New group of indy leaguers fills out Team USA roster
November 10, 2000
By Mark Derewicz
Minor League Baseball officials might have a problem with the independent leagues infiltrating "their territories" but USA Baseball has been more than happy to forge a strong relationship with the rebel leagues.
For the second year in a row, Team USA will use independent minor leagues for international competitions. This year, a roster of 22 players will travel to Panama on Thanksgiving to participate in the Pan American Cup. Twelve countries will vie for four spots in the International Baseball Federation World Cup to be held in Taiwan next November.
USA Baseball found itself in a bind last year when team officials scrambled to field a team for the Intercontinental Cup, a warm-up tournament for the Sydney Olympics. That tournament, like the Pan American Cup, was not an Olympic qualifier. But Team USA would've been disqualified from participating in the Olympics if it hadn't played in the Intercontinental Cup. Those indy leaguers finished fourth out of nine teams.
This year's team, which will include a few players who spent 2000 in the affiliated minor leagues, was being put together by associate director of national teams Eric Campbell. The roster is not complete but 19 players agreed to sacrifice a day with the family in order to represent the United States on the diamond.
There was speculation that righthander Matt Harrington, the Rockies' first-round pick in this year's draft, had signed with the St. Paul Saints so he could play in this tournament for Team USA and St. Paul manager Marty Scott. Harrington, though, was not invited to join the team for a week's worth of preparation in Florida. But according to Campbell, Harrington's inclusion was not out of the realm of possibilities.
Here's a list of 19 players ready to head south for the IBAF tournament:
Pitchers: RHP Lance Calmus, Alexandria (Texas-Louisiana); RHP Keith Davis, Bridgeport (Atlantic); RHP Gary Goldsmith, Aberdeen (Atlantic); RHP Jeff Keppen, Winnipeg (Northern); RHP Bob Milacki, St. Paul (Northern); RHP George Schmidt, Fargo-Moorhead (Northern); RHP Al Sontag, Bridgeport (Atlantic); LHP Geno Caruso, Schaumburg (Northern); LHP John Duffy, Fargo-Moorhead (Northern).
Catchers: John Castellano, Long Island (Atlantic); Kirk Pierce, Fargo-Moorhead (Northern).
Infielders: Jesse Ibarra, St. Paul (Northern); Anthony Lewis, Duluth-Superior (Northern); Doug Livingston, Fargo-Moorhead (Northern); Tony Schifano, Tennessee (Double-A Southern League).
Outfielders: Ozzie Canseco, Newark (Atlantic); Alex Cole, Bridgeport (Atlantic), Michael Carter, Bridgeport (Atlantic); Steve Goodell, Carolina (Double-A Southern League).
Copyright 1998-2000 Baseball America. All rights reserved.|
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.