Shrek, I mean David Ortiz, told Yahoo! Sports that A-Rod will suit up for the Dominican Republic in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. This is a switch from the inaugural Classic in 2006 when Rodriguez played for the United States. The Dominican team made it to the semifinals that year, while a star-studded US squad failed to make it out of group play.
Ortiz goes on to say later in the interview that he has not actually spoke to Rodriguez recently about his intentions but said that as far back as the all-star game in July, A-Rod had told Ortiz he intended to play for the DR. Ortiz also feels that A-Rod will make the announcement at Ortiz’s charity golf tournament this weekend in Punta Cana, DR. Ortiz himself may not play for the DR because of his surgically repaired left wrist.
A-Rod is a US citizen by birth, but does have the option to play for the Dominican. WBC rules state that a player is allowed to play for the country where he holds citizenship or the country where his parents were born. For example, Mike Piazza played for Italy in ’06 after the US did not offer him a spot on the roster.
The 2009 WBC is scheduled to begin on March 5 with first-round action in four venues: Tokyo, Mexico City, Toronto and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The championship game is scheduled for March 23 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.