Ernie Whitt returns as Canadian manager for World Baseball Classic

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is really excited about the quality of players making early commitments to play in the World Baseball Classic, and what this tourney means to the growth of the game internationally.

OTTAWA — Ernie Whitt will return to his familiar role as manager of the Canadian team at the World Baseball Classic in March.

He served as skipper at the inaugural WBC in 2006 and returned for the 2009 and 2013 tournaments. Whitt will lead a coaching staff that includes Larry Walker, Denis Boucher, Paul Quantrill, Tim Leiper and Greg Hamilton.

"I am extremely honoured and excited to return as Team Canada’s manager for the upcoming World Baseball Classic," Whitt said Friday in a Baseball Canada release. "The familiarity of our staff is something we think will benefit our team considering how short the tournament is.

"We’re looking forward to being on the field as a group in March."

Canada will open the first round on March 9 at Miami’s Marlins Park against the Dominican Republic. Colombia and the United States are also in Pool C.

Whitt, who played 15 seasons in the major leagues, guided Canada to gold at the Pan American Games in 2015 and 2011. He also managed Canada at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the IBAF Baseball World Cup in 2009 and 2011.

Canada did not make it out of the first round in 2013. The Dominican Republic beat Puerto Rico 3-0 in the championship game.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.