Archive for the 'World Baseball Classic' Category

Dane Dunning Has Choices for WBC

Friday, September 18th, 2020

Dane Dunning was recently called up by the White Sox to fit in their rotation. He was drafted by the Nationals but traded to the White Sox along with Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito for Adam Eaton. That trade accounts for 60 percent of the playoff bound White Sox rotation. Last year the Nationals won the World Series with Eaton. This year it appears to be the White Sox turn to make a run with Dunning, Lopez and Giolito.

With the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on the horizon Dunning could play for the United States team. If that doesn’t work out he could also play for South Korea. His mother was born in Korea making him eligible. According to a Yonhap News Agency article Dunning would love to play for South Korea, even though he has yet to visit the country. At some point he would embrace experiencing the culture there.

Traditionally, Korea has not looked to the United States to fill their WBC teams. They generally pick their teams from players in the KBO. Dunning though is a talent that could fill a rotation spot, along with current major leaguers Kim, Ryu and young pitching sensation Koo that would prove quite formidable.

World Baseball Classic to be Postponed to 2023

Monday, May 11th, 2020

It is possible the World Baseball Classic will be pushed back to 2023. It was supposed to have been played in March 2021, but with the Olympics being pushed back to 2021 that was going to create some scheduling concerns with the Asian teams. Many of the Asian teams temporarily halt their mid-season to accommodate the Olympics. They would normally start the 2021 season early to make up for the lost games, so that would impact on the March 2021 date of the WBC. The WBC was also hoping to expand their team participants from 16 to 20 countries. Two qualifiers were to be played to select those teams. They were to be played in March but had to be cancelled because of the corona virus.

The new dates are pending a vote of the WBC tournament board. The major leagues are the main organizers of the event. The games were going to be held mainly in the United States, with the finals in Miami. Other venues included Japan and Taiwan for the qualifying rounds. Those venues may change based on circumstances.

Assuming the games are approved for 2023 it will be six years between events. A lot can change during that time. The 16 countries that have automatically qualified may not be as strong in baseball during that time period. Perhaps there will be more qualifiers in 2022 to identify new teams. This year in the qualifiers France was relying on Bruce Bochy to manage them into the WBC and the Philippines was hoping that putting Tim Tebow on their roster would win a qualifier. That will not happen in 2022, or whenever the qualifiers for the WBC are scheduled.

World Baseball Classics and Olympics Could Clash in 2021

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

With the corona virus playing havoc on the world stage the Olympics being held in Tokyo, Japan moved to 2021. While the World Baseball Classic (WBC) will be held in March 2021 and the Olympics in June of 2021 there are still some issues.

Many of the Asian countries postpone their season to compete in the Olympics, if their teams qualify. Japan, the host of the Olympics is one team that has qualified. Korea, Mexico and Israel are the three other qualifying countries. Two additional Olympic qualifiers need to be played to determine the other participants for a total of six countries competing. Dates for those events have not been set yet, with the last qualifier dependent on the date of the next to last qualifier.

The WBC was hoping to expand to four additional countries, increasing the number of countries competing to 20. Two qualifiers were supposed to be played in March to identify those additional four countries. They had to be postponed because of the corona virus and no new dates have been established.

Because Japan will be starting early to make up for the days in their season lost to the Olympics, their season will begin in March. Just like the major leagues, they have their best compete in the WBC. But unlike the major leagues, they also have their best compete in the Olympics. So they may either have to send college or industrial league players to compete in the WBC in March or NPB teams will have to sacrifice doing without during the NPB season those players selected to the WBC roster. Just like the major league owners, I doubt the NPB owners will allow their players to compete in the WBC during the season.

While the WBC is organized by the major leagues, they rely heavily on the advertising money Japan sponsors contribute to the event. If the Japan professionals are not playing in this event, the advertising money will not be as great. As we all know, money talks. And since Japan is hosting the Olympics, that will take priority over the WBC even though in the past Japan has hosted many of the events at the WBC. There has always been some rancor over their lack of influence in the WBC.

One challenge for Japan and their hosting WBC games is those games are played at NPB stadiums. If those stadiums are not available it will become difficult for them to host games. That would either involve major scheduling revisions, which they are already doing for the Olympics, or playing at stadiums that normally do not have NPB games.

