LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Marlins will be well represented at the World Baseball Classic, with four core players -- Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Edinson Volquez and Martin Prado -- competing for three different countries.The event also will put an international spotlight on Marlins Park, which will host first-round
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Marlins will be well represented at the World Baseball Classic, with four core players -- Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Edinson Volquez and Martin Prado -- competing for three different countries.
The event also will put an international spotlight on Marlins Park, which will host first-round action. Miami also will draw plenty of attention this season with the All-Star Game set for July 11.
With Marlins Park receiving so much attention this year, manager Don Mattingly is hopeful it raises the excitement level for baseball in South Florida.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
"I hope it brings some energy, for us, and for this team," Mattingly said. "It's a beautiful ballpark. I love our ballpark. I'm glad, obviously, with the All-Star Game, a lot of people are going to see it. Hopefully, it brings some excitement about our club and our club plays well to get people to come out."
Yelich and Stanton will play outfield for Team USA, while Volquez is pitching for the Dominican Republic, and Prado will play third base for Venezuela. Catcher A.J. Ellis was initially on Team USA, but will miss the event due to a strained left hamstring.
"As much as anything, for me, I'd love to be able to see us grow, as far as our fan base, and get people to go to the games," Mattingly said.
The World Baseball Classic runs from Monday through March 22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament will be distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.
On Thursday, representatives of the MLB Players Association held their annual meetings with the Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.
After the meetings, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark spoke about what 2017 could mean for baseball in the market.
"We're excited about the possibilities there. You have an appreciation for the market," Clark said. "You have an appreciation for the possibilities the WBC represents, with all the different teams and players that are going to be in town, and the support mechanism that is already there. We're excited, and glad to hear that the support is indeed there for the teams that are coming in, as well as the All-Star Game during the middle of the summer."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.