Press Release French Baseball and Softball Federation
PARIS – The French Baseball and Softball Federation announces the 28-man roster for the World Baseball Classic Qualifier to be held from the 19th to the 23th of September, 2012,in Jupiter, Florida. France will compete against South Africa, Spain and Israel for a spot in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
In 2011 World Baseball Classic Inc. extended the field of the World Baseball Classic from 16 to 28 teams, inviting 12 nations to a Qualifier to be held in 2012. The Qualifier is divided in 4 pools from 4 teams each and qualify only the pools winners to the main round, joining the 12 best teams from the 2009 World Baseball Classic edition. The main tournament will be held in March 2013 in the United States. The 12 invited countries (Brazil, Colombia, Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Nicaragua, Philippines and Thaïland) join the four teams that did not a win a game in the 2009′ WBC (Canada, Panama, Chinese Taipei, South Africa). Each qualifier is a double elimination tournament.
Team France’s roster will mostly be composed of players that participated to the 2012 European Championship in The Netherlands from the 7th to the 12th of September. “I’m very satisfied with the team that will represent France for this World Baseball Classic Qualifier. We’re all excited to start the competition”, declared Jim Stoeckel, Team France Field Manager and Global Scouting Coordinator at the Cincinnati Reds.
Led by Jim Stoeckel the Coaching Staff will include former international French players Arnaud Fau (Bench Coach) and Jamel Boutagra (1B Coach), former Major League Eric Gagné (Pitching Coach), Sammy Serrano (Bullpen Coach) and Jeff Stoeckel (3B Coach).
Players currently in France will gather at Sénart on the 14th to prepare for the Qualifier. The Team will assemble at Jupiter on Monday the 17th, playing its first game against Spain on Thursday the 20th at 9pm, local time at the Roger Dean Stadium.