Because rosters have not been released, Jones doesn’t know how many other center fielders will be on the team. But he said he doesn’t care what position he plays.

“I play center field for the Orioles. For the United States, I don’t give a [darn] where I play,” he said. “People get caught up in that ego stuff. I’m here to support my country’s team. Everybody that’s gonna play on this team, in general, is gonna be an athlete. We just need to do what we do. In the end of the day, we need to bang. We all can play defense, but we need to bang.”

The United States lost in the semifinals in 2009 to eventual champion, Japan. The U.S. lost in the second round in the inaugural event in 2006. Japan also won that tournament.

Baltimore Sun reporter Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this article.

About the World Baseball Classic

For the third time, baseball will crown a world champion as 16 nations compete in a pool-play tournament held from March 2-19. Japan won the first two WBCs, held in 2006 and 2009. Here’s a look at this year’s field:

Pool A (games played in Fukuoka, Japan): Brazil, China, Cuba, Japan

Pool B (Taichung, Taiwan): Australia, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Netherlands

Pool C (San Juan, Puerto Rico): Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, Venezuela

Pool D (Phoenix): Canada, Italy, Mexico, United States

The top two teams in Pool A and the top two teams in Pool B will play a double-elimination second round in Tokyo with the top two teams from that advancing. The top two teams in Pool C and the top two teams in Pool D play a double-elimination second round in Miami with two teams advancing. The semifinals and finals will be held in San Francisco.

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