Jones thrilled to be on Team USA for Classic

Jones thrilled to be on Team USA for Classic

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Being selected as part of Team USA during the upcoming World Baseball Classic served as honor enough for White Sox reliever Nate Jones.

But getting a call from Team USA general manager Joe Torre and manager Jim Leyland, both legendary Major League Baseball figures, became an unexpected bonus on top of the accomplishment.

"It's not every day that someone asks you to represent the country. I'm pretty excited about that," Jones said during Tuesday's first day of White Sox Spring Training at Camelback Ranch. "It's not every day that Joe Torre and Jim Leyland call on you. That was exciting."

Torre and Leyland were gauging Jones' interest in participating.

"I said absolutely I would," Jones said with a broad smile.

"You recognize the voice and you have to register that it's him," added Jones of talking to Torre. "It took a second, but obviously there's a lot of 'Yes sirs' and 'Thank yous' because you are talking to the man. It was a neat experience."

Outlook: Robertson, RP, CWS

Jones will be joined by David Robertson on Team USA, while Jose Quintana will pitch for Colombia and Miguel Gonzalez for Mexico. Giovanni Soto is on Puerto Rico's roster, while Minor Leaguers Alex Katz (Israel) and Gregory Infante (Venezuela) also will represent the White Sox in the Classic.

Brad Goldberg, who posted two saves to help Israel advance from the Brooklyn qualifier, has decided not to participate.

"No, I'm here. I'm not going," said Goldberg, who is taking part in his first big league camp. "My priority is here. This is what I've worked so hard for and they respect that. They know that's my best interest. They were all for it.

"I had a great time [at the qualifier]. It exceeded my expectations, but again, my focus is the White Sox and [Team Israel] respects it."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.