January 8th, 2009
Curtis Granderson received and accepted an invitation Thursday to join Team USA for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He’ll be in the outfield alongside current known commitments Grady Sizemore and Ryan Braun. The prospect of Sizemore and Granderson as teammates is an interesting one, given their similar talents.
Granderson’s long desire to play internationally was a part of his presentation when he joined a delegation of Major League and U.S. Olympic officials in November for a meeting with the International Olympic Committee to propose restoring baseball to the Olympic Games. One of his favorite baseball cards in his childhood collection, he said, was a Mark McGwire Team USA card from the 1984 Summer Olympics, the first for baseball as an Olympic sport.
Granderson joins what could be a sizeable list of Tigers players taking part in the World Baseball Classic. Carlos Guillen confirmed in November that he plans to participate again for Team Venezuela. Tiger teammates Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera are expected to do the same. All of them were on an early list of invited players at the end of November. Second baseman Placido Polanco could also take part for the Dominican Republic, though he said near season’s end that he was inclined not to participate this time around.
UPDATE: Add Armando Galarraga to the above list. He was not on the original list for Venezuela, but he was later invited and promptly accepted. Also, Brad Hawpe is the fourth and final outfielder invited to play for Team USA. If he accepts, he’ll take some playing time, though how that four-man, three-spot mix will work remains to be seen.