Another issue facing the WBC is at what point do they identify the other four teams to compete. The 16 they have already identified were easy to select since they did not eliminate any country from the previous WBC. To identify the new participants they will have to conduct these tournaments in November if they want to have teams eligible for March, and the major leagues has never been fond of holding events in November, especially this year if the major and minor league season need to be extended.

The other complicating issue is again the corona virus. Teams have not been able to practice. There is still a lot of uncertainty about when this pandemic will end. Many are of the view that organized sports may not be able to begin until November. This will make it difficult for teams to prepare for a qualifier for the WBC if those time frames prove realistic.

It is also still not clear what kind of team Korea will bring if they move their season openers in 2021 to March to accommodate the Olympics. They are another country that plays on postponing their professional season for the Olympics. Since they are not hosting the Olympics they may still be willing to send their best to the WBC and either shorten their season or extend the season into November. With the corona virus issues they have already been talking of extending the 2020 season and having playoff games at neutral sites at baseball parks with domed stadiums. Doing it again in 2021 may not be attractive if they had issues in 2020.

Not that myworld has any influence, but it might be wise for the WBC to push their event back to 2022.

WBSC Postpones August/September Tournaments

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

When the World Baseball and Softball Confederation start postponing August and September tournaments, it does not look good for a major league season. The Women’s Baseball World Cup that was scheduled for Mexico on September 11-20th has been postponed and the Under 15 Baseball World Cup scheduled for Mexico on August 14-23 has also been postponed.

The Under 23 World Cup scheduled for Mexico during September 30th to October 9th is still on schedule. That tournament has already been postponed and pushed back once.

Time will tell whether the CPBL will open its season on April 11. They will be playing the games in empty stadiums.

In Korea they have been working out with each team playing intra squad games. Exhibition games held between two teams have not been allowed. The players there have been practicing wearing masks. The KBO was hoping to start the season April 21 but that may now be pushed back to May with a shortened season. They had planned on shutting down their season when the Olympics began, but with the Olympics pushing back their event until next year that gives the KBO some extra days to work with. Most returning foreign players are being subject to a mandatory 14 day quarantine period before they attend their first workout, so that has complicated things.

Japan was hoping to start their season on April 24, but three Hanshin Tiger players tested positive for the Corona virus. Now there is some talk to push that season back.

Difficult for myworld to post any baseball news when there is no baseball being played anywhere.

The World is Closed Because of Corona Virus

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

It appears every sport organization has cancelled their events for the spring. Makes me wonder if it is safe to go out. If one can’t be at a sporting event then a super market or restaurant is just as bad. So my world will have to wait until sanity prevails. We’ll hunker in our basement and live on bread and toilet paper.

The college baseball World Series has been cancelled since most colleges have cancelled all sporting events, including baseball. That will have a huge revenue impact on Nebraska. It also leaves scouts with a lot of down time since there will not be any high school or college ball games to watch for a long time, like next year. Wonder how that will impact the draft?

The NCAA has already put an end to March madness by cancelling their basketball tournament. What will the work force do without any basketball pools to join. Oh. There is no work force since everyone has been forced home to work at home or quarantine.

Myworld wonders how I’m going to eat if all the restaurants close or shut down because no one is leaving their house. Could have to stock up on beans and spam, or whatever is left at the grocery stores. I did go to the store to buy some Haagen-Das ice cream and noticed a lot of empty shelves, especially where the toilet paper should be.

The America’s Olympic qualifier was postponed. If they want to get six teams to Tokyo they can not postpone it for too long. The second and third place team still has to travel to Taiwan in June for the last qualifier. Perhaps they will just pull the last two teams from out of a hat.

The World Baseball Classic has also been postponed. Since the event was going to start tomorrow many teams had already flown from Europe and Asia to participate in the event. Tucson was expecting three weeks of activity, but the reality of the World Baseball Classic qualifiers and the Olympic qualifiers is that attendance is usually sparse. If held to a 250 crowd standard they could have gotten most of their games in, or played without fans in attendance.

So myworld will wait until the world opens again. We’ll find some things to write about, but with nothing going on it will seem pretty empty.

Tim Tebow to Play for Philippines in WBC Qualifier

Thursday, February 27th, 2020

Your opportunity to see Tim Tebow play baseball in a close and intimate setting. He will be playing for the Philippines in a World Baseball Classic qualifier on March 20th in Tucson, Arizona. The Philippines will be competing against Spain, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Panama and New Zealand.

