LAKELAND, Fla. — Justin Verlander has decided against pitching in the World Baseball Classic, costing the tournament yet another star.

Verlander was not on the initial Team USA roster, but tournament officials left a spot open for him, very much hoping that he would agree to pitch. Verlander agreed to think about it, but after throwing two bullpen sessions last week, he decided that he wasn’t advanced enough in his preparation to allow him to participate in the WBC.

“I don’t want to feel rushed to catch up,” Verlander said. “I want to do it the right way. I spoke with [manager Joe Torre]. I told him, in all honesty, I wanted to pitch.”

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