Omar Vizquel has been confirmed as the manager of the Venezuelan national team that will compete in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.The announcement made by the countrys baseball federation on Friday night puts an end to a series of twists that triggered a potential boycott among Venezuelas key players.Vizquel, the Detroit Tigers first-base coach and a Caracas native, had been in a limbo since ESPNDeportes.com reported Tuesday night that he had been fired from his managerial post with Venezuela and replaced by Atlanta Braves first base coach Eddie Perez.MLB confirmed Wednesday morning that Team Venezuela was making a managerial change and that Perez would be the new manager for the upcoming WBC.In response, several players of Venezuelas national squad said they would withdraw from the team if Vizquel was dismissed.We spoke with Miguel Cabrera, Salvador Perez and others. A decision was made: We would only play if Vizquel is our manager, said pitcher Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, while speaking to the Union Radio 1090 AM station in Venezuela. Vizquel is an insignia [for our country], so I wouldnt play if hes not the manager.Hernandez was appointed by Vizquel as Venezuelas starting pitcher for the opening game against Puerto Rico, set to take place on March 10 in Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico.Throughout the week, Vizquel kept waiting for a phone call from Carlos Guillen, general manager of Venezuelas team, whom was responsible for removing Vizquel from his managerial post earlier in the week.During the early hours of Friday, the scenario changed when Vizquel announced via Twitter that the two had finally connected.I called [Guillen] and we talked. We also met during the afternoon, Vizquel tweeted in Spanish.According to multiple media reports in Venezuela, the confusion stemmed from a conflict between Guillen and Vizquel.Guillen, a three-time All-Star, played 14 seasons in the majors with the Tigers and the Mariners. Before becoming a Tigers coach, Vizquel won 11 Gold Glove Awards in 24 major league seasons.Also speaking for the Union Radio 1090 AM, Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez echoed the support for Vizquel: I would definitely not play if Omar is not there; I wouldnt support those behind [Vizquels removal].Many other players have also voiced their support, including Chicago Cubs reliever Hector Rondon and Colorado Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra.We spoke and we are all in the same frequency: We wont play without Vizquel, said Parra. I believe that players -- at least those who are in the provisional roster -- have to be consulted before making any changes in the managerial post.Venezuela remains as one of the favorites to win the 2017 tournament. Japan was crowned champion in 2006 and 2009; the Dominican Republic won the championship in 2013.Venezuelas baseball federation will hold a news conference on Saturday as a follow-up to the announcement. Andrew Heaney Jersey . The 20-year-old Pelicans big man glanced up and smiled widely at the well-wishers -- a fitting end to a day he wont soon forget. Davis responded to his selection earlier in the day as a Western Conference All-Star with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-91 on Friday night. Wholesale Angels Jerseys . Already owning gold from competition in Vancouver in 2010, Loch posted a combined four-run time of 3:27.526. 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CULVER, Ind. -- Notre Dame opened practice Saturday looking to shore up a defense that was shaky at times last season.The Irish lost six of the top eight tacklers on a defense that ranked 45th in the nation in total defense, allowing 372.7 yards a game.The biggest challenge is replacing linebackers Jaylon Smith, who led the Irish with 114 tackles, and Joe Schmidt, the teams vocal leader. While three players will compete to replace Smith at weakside linebacker, the Irish know junior Nyles Morgan will take over for Schmidt in the middle.Coach Brian Kelly said Morgan, a former top recruit who struggled at first to learn the Irish defense, has gained the trust of defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.The middle linebacker position is the most difficult position to get down and hes got it cold. He knows what hes doing, Kelly said.Morgan started the last four games of his freshman season after Schmidt went down with an injury, but played sparingly as a sophomore, finishing with 17 tackles. Morgan said he knew he needed to stay patient and remain hungry.I couldnt give up. That wasnt a question, he said.Up front, the Irish are hoping defensive tackle Jarron Jones can be a force again after missing all of last season with a torn MCL in his right knee. It was an injury he sustained when Schmidt fell into him during a practice last August. Jones, who practiced with the second team most of Saturday, admitted he played tentatively this past spring out of fear of aanother freak injury.ddddddddddddThe 6-foot-5, 315-pound senior said hes determined to prove himself, saying he has to show he can outwork his teammates.Just show I can be a dependable player because this past spring I didnt show that, he said. I did a horrible job at that. I did a horrible job of being in shape. I let my injuries get the best of me.Kelly said the Irish hope Jones can contribute.I think 25 to 35 plays is a pretty good for a big guy like that, if he can give us explosive plays, he said.The Irish also need some young players to step up in the defensive backfield and safety Max Redfield, another former top recruit, to play more consistently. Redfield was sent home before the Fiesta Bowl last season for being late to meetings.What we want to see is just that guy that does the basic things right, Kelly said. He was a guy that was up and down. Wed see great flashes and then we didnt see him for a couple of weeks. I think if we just get consistent play from him, were going to get really good play.Thats a challenge for an Irish defense overall that gave up too many big plays last season.Morgan said he believes this year the Irish will be better on defense because they are nastier.I can feel it. I can see it up front with the D-line, linebackers, safeties. Its just an attitude. 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