2023 World Baseball Classic

Tokyo Sox

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With a bunch of player and coaching commitments being made over the last couple weeks, and tickets for the opening Tokyo round going on sale on Monday, I think it's time to officially start looking forward to this thing. Mookie is the latest player to commit.
On Thursday, Betts committed himself to Team USA for the 2023 tournament beginning this spring. He joins a loaded Team USA roster that appears hellbent on repeating as champions. Behind manager Mark DeRosa and a coaching staff that features Andy Pettitte and Ken Griffey Jr., Betts joins Mike Trout, Pete Alonso, Paul Goldschmidt, Trevor Story, Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado, J.T. Realmuto and Cedric Mullins, who have already announced their intention to play.
I'm not sure there's space to get all those names into the same starting lineup but, damn.

I feel like the event has really picked up steam over the years. Only a few countries took seriously the first two in 2006 and 2009. In 2013 a few more folks took notice of the event thanks in part to how much fun the Dominican team had while going undefeated, and maybe this is just wishcasting but I feel like something really changed going into the last one in 2017. The US took it seriously both at the fan and the player level. People were fired up for this:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXr5FFSIuL8


Greater buy-in from the fans means a better experience for the players which leads to a better event for the fans and around and around in a virtuous cycle. As exciting as I found the event back in 2006 when I was paying USD 5.00 for internet access in a Cambodian airport so I could get an update on the Japan/Cuba final, I understand I was a bit of an outlier, and no one really knew if the event was here to stay or not. But now it feels like it is, and I for one am pretty stoked about it.

Team Japan will mostly be made up of NPB guys, but apparently both Darvish and Ohtani have expressed interest in playing. The manager will be Hideki Kuriyama, Ohtani's old manager from Nippon Ham.
 

InsideTheParker

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I always watch this if it's available on the TV. I agree that's a very exciting bunch of players, though I must say I grimaced at Story's name, as he has been out so much for the Sox this year. What if he gets another finger hit?
 

YTF

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The MLB season starts on March 30th and the WBC (March 8- 21) chews up 2 of the final 3 weeks of Spring Training. I enjoy the tourney and it should only affect the team minimally, but I still hate the timing of the WBC.
 

Tokyo Sox

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The MLB season starts on March 30th and the WBC (March 8- 21) chews up 2 of the final 3 weeks of Spring Training. I enjoy the tourney and it should only affect the team minimally, but I still hate the timing of the WBC.
In terms of timing, I think it's the best of a bunch of bad choices. If it's mid-season you need a bunch of global leagues coordinating a two-week break in their schedules, and you're unlikely to get (m)any MLB players. If it's in November you'll certainly get fewer MLB players as most guys just want to be in wind-it-down offseason mode. In mid/late March, at least you're at a time where guys are ramping up for more regular season action and the playing time they get/pitch counts they'll be on will largely mirror that, rather than adding to workloads at any other time of the year.
 

Tokyo Sox

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Qualifiers have begun for Pool A play-in teams in Germany. Mariners top prospect 19yo catcher Harry Ford has led Great Britain to a 2-0 record so far. They play Spain tonight, with the winner qualifying for the WBC. The loser will drop down to face the winner of Germany/Czech Republic, and the winner of that subsequent game will also qualify for the WBC. France and South Africa have already been eliminated.

Pool B qualifiers will start at the end of the month in Panama City. The top two of Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and New Zealand will advance to the WBC.
 

Tokyo Sox

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The Pool A qualifiers from Germany have concluded, and both Great Britain and Czech Republic will be advancing to their first-ever WBC. Team GB finished the tournament 3-0, led by Seattle Mariners prospect 19yo catcher Harry Ford, who hit .455, homered in all three games, and OPS'd 1.952.

