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Matt Kemp, USA Baseball Teammates Begin Attempt to Qualify for Olympics
By City News Service
Published May 31, 2021

Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Orioles April 20, 2013 (Wikipedia)

The U.S. is scheduled to begin its second attempt to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in baseball today against Nicaragua in Port St. Lucie, Florida, with a roster including Matt Kemp and three other former Los Angeles Dodgers.

The other former Dodgers on the roster are Edwin Jackson, who pitched for them from 2003-05; infielder Logan Forsythe, who played for them in 2017 and 2018; and catcher Tim Federowicz, who played for them 2011-2014 and now plays for their Oklahoma City Triple-A affiliate.

The roster also includes outfielder Jon Jay, who hit .357 in five games for the Los Angeles Angels this season before being sent to their Salt Lake City Triple-A affiliate.

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There are 13 players on the 26-player roster with major league experience, including four who were selected for an All-Star Game — Kemp, Jackson, infielder Todd Frazier and pitcher David Robertson.

Under an agreement with Major League Baseball and the union representing its players, players on teams’ 40-man rosters are not eligible to be play in the World Baseball Softball Confederation Baseball Americas Qualification Event .

The team is managed by former Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Its pitching coach is Dave Wallace, the Dodgers’ pitching coach from 1995-97 and their senior vice president of baseball operations from 2000-03.

Nicaragua is managed by Marvin Benard, who played for Bell High School, El Camino College and Harbor College before playing for the San Francisco Giants from 1995-2003.

The U.S. is also scheduled to play the Dominican Republic Tuesday at West Palm Beach, Florida, and Puerto Rico at Port St. Lucie, Florida. All three games are set to begin at 4 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time and will be streamed on ESPN+. The top two teams in each four-team group advance to the Super Round, which will be played Friday and Saturday.

The tournament winner will  Israel, Japan, South Korea and Mexico in the Olympic Games, while the second- and third-place finishers will play in the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier in June in Mexico. The first attempt by the U.S. to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in baseball ended with a 3-2 loss to Mexico Nov. 17, 2019.

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Categories: Baseball | Local | News | Sports
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