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DeGrom, of course, isn't at the Olympics, which is limited to players not on 40-man major league rosters. And even then, players who technically are eligible often are blocked by their clubs. St. Louis Triple-A left-hander Matthew Liberatore pitched for the U.S. in qualifying but the Cardinals refused to let him go to Japan, fearing a few more injuries to their major league pitching staff would put him in line for a possible promotion.

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Probable pitchers? Perhaps. Managers' thoughts pregame? They will not be able to meet media on game days until after games, WBSC spokesman Richard Baker said. Thoughts from stars of the game? Clubhouses are closed and while players are required to walk by media on the way out of the ballpark, they do not have to speak with reporters.

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