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News » Phils' Howard opts out of World Baseball Classic 2008-12-20


Phils' Howard opts out of World Baseball Classic 2008-12-20


Phils' Howard opts out of World Baseball Classic 2008-12-20
Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard has informed Team USA manager Davey Johnson that he will not play in the World Baseball Classic, The Inquirer reported Saturday.

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"He feels like he needs to spend his time in the spring getting ready for the season so he gets off to a better start," Johnson told the paper.

Howard, the 2006 National League MVP, has gotten off to slow starts the last two years but rallied to finish in the top five in MVP balloting each time. He hit .251 with 48 home runs and 146 RBIs last season as the Phillies went on to win the World Series.

Phillies pitchers Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge had earlier told Johnson they would not play in the WBC. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins is a lock to make the team, according to Johnson.

"I told Ryan that this means Jimmy will have to carry a bigger load," Johnson joked.

The 16-team tournament runs March 5-23. Preliminary rosters will be announced Jan. 19 and final 28-man rosters will be set Feb. 24.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 20, 2008

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