Team Canada has announced the roster (pdf-file) for the upcoming Olympic qualifier in Taiwan. It is filled with former Major League veterans like Stubby CLAPP (Cardinals), Steve GREEN (Angels) and Ryan RADMANOVICH (Mariners) in addition to current Minor League players from Single to Triple A. They can rely on most of the members of the Baseball World Cup squad, where they missed the final round losing in a heartbreaker against Australia.
One of the most interesting selections is outfielder Adam STERN. The 28-year-old has made several big league appearances for the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles between 2005 and 2007. However his performance at the World Baseball Classic in 2006 was the highlight of his career. He was the key player in an 8-6 upset against the United States. He finished with a double shy of a cycle, including an inside-the-parker and four RBI.
Canada will travel to Brisbane, Australia on February 24 to play a four-game-series against the Aussies. Australia starts their preparation with two games on February 22 and 23 versus the NSW Patriots in Sydney. Both countries impressed at the last Olympics with second (AUS) and fourth (CAN) place finishes. They are the favourites next month in Taiwan. Three of the eight teams will qualify for Beijing. Spain, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, Korea and Chinese Taipei are there opponents. Canada meets with Mexico in the opening match on March 7. Australia faces Germany on the same day.
February 22: Australia – NSW Patriots (Sydney)
February 23: Australia – NSW Patriots (Sydney)
February 28: Australia – Canada (Brisbane)
February 29: Australia – Canada (Brisbane)
March 1: Australia – Canada (Gold Coast)
March 2: Australia – Canada (Gold Coast)
Photo: © International Baseball Federation (www.ibaf.tv.)