Baseball making headlines in Brazil ahead of WBC

TALES AZZONI AP Sports Writer Published:

SAO PAULO (AP) -- With Brazil about to make its first appearance in the World Baseball Classic, the sport which is barely known in the land of soccer is starting to attract some rare attention.

Little by little, Brazilians are realizing that baseball is actually played in the country and that there is a national team good enough to compete among some of the most traditional powers in the sport.

At the WBC, Brazil will have the experience of Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin as its manager, but it won't have Yan Gomes -- the country's first major leaguer -- after he decided to stay with the Cleveland Indians.

Seattle Mariners prospect Luiz Gohara, who's 16 and already one of the country's top pitchers, also won't play.