Kazmir out of WBC, "disappointed"
UPDATE, 10:59: Here is a statement from USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler on losing Kazmir:
"First we want to thank Scott for his enthusiasm and support of Team USA for the World Baseball Classic. It is patriotism like his that has us excitied for this year's event. We also respect the Rays decision and their perspective on this issue. We understand that they have to do what is best for their organization. While we are dissapointed to lose Scott from the provisional roster, we must continue to look ahead to our opening game against Canada in Toronto."
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Scott Kazmir was "disappointed" to find out Tuesday that he won't be allowed to pitch in the World Baseball Classic as the Rays were successful in their attempt to block him out of health and workload concerns.
"I'm just disappointed,'' Kazmir said. "I was looking forward to it. I wanted to play for my country. It would have been exciting. At the same time, I'm trying to look at it some positives, that I'll be on the field with my teammates getting ready for the season.''
Evecutive VP Andrew Friedman said the Rays' biggest concern was Kazmir having to get ready to pitch early in March, and pitching in a competitive environment for Team USA, rather than on the conservative schedule they have planned.
"It was a very well-deserved invitation,'' Friedman said, "but looking at it as a positive for the organization, it gives him a chance to get ready a little slower and be around his teammates all of spring training, so that's what we're focusing on.''
Kazmir was excited and looking forward to the opportunity, but said he also understood the Rays' actions. "That's their job, and it was available for them to do,'' he said.