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Machado fired up to represent DR, O's in WBC '17

3B plays 7 spring games at SS to prepare; intrigued by facing Gausman in Tuesday exhibition
Special to MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is off to the World Baseball Classic to play for the Dominican Republic, and he can't wait.

"It's been fun," he said after the Orioles' 3-2 win over the Phillies on Sunday. "It's been a great spring getting ready for this Classic, and I'm excited about representing the Dominican and representing the Orioles in the right way."

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is off to the World Baseball Classic to play for the Dominican Republic, and he can't wait.

"It's been fun," he said after the Orioles' 3-2 win over the Phillies on Sunday. "It's been a great spring getting ready for this Classic, and I'm excited about representing the Dominican and representing the Orioles in the right way."

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Machado, who played shortstop in each of his seven Grapefruit League games preparing for the Classic, was 3-for-18 (.167) with a solo home run.

The 24-year-old admitted he's not quite sure that he's ready for international play.

"I don't know. We'll see," he said. "I know I did everything I could to prepare myself in the offseason and in Spring Training to get ready for it. I'm just excited to get into some real games and get some real at-bats under your belt. The lights turn on and it's a different story, so we'll see on Thursday if we're ready or not," Machado said.

Video: PHI@BAL: Machado discusses World Baseball Classic

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.

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

Before the Dominican Republic plays Canada on Thursday, the squad has two exhibition games, one against the Orioles in Sarasota on Tuesday and another Wednesday against the Pirates in Bradenton.

Kevin Gausman will start for the Orioles against the Dominican Republic, and Machado was surprised to find that out.

"Is it Gausman? I'm going to have to try to look at the scouting report and see what he throws," Machado said. "It's a little different when you're behind him. But it's going to be fun to come out here and play in front of the crowd in a different jersey across the way as a visiting team, instead of putting on the home uniform. It will be pretty interesting and fun."

Besides Machado, the Orioles lost catcher Welington Castillo, who is also going to play for the Dominican Republic, and left-hander Vidal Nuno, who will play for Team Mexico.

Adam Jones and right-hander Mychal Givens leave on Monday to join Team USA.

Opportunity knocks with 6 O's in WBC '17

Manager Buck Showalter was a little wistful as his players departed. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop left on Tuesday to play for the Netherlands.

"Say goodbye to a lot of guys. Won't see them for a while. That's not a lot of fun," Showalter said.

Showalter and the Orioles' coaches didn't give much advice to Machado and the others.

"'Have fun, enjoy yourself and take it in. This is a cool experience and a cool moment overall,' Machado said of their counsel. "They're just excited for me as much as I'm excited to go to it. I'm really looking forward to it. It's going to be fun."

While Machado is thrilled to play for the Dominican Republic, he insists that he'll be following the Orioles.

"One hundred percent. This is my team. I've got to stay in the loop," Machado said. "My main priority is always going to be the Orioles and this team. Just for a couple weeks I've got some other priorities as well. We're going to be enjoying ourselves out there and paying attention to what we've got here, too."

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com.

Baltimore Orioles, Dominican Republic, Manny Machado