Canada national baseball team


Canada national baseball team

Infobox National baseball team

Name = Canada national baseball team
Country = flag|Canada
Federation = Baseball Canada
Confederation = COPABE
Manager = Terry Puhl
Olympic apps =
Olympic first =
Olympic best =
WBC apps = 1
WBC first = 2006
WBC best = 9
WC apps =
WC first =
WC best =
IC apps =
IC first =
IC best =
PAG apps =
PAG first =
PAG best =
The Canadian national baseball team is the baseball team which represents Canada in international tournaments. It is currently managed by Terry Puhl, former Major League Baseball player, and head coach at the University of Houston–Victoria.

Canada at the WBC

In June 2005, Major League Baseball announced the formation of the World Baseball Classic (WBC), an international competition to be held in March 2006 for the first time. Canada was one of the sixteen teams invited to play in the inaugural classic. Because the event will be held in March, before the North American baseball season traditionally starts, players active in Major League Baseball or any minor league affiliates are eligible to play in the WBC, making the team markedly different from the teams which represented Canada in the 2005 World Cup or the 2004 Olympics.

Before being eliminated after the first round, Canada played in Pool B of the tournament with Mexico, South Africa and the United States.

Round One

vs. South Africa

Team Canada was heavily favoured to win their first game against South Africa, a team made up almost entirely by amateurs. However, South Africa put up a tough challenge to the Canadian team. South African starter, Carl Michaels pitched outstandingly; Canada couldn't get a run until the 5th inning, when they scored 3. However, the South Africans shockingly scored 4 runs of their own in the bottom of the 5th against Paul Quantrill. It was back and forth from then on. It looked like South Africa might pull off a monumental upset as they went into the 9th with an 8-7 lead. However, in the top of the 9th, the Canadians scored 4 times to win the game 11-8.

vs. the United States

After almost being upset by a surprising South African team, Canada pulled off an upset of its own with an 8-6 victory over the star-studded United States team. Scoring in each of the first five innings, the Canadians built an 8-0 lead using a combination of timely, patient hitting, steady pitching and clutch fielding. In the bottom of the fifth, the United States threatened a comeback, exploding for 6 runs, capped off by a Jason Varitek grand slam. The Canadian team held off the US the rest of the way, as neither team crossed the plate again in the game. Adam Stern had a strong outing, going 3 for 4, a double shy of the cycle, with an inside the park home run, as well as making several spectacular plays in center field to keep the game close.

vs. Mexico

After Canada's victory over the United States, they got shocked by the Mexican team in a 9-1 resounding defeat. Unfortunately for the Canadian side, this victory would eventually cost them the trip to the 2nd round of the tournament after the United States beat South Africa 17-0 and clinched the second place in Pool B. Canada, USA, and Mexico each finished with a 2-1 record in the pool, but Canada lost the tie-breaker based on runs allowed.

Results

Round One

*March 7
**Canada 11, South Africa 8

*March 8
**Canada 8, USA 6

*March 9
**Canada 1, Mexico 9

2006 WBC Team Trivia

*Pitcher Paul Quantrill announced that he would retire from baseball following the World Baseball Classic.

*Several high profile Canadian players declined the opportunity to participate, including Ryan Dempster, Shawn Hill, Danny Klassen, Éric Gagné and Rich Harden, who were injured. Los Angeles Dodgers' prospect Russell Martin was named to the team, but pulled out in favor of reporting to Spring Training. In addition, Larry Walker, who retired after the 2005 season, opted not to participate, choosing instead to serve in a coaching capacity.

*Coach Ernie Whitt is not, in fact, a native Canadian, but has dedicated himself to Canadian baseball in recent years. After a playing career spent mostly with the Toronto Blue Jays (where he remains very popular), Whitt was serving as a coach with the Blue Jays at the time of the tournament. Furthermore, he has skippered other incarnations of the Canadian national team, including the 2004 Olympic team, which finished fourth. He is also now a Canadian citizen.

Canada at the Olympics

Canada has qualified for two Olympic games. In the 2004 Summer Olympics, the team finished fourth.

2004 Summer Olympics

2008 Summer Olympics

Canada qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics by finishing 1st place in the final qualifying tournament.

ee also

*List of Major League Baseball players from Canada

External links

* [http://www.baseball.ca/eng_cat.cfm?CatID=29 National Teams at Baseball Canada]
* [http://www.JustinMorneau.com Canada's MVP - JustinMorneau.com]
* [http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com World Baseball Classic]
* [http://www.toronto-baseball.com Association of Toronto Baseball Players]


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