The coronavirus suspended any chance of baseball in the near future, but Major League Baseball stars are already looking toward games in 2021.
During a flurry of online activity Thursday, New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman sparked a conversation online about Team USA in the 2021 World Baseball Classic, calling out prominent American baseball stars on Twitter in hopes of creating a WBC "Dream Team."
Upon hearing the call, several prominent players, including Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, Eric Hosmer, Christian Yelich, Pete Alonso, Mike Clevinger, Nolan Arenado and Blake Snell, all committed online to playing in the event.
Stroman led the charge in recruiting, first asking Hosmer and Yelich on Instagram if they wanted to run things after the trio each played parts in the 2017 WBC championship team.
After the back and forth on Instagram, Stroman went to Twitter to ask Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Trevor Story,Aaron Judge, Jeff McNeil and Bo Bichette if they would play for Team USA. And soon the responses came rolling in.
With commitments from Clevinger and Arenado, Stroman dropped the "Dream Team" title on the still very hypothetical group.
Alonso, the Mets first baseman, said he might cry if he was named to Team USA.
Stroman, who posted a 3.22 ERA in 32 starts between the Blue Jays and the Mets in 2019, played a major role in Team USA winning gold in America's only WBC title, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning against a previously undefeated Puerto Rico team in the championship game, allowing just one hit and one walk in six innings of work en route to an 8-0 American victory.
That championship team featured stars such as Arenado, Buster Posey, Alex Bregman, Giancarlo Stanton and Paul Goldschmidt.
The 2021 World Baseball Classic is scheduled to take place next March 9-23, with the field of teams expanding from 16 to 20. Games are set to be held in Taiwan, Japan and the United States.
Marcus Stroman recruits Team USA 'Dream Team' for 2021 World Baseball Classic