Machado to rep Dominican Republic at WBC

Machado to rep Dominican Republic at WBC

BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado will play for the Dominican Republic in next year's World Baseball Classic, the All-Star third baseman confirmed on Wednesday.

The decision, first reported by ESPNDeportes.com, was a no-brainer for Machado, who has always wanted to represent where his family came from on the baseball field.

"I've always wanted to play over there. I've never gotten the chance, in Winter League, to go over there. So I think this is a little better, honestly," Machado said. "It's just something I've always wanted to do. I've always wanted to represent my country. Of course, everybody is going to say I was born here, raised here [in Miami]. But my heart and my blood is where my families came from."

Machado has played on Team USA, but he said this will mean more to his family.

"To put on a uniform for them, I think it's going to bring excitement -- more excitement to me and my family than anything else," he said. "I'm excited to wear that uniform. Seeing 'Dominican' across the chest will probably bring tears to their eyes. They are going to be excited about it. I'm going to go out there and enjoy myself as much as I can. I've always wanted to represent the Dominican Republic if the right opportunity came up and hopefully try to play.'"

Machado, who still has an aunt and several other family members in the Dominican Republic, last visited two years ago. The Dominican Republic won the WBC, which is played in March, in 2013.

There hasn't been an official announcement by Major League Baseball about the rosters yet.

Orioles Jonathan Schoop (Netherlands) and Adam Jones (USA) have taken part in the WBC in the past.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.