ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Buck Showalter is in favor of Manny Machado and other players participating in next March’s World Baseball Classic.
“We’ve always kicked it around. I’m sure we’ve had some conversations about it,” Showalter said. “We talked about it today.”
Showalter said Machado didn’t have to discuss his participation since it’s sanctioned by Major League Baseball and the Players Association
“That’s a long way away. He’s got his own thoughts on things. It will be a great time for him. I’m very supportive of it. Will help him next year getting ready, too. Will give him a chance to see some other guys at his position while he’s getting at-bats. We kind of benefit from it. We get to see some more people,” Showalter said.
The schedule for the WBC hasn’t been set, but in 2013, Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop began spring training with the Orioles before leaving while their teams were participating. They returned to the Orioles after the teams they played for were eliminated.
“I don’t have any problem with it. The people who are a lot more up to it than me embrace it and it’s something that’s important globally and our game is very global, so I’ll support any of our guys who want to do it, including me. I had a good offer from a country. And if I take it, I can retire in that country,” Showalter joked.
Jim Leyland will manage Team USA next year, and Showalter said he would be willing to head up the United States team when he’s concluded his active managing career.
“It would be an honor. It’s an honor for anybody to be asked to do that and be a part of a country,” Showalter said. “I think every situation you’ve got to take as it comes, but I think it’s a great honor and something we should all embrace.”