Being selected as part of Team USA during the upcoming World Baseball Classic 2017 served as honor enough for White Sox reliever Nate Jones.
But getting a call from Team USA general manager Joe Torre and manager Jim Leyland, both legendary Major League Baseball figures, became a surprising bonus on top of the accomplishment.
Jones think that It’s not every day that someone asks you to represent the country. I’m pretty excited about that, during Tuesday’s first day of White Sox Spring Training at Camelback Ranch. It’s not every day that Joe Torre and Jim Leyland call on you. That was exciting.
Torre and Leyland were evaluating Jones’ interest in participating.
Jones said with a broad smile absolutely he would.
You recognize the voice and you have to register that it’s him,” added Jones of talking to Torre. “It took a second, but obviously there is a lot of ‘Yes sirs’ and ‘Thank yours’ because you are talking to the man. It was a spotless experience.
Jones will be joined by David Robertson on Team USA, while Jose Quintana will pitch for Colombia and Miguel Gonzalez for Mexico. Giovanni Soto is on Puerto Rico’s roster, while Minor Leaguers Alex Katz (Israel) and Gregory Infante (Venezuela) also will represent the White Sox in the Classic.
Brad Goldberg, who posted two saves to help Israel advance from the Brooklyn qualifier, has decided not to participate.
Goldberg said No, I’m here. I’m not going, who is taking part in his first big league camp. My priority is here. This is what I have worked so hard for and they respect that. They know that is my best interest. They were all for it.
He had a great time at the qualifier. It exceeded his expectations, but again, his focus is the White Sox and Team Israel respects it.