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USA Baseball announces coaching staff for 2009 World Baseball Classic team
01/12/2009 5:19 PM ET
DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball today named five coaches who will join manager Davey Johnson in March on Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.

Marcel Lachemann will serve as the team's pitching coach, Reggie Smith as the hitting coach and former players Barry Larkin, Bill Ripken and Mike Schmidt will act as auxiliary coaches.

"The World Baseball Classic will showcase the very best players in the world, and such a collection of talent requires the same level of manager and coaches," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball CEO/Executive Director. "We could not be more thrilled than to have Davey Johnson as manager and to have him surrounded by an All-Star staff with unparalleled credentials in Marcel Lachemann, Reggie Smith, Barry Larkin, Bill Ripken and Mike Schmidt."

Johnson has extensive experience working with Lachemann and Smith on Team USA. The three have worked together on four of the last five professional teams that USA Baseball has fielded, with the most recent being the 2008 U.S. Olympic Baseball Team in Beijing. Lachemann and Smith were also on the bench with Johnson for the 2006 World Baseball Classic, serving as the team's pitching and hitting coaches, respectively.

In total, Lachemann has been a member of a USA Baseball coaching staff five times, with Smith logging six events for Team USA. Both men made their U.S. coaching debut in 1999 with the Pan American Team, which took home the silver and qualified USA Baseball for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

"I'm looking forward to working with Reggie and Marcel again," Johnson said. "We have had success over the last few years with the Olympic qualifying and competition process, and I hope we can carry over that success to the World Baseball Classic Team."

Larkin's experience wearing the red, white and blue dates back to 1984, when baseball was a test event in the Olympic Games. As a rising Junior at the University of Michigan, he was named to the silver-medal-winning U.S. team. Larkin followed his stint with Team USA with a 19-year career with the Cincinnati Reds, winning a World Series Championship in '90 and the National League Most Valuable Player Award in '95. Since retiring in 2004, the 12-time All-Star has worked in the Washington Nationals front office, as a coach for the MLB International European Academy ('07, '08) and in late '08 was named as an analyst for the MLB Network.

Ripken is a 12-year Major League veteran, playing for the Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers. In 1990, he led the Orioles with a .291 batting average and 28 doubles, and in '92 he led all big league second basemen with a .993 fielding percentage. Ripken is currently co-Owner and executive vice president for Ripken Baseball, where he works with his brother Cal, and he is an on-air personality for XM Radio's "MLB Home Plate" show.

Schmidt is also making his second appearance in the stars and stripes, having first worked as a spokesman and hitting consultant for the 1992 U.S. Olympic Baseball Team before it left for Barcelona. He spent his entire 18-year Major League career with the Philadelphia Phillies, and retired in'89 as one of the game's all-time great third basemen. Schmidt was voted Most Valuable Player of the National League three times ('80, '81, '86), an All-Star 12 times and received more votes than any other third baseman for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He finished his career with 548 home runs (currently 13th all-time) and was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in '95.

"Barry, Bill and Mike will all be incredible assets to our club," said Johnson. "Their resumes speak for themselves, and I think their experiences will help us as we get our team ready for the opening round in Toronto."

Team USA will report on March 1 in Clearwater, Fla., the spring home of the defending World Series champion Phillies. The U.S. will kick off Classic play on March 7 against Canada at Toronto's Rogers Centre, and it will be joined in its opening-round pool by Venezuela and Italy.

About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. In March 2006, 486 players (235 of them from MLB organizations) representing 16 teams from across the globe competed in the inaugural event. More than 740,000 fans from 48 states and 15 countries attended games (16 of which sold out) and millions more watched on TV as Team Japan was crowned the first-ever World Baseball Classic Champion. The inaugural tournament was broadcast by 48 media outlets in 10 languages to 205 countries and territories around the world. Media members representing 25 different nations attended the 39 games in seven host venues across three countries/territories. The upcoming World Baseball Classic will be played from March 5 - 23 and will again feature 16 of the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held every four years thereafter, with plans in place to expand the participant field beginning in 2013.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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