Canada plays Germany with the winner going to the 2013 World Baseball Classic

Sure Joey Votto is getting ready for the playoffs with the Cincinnati Reds and Justin Morneau is finishing off the end of a disappointing season with the Minnesota Twins. But both sluggers – and the rest of Canadian baseball – should have an eye on Regensburg, Germany Monday night as Canada takes on Germany with the winner securing a spot in the 2013 World Baseball Classic – and only the winner.

Yes, that means if the host side – made up of one Double-A prospect (ironically Reds 1B/OF slugger Donald Lutz) and a couple of Single-A and lower talents – surprise Canada in the World Baseball Classic qualifier final, then Votto, Morneau and the rest of the stars from the home of the Maple Leaf will not be playing in next spring’s Classic.

“We know that we need to get the job done here. And for baseball’s sake they better hope that we get the job done here because if we don’t, and somehow don’t win this qualifier then they’re going to miss out on seeing the likes of Morneau and Votto and (Yankees C Russell) Martin and other great Canadian ball players who will not be involved in this tournament. If we don’t make it those guys won’t be seen. It would be quite unfortunate,” former MLB great and current Canada hitting coach Larry Walker told heinnews.

Canada find themselves having to qualify for one of the final four spots in the extended Classic format after losing both games to the United States and Italy to finish last in their group at the 2009 Classic – and that came in front of their home fans in Toronto.

“Of course we don’t want to miss (the 2013 Classic). The mind frame from back then is gone. It was quite disappointing, especially since the games were in Toronto in your home country and then you lose two games. It was a big blow for us,” added Walker.

One of the biggest names on the Canada roster is outfielder Adam Loewen, who used to pitch in the Major Leagues before making the switch to a position player. Loewen has made the Majors with Toronto as an outfielder.

But Loewen, who helped Canada to a bronze medal at the 2009 Baseball World Cup, told heinnews this team’s sole concentration is on getting Team Canada back to the World Baseball Classic.

“We’re not thinking about making the team next year. We’re just here representing Canada and trying to get the wins we need. How the team is made up next year will happen next year,” said Loewen.

“I think it’d be a shame if you got the Vottos and Morneaus and Brett Lawrie and some of those guys not able to participate in the tournament. Those aren’t just guys who are big in Canada. Those are guys that are big everywhere. The way things have worked out, it’s up to us to get them there. But I know everybody in that locker room is focused on doing that. And it means a lot to all of us,” added Canada slugger Jimmy Van Ostrand, who had hit three home runs in two games for Canada.

Canada beat Germany 16-7 on Saturday but the game was even at 4-4 after six innings before Canada scored 12 runs in the final three frames.



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