The World Baseball Classic is underway and soon, Team USA will have an opportunity to defend its title from 2017.
The Classic had not been played for six years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately was postponed in 2021.
Team USA will open up on Saturday night against Great Britain and send veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright to the mound for the first game.
The team is managed by Mark DeRosa, a former MLB star who spent most of his career with the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs.
DeRosa got a chance to talk to legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, otherwise known as “Coach K,” who offered him some sage advice about managing the Americans this spring.
Mark DeRosa spoke with Mike Krzyzewski (5 Olympic gold medals) about leading Team USA.
Coach K told him, “Remember that you’re not *playing* for the United States. You *are* the United States.”
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Coach K’s advice was a reminder that the team isn’t just playing for the United States, but that they are the United States, representing the great baseball talent within the country.
Krzyzewski of course coached Team USA basketball in The Olympics during his legendary career and won five Olympic gold medals.
So naturally, his advice isn’t going to be simply swept under the rug.
DeRosa is going to take the advice to heart and understand what it means to be managing Team USA in the WBC.
He’ll have a stacked roster that features stars such as Wainwright, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Pete Alonso, Mike Trout, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, Jeff McNeil, and Kyle Tucker.
The Americans will hope for a repeat performance in the WBC six years removed from their most recent title back in 2017NEXT: Several Notable WBC Showdowns Could Take Place