Joe Torre ready to lead Team USA in WBC

Feb 20, 2013, 11:46 PM | Updated: Feb 21, 2013, 12:01 am

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)


Shohei Ohtani #16 of Team Japan reacts after the final out of the World Baseball Classic Championsh...
Associated Press

Shohei Ohtani strikes out Mike Trout for final out, Japan bests U.S. in WBC

Shohei Ohtani emerged from the bullpen and fanned Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout for the final out of the World Baseball Classic.
7 days ago
Munetaka Murakami #55 of Team Japan celebrates after hitting a two-run double to defeat Team Mexico...
Associated Press

Japan walks off Mexico to set up World Baseball Classic final vs. USA

Shohei Ohtani sparked a ninth-inning rally as Japan walked off Mexico 6-5 to advance to the World Baseball Classic final against Team USA.
8 days ago
Paul Goldschmidt #46 of Team USA celebrates with Moookie Betts #3 after hitting a two-run home run ...
Associated Press

Turner, Goldschmidt lead Team USA to WBC final with win vs. Cuba

Defending champion United States romped over Cuba 14-2 on Sunday night to reach its second straight World Baseball Classic final.
9 days ago
Mike Trout Canada vs USA WBC (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Associated Press

U.S. bounces back, routs Canada in World Baseball Classic at Chase Field

Mike Trout hit a three-run homer, Lance Lynn threw five impressive innings and the United States used a nine-run first to cruise.
14 days ago
Joey Meneses #32 of Team Mexico flips his bat after hitting a three-run home run against Team USA d...
Alex Weiner

Team Mexico, fans electrify Chase Field in World Baseball Classic win over US

Team Mexico blew away Team USA in front of a rocking sold-out crowd at Chase Field in the World Baseball Classic.
15 days ago
Kyle Schwarber #12 of Team USA is congratulated by Mike Trout #27 and Paul Goldschmidt #46 after hi...
Associated Press

US opens World Baseball Classic with win over Great Britain at Chase Field

The United States overcame a slow start to beat Great Britain 6-2 on Saturday night in the World Baseball Classic opener for both teams.
17 days ago
Joe Torre ready to lead Team USA in WBC