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Peralta won't play in Classic

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Joel Peralta confirmed on Sunday morning that he would not be participating for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, and noted he was disappointed about that fact.

"The main thing is, this is probably the only chance I have to play in the WBC and I'm not going to be able to," Peralta said. "I was hoping that I could. Years earlier, I was anxious for them to invite me to go and they didn't. Now, they invite me to go and I can't go. So it hurts a little bit."

Peralta pointed out that the silver lining of the situation could be found in the fact that he should be fresh to pitch deep into the season for the Rays.

"That was the whole goal, that was the point," Peralta said. "September, October when [we] make the playoffs, the World Series, [I'll] still be fresh. So I can help the team win. That was the main thing."

Peralta has been slowed by a stiff neck thus far in Spring Training.

"If I was practicing and pitching, I might change my mind," Peralta said.

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