While several Canadians are either not able or not interested in playing for their country’s team at the World Baseball Classic in March, there’s one who’s quietly been busting his guts for the chance to participate.
In fact, after more than two seasons of inactivity because of post-concussion syndrome, Manitoban Corey Koskie is desperately trying to crack Team Canada’s roster for what very likely would be his last hurrah. Metro has learned the ex-Blue Jays third baseman has an agreement in writing with general manager Greg Hamilton that stipulates he’d be added to Team Canada’s 45-man, preliminary roster if he is deemed physically fit by Feb. 1.
“My wife and I have talked lots about this,” Koskie confirmed in an interview with veteran Winnipeg sports journalist Scott Taylor, “and we’ve agreed that (playing for Canada) would be a great way to retire.”
Koskie, 35, said he has been working out diligently for months and has received permission from the Minnesota Twins to train at their camp in Fort Myers, Fla., in February if he gets the green light from Team Canada.
Koskie starred for the Twins from 1998 through 2004. He was the Jays’ marquee free-agent acquisition for 2005 but struggled with injuries and was dealt to Milwaukee after the season. Concussions sidelined him while with the Brewers in 2006 and he had to sit out 2007 and 2008.
Should Koskie crack Team Canada’s final, 28-man roster, he’d unlikely play much. Manager Ernie Whitt plans to start the Kansas City Royals’ Mark Teahen at third base, the Houston Astros’ Chris Barnwell at shortstop, the Washington Nationals’ Peter Orr at second and Minnesota’s Justin Morneau at first.
• Doug Berry, who coached the Blue Bombers to the Grey Cup game in 2007 and was fired by Winnipeg after the 2008 season, is desperately seeking work after the Toronto Argonauts rejected his applications to become their head or assistant coach. . .Look for the Argos to acquire quarterback Kevin Glenn, at least as a backup to Kerry Joseph, now that new Winnipeg coach Mike Kelly intends to trade the veteran. . .Despite efforts by Argos co-owner David Cynamon to downplay it, Michael (Pinball) Clemons is indeed out as the club’s chief shot-caller– as reported here Tuesday — and will take a significant pay cut to stay on in an ambassador role. . .The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, meanwhile, have told QB Casey Printers he’s not welcome back unless he accepts a pay cut that would reduce his $450,000-a-year salary to less than $200,000.
• And, to find out how a newspaper columnist unwittingly saved Nick Kypreos’ job as Sportsnet’s hockey analyst, check out my latest NHL Report.
Marty York is Metro’s national sports columnist as well as an
instructor at the College of Sports Media in Toronto. He can be heard
regularly on Vancouver radio station CKNW with Sportstalk host Dan
Russell. Contact Marty at [email protected]