MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – The last time Benjamin Gil led a national team, he didn’t live up to expectations. But the manager thinks his rematch is imminent and things will be different in the World Baseball Classic.
Gil was in charge of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where the ninth-ranked Azteca team lost three of its games against the Dominican Republic, Japan and Israel, leading to first stage exits.
On that occasion, the 50-year-old manager took charge of the team a few days after the match in relief of Juan Castro, who had won a ticket to the Premier 12 tournament with an emphatic win against the United States.
Now Gill, who has been nominated for the first World Classic, hopes things will be different.
“It’s a different team than other years because the best of the best is running, not just Caribbean Series and Pacific players, now everyone’s running the best, including Major League players,” Gill said in an interview with The Associated Press phone call.
The Mexican team is captained by the Los Angeles Dodgers’ star pitcher, Julio Urias, but also has other players who play in the best baseball in the world such as Randy Arrozarena, Alex Verdugo, Ramon Urias, Isaac Paredes, Joey Menace and Alejandro Carque. .
Among pitchers, in addition to Urias, starters Jose Urquidi (Houston), Patrick Sandoval (Angels) and Taijuan Walker (NY Mets) have been considered for participation. The absence of Roberto Osuna among the relievers is prominent.
The final roster will be announced on February 7.
Being able to pass on all the talent would be necessary as Mexico were placed in Group C with the Americans, Colombia, Great Britain and Canada.
The top two from each of the four groups advance to the next stage.
“It’s not an easy group, they’re very good teams, England have American ancestry I think if I could see their roster, but there’s the United States and the first candidates, Colombia and Canada are talented,” Gill said. Said, who has been a four-time champion as manager, with the Tomateros de Culiacan of the Pacific League.
The Mexicans will have only two preparatory matches, on March 8 and 9, and will start the tournament on the 11th against the Colombians.
“The rules did not allow us to meet in groups or individually earlier, but it is for everyone and we must adapt,” said Pilot.
If they manage to get out of the first stage alive, Mexico will face rivals in Group D where Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Israel and Nicaragua are placed.
“We think we have a team to go on, every game except the first leg will be like the seventh game of life or death, but with these players I think we can go on, maybe till the semi-finals, ” They said.
In the last four editions of the World Classic, Mexico’s best result was sixth place in 2006 and its worst finish was in 2017 when it finished 13th.