Derrek Lee played in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and enjoyed the experience. He was on Team USA’s roster this year, but opted not to go when told he would be a backup to Kevin Youkilis at first base. When Youkilis injured his ankle, the U.S. team realized they needed Lee, but he has not played all week because of a leg injury.
On Sunday, Lee said Major League Baseball officials contacted him and tried to get him to join Team USA for the semifinal and possibly final games. Lee felt it was “disrespectful.”
“If I felt well, it’s a different story,” Lee said. “It’s not fair if I miss a week here and go play for them. They knew I was injured. Obviously, everyone knows it’s not a serious injury but everyone knows it was enough to keep me out of the games.”
— Carrie Muskat