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Joe Torre ready to lead Team USA in WBC

Joe Torre is putting his managerial skills back to work in 2013, for a few weeks at least, serving as Team USA’s skipper during the third edition of the World Baseball Classic from Mar. 2-19.

At a press conference Monday in Phoenix, Torre compared the feeling of putting on the USA jersey this year to donning the Yankees’ logo in November after Sept. 11, 2001.

“It was at that time I realized that baseball represented more than just entertainment on the field; that we meant a lot to a lot of people and our responsibility was far beyond just playing the game,” he said. “This is going to be a similar emotion, but certainly not the sadness that was part of that. I think emotionally, once you put that uniform on, it’s responsibility. It’s not necessarily the winning part of it, I think it’s just the way you carry yourself and the way you go about it.

“The one thing I’ve preached to my players is you represent yourself and in this case you represent your country.”

Former major leaguer Greg Maddux will be joining Team USA as a pitching coach. Maddux, who played for Torre with the Dodgers in 2008, received great praise from his ex-manager.

“I always just admired how business-like he was and how sort of grounded he was,” Torre said. “When I got him over with the Dodgers, he was every bit what you hoped he would be.

“I think that it’s going to be a great benefit for these pitchers to be exposed to this guy for a few weeks, because they certainly know who he is and what he was about.”

The Japanese team, which Torre said hardly makes mistakes, has taken the crown in the first two installments of the Classic, beating Cuba in ’06 and South Korea in ’09.

The coach has different plans in mind for 2013, saying a big part of the challenge to win games is not just being physically ready to perform.

“I think a big part of it is the mental preparation for a postseason type of atmosphere,” Torre said. “I feel pretty comfortable with the team we’ve put together based on ability for one and the fact that I think they’re going to be ready to do this when we need to.”

The team USA roster can be seen below:

Jeremy Affeldt (P-SFG)
J.P. Arencibia (C-TOR)
Heath Bell (P-ARI)
Willie Bloomquist (SS-ARI)
Mitchell Boggs (P-STL)
Ryan Braun (LF-MIL)
Steve Cishek (P-MIA)
Tim Collins (P-KC)
R.A. Dickey (P-TOR)
Luke Gregerson (P-SDP)
Derek Holland (P-TEX)
Adam Jones (CF-BAL)
Craig Kimbrel (P-ATL)
Jonathan Lucroy (C-MIL)
Joe Mauer (C-MIN)
Kris Medlen (P-ATL)
Chris Perez (P-CLE)
Glen Perkins (P-MIN)
Vinnie Pestano (P-CLE)
Brandon Phillips (2B-CIN)
Jimmy Rollins (SS-PHI)
Giancarlo Stanton (RF-MIA)
Mark Teixeira (1B-NYY)
Shane Victorino (LF-BOS)
Ryan Vogelsong (P-SFG)

David Wright (3B-NYM)
Ben Zobrist (RF-TB)