- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 17, 2008

From combined dispatches

San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg, whose 23-strikeout performance April 11 brought him national attention, was the lone college player picked Wednesday for the U.S. baseball team headed to the Beijing Olympics.

Outfielder Matt LaPorta, traded by Milwaukee to Cleveland earlier this month in the CC Sabathia deal, also is on manager Davey Johnson’s squad of mostly minor leaguers.

Team USA still has one player to be selected to round out the 24-man roster.

“We’ve got a great ballclub,” Johnson said. “It ain’t going to be no cake walk. We’ve got our work cut out for us. It’s going to be a great stepping stone for all the players.”

The team’s first game is against Korea on Aug. 13. Team USA, which won gold in Sydney in 2000, is back in the Olympics after missing out on a bid in 2004.

Eight major league organizations landed two players on the Olympic roster: Oakland pitchers Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill; St. Louis outfielder Colby Rasmus and infielder Brian Barden; Angels infielder Matthew Brown and pitcher Kevin Jepsen; Philadelphia infielder Jason Donald and catcher Louis Marson; Colorado outfielder Dexter Fowler and pitcher Casey Weathers; Detroit infielder Mike Hessman and pitcher Blaine Neal; Dodgers pitcher Mike Koplove and infielder Terry Tiffee; and LaPorta and pitcher Jeff Stevens of the Indians.

The other six players are Baltimore pitcher Jake Arrieta, San Francisco pitcher Geno Espineli, Florida outfielder John Gall, Mets pitcher Brandon Knight, White Sox pitcher Clayton Richard and Texas catcher Taylor Teagarden.

The U.S. team features 14 Class AAA players, seven Class AA players, and the Frederick Keys’ Arrieta is the lone Class A representative.

Boxer reinstated

USA Boxing reinstated Luis Yanez to the Olympic team, more than two weeks after the light flyweight was kicked off the Beijing roster for missing several weeks of workouts.

Yanez was dropped from the team after he was absent for most of June from the Olympic team’s residency training program in Colorado Springs. Coach Dan Campbell and USA Boxing CEO Jim Millman said they didn’t hear from Yanez, who was home in Duncanville, Texas, until shortly before they sent a formal letter setting a final deadline for his return.

The team will head to San Jose, Calif., on Monday for final processing before leaving for Beijing next week.

“It all worked out for the best,” Yanez family spokesman Michael Montoya told the Associated Press. “We’re all very happy, very excited. His whole attitude has turned around just completely. He’s looking forward to getting back to camp, putting this behind us and taking care of business.”

M. Hamm gets spot

Morgan Hamm’s spot on the U.S. Olympic team is secure.

USA Gymnastics said that a warning Hamm received earlier this month for getting a prescribed anti-inflammatory shot without proper clearance from anti-doping authorities did not affect his qualification to the team.

Hamm’s results from the second day of the national championships were wiped out as part of his punishment. Results from that day, as well as the first day of nationals and two days of Olympic trials, were used to help determine the U.S. team for Beijing.

The men’s selection committee re-ran the numbers, taking Hamm’s punishment into effect, and the result was the same, said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.

“They absolutely went back and reviewed this,” Penny said. “There were two questions: One, would he have advanced on to the trials? And the answer was yes. And two, would he still have been selected to the Olympic team? And the answer again was yes.”

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