Both teams had to go through Spain to advance -- GB in the winners bracket and subsequently the Czechs in the losers bracket -- and both deciding games were pretty exciting. GB trailed Spain the entire game until a solo HR from Jaden Rudd (Blue Jays system) in the bottom of the 9th with 1 out tied it up 9-9. GB then walked it off on a sac fly in the bottom of the 10th to send themselves through, and send Spain to the losers bracket to face the Czechs. Some highlights here: https://www.mlb.com/news/world-baseball-classic-2022-germany-qualifier-recaps

And it looks like full games can be viewed on the WBC youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/worldbaseballclassic

The Czechs taking out Spain is impressive because their entire team is made up of guys from their domestic league, the Czech Baseball Extraliga, which I don't think I knew existed.
https://www.mlb.com/news/czech-republic-qualifies-for-2023-world-baseball-classic
REGENSBURG, Germany -- In his day job, Martin Schneider fights fires. On Wednesday night, Schneider put out the red-hot Spain bats in the final game of the Regensburg Qualifiers for the 2023 World Baseball Classic, leading the Czech Republic to a 3-1 win that clinched its spot in next spring's World Baseball Classic.

After pitching just a handful of innings this year for Draci Brno in Czech Baseball Extraliga, the country's top baseball league, Schneider -- who has long been the Czech team’s best pitcher and shortstop -- was expected to pitch only in relief in the tournament. But with the Czech team playing in the biggest game in program history, manager Pavel Chadim had a request: Can you start?

---

The win was all the more impressive considering that the Czech team consists entirely of homegrown players who play in Extraliga -- which only plays from Friday through Sunday. Schneider's firefighting job requires him to work 24 hours before getting 48 hours off, meaning that he misses at least one game with his team every week.

"It shows the world that the Czech league overall is competitive, and that we get better, year by year, which I'm very proud of," Chlup said. "Most of the guys have to go to work, and then afterwards show up to practice and show up to games and compete. It takes it takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of hard work. That's what makes them very proud."
I love it.
 

Old Fart Tree

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Ha! The Czechs were always thought of - I mean, we are talking literally W administration era when I opine because it was ‘06 when I had any inside baseball - as “above average” in baseball.

Dutch and Italians were considered best.
Spain and probably Belgium were next.
Then it gets muddy… UK is a big place so maybe parts of the UK, on par with Czech Republic. France definitely thought they were better than they were, probably on par with Italy/Netherlands (but IMHO that didn’t bear out, if only because they thought their best guy was gonna make MLB and while he did get drafted in the 42nd round - first ever for a Frenchman so fair play to him - I’m pretty sure I lined a curveball from him off my shoe tops into left for a single, and my general rule is that if I can stick you, you won’t ever be shit in MLB because I suck).
After that was basically everyone else. I guess not surprisingly Russia was considered the absolute dregs of the euro baseball opportunities.
 

Tokyo Sox

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The Panama City qualifiers start today. Game 1 is New Zealand vs Brazil at noon ET, and Game 2 is Pakistan vs Argentina at 8pm ET. Nicaragua and Panama have byes, and await the winners of those respective games. WBC Youtube channel.

I don't think Pakistan has a shot in hell at advancing, but after following their Twitter the last week or so, I've started rooting for them. It's pretty wholesome and endearing content, posted by someone who appears to be a native speaker of neither English nor baseball:
View: https://twitter.com/pakbaseball/status/1573622614496628736?s=20&t=AneyfyVyQBYdVcxhwOmM4g

"High speed, drama, fly balls out of the park, single in the middle, strike out swinging, double play, runners caught stealing...all coming here Friday September 30th."

View: https://twitter.com/pakbaseball/status/1574956188453974019?s=20&t=AneyfyVyQBYdVcxhwOmM4g

"Pakistan official roster has been announced. We aren't going to make it easy for anyone this time around. Get ready to see our Double plays, home runs, base stealing. We are fired up, before you know the game is OVER...let's go team Pakistan"

Also one of their best players is this 16yo high school kid from Chicago, Amaan Khan:
https://wgntv.com/sports/lane-tech-junior-headed-to-panama-to-pitch-for-pakistan-in-the-world-baseball-classic/

Easy to root for.
 

trekfan55

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Watching.

