Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Marinersroyals_5dbe
Who needs the Olympics? When the International Olympic Committee decided to vote baseball and softball out of the 2012 London games, the world baseball community was left in shock. Behind the scenes, though, the major world baseball powers were trying to organize a tournament to showcase all their talent. This began the World Baseball Classic. The WBC is a 16 team tournament where each country represented sends a team full of talent to compete against the world. It’s like the World Cup of baseball. It takes place in March, pulling players from their Spring Training for about a week or so. The Seattle Mariners are well represented, too. While we won’t recognize some of the names representing the Mariners this year, we could very well see them in the near future. Let’s take a look at which Mariners will be representing their country in this year’s WBC. The Pros Michael Saunders playing for team Canada (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld) Michael Saunders – OF – Canada Michael Saunders is playing in his first WBC this season for his native Canada. The Canadians were eliminated in the first round of the past 2 classics and are looking to qualify this year and make a run at perrennial champion, Japan. 2012 Stats: .247 AVG / 19 HR / 57 RBI Oliver Perez – P – Mexico Olive Perez has played in all 3 WBC tournaments. His journey has been a long one, this being his third MLB team he has played for come tournament time – Perez represented the Pirates and Mets in the previous two tournaments. Mexico has been eliminated in the 2nd round of both tournments so far and are looking to improve this season against some tough competititon. 2012 Stats: 2.12 ERA / 24 K’s / 29 2/3 Innings Pitched Alex Liddi – Italy Like Perez, Alex Liddi is playing in his thrid WBC as well. He has played for the Mariners in each tournament where he represented his home country of Italy. Italy has been eliminated in the first round of both WBC tournaments so far. 2012 Stats: .224 AVG / 3 HR / 10 RBI The Minors Pedro Okuda – SS – Brazil We have not heard the name Pedro Okuda yet. When you’re playing in the Venezuelan Rookie League, you’re not going to get much exposure in the US. If he plays well for his home country of Brazil, we could be learning his name sooner than later. This is the first year that Brazil has fielded a qualifying team for the WBC, shocking Panama in November to earn their tournament birth. 2012 Stats: .274 AVG / 0 HR / 19 RBI Kalian Sams is working his way through the Mariners minor league system Luiz Gohara – LHP – Brazil The Mariners have a lot of Latin players under contract, but many have not even seen the light of US soil. Luiz Gohara is one of those players. He is representing the Mariners while playing for his native Brazil. Goahra does not have any professional experience as of yet, as the Mariners signed the highly touted youngster last year at the age of 16. He was ranked the #7 overall international prospect by Baseball America at the time of his signing. Thyago Vieira – RHP – Brazil Also a member of the Seattle Mariners Venezuelan Rookie Team, Thyago Vieira is going to be playing for Brazil in the WBC. He has not played in a Classic yet, but his play could determine his immediate future with the Mariners. 2012 Stats: 3-5 / 6.05 ERA / 35 K’s Kalian Sams – OF – Netherlands The Netherlands will host another Mariner player this year, with Kalian Sams coming from AA Jackson to represent his country. Sams has made his way through the Mariners farm system, helping teams like the Pulanski Mariners reach the tops of their leagues. Netherlands has been knocked out of both the first and second rounds in the previous two Classics. 2012 Stats: .242 AVG / 11 HR / 35 RBI Brian Sweeney – RHP – Italy – AAA Tacoma Brian Sweeney is no stranger to Mariners fans. He’s lingered in Tacoma for a bit now and has tried to get his foot back in the door in Seattle in the twilight of his career. Playing for Italy in the WBC, Sweeney will hope a strong spring training paired with a hopefully good run for team Italy will bolster his chances to make the big league club next season. 2012 Stats: 6-4 / 4.63 ERA / 55 K’s CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report has McCoy headed to Bills, Rosenhaus says no deal

Murray would reportedly give Cowboys hometown discount

Report: Giants ‘considering a run’ at Ndamukong Suh

Darnell Dockett reportedly visiting 49ers on Tuesday

David West on Brian Shaw being fired: ‘That’s bulls–t'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hamels trade talk motivating Red Sox pitching staff

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Yankees fire employee over Curt Schilling's daughter tweets

Ravens settle grievance, pay Ray Rice $1.6 million

A-Rod goes 0-2 against Yankees pitching machine 'Iron Mike'

Redick: Flip Saunders told me to ‘shut the f— up’ three times

Ronda Rousey lands free ticket to Pacquiao-Mayweather bout

Report: Celtics to pursue Love, Monroe and Gasol this summer

Trying to solve the Alex Guerrero problem

Mets to host families of slain NYPD officers at spring training

Teams that should be on NCAA Tourney upset alert

SpongeBob SquarePants: The newest NASCAR race sponsor

Winners and losers of the NHL trade deadline

Andrew Luck shaved beard, left mustache

Museum to give away DeLorean if Cubs win World Series

Jameis Winston looking to trademark 'Famous Jameis'

Maple Leafs burned on Twitter by frustrated fan

Keith Olbermann putting an end to his Twitter 'batting practice'

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

MLS 2015 season preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.