Roughly 11 months ago, the subject of Team Israel’s World Baseball Classic hopes came up in this space, though the National Review’s Jason Epstein sheds some light on the squad’s uphill battle in a chat with manager / retired C Brad Ausmus (above, left) (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)
EPSTEIN: Tell us a little about your current roster. Undoubtedly, there are several position players and pitchers who have impressed you, but are there one or two you think scouts should keep an eye on during the games in Jupiter?
AUSMUS: The WBC schedule limits the amount of time that Team Israel will train together. The team will work out for five days prior to the start of the qualifying tournament. That is not a lot of time for teammates to get to know one another. Team Israel will consist of Jewish-American minor-league players, former major-league players, and Israeli natives. Their ages range from early 20s to 40. Keep your eye on Shawn Green — I hear he was a pretty good player at one time.
EPSTEIN: Kevin Youkilis has said that if the team advances beyond the qualifying round to the March 2013 tournament, he would like to play. How many other Jewish players currently in the big leagues or minors do you expect to join the roster? Might Roger Clemens consider converting?
AUSMUS: I don’t like to look beyond the qualifying tournament because if we do not advance, it is irrelevant which MLB players will participate. Rest assured, if we do advance, we’ll contact all Team Israel–eligible MLB players.