Panama is up 11-0 over Argentina in the top of the 6th. KO rules apply.

Brazil beat Nicaragua earlier.

This game was too close to Shabat (stadium is not close) and if Panama wins, their next games would be ove Yom Kippur.

Oh well
 

trekfan55

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So Panama goes to Taiwan and Japan after finishing first in their qualifier? Nicragua finished second and goes to Miami.

Weird.
 

Tokyo Sox

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So Panama goes to Taiwan and Japan after finishing first in their qualifier? Nicragua finished second and goes to Miami.

Weird.
Yeah that's a bit weird. Israel was in Asia last time, shocking Korea and advancing from the 1st round in Seoul, before falling here in Tokyo in the 2nd round. It looks like Israel & Panama have been swapped this time. I assume intentionally to mix things up but my Jewish friends here, not to mention a bunch of Panamanians in Florida, will be disappointed by the change.

Panama has as good a chance as anyone else of advancing from Pool A I think though. Depending on who Netherlands sends they should win the pool, with the second spot up for grabs between Cuba, Taiwan, and Panama imho.
 

Tokyo Sox

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Starting to get pretty stoked for this. Japan games will be streamed on Amazon Prime (no idea if it will be available outside Japan) and leading into that they've got a bunch of episodes of related content being released between now and the start of the tournament. I watched the first one last night, and it's mostly Q&A with wonderkid Roki Sasaki and reigning two-time pitching triple crown winner, former Yoshida teammate, Japan's best domestic ace, Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

The relationship between them is pretty endearing, Yamamoto really treats Sasaki like his kid brother and seems to be always looking out for him. There's a lot of great insights into their relationship, their expectations for the tournament, etc. They're also asked about Ohtani, and hilariously they're both kind of fanboys. Sasaki has never met him, and said he has all the same questions fans have ("Don't you get tired?") and a lot more. Yamamoto recalled the one time he faced him, as a 19yo his rookie year, and the laser base hit to center that Ohtani hit off him. They're both excited to play with him.

There's also some footage from their 2009 WBC championship -- a 35yo Ichiro delivering the go-ahead hit, and a 22yo Darvish closing it out which fired me up. And then some footage from their semi-final loss to the US in the 2017 tournament. No idea if any of you will be able to watch it - and it's all in Japanese obviously - but it's here if you want to try:
View: https://www.amazon.co.jp/-/en/gp/video/detail/B0B74S37JB/ref=atv_br_def_r_br_c_unkc_1_8?language=en


Also, the Czech team put out a documentary called "Small Country Big Dreams" which premiers on Youtube in about 15 hours:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckx8EN09ajU
 

Bread of Yaz

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I didn't think I could get more pumped for the WBC, but I just found out Roger Bernadina is on the Netherlands roster.
Any studies on how MLB players fare after playing in the WBC? I could see how someone like Framber Valdez, who threw a lot of innings in the regular season, then a bunch in the playoffs and the WS, could be adversely affected by then adding on more in the WBC.
 

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Any studies on how MLB players fare after playing in the WBC? I could see how someone like Framber Valdez, who threw a lot of innings in the regular season, then a bunch in the playoffs and the WS, could be adversely affected by then adding on more in the WBC.
I don't know about studies, but IIRC, much of the pitcher usage in past WBCs was consistent with normal spring training activity anyway. Lots of short outings and relatively low pitch counts. At most, they might have been ramped up a couple weeks earlier than usual. I imagine with care, these players can be managed quite easily so that there's little to no ill effect on them for having participated.

Just to toss an example out, Marcus Stroman was a starter for the US in 2017 (started the championship game, named to the All WBC team). His starts were 4.2 IP and 64 pitches, 4.2 IP and 77 pitches, 6 IP and 73 pitches. He went on to throw 201 innings that season and finished 8th in CY voting. His year was remarkably similar to his previous year, only with a bit better defensive support.

