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12-23-2012, 07:18 PM
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2013 World Baseball Classic: March 219

First Round (Round Robin)


Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome - Fukuoka, Japan

Capacity: 38,561

Game 1 Sat, Mar 2 Japan @ Brazil
Game 2 Sun, Mar 3 Cuba @ Brazil
Game 3 Sun, Mar 3 China @ Japan
Game 4 Mon, Mar 4 China @ Cuba
Game 5 Tue, Mar 5 Brazil @ China
Game 6 Wed, Mar 6 Japan @ Cuba


Japan is the two-time defending World Baseball Classic Champion with pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka being named Tournament MVP in both 2006 and 2009. Team Japan defeated Cuba 10- 6 in 2006 with Ichiro Suzuki scoring three of Japan's runs. In 2009, Japan faced Korea in the Final and had a 3-2 lead in the ninth when the Koreans scored a run off Yu Darvish to send the game into extra innings. In the 10th, Ichiro drove in two on a single to give Japan a 5-3 win. There are currently 12 players signed to professional contracts in the United States including Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and New York Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki.



Brazil got its first Major Leaguer this year, when Yan Gomes debuted for the Blue Jays. Gomes is one of 14 players from the country signed to a pro contract in the U.S


Qualifier 3, Game 1 Thu, Nov 15 BRA 3, PAN 2
Qualifier 3, Game 3 Sat, Nov 17 BRA 7, COL 1
Qualifier 3, Game 6 Mon, Nov 19 BRA 1, PAN 0



The Cuban National Baseball Team has won 25 Gold Medals in 29 IBAF Baseball World Cup appearances, finishing second in four others including the previous three in 2011, 2009, and 2007. In their 2009 World Baseball Classic appearance, Cuba was eliminated by Japan in Round Two of the tournament, the lowest finish ever in international competition for Cuba. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Cuba lost to Japan in the Championship Game. There are currently 18 Cuban players in the Major Leagues including Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics.



China has seen a very palpable growth of its baseball in the past decade. The 2006 World Baseball Classic was regarded as a major stepping stone for the Chinese national team as they were getting ready for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Chinese catcher Wei Wang became the first player to hit a homerun in the World Baseball Classic in Team China's first round game against eventual champion Japan. In 2009, China eliminated Chinese Taipei from the World Baseball Classic with their first and only victory in the tournament. China's strongest performance came while hosting the 16th Asian Games, as they reached the semi-finals by going 2-1 in pool play.



Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium - Taichung, Taiwan

Capacity: 19,000

Game 1 Sat, Mar 2 Australia @ Chinese Taipei
Game 2 Sat, Mar 2 Korea @ Netherlands
Game 3 Sun, Mar 3 Netherlands @ Chinese Taipei
Game 4 Mon, Mar 4 Korea @ Australia
Game 5 Tue, Mar 5 Australia @ Netherlands
Game 6 Tue, Mar 5 Chinese Taipei @ Korea


Australia currently has 62 players under contract with professional clubs including Grant Balfour and Travis Blackey of the 2012 American League West Division Champion Oakland Athletics. The Australian National Baseball Team has participated in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic, but has not advanced past Round One. In their opening game in 2009, Team Australia defeated Mexico 17-7 and set a new tournament record for hits in a game with 22, including four home runs. Most recently, Australia finished fifth in the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup.



Chinese Taipei boasts this group's most extensive presence in American professional baseball, with 28 of its players under contract with Major League organizations. Of those, two are in the big leagues this season. Orioles rookie Wei-Yin Chen has established a place in his team's rotation, while MLB veteran Chien-Ming Wang has been battling injuries with the Nationals. The Chinese Taipei National team has participated in many past international competitions, including the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics.

