Longoria is California bound for the World Baseball Classic

 

 
                     

 
You can only imagine the quick suitcase packing and the nonchalant look towards the clubhouse attendant when he told them he needed to get into the clubhouse after 5 pm today. the anxious look on Rays Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman’s face as he told Evan Longoria that he was “going to the the Big Show in California this weekend. But most of all, can you imagine the hustle and bustle for tickets now from the Long Beach California area now that Longoria is in route to Tampa International airport with a trip to California firmly within his grasp.
 

He will be so hyper by the time he hits Petco Park, not just for the adventure, but because he can share it with fellow Rays player and California dude, J P Howell. Longoria is the rookie again, with Howell having been in the Team USA clubhouse sine they left him in Clearwater, Florida after the Rays versus Philadelphia Phillies game back on February 28th. always great to know you have a fellow team mate already in house to get you up to snuff on the activities and the daily goings on of the World Baseball Classic.  This is not to say the two might not have talked recently, but you can bet it is going to be a great opportunity for Longoria not only to represent the United States, but to play ( hopefully) both contests in his home state in front of friends and family.
 

You know that Team USA already has a small block of tickets for him, but I think they will need more. For the former Long Beach State University student will probably have a couple hundred congratulation messages and ticket requests in the next 24 hours. I do not know if he is taking a red-eye flight out tonight to even get into the groove of this event. I know I would have sprinted out the door and gone home and got my laptop, a few personal items and basically ran all the way to the airport. This is a major opportunity for him to showcase to the west coast of the U.S. that Longoria style we have come to know and love in the Tampa Bay area.

 
 

 
 

And it all came about because of two injuries to the original members of the team that man the “hot corner”. David Wright has been the heir apparent to the third base crown for a few years, but with him also limping a bit after fouling a ball off his foot and breaking hid big toe nail, it might be a game time decision on Wright. As for the senior member of the “3B” team, Chipper Jones will be sidelined with a right oblique muscle injury that will prohibit his playing and batting in the rest of the tourney.  the official announcement did not hit the Internet until after 9 pm tonight, but he is not the only one being called up for duty in this critical stage of the World Baseball Classic.

 
Also meeting him in California will be a array of other sluggers ready and willing to provide some ammunition and power to the Team USA cause. Also getting a call tonight were Cleveland Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore, St Louis Cardinal Outfielder Ryan Ludwick ( who went 1-4 with a 3-run homer today against the Rays), 1st baseman Derrick Lee of the Chicago Cubs, and  catcher A J Pierzynski of the Chicago White Sox. their first game will be held on Sunday, with a win, they will again play on Monday for the World Baseball classic Championship in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. But that is not all for Longoria. the Sunday opponent will also have a familiar face in Rays second baseman Akinora Iwamura, who will be on the field for Japan in the Sunday contest.

 

 

 

Congrats to Longo for his selection to play in this critical point in the WBC format. I am looking forward to the Sunday game now with great anticipation of a “coming out” of sorts for Longoria at third base. People in the U. S.  who follow baseball have gotten to see this unique rookie play for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008 on his way to the American League Rookie of the Year award. But the people of Japan, Korea and Venezuela have not see the power and grace this young athlete has yet. But they will soon. So, let’s all make sure we set our DVR’s and other recorders for this game. I have a feeling this is going to be an instant classic match-up between two great baseball powers.

 
 
 
photo credits:   1) www.sports.espn.com
                        2) Donjohnson395@Flickr.com
                        3) RobertDBruce@Flickr.com
 
 
 

14 Comments

Congrats to Longiria! GO TEAM USA!! And please guys – can you stay healthy??

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Health might be one of the curses of the tourney.
But the best thing is that no one has had a year ending injury or accident. That is the positive that can be taken from the WBC so far this year.
Some lingering injuries and maybe a month or so, but thank goodness no Tommy John’s diagnosis or ACL situations.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Good Luck Evan! Don’t get hurt!
Canuck
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

Longoria is one of the Rays’ great young players. Hope he does well and avoids any injuries!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

I think you might have a few million people tonight saying a bit to someone above hoping he doesn’t get hurt.
But, you something, because of the Rays 2008 playoff push, he will understand the pressure and the excitement both by the players and the fans.
If this would have happened in early 2008 before the regular season, he would not have been there, and if he was, he would not have the confidence and the experioence he has now with the whole environment.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Wow, all three posts so far have mentioned injury.
I am a bit more confident in him staying away from an injury, but you never know.
But the fact it is a total of two possible games, it might be more of a easier performance based level to achieve without injury.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I am so glad Longoria is going to play in the WBC and feel much more confident of the USA’s chances now that Longoria is there.
Aaron
http://mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

I hope he has fun playing in front of family and friends. I think the injury worry is at the front of everyone’s mind, just for the sheer reason that that’s why Evan got called out there. I’ll be cheering him and Team USA on! Show them that ROY stuff, Longo!
Canuck
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

I understand how Team USA Manager Davey Johnson had to play David Wright because he did not have a viable alternative, but he might have burned a bridge in New York for future employment.
Longoria should have a great time while out there. Friends and family will be all over the place, plus he is secure when he is in his home state. For some reason he plays better on the west coast.
I am just hoping for some great games and no key injuries to anyone………………….I can dream can’t I?

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

You can bet his family is scouring E-bay and Ticketmaster and Stubhub looking for WBC tickets. He might not be totally a local guy, but the crowd at the stadium cheering his name will seem like a entire stadium. I remember in Oakland when his mom was so loud you could hear here even for the defensive play during the game.
They are loud and proud for the kid.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenengade.mlblogs.com

Looking forward to seeing Longoria with Team USA on Sunday! He’s an incredible player and my favorite on the Rays; I have no doubt he’ll do the USA proud.
http://ledzeb99.mlblogs.com

I am looking forward to Longo playing too, but after seeing Ryan Ludwick a few days ago, the guy has some wicked power.
It will be interesting to see if the new Team USA members can adjust fast enough to the style of play that the Japanese will throw at them. Slow, methodical battleplans that get results. Been fun so far in the WBC.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I really like Evan. He should have been playing for USA since the begining. Man I wish I would have went to a Rays game last season when I went to Florida in Sept. I couldn’t talk everyone into wanting to drive to Tampa for a game. We were in Orlando.

~ King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

Too bad you were not there in April when they played three games at the Walt Disney complex in Orlando.
The teams were right there next to you in that smaller version of a big league park. But it was an amazing site for the three games.

I am sorry you did not get over here too. Then you would see that the Trop is not the cement cemetry crypt the media makes it out to be………….almost nightly.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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