Villone expects to pull out of Classic

Updated: February 10, 2006, 3:24 PM ET
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- Ron Villone probably will pull out of the World Baseball Classic, where he was slated to be on Italy's roster.

Ron Villone
Villone

The New York Yankees acquired the left-hander from the Florida Marlins on Dec. 16 for minor league pitcher Ben Julianel.

"The World Baseball Classic is a great idea," Villone said Friday after working out the Yankees' minor league complex. "After all these years waiting to be a Yankee, I think I'm just going to step away from that and concentrate on being here. I've probably got to look out for myself, my family and the Yankees. They come first."

Villone grew up in Edgewater, N.J., and lives in Upper Saddle River, a short drive to Yankee Stadium. He was a combined 2-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 79 games last season for the Seattle Mariners and the Marlins, who acquired him at the July 31 trade deadline.

"I think this year is a little bit more special meaning for me, being part of this organization," Villone said. "It's something special that I wanted for a long time."

Villone is joining his 10th major league team following stints with Seattle, San Diego, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Colorado. Houston, Pittsburgh and Florida.

Yankees backup infielder Miguel Cairo, on Venezuela's 60-man provisional roster, would like to play in the WBC.

"If they ask me, I'll say yes," Cairo said. "It's going to be fun. It's going to be good." Game notes
Cairo had to briefly stop his workout Thursday when it turned out he had unintentionally parked in Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner's space on a day when the Boss made a rare stop at the minor league complex. "I didn't know it was the Boss' spot ... I moved my car real quick," Cairo said. "They told me that I was parked in the Boss' spot. I just ran inside and got my keys and moved it." He and Steinbrenner did not meet.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press