Game 2 Thu, Nov 15 TPE 10, NZL 0
Game 4 Fri, Nov 16 TPE 16, PHI 0
Game 6 Sun, Nov 18 TPE 9, NZL 0



The Korean National Baseball Team defeated Japan to win bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in just their second Olympic appearance. Second place finishes in the 2002 Intercontinental Cup and 2005 IBAF Baseball World Cup soon followed, and the team went on to win the bronze medal in the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic. In 2008, Korea defeated Cuba to win the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Team Korea led the tournament in RBI, runs scored, and shutouts pitched and advanced to the Championship Game of the tournament against defending Champion, Team Japan. The Championship Game went 10 innings before Japan scored two runs to win the game 5-3. There are currently 17 players from Korea signed to professional contracts including Shin-Soo Choo of the Cleveland Indians.



The Dutch National Team is the all-time leader in European Championship titles, winning 20 titles out of 32 tournaments including 5 of the last 7, and finishing as runner-up in the two most recent years (2010, 2012). Their win in 2007 qualified them for the Olympics in 2008, in which they finishing in 4th place in Beijing. They defeated Cuba to win the most recent IBAF Baseball World Cup in 2011 to become the first European Champion. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, pitcher Shairon Martis no-hit Panama to give the Kingdom of the Netherlands a 10-0 win in a mercy rule shorted game and their only victory of the tournament. In the 2009 tournament, the Kingdom of the Netherlands advanced to Round Two of the World Baseball Classic when they defeated the Dominican Republic twice in dramatic fashion.


Hiram Bithorn Stadium - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Capacity: 18,000

Game 1 Thu, Mar 7 Venezuela @ Dominican Rep.
Game 2 Fri, Mar 8 Spain @ Puerto Rico
Game 3 Sat, Mar 9 Dominican Rep. @ Spain
Game 4 Sat, Mar 9 Puerto Rico @ Venezuela
Game 5 Sun, Mar 10 Spain @ Venezuela
Game 6 Sun, Mar 10 Dominican Rep. @ Puerto Rico


With more than a 100 players with Major League Clubs, the Dominican Republic contributes the most players in Major League Baseball. Recently, the Dominican Republic National Team earned a spot in the 2011 IBAF Baseball World Cup by winning the 2010 Pan American Qualifying Tournament. However, the side failed to advance to the second round after a 3-4 record. The Dominican Republic has competed in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic tournaments. In 2009, Ubaldo Jimenez set a new record for strikeouts by a starter during Round One against the Kingdom of the Netherlands when he struck out 10 batters over four innings in Team Dominica's 2-1 loss to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although the Dominican Republic was eliminated in Round One of the 2009 tournament, they finished 4th in 2006.



The Puerto Rican National Team has experienced success in international competitions, including the World Baseball Classic where they have finished fifth overall in both the 2006 and 2009 tournaments. In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Puerto Rico was undefeated throughout Round One. In Round Two, Puerto Rico defeated the United States in their first game 11-1 before losing their first game of the 2009 tournament 2-0 to Venezuela. Puerto Rico faced the United States for a spot in the Semi-Finals but lost 6-5 on a walk-off single in the ninth inning. There are currently 15 Puerto Ricans with Major League Clubs including Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals.



Spain's most-prized talent, Alejandro Sanchez, signed a seven-year deal with the Atlanta Braves prior to the 2010 season. Sanchez, an infield prospect from Valencia, Spain, inked the contract at the age of 17. As for the Spain National Team, the highlight of the past half-decade came at the 2007 European Baseball Championships, where Spain played to a third-place finish. The 2010 tournament didn't go as well, with Spain finishing ninth.


Game 2 Thu, Sep 20 ESP 8, FRA 0
Game 3 Fri, Sep 21 ISR 4, ESP 2
Game 5 Sat, Sep 22 RSA 3, ESP 13
Game 6 Sun, Sep 23 ESP 9, ISR 7



The Venezuelan National Team has finished 7th in last two IBAF Baseball World Cups, making the Semi-Finals in each. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Venezuela advanced to Round Two after shutting out both Italy and Australia in their two wins of Round One. In the 2009 tournament they finished in third place and lost only twice in the entire tournament, once to the United States and once to Korea. There are currently 95 players from Venezuela in the Major Leagues including Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years and the 2012 American League MVP.



