Youkilis: If Healthy, I’ll Play for Israel
White Sox third baseman tells Israel Sports Radio he’d represent Israel at WBC
Chicago White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis plans to play for Team Israel at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) so long as he’s healthy, according to Israel Sports Radio.
The three-time MLB all-star was interviewed by the station earlier today and reportedly said he would suit up to represent Israel in March 2013 if the team qualifies for the tournament this September.
Youkilis also hinted “that there are other Jewish players in the MLB who want to play” the radio station tweeted.
WBC rules indicate that non-Israeli citizens of Jewish heritage are eligible to compete on behalf of Israel in the tournament. This includes Youkilis’ fellow MLB players Ike Davis, Ian Kinsler, Danny Valencia, Ryan Braun, Sam Fuld, Ryan Kalish, Jason Marquis, Scott Feldman, Craig Breslow and John Grabow.
The team will be managed by former MLB player Brad Ausmus and retired players Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler will serve as player-coaches.
Last month, Youkilis told MLB.com that he had already been approached to play for Team Israel by members of the team’s staff.
“I'd be willing to try it out if healthy and all that going into spring training and if I'm ready to play, I'll play,” said Youkilis, a member of Team USA’s 2009 WBC roster.
“A lot of guys are going to be American guys who are going to play on the Israel team but just through history and religion, they might choose to play. Like Ryan [Braun] and I got to play for Team USA and we had that opportunity. So it was very cool, but it also would be cool to have another challenge in life.”