It’s that time again; the fourth installment of the World Baseball Classic is swinging back around this spring and will have teams from around the world competing for the title of World Champion. The 2013 defending champ, the Dominican Republic has to be the favorite again, but will be challenged by countries like the US, Cuba, Japan, Mexico, and South Korea.
Players from around the world’s professional baseball organizations with participate in games that take place in South Korea, Japan, the US (Miami in the 1st round), and Mexico. From there teams are eliminated with later round games being played in San Diego and at Dodger Stadium, in LA.
Participating countries for this year’s Classic include:
Pool A: Chinese Tapei, Israel, Korea, Netherlands
Pool B: Australia, China, Cuba, Japan
Pool C: Canada, Columbia, Dominican Republic, United States
Pool D: Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela
As for your Detroit Tigers who will be missing spring training games to compete in the WBC, there are 15 Tigers, the most of any Major League team, not to mention Jim Leyland will be managing Team USA and Omar Vizquel will be managing Team Venezuela. You’ll be able to see these Tigers playing for their country…
Team USA: Michael Fulmer, Alex Wilson, Ian Kinsler
Team Australia: Travis Buckley, Warwick Saupold
Team Canada: Dustin Molleken, Daniel Pinero
Team Columbia: William Cuevas
Team Mexico: Efren Navarro
Team Puerto Rico: Joe Jimenez
Team Venezuela: Arcenio Leon, Francisco Rodriguez, Bruce Rodon, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez
Games Monday, March 6th for Pool A, March 7th for Pool B, and March 9th for Pool’s C & D. The US plays its first game against Columbia on the 10th at 6p est.
In case you were wondering, Team USA’s roster is loaded…
Manager: Jim Leyland
Pitchers: Chris Archer, Brett Cecil, Tyler Clippard, Danny Duffy, Sam Dyson, Michael Fulmer, Mychal Givens, Sonny Gray, Luke Gregerson, J.A. Happ, Nate Jones, Jake McGee, Andrew Miller, Pat Neshek, Tanner Roark, Drew Smyly, Marcus Stroman, Alex Wilson