MLB notebook: Reds manager Baker also had mini-stroke
Jack Wilson, the Pirates' shortstop from 2001-09, announced his retirement from baseball Tuesday.
“My wife Julie and our kids and I made that decision together, that this season was going to be my last,” Wilson told Trib Total Media. “We're retiring officially, right after the Braves win the World Series.”
Wilson, 34, was acquired by Atlanta to be the backup shortstop, but he appeared in only 40 games and batted .169. He went on the disabled list July 15 because of a dislocated pinky finger, then was released by the Braves on Aug. 31.
He's still staying in touch with the Braves — the front office welcomed him to stay around the team — and he'll travel to Pittsburgh for the Braves' series with the Pirates. That would have been his first appearance in Pittsburgh as an opponent.
“I still haven't been back since the trade,” Wilson said of the July 31, 2009, deal that sent him to the Seattle Mariners. “I have so many good friends, people I can't wait to see.”
Wilson was a 2004 National League All-Star for the Pirates. He batted .269 in his nine-plus seasons with the team, but he'll be remembered most for his acrobatic plays in the field.
“I've always taken pride in my defense,” Wilson said.
Reds' Baker also had mini-stroke
Reds manager Dusty Baker had a mini-stroke in addition to his irregular heartbeat last week and will need another week of rest before he's able to rejoin the team for the final regular-season series and the playoffs.
The 63-year-old manager disclosed his condition to his players Tuesday before the start of a series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Bench coach Chris Speier and players said Baker was upbeat and visibly thinner.
World Baseball Classic schedule
Japan will host first and second rounds of pool play at two sites in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which is expanding from 16 to 28 teams with the winner being named world champion for the first time.
The WBC announced its venues and pools Tuesday outside the Giants' AT&T Park, which will host the semifinals and championship game in the event's third run.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, will host games for the third time at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Those games will be played March 7-10 featuring Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and a qualifier.
The Arizona Diamondbacks' Chase Field and the club's shared Scottsdale spring training facility with the Rockies, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, hosts Pool D games between the U.S., Italy, Mexico and a qualifier.
Rangers' Darvish scratched from start
Texas right-hander Yu Darvish was scratched from his start Tuesday against Oakland because of neck stiffness.