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Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Lasorda dismayed by players saying 'no' to WBC

Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda criticized players who declined to compete in the World Baseball Classic, saying they have an obligation to their countries.

Lasorda, an ambassador at large for the 16-team tournament, said he felt honored to represent the United States as manager for the 2000 Olympic baseball team that won a gold medal.

"I've seen a couple of guys who were asked to play and they turned it down. They turned it down? I don't like that one bit. I think you owe something to your country," Lasorda said Wednesday.

Lasorda was in the Puerto Rican capital, one of three sites where games will be played in the 16-nation event, for an event during which the trophy that will go to the winners was unveiled.

The WBC runs from March 3-20. Games also will be played in Japan and the United States.