For those not familiar with Tebow he was a Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback prior to his baseball career. He was born in the Philippines to missionary parents and lived there his first five years. He can speak a little Tagalog. Tebow hit a homerun this year in his first spring training at bat. It is expected he will be soon be moved down to the minor league AAA camp where he will begin his 2020 season.

The top two teams from this event will advance to the WBC. The favorites would be Panama and Czech Republic.

World Baseball Classic Venues Announced

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020

The World Baseball Classic will be played in four venues in 2021. The two foreign venues for pool play and quarterfinals will be Taichung, Taiwan and Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo will host both a pool round and a quarterfinal.

Chase Field in Arizona will host a pool round. Tucson, Arizona is also hosting two qualifying rounds for the World Baseball Classic in March 2020. Miami will be hosting a pool round, a quarter final and the finals.

Myworld was at a pool round match between the United States and the Dominican Republic at the last World Baseball Classic. We have not witnessed a more electric crowd at a baseball game in all our travels around the world watching baseball games. It should be entertaining to have three rounds of matches played in Miami.

The one down side with playing in Miami is the difficulty getting to the stadium with the traffic. It may be best to stay in the down town area. Also, the best parking available is usually in the back yards of neighboring houses. That has got to change. Don’t know if that is the same for major league games but even spring training has gotten away from back yard parking.

World Baseball Classic Officially Announces Qualifiers

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

The World Baseball Classic has officially announced their qualifiers, both to be played in Tucson in March. The games will be played at the Kino Sports Complex.

Pool 1 (March 12-17) - Brazil, France, Germany, Nicaragua, Pakistan and South Africa

Pool II (March 20-25) - Czech Republic, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines and Spain.

The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the World Baseball Classic that will be held March 2021. All 16 teams who participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic have qualified for the 2021 event. Those countries include the defending champion United States, Australia, Canada, Cuba, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Venezuela

2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

Major league baseball did announce that they would be holding the World Baseball Classic in 2021. That is one year after the Olympics, where two remaining teams are still undecided to be one of the six competitors for the Olympics. One of those Olympic qualifiers is to be scheduled in Arizona from March 22-26.

It could be a busy time for baseball in Arizona in March. With spring training and the Olympic qualifiers and now also the two World Baseball Classic qualifiers to be held in Arizona. Where will they find all the fields?

Baseball Reference.com shows that there will be two World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Arizona. The first will be held from March 12-17 and the second from March 18-26. Below are the teams that will be participating in those qualifiers.

March 12-17

Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Philippines and South Africa

March 18-26

Czech Republic, France, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Panama and Spain.

The top two teams from each of these pools will advance to the World Baseball Classic for 2021.

What got me interested in this was an article appearing in baseballasia.org that talked about the rise in baseball in the Philippines. The Philippine Amateur Baseball Association President talked about participating in the WBC qualifiers in March 18-25, which are different dates from what the Philippines appears to be scheduled in according to Baseball Reference.com. They also talk about adding Tim Tebow, who was born in the Philippines to their roster. Tim Tebow has recently been invited to the New York Mets spring training tryouts and they train in Florida.

So there is not a lot of publicity being issued on these qualifiers but they appear to be happening some time in March. That could be a good time to travel to Arizona to watch some International baseball. Poor Nicaragua appears to be scheduled to play in both the Olympic Qualifiers in Arizona and the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Arizona. Good way to save on travel costs, provided the tournaments are not scheduled during the same week.

Bucketlist Reviewed

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Myworld is in Omaha to watch the last two games of the college world series. First we will enter into Papillion for a day game for the Storm Chasers, which will be a DHer of sorts, i.e. a finish to the second game that was suspended last night and a new game. Then we will travel down to Omaha for the first game of the finals of the College World Series. That will be a first, three games in one day.

Since this college world series was on my bucket list myworld thought we would summarize some of our bucket list accomplishments since 2011 after we first wrote of our bucket list down. At the end we will identify those adventures still on the list. These are only our baseball bucket lists. We have plenty of non-baseball adventures we would still like to capture.

October 2011 - Went to Panama to watch the last Baseball World Cup. The event is not quite as strong as the soccer World Cups. Attendance was sparse. Netherlands went on to upset Cuba for their first World Cup win. Lots of rain at the event. The third place game was not played because of rain but Canada was awarded the bronze. The gold medal game was delayed by about five hours. This would be the last World Cup before a major reorganization.

