Updated Feb 20, 2013 - 3:22 pm
Representing country a 'no-brainer' for D-backs players
Bell is one of seven Arizona Diamondbacks who will do just that in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
"I didn't think I was going to be asked just for the simple fact I had a bad year last year," he said. "(Team USA manager) Joe Torre called me up and said, 'I like your enthusiasm. I like the way you go right after guys and I'd like you to be a part of this team.' It's a huge honor to represent your country. It's basically like the Olympics since baseball is no longer in the Olympics. I was pretty excited."
Willie Bloomquist also received a call from Torre and will join Bell on the U.S. team, which will hold its first official workout at Salt River Fields on March 4.
"The fact that you get to represent your country, I don't know if it gets a whole lot better than that," Bloomquist said. "It's an honor for me. I'm excited to be a part of it and hopefully help out in some way, shape or form."
The other Diamondbacks playing in the WBC are David Hernandez (Mexico), Nelson Figueroa (Puerto Rico), Miguel Montero, Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado (together on Venezuela).
Hernandez said he could have played for Team USA but chose to play for Mexico -- even though he doesn't speak Spanish, because of his family.
"It means a lot just because knowing what my grandparents have been through," he said. "It means a lot to them so it means even that much more to me."
The decision for Hernandez and the others, however, wasn't without some concern.
The club's primary setup man "wanted to make sure it was okay" with the team.
"I didn't want to rub the wrong people the wrong way. If they didn't want me to play I totally would've understood," he said. "But I felt like it's something that I've wanted to do, at least once, being able to play for your country. I'm just happy to have the opportunity."
Added Bloomquist, "For me, at this stage of my career, it was a no-brainer as long as I got (Kirk Gibson's) and (Kevin Towers') blessing to do it, which they were all for me doing it. First and foremost, you've got to make sure your organization is okay with you doing it and they were.
"It's something that I've always kind of wanted to do," he continued. "I played for a USA team in college but didn't really quite understand what it meant to wear the colors of your country at that time. For me, this go around, it's a little bit more special. It's an honor to put your colors of your country on. Hopefully, we can make some noise in this thing and represent well."
Craig Grialou, Reporter
- Dose of Venom: Dodgers take advantage of wild Cahill, overturned calls in win over D-backs
- Dodgers' six-run inning does in Cahill, D-backs: By The Numbers
- Arizona Diamondbacks manager: Six-man rotation probably on the way
- Dose of Venom: Anderson gets roughed up again as D-backs drop series finale to Padres
- Padres take series finale from Anderson, D-backs
- Tim Kurkjian - Wednesday August 27ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian believes Matt Williams is good for the Nationals.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 26D-backs manager Kirk Gibson discusses possible changes to a six-man rotation.
- Reggie Sanders - former Diamondbacks outfielder - Tuesday August 26Reggie Sanders discusses the Diamondbacks' alumni game coming up this Saturday.
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO - Thursday August 21Derrick Hall gives his thoughts on the new MLB commissioner.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday August 20Tim Kurkjian discusses the American League wild card race and the future of Kirk Gibson.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday August 20Kevin Towers talks about the future of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 19Kirk Gibson talks about his future with the Diamondbacks.