Watch Mark DeRosa be named Team USA manager live on air

A member of the 2009 WBC team, DeRosa will make his professional coaching debut in 2023

August 19th, 2022

Across a 16-year Major League career, Mark DeRosa played nearly every position imaginable -- lining up everywhere except at center field, pitcher and catcher. Well, now it will be his job to decide where to put players. On Friday, Team USA general manager Tony Reagins announced that DeRosa would be taking over as manager for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

Of course, Reagins didn't just put out a press release. Nope, Reagins made the announcement live on "MLB Central," the morning show which DeRosa co-hosts.

"I was really hesitant in making this announcement, and really hesitant about the person I selected to lead the squad -- I'm kidding, guys!" Reagins said, while a smiling DeRosa was forced to squirm in his seat. "Uncle Cliff [Floyd] is looking at me like I'm crazy! I had some great conversations with Mark, and right away I felt the connection. His leadership, his ability to communicate, it really jumped off the table."

DeRosa, who played for Team USA in the 2009 WBC, will make his professional coaching debut as the U.S. looks to defend its 2017 title.

“I’m completely honored and humbled to be named the manager of Team USA,” DeRosa said. “Competing in the 2009 World Baseball Classic for Team USA was one of the greatest experiences of my baseball journey. Getting the chance to lead this star-studded roster and represent our country is an opportunity of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to get started.”

DeRosa will be in charge of an absolutely loaded roster that will surely be one of the favorites when the tournament begins in March. Mike Trout (captain), Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado, J.T. Realmuto, Trevor Story, Paul Goldschmidt and Pete Alonso have already made commitments to the team ahead of the official roster release this February, giving DeRosa plenty of talent to work with.

"I will say this: What an honor, I'm completely humbled by it," DeRosa said on air. "Anyone who has ever played with me, I put team first. I will do everything in my power to return these guys to their parent club healthy, but I'll do everything in my power to win this damn thing."

“Mark DeRosa brings a lifetime of baseball knowledge to the dugout for Team USA,” Reagins said in a statement. “’DeRo’ is well respected both on and off the field, and his experience and leadership as a player in the 2009 Classic will be a valued asset as we navigate this process. His insight and ability to communicate effectively will shine through as we continue to develop the various elements of the Team USA World Baseball Classic title defense.”

“We are excited to welcome Mark DeRosa back to Team USA as our manager for the 2023 World Baseball Classic,” USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler said. “Mark will bring a truly unique perspective to managing this team given his extensive professional career, combined with his experience working for MLB Network. Few people are as informed and attuned to what is going on in professional baseball and the premier players in the game today as he is. We look forward to watching him lead this team as we look to defend our world championship title.”

The U.S.'s title defense will begin in Pool C play in Phoenix, Ariz., from March 11-15, and they'll be facing Canada, Colombia, Mexico and a to-be-determined qualifying team. Here is how the tournament field currently looks before qualifying play begins in Germany on Sept. 16.