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Braun would play for U.S. in Classic

Braun would play for U.S. in Classic

PHOENIX -- If organizers of next year's World Baseball Classic ask Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun to play ball, count him in. First baseman Prince Fielder will have to think it over.

"Yeah, for sure," Braun said when asked if he'd be interested. "I remember watching it last time and thinking it looked like a great experience. It definitely piqued interest in baseball in a lot of different countries.

"I would be excited and honored to be asked to play."

Major League Baseball unveiled on Monday from Tokyo its plans for the opening round of next year's Classic, to be staged beginning March 5, 2009, in Japan, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico. The U.S. is in Pool C and will play its opening-round games at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Braun would not worry about missing part of the Brewers' Spring Training camp to play in the World Baseball Classic.

"If anything, it makes you get ready a little bit sooner," the native Californian said. "I think it would be an advantage coming into the season that you've already played some meaningful games. Sometimes, for these [Spring Training] games, it's harder to have the same energy, the same focus."

Fielder, who led the National League last season with 50 home runs, was entering his rookie season in 2006 when the inaugural World Baseball Classic was staged. Would he take part in 2009?

"I don't know. That's a good question," Fielder said. "I guess I would have to decide when it gets closer. I'd have to think about it."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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