Choosing Between Country and Team

It was a thrill to hear I was chosen to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic in March. Teams
from 16 countries will play first-round games in Tokyo,
Toronto, San Juan
and Mexico City.  The second round will be in Miami
and San Diego,
with the semifinals and finals at Dodger Stadium.

The list of invited players is a who’s who of the Major Leagues.

So, it’s a true honor to be selected — especially because,
as you probably know, we have a lot of catchers in Puerto
Rico who are really, really good. I’m flattered to be included in
their company.

But I’m not sure I’ll accept the invitation if, in fact, I’m
on the final 28-man roster.

The most important thing for me is to be ready for the 2009
season with the Giants. We have a really exciting season coming up, so I feel
it’s important for me to be with the Giants for Spring Training and start
working with the pitchers.

So, if I’m not the No. 1 or No. 2 catcher for the Puerto
Rican team — if I’m going to catch only one game or get an at-bat here or
there — it’s best that I skip it. I mean, it’s awesome to be chosen, but if
I’m not going to play much, I won’t get the time on the field and in the
batter’s box to prepare myself as best as I possibly can for the season.

And on a business level, I’ll be a free agent after this
year, so I have to think about that, too. I have to make sure I’m at the top of
my game.

No matter what happens, I’ll have fun either playing on the
Puerto Rican team myself or watching my brother, Yadier, do the family proud.
In the meantime, I’m working out twice a day here in Yuma and spending as much time as possible
with my girls.

See you at FanFest! I’ll be there on Saturday, Feb. 7.


  1. bleacherdweller

    Congrats on the selection. I am taking a vacation to PR to see the games there, so it would be great to see you in action against A-rod and the rest. But I understand the tough choice, especially with the new pitchers to get to work with in Scottsdale. Hopefully the WBC can figure out a schedule that makes it easier for players to jump in… maybe split up the 3 rounds over a few months and take time off from the reg season, like soccer leagues do for World Cup qualifiers… See you in Hiram Bithorn or AT&T…

  2. ddsgalaxy

    Hey BENGIE – great strategies for 2009 – I like your ideas. How’s the weather in Yuma? It’s great to hear that you are working out – It’s the Best Medicine in life. Hey are your fingers getting ready for all those signatures you’ll be signing at FAN FEST? Best wishes for you y todo la familia in 2009 .

  3. redbirdchatter

    Seeing you and Yadier playing together would be sweet! But, you should certainly do what?s best, and we?ll settle for seeing you play against each other next season! Enjoy the rest of your offseason! Spring is almost here?Thank God!



    Bengie! Good to see you back in print.. can’t wait to see you back in uniform, now! My daughter, she’s 8 years old, has become one of the Gigantes’ biggest fans, and we’ll be looking for you at the Fan Fest, pink hats in hand for you to sign! Buena suerte in whatever you decide about the WBC, and more importantly, in the coming season! All the best!

  5. maddmolly

    Hey there Bengie!
    Congrats to you on your selection! What an honor! We’ll look forward to seeing you play against Yadi here in June!
    Terri in StL 😀

  6. kingofcali

    Congrats on making the team! I think you should see how much playing time you will get before making your mind up. You are on the last year of your contract, so I’m sure your focus will be on having a great season. I’m sure you will have another great year! Keep up the clutch hitting!

    ~King of Cali

  7. kmcleod

    I’m sure this has got to be a tough decision! With a new starting pitcher like Randy Johnson, two new arms in the bullpen to get used to, and many young arms coming into their first full year with the staff, your spring sounds like a busy one!

    That being said, I think your statagy is perfect! If you get a chance to start for your country, go!

    Can’t wait to see another fantastic year from you, and hope it won’t be your last in a Giants uniform.


    Hey Bengie, it’s good to hear from you again….I have a question, is this the first time you’ve ever been chosen to represent Puerto Rico and play in the World Baseball Classic, and if you don’t accept this time, do you think that you’ll ever get that chance again? Well, whatever decision you make I wish you nothing but the best!
    Another question I have is, as the 2009 season gets closer, what do you do to prepare yourself and get ready for the upcoming season? All I know is that I can’t wait to see you out on the field doing your thang! Good Luck this season Bengie, I’ll be cheering for you!!!! Renee

  9. msltek

    hey Bengie, I have been watching MLB Network every single time they mention the Giants.

    I just recently moved from Santa Clara CA to Richmond VA. yeah i know right.

    I will be watching you and the rest of the Giants through out the season. and hope to see you guys when you Come to Beat the Nationals!!!

    I know you love teaching, so do your best with Posey, and Sandoval. is Holm getting a invite to ST?


  10. lowlyofficegopher

    Hi Bengie! Congratulations on being selected to play for your native Puerto Rico in the Baseball Classic–an honor that you have most certainly earned. Having said that, I am now torn. I think you deserve to be among the top 2 Catchers representing PR in the Classic. Yet, I also think you should concentrate on preparing for the 2009 season with the Giants. I wish you the best, either way, and I look forward to seeing you at FanFest this coming Saturday.


    Hi Bengie!
    Congratulations on making the WBC for Puerto Rico. Being selected shows how important you are to the game of baseball. I’m sure whether you decide to play for your country or go to spring training will depend on what you think will help you and the team be more prepared for the season. It was great seeing you and your family at the fanfest. I look forward to watching you and the Giants play in 2009. Have a good spring training and see you on opening day.

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