November 2011 - Visited Taichung, Taiwan for the Asian World Series. This is another event that was discontinued. Another upset as the Samsung Lions defeated the Softbank Hawks to become the first non-Japanese team to win the Asian Series.

February 2012 - Traveled to the Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to see the Series del Caribe. Cuba had yet to be allowed to participate. This is another event that is struggling for survival. At the time the teams played pool play and the team with the best record was declared champion. This event was anticlimactic as the Dominican Republic won it easily. On the last day, win or lose the Dominicans had won the pool. They added Cuba later and went to a pool play and playoff format to make the finals or last day more meaningful.

September 6-11 2013- Japan trip. This was my fourth trip to Japan to watch baseball so not really bucket list material. Some of the events were. Witnessed Wladimir Balentien hit his 54th homerun on his way to a record breaking 60 for the year, smashing the record of Sadaharu Oh and Randy Bass, who each had 55. Also saw a pitcher’s duel between Masahiro Tanaka and rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani, won by Tanaka 3-2. Tanaka would go on to break a baseball record of 25 consecutive wins and then went on to play for the New York Yankees the next year. Ohtani is now with the Angels.

November 7, 2013 - Visited Arizona and watched the Arizona Fall League for the first time. Aaron Sanchez and Travis Shaw were two players who impressed me during that visit.

July 8th 2014 - Traveled to Dyersville Iowa to see the Field of Dreams. Also around that time went to Durham, North Carolina to see the old stadium that was used for the Durham Bulls movie. Myworld loves the Durham park and we have visited there at least three times.

November 11 2014 - Revisited Taichung, Taiwan for the 21 and under World Cup. Taiwan won it, upsetting Japan. Chun Lin Kuo pitched seven shutout innings in the 9-0 rout. Myworld was strangled in blue confetti after the win.

June 20th 2015 - These bucket lists can not be predicted. Witnessed my first no hitter, Max Scherzer doing the honors in Washington D.C.. The only previous no hitter I had seen prior to that was a seven inning minor league no hitter. I never really counted that since it was only seven innings.

June 23 2016 - Did not see a Little League World Series but I did go to Williamsport and visited the park. Went to a minor league game in Williamsport and watched Triston Mackenzie pitch for the Indians minor league team. The minor league park is located next door to the first field where the Little League World Series was played. They are still playing Little League games at that field.

July 2016 - Went to Haarlem, Netherlands to watch the Honkball tournament. It was my first experience of European baseball. The facility where they held the tournament is pretty impressive. I do believe Japan may have been the winners of that tournament, upsetting the Netherlands in the finals but I could be wrong. I did not see the finals preferring to enjoy some of the sights of Haarlem instead.

February 8 2017 - Witnessed my second Series del Caribe, this one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico beat Mexico in the championship match. This was the first Series del Caribe that Cuba was allowed to play.

March 12, 2017 - Travelled to Miami, Florida to watch a World Baseball Classic game and it was wild. The Dominican Republic beat the United States and the crowd was probably more entertaining than the game. Also saw a couple World Baseball Classic games in Miami in 2013. Kenley Jenson was a catcher for the Netherlands.

July 7-9, 2018 - This was my first Futures game. The United States defeated the World. Talk is that they will be changing that format for this year. The homerun derby and the All Star game followed after that. The experience was awesome. The only downside is I had to leave early because the game went into extra innings and Metro was closing.

June 24 2019 - In Omaha to see the College World Series

November 2019 - Hope to return to Tokyo to watch the Premier 12

2020 and beyond.

The Olympics is on the agenda. I’ve already been to an Olympic event when they were in Los Angeles but watched the volleyball. The prices for these events seem a little steep.

World Series game is still a must see. I may have to travel for that since the Nationals and Orioles may never give me that opportunity.

Been to every ball park in Japan but Hokkaido. That is on the list. Will be going to Saint Louis after the College World Series leaving Tampa, Seattle, Oakland, Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Arizona, Toronto and Colorado as the only major league parks I have not visited. Went to the old Seattle park and if I don’t hurry the Oakland and Tampa parks may no longer be available. Still lots of minor league parks to visit.

Hope to see a European championship tournament. On my bucket list is a visit to Italy so seeing a game there and visiting Italy would fulfill two accomplishments.

Myworld has seen games in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Panama and Dominican Republic so going to another country to see a game would be cool. We’ve also played softball in Australia and Sweden.

Myworld has also been to Cooperstown, but it might be cool to visit it again to see how time has changed it.

That is it for now.