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.
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- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 66
- The Marlins are going to change everything except their biggest problem this offseason 51
- Drooling over Miguel Sano’s incredible numbers through 50 career games 35
- Matt Williams puts up another strong performance in his quest to get himself fired 104
- Settling the Scores: Tuesday’s results 81
- Yankees reveal Mark Teixeira’s shin injury is “more than we thought” 16
- There’s a chicken pox outbreak in the Royals’ clubhouse and multiple players are infected 28
- Sarah Palin sticks up for Curt Schilling, tells ESPN to “stick to sports” (266)
- David Ortiz is more likely to be boned in Hall of Fame voting for being a DH than for PED stuff (105)
- Matt Williams puts up another strong performance in his quest to get himself fired (104)
- Why Mike Mussina keeps getting hosed in the Hall of Fame voting (89)
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights (87)