Jun 1, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT
HBT is not exactly your go-to source for World Baseball Classic information. I just did a search of the archives, and apart from random mentions of international players who may have once played in the WBC, the last two posts we had about the thing was (a) Joe Torre saying that managing in the WBC might be “interesting“; and (b) a story about how Geovany Soto tested positive for marijuana during the last WBC.
Maybe we’ll ramp up the coverage between now and the next round in 2013, but I can’t promise you anything. For now we’ll at least try, and pass along the news that the field for the 2013 WBC has been expanded from 16 to 28 countries via the addition of a new qualifying round in which 16 teams will be divided into four pools of four teams each, while 12 others get a bye. The qualifying round will take place in the fall of 2012. The participants in that round will be:
Those who advance join the big boys of international baseball in March 2013.
Look, this isn’t going to jazz any of you who don’t care about the WBC and international baseball in general. And I’ll admit, I fall into that camp. But, as ESPN’s Jorge Arangure pointed out on Twitter a few minutes ago, a lot of people outside of the major baseball capitals do care about this, and many of them have lobbied hard to make the field bigger. This news is the product of that, and the qualifying round is designed to appeal to them, in places where the game still needs to be grown, not for folks in New York, Tokyo and San Pedro de Macoris.
- Nationals place Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with neck tightness 1
- Jerry Dior, designer of MLB’s iconic logo, has passed away 8
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 21
- Tony Cingrani hits Bryce Harper in the back with a pitch, then complains he was too slow getting to first base 112
- Video: Josh Hamilton hits his first home run of the season 16
- Rockies starter Chad Bettis loses his no-hitter in the eighth inning 2
- Stephen Strasburg exits start in the second inning with an apparent injury 5
- More than half of polled baseball fans prefer having the pitcher hit 77
- Tony Cingrani hits Bryce Harper in the back with a pitch, then complains he was too slow getting to first base (111)
- The Big Unit: Wide Angle Watcher (90)
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (89)
- Chipper Jones will fight you if you insult his “girl” (84)
- More than half of polled baseball fans prefer having the pitcher hit (77)