Pineiro will skip Classic

A clearly distressed Joel Pineiro announced on Wednesday
morning that he will not participate in the World Baseball Classic in 2009.


Jose Oquendo, the manager of the Puerto Rican team as well
as the Cardinals’ third-base coach, informed Pineiro that the right-hander
would not be part of his three-man starting rotation in the upcoming event. As
a result, Pineiro chose not to play, staying back with the Cardinals to build
up as a starter rather than pitching out of the bullpen for his homeland.


“Everybody knows that’s not my role,” Pineiro
said. “I’m very disappointed, very heartbroken. I felt disrespected.
Everybody knows it’s only been two pitchers in Puerto Rico the past 8-10 years,
consistent starters, which is Javier Vazquez and myself. To hear that from him,
it was such a setback and I’m very disappointed.”


Pineiro referred to his 2006 experience in the Classic as
one of the best of his career and said he had been extremely excited to pitch
again in 2009 — going so far as to have purchased tickets for his family.
However, he was passed over in favor of Vazquez, Ian Snell and Jonathan

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