Archive for the ‘World Baseball’ Category

The United States National Baseball Team fell 4-3 to Puerto Rico on Friday, with its comeback bid falling just short.  As a result, the United States was eliminated from the tournament, and the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are facing off right now on MLB Network to determine who each team will face in the Semifinals in San Francisco.

The other two teams remaining are Japan and the biggest surprise of the tournament, the Netherlands, who recently added baseball’s top prospect to their roster in Jurickson Profar of the Texas Rangers.

Despite low attendance figures for games not involving the host countries, the 2013 World Baseball Classic must be viewed as a success, and has displayed great growth of the game internationally.

In the first qualifying pool, Israel and the incumbent participant South Africa figured to dominate the pool and fight for the right to play in the main tournament.  Instead, while France proved to be of no challenge, Spain dominated South Africa 13-3 and then went on to defeat Israel 9-7 int he pool finals.  The second qualifying pool was much less competitive, as Canada defeated Great Britain 11-1, and then Germany 16-7 and again 11-1 in the pool finals.  The Czech Republic fell to both Great Britain and Germany.  Colombia was the heavy favorites in the third qualifying pool, and handled Nicaragua easily before falling to both the eventual pool champion Brazil and the runner-up, Panama.  Chinese Taipei handled their pool easily, defeating New Zealand, the Philippines, and New Zealand again in the finals.    Johnny Damon played for last place Thailand.

The main tournament was full of surprises.  Cuba and Japan advanced over China and Brazil as expected, but the Brazilian squad played very well for a team that went 0-3.  The Chinese Taipei and South Korea were expected to advance in the second pool, but the Netherlands had something else in mind, falling to South Korea in the final game but winning on tie-breaker to send the Koreans home with Australia.  A strong Venezuelan squad failed to advance in the third pool, as the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico – both of which have made it to the semifinals – advanced, leaving Venezuela behind with Spain.  Italy was not expected to win a single game in the tournament, but managed to advance to the second round with the United States over two solid teams in Canada and Mexico.

The Netherlands run of upsets continued in the second round, advancing with Japan in a pool that also included Cuba and Chinese Taipei.  Italy’s luck would quickly run out however, as they were eliminated in the second round in two games, while the United States lasted only three, with Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic advancing.

Despite low attendance, the tournament seems poised to have at least one more run in 2017.

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November 20, 2012 – World Baseball Classic qualifying officially came to an end Monday night as Brazil beat Panama 1-0 to win their pool and advance into the main tournament.  Spain, Canada, Brazil, and the Chinese Taipei will join the automatic qualifiers in the tournament that is to start on March 2nd with games in Fukuoka, Japan (Pool A) and Taichung, Taiwan (Pool B).  Pools C and D will begin play on March 7th in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Pheonix/Scottsdale, Arizona respectively.

 

 

The Pools for the main tournament are as follows:

  • Pool A: China, Cuba, Japan (host), Spain
  • Pool B: Australia, Chinese Taipei (host), the Netherlands, South Korea
  • Pool C: Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico (host), Venezuela
  • Pool D: Canada, Italy, Mexico, the United States (host)

The second round will take place in Tokyo, Japan and Miami, Florida before the final round is hosted in San Francisco, California.

Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States have all additionally scheduled exhibitions against MLB teams in spring training.