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Oct '12 03

Some WBC Qualifier News for Panama, Brazil and New Zealand

The World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Taipei City and Panama City in November are still six weeks away, but after Chinese Taipei’s roster announcement, more news is getting published.

Panama: Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is going to play for Panama at the WBC Qualifier in Panama City against Brazil, Nicaragua and Colombia. He batted .326 with 16 homeruns and 68 RBI in 113 games in 2012, but will miss the playoffs in the National League this fall. According to the report by Comcast Sportsnet he will continue to work out until the tournament, which will be held from November 15 to 19 at Rod Carew Stadium, the venue which also was used for the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup. The stadium is seeing a major renovation right now.

Brazil: In May Yan Gomes became the first Brazilian-born Major Leaguer, when the Toronto Blue Jays called him up from Triple-A Las Vegas. The 25-year-old who can play catcher, first base, third base and left field will go to the Dominican Winter League to stay in shape for the WBC Qualifier, where he will play for Brazil. Hall of Famer Barry Larkin was recently named manager of Team Brazil, which is the underdog in the pool with Panama, Nicaragua and Colombia.

New Zealand: Team New Zealand named Andy Skeels manager of its World Baseball Classic Qualifier team. The San Jose Giants (High-A) is born in New Zealand and a former catcher in the big leagues, who played for the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. “We will work very hard and come into this tournament prepared to put a winning team on the field,” Skeels said. “We won’t just “show up” because we got invited. No, be assured that we will play hard, all 27 outs, with courage, passion and purpose because that’s inspiring and respect for the game demands it”. New Zealand held tryouts for its WBC Qualifier team in September. Bonn Capital Daniel Lamb-Hunt hopes to play for the squad. New Zealand faces Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the Philippines in the Taipei City WBC Qualifier from November 15 to 18.

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