Jun 1, 2011, 11:33 AM EST
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.
- Daniel Murphy on Billy Bean: “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual” 48
- Blue Jays sign Dayan Viciedo to a minor league deal 8
- Chris Sale will be sidelined for three weeks with foot fracture 11
- Aramis Ramirez says 2015 will be his last year 32
- Francisco Rodriguez re-signs with the Brewers 9
- If addiction is an illness — and it is — Josh Hamilton shouldn’t be suspended 307
- Pirates open to massive extension for Andrew McCutchen 18
- Report: Josh Hamilton had a relapse this offseason that “involved at least cocaine” 86
- If addiction is an illness — and it is — Josh Hamilton shouldn’t be suspended (307)
- Curt Schilling lowers the boom on some men tweeting threats against his daughter (136)
- San Francisco — and all of California — will consider a smokeless tobacco ban that includes MLB parks (131)
- Ichiro is happy to be away from Joe Girardi (88)
- Report: Josh Hamilton had a relapse this offseason that “involved at least cocaine” (86)