"We are thrilled to have such a knowledgeable leader as Buck Martinez guiding our team into this exciting event next spring," said USA Baseball General Manager of Professional Baseball Operations Bob Watson. "His experience analyzing many of the Major League players that will be participating in the World Baseball Classic - both on the American roster and from the competing countries - should give him a great perspective."
Martinez managed the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001-02, but currently serves as analyst on ESPN's Wednesday night national telecasts of Major League Baseball. He previously worked for ESPN from 1992-2000, following a 17-year career as a Major League catcher. He also calls 60 games a season as analyst for the Baltimore Orioles on Comcast SportsNet.
For the past 10 years, Martinez has been involved in the Rookie Career Development Program, jointly sponsored by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. His radio experience as a color commentator for Telemedia Radio Network (1982-88) includes the World Series, the American League Championship Series and the All-Star Game. He has also served as post-game analyst for Telemedia's regular season Major League Baseball coverage.
During his Major League playing career, Martinez compiled a .225 career batting average with 58 home runs in 1,049 games with Toronto (1981-86), Milwaukee (1978-81) and Kansas City (1969-77).
THE WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
The World Baseball Classic, a 16-team tournament sanctioned by the International BAseball Federation (IBAF), will feature many of the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories for the first time ever in March 2006. The 16 teams invited to participate in the event have been divided into four pools of four teams for the first round of play. They include: Pool A - China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea; Pool B - Canada, Mexico, South Africa, United States; Pool C - Cuba, Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico; Pool D - Australia, Dominican Republic, Italy, Venezuela.
The four Round 1 pools are scheduled to be played in Tokyo, Japan; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Orlando, Florida; Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Round 2 will feature two pools of four teams each and is scheduled to be played in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Anaheim, California. The Semi-Finals and Final will be played at PETCO Park in San Diego.