If recent history tells us anything, Manager Joe Torre better have his United States squad fully prepared for a battle when they take the field for their first game of the 2013 World Baseball Classic Friday night at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
Joe Torre and Tommy Lasorda discuss strategy
It may seem that on paper, Team USA would be the logical front-runner in Pool D of the round-robin format, as they sit in a bracket with Canada, Italy, and Mexico. The top two teams will advance to the second round, after each team plays one another. In each of the previous two WBC events in 2006 and 2009, the Americans have at least advanced past the first round.
Talent-wise, Team USA has the firepower to go deep in this event. But, international baseball tournaments don’t always shake out the way that you think they should, even when the greatest players in the world are on the field.
As history has shown us, Team USA should never take Mexico or Canada lightly. Tracing back only 14 year...