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Zobrist back with Rays, raving about Team USA experience



Ben Zobrist was back in Rays camp in Sunday, raving about the experience of playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

Zobrist called it a "privilege" and "certainly one of the most memorable experiences of my baseball career.'' Also, that "it's hard to believe that anybody passes the opportunity up after experiencing it.''

He had a key at-bat against Rays teammate Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning of Thursday's game vs. the Dominican Republic, battling back from a 2-0 count and then getting called out on strikes.

"I was thinking of taking him yard 2-0 but I thought it's not going to help anything, (the score) is 3-1 right now, one run isn't going to do anything so I figured I would take one, and I regretted that later in the at-bat,'' Zobrist said. "He got pretty nasty later on. I thought the 3-2 pitch, first of all I couldn't have touched it where he put it, it was a great spot, but I thought it was a ball, but it was strike three and I walked back to the dugout.

"Next thing I know the arrow is being shot in the air and another patent Fernando Rodney/Rays moment there.''

Zobrist did joke that he saw the ball well vs. Rodney, so "I'll have to tell him he needs to hide it a little bit better.''

Zobrist said it was a little uncomfortable playing third in Friday's elimination game but wanted to be on the field.

Despite limited duty with Team USA, Zobrist said he is ready to start the season now and told manager Joe Maddon he didn't need any extra work, just a nornal late-spring schedule. He will work out in Port Charlotte today and is on the travel squad for Tuesday's game in Lakeland.

[Last modified: Sunday, March 17, 2013 9:46am]


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