With a pair of Jewish ex-major leaguers on his roster, the new coach of Israel's team in the World Baseball Classic says his squad is already a legitimate contender.
Former All-Star catcher Brad Ausmus said Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler have committed to play for him, and he's hopeful that other Jewish big leaguers, including All-Stars such as Ryan Braun, Kevin Youkilis and Ian Kinsler, will join the cliub.
The scenario of having a star-studded lineup could make Israel, a country where few people know the difference between a home run and a strikeout, an unlikely powerhouse.
''I feel pretty good about the potential of this team,'' Ausmus told The Associated Press on Monday during his first visit to the Jewish state. ''I never guarantee anything in the sport of baseball, because you just don't know, but I'm more than comfortable with the potential of this roster.''
Thanks to WBC tournament rules that allow countries to field players who are eligible for citizenship - even if they a...