Rays Chris Archer honored to pitch for US team in WBC
Top Rays starter Chris Archer has accepted an invitation to pitch for the U.S. team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
"It's an honor. I know not everbody gets asked, not everybody gets invited. It's been one of my dreams to do since it started in 2006. I was in high school and I remember watching it saying one day it would be really, really cool,'' Archer said.
"Since we don't have the Olympics (for major-leaguers) this is basically the Olympics of our sport. It's the pinnacle of international play for our sport. It's all major leaguers. It's highly competitive. I'm stoked to be a part of it, and representing USA baseball.''
Archer said the disruption to his spring routine will be minimal. He will report to the Rays spring training camp in Port Charlotte and expects to pitch three times for the Rays before leaving to join the U.S. team, which will play its first round games in Miami March 9-11.
There are two subsequent rounds, so at most he would make three starts.
The U.S. team will be managed by Jim Leyland, which Archer said added to the appeal as well as the overall committment to winning.
"That's one thing that has really intrigued me is the desire from everyone I have spoken to to win,'' Archer said. "Not just to go and have fun - that's part of it - but to win. Jim Leyland - he's a legend, and he's extremely passionate. ... I'm really looking forward to it. It's a dream come true.''
Archer played for Team USA in 2010 while a minor-leaguer and said is another reason he is so eager to do so again.
"My first experience was priceless,'' he said. "So I can't wait to experience it on the grandest scale.''