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Two Sox on roster

Posted by David Lefort, Boston.com Staff  January 17, 2006 09:28 AM

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The United States unveiled its preliminary roster for the World Baseball Classic on Monday, and it includes Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek and relief pitcher Mike Timlin.

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Yankees Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon and were also among the 42 names released. Alex Rodriguez, a two-time American League Most Valuable Player, was the one big name missing from the provisional list.

Team USA has until Tuesday evening to add players and complete the 60-man roster.

All 16 countries competing in the March 3-20 tournament must file their complete rosters to the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) by the deadline so players can begin random drug testing under international rules.

Teams must then reduce their rosters to 30 players the day before play begins in Japan's Tokyo Dome on March 3.

The final is scheduled to be played in San Diego on March 20.

Rodriguez, who is also eligible to play for his native Dominican Republic, has said he would not play in the tournament because he did not want to offend either country, although U.S. officials are hoping to persuade the third baseman to take part.

"We'll know (Tuesday) by three o'clock where he's going to play," Bob Watson, MLB's vice president of on-field operations and the general manager of USA Baseball, told MLB.com. "I will save a spot for him on our roster. I just didn't name him tonight."

The Americans kick off the tournament on March 7, when they face Mexico in Phoenix.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

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