino, he is looking to rebound. After being dealt from Philadelphia to the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer, Victorino hit 20 points below his career average with 11 homers and 39 RBIs.
Before he leaves for team USA, he plans to work with new Red Sox teammate Jacoby Ellsbury as much as possible, especially because Victorino has been a center fielder for much of his career and is now making the transition to right field.
Victorino played for Team USA in 2009 and loved the experience, but he said it was a tough decision to make this year because of his transition to the Sox.