Gonzalez to play for U.S.
The Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez will pitch for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic.
Gio Gonzalez, the Washington Nationals’ all-star left-hander, will pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, a U.S. team spokesman said in an email on Saturday. Gonzalez, the Nationals’ lone representative on the U.S. team, was invited by Team USA Manager Joe Torre.
Gonzalez, 27, one of the baseball’s best left-handers, joins a Team USA rotation of Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, and Rangers left-hander Derek Holland. Braves righthander Kris Medlen withdrew two weeks ago because of the impending birth of his first child. Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte recently passed on an opportunity to join the team. Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander is reportedly still mulling whether to play.
Gonzalez and outfielder Roger Bernadina (the Netherlands) are the only two Nationals major leaguers to be confirmed participants in the World Baseball Classic. Both will have to miss a few weeks of spring training with Team USA’s first game scheduled for March 8 in Phoenix. The semifinals and final are from March 17 to 19 in San Francisco.
— James Wagner
The Navy lacrosse team’s 106th season opener hardly resembled any of its openers in recent memory. New NCAA rules enacted to speed up the game were immediately apparent in Navy’s 20-7 victory over Virginia Military Institute at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
The Midshipmen’s goals and their 58 shots were the most since they took 60 shots in defeating Holy Cross, 23-5, in April 2004. Juniors led the way offensively. Austin Heneveld had two goals and four assists and classmates Erik Hoffstadt and Sam Jones each added three goals. Among the NCAA’s new rules are no more sideline horns — meaning substitutions are done on the fly — and there are quick restarts off dead-ball situations.
“It’s really nice to see a lot of things we’ve been doing in practice translate into games,” Heneveld said. “Guys got into the game quickly and once we got going we were hard to stop.”
Meantime, Jules Godino became the first freshman defenseman to start a season opener for Navy since Chris Stebbings in 2000; he finished tied for a teamhigh two caused turnovers.
Senior Russell East (Heritage High) and sophomore Tim DiBlasio each scored two goals for the Keydets.
— Christian Swezey
Saints Coach Sean Payton has chosen Rob Ryan as his new defensive coordinator as he overhauls a unit that was historically bad last season. Ryan, the brother of New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan, spent the past two seasons as Dallas’s defensive coordinator. He was fired after last season. . . .
Rafael Nadal beat Jeremy Chardy, 6-2, 6-2, to land in both finals of the VTR Open in Vina Del Mar, Chile, after a sevenmonth layoff due to a left knee injury and a stomach virus. Nadal and Juan Monaco won their doubles semifinal on Friday, meaning Nadal is scheduled to play twice on Sunday. The former No. 1 has played six matches in five days and has yet to drop a set. — From news services
and staff reports