Salt River Fields at Talking Stick - Phoenix, Arizona

Game 1 Thu, Mar 7 Italy @ Mexico
Game 2 Fri, Mar 8 Canada @ Italy

Chase Field - Phoenix, Arizona

Game 3 Fri, Mar 8 Mexico @ United States
Game 4 Sat, Mar 9 Canada @ Mexico
Game 5 Sat, Mar 9 United States @ Italy
Game 6 Sun, Mar 10 United States @ Canada


There are 147 Canadian players under contract with professional clubs, including 17 players on Major League rosters. Two of Canada's best talents include 2010 National League MVP Award winner Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds and 2006 American League MVP Award winner Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins. The Canadian National Baseball Team has competed in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic, though it has yet to make it out of the first round. Recently, the team finished third in the 2011 World Cup and won gold at the 2011 Pan Am Games.



The Italian National Baseball Team is back-to-back European Champions and has won 10 European titles overall finishing first or second in 25 of their 32 appearances. They have qualified for the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics, and finished third overall in the last Intercontinental Cup in 2010. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Italy won their first game by defeating Australia 10-0 in a mercy rule shortened seven inning game. In the 2009 tournament, Team Italy knocked out Team Canada in Round One at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. Alex Liddi of the Seattle Mariners, who played for Team Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, is the first Italian-born and developed player to play in the Major Leagues.



The Mexican National Team finished in 11th place in the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup after going undefeated in the first round of play. The team also earned bronze medals in the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games and the Pan American Games. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Mexico finished Round One at the top of its pool finishing 2-1 and allowing only 7 runs over 27 total innings. They were eliminated in Round Two after losing to Korea and Japan. In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Team Mexico advanced to Round Two, but was defeated by Korea and Cuba to finish in 8th place. There are currently 16 players from Mexico in the Major Leagues including Yovani Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers.



When baseball was officially granted Olympic medal status in 1992, Team USA secured their first official baseball medal in the 1996 Atlanta Games, defeating Nicaragua for the bronze. Team USA defeated two-time defending Olympic Champion Cuba to capture the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The United States won gold at both the 2007 and 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cups, and finished 4th in 2011. They have finished 2nd in the past four editions of the Pan-American Games. The 2006 World Baseball Classic was the first time American Major League players had an opportunity to compete in an international tournament. Team USA advanced out of Round One by going 2-1 including a 17-run victory over of South Africa. They were knocked out in Round Two, but not before earning a dramatic win over eventual champion Japan, in which Alex Rodriguez drove the winning run on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 9th inning. In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, David Wright drove in the winning run on a walk-off single to reach the Semi-Finals where they were knocked out of the tournament in by eventual champion Japan.


Second Round (Modified Double Elimination)


Tokyo Dome - Tokyo, Japan

Game 1 Fri, Mar 8 Pool A Runner-Up @ Pool B Winner
Game 2 Fri, Mar 8 Pool B Runner-Up @ Pool A Winner
Game 3 Sat, Mar 9 Game 2 Loser @ Game 1 Loser
Game 4 Sun, Mar 10 Game 2 Winner @ Game 1 Winner
Game 5 Mon, Mar 11 Game 4 Loser @ Game 3 Winner
Game 6 Tue, Mar 12 Game 5 Winner @ Game 4 Winner


Marlins Park - Miami, Florida

Game 1 Tue, Mar 12 Pool D Runner-Up @ Pool C Winner
Game 2 Tue, Mar 12 Pool C Runner-Up @ Pool D Winner
Game 3 Wed, Mar 13 Game 2 Loser @ Game 1 Loser
Game 4 Thu, Mar 14 Game 2 Winner @ Game 1 Winner
Game 5 Fri, Mar 15 Game 4 Loser @ Game 3 Winner
Game 6 Sat, Mar 16 Game 5 Winner @ Game 4 Winner

Championship Round (Single Elimination)

Semifinals & Championship

AT&T Park - San Francisco, California

Game 1 Sun, Mar 17 Pool 2 Runner-Up @ Pool 1 Winner
Game 2 Mon, Mar 18 Pool 1 Runner-Up @ Pool 2 Winner
Game 3 Tue, Mar 19 Semi 2 Winner @ Semi 1 Winner

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