Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Scott Kazmir says pitching in the World Baseball Classic poses no risk

ST. PETERSBURG — After an extended 2008 season that was marked by injury and inconsistency, Rays left-hander Scott Kazmir is going to start this season by pitching for the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic, and he'll be joined by reliever J.P. Howell.

Kazmir said the strict pitch counts and light game schedule limited any concerns and made him eager to accept manager Davey Johnson's invitation.

"It's something I wanted to do. Just to be able to be part of the WBC and have a chance to represent my country, it's going to be awesome," Kazmir said. "This is going to be just like spring training would have been. The intensity will be a lot higher, but there's not going to be that many pitches (thrown), so I think we'll be fine."

Howell was initially unsure about participating but changed his mind after he recently started throwing and also is excited: "I feel good enough."

Kazmir and Howell will open spring training with the Rays in mid February but join the U.S. team for workouts (in Clearwater) starting March 2 and could be gone for more than three weeks if the U.S. team reaches the finals.

Kazmir said he doesn't see any risks. "Not at all," he said. "I'm ready. My arm feels good; my body feels good."

Infielders Akinori Iwamura (Japan) and Carlos Pena (Dominican Republic) and pitcher Grant Balfour (Australia) are also expected to participate.

Tampa Bay Rays' Scott Kazmir says pitching in the World Baseball Classic poses no risk 01/15/09 [Last modified: Friday, January 16, 2009 1:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 12 FSU, freshman QB James Blackman struggle in 27-21 loss to N.C. State


    TALLAHASSEE — Whatever was left of No. 12 Florida State's College Football Playoff hopes suffered a massive, likely fatal, blow Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

    Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Nyqwan Murray (8) carries during the first quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  2. Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off


    SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star is not going to the White House anytime soon.

    Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball team media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. [Associated Press]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing another old friend in Jeremy Hellickson


    UPDATE, 3:29: Here is the Rays lineup, with Duda at 1B and Morrison the DH:

  4. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium


    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  5. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national anthem …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]