2016: 32 starts, 204 IP, 4.37 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 1.289 WHIP, 9.2 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 2.4 BB/9, 7.3 K/9
2017: 33 starts, 201 IP, 3.09 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 1.308 WHIP, 9.0 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 2.8 BB/9, 7.3 K/9

I think the biggest risk is that players get injured during the tournament. Of course injuries can happen anyway, but a player injured during something outside his team's direct control and influence hurts just a bit more. If the player makes it through the tournament, though, he's usually good to go for the regular season.
 

Awesome Fossum

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Is there a list of players from the Sox who are playing in the WBC?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2023_World_Baseball_Classic_rosters

A lot of rosters are still missing or incomplete. But hitting ctrl+F yields:

Ceddanne Rafaela (milb), Netherlands
Kenley Jansen, Netherlands
Masataka Yoshida, Japan
Trevor Story, USA
Kike Hernández, Puerto Rico
Rafael Devers, Dominican Republic
Richard Bleier, Israel
Ryan Sherriff (milb), Israel

Plus some alumni:

Yu Chang, Taiwan
Tzu-Wei Lin, Tawian
Xander Bogaerts, Netherlands
Yoenis Céspedes, Cuba
Yoán Moncada, Cuba
Roenis Elías, Cuba
Jonathan Araúz, Panama
Daniel Bard, USA
Mookie Betts, USA
Adam Ottavino, USA
Kyle Schwarber, USA
Martín Pérez, Venezuela
Ryan Lavarnway, israel
Robert Stock, Israel
Kevin Pillar, Israel
Erasmo Ramírez, Nicaragua
Ian Kinsler (manager), Israel
Kevin Youkilis (hitting coach), Israel
Jerry Narron (coach), Israel
Paul Quantrill (coach), Canada
Tim Leiper (coach), Canada
Ernie Whitt (manager), Canada
Lou Collier (coach), USA

I spent way too much time on this.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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Is there a list of players from the Sox who are playing in the WBC?
Masataka Yoshida - Japan
Rafael Devers - Dominican Republic
Kike Hernandez - Puerto Rico
Jarren Duran - Puerto Rico
Alex Verdugo - Mexico
Kenley Jensen - Netherlands
Cedanne Rafaela - Netherlands
Richard Bleier - Israel
Ryan Sherriff - Israel

This may not be complete, but it's all I could find. There might be more minor leaguers I missed.
 

InstaFace

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yo the Netherlands roster is actually kind of legit. With a few exceptions they were mostly from Aruba or Curacao, of course, but the best part is that they're sending 3 pitchers from Honkbal Hoofdklasse. They're not beating the US or Japan obviously, but they can roll out:

C: Chad Tromp (Braves)
1B: TBD, maybe Jurickson Profar (Padres '22)
2B: Jon Schoop (Tigers)
SS: Andrelton Simmons (Cubs '22)
3B: Xander Bogaerts (Padres)
LF: Richie Palacios (Guardians)
CF: Ceddanne Rafaela (Portland / BOS-AA) - #71 prospect by Baseball America
RF: Josh Palacios (Pirates; Rule-5 draftee from Nationals)
DH: Didi Gregorius (Phillies '22) - can also pitch, or spell Bogaerts in the field

SP: ...Kenley Jansen? (Red Sox)

Sure, Schoop had the lowest batting average in the majors last year, but he's still a major-league ballplayer. And Jansen has never started a game in the bigs but has played for the Netherlands since 2009, including making a big caught-stealing play in their 2009 upset of the Dominican Republic, when he was still a catcher.

That's going to be a fun team, because expectations will be low, but the talent is there to exceed them. Same is true of Israel, which has been a hodge-podge afterthought in previous WBCs, but this year has a roster of mostly major leaguers.

Don't sleep on Venezuela, either - they have an all-MLB roster thus far, headlined by Jose Altuve. By comparison, Cuba (2006 silver medallists) has only two current major leaguers, plus a bunch of people in the minors, in the Cuban league, and in Japan. Total wild card. The Italy team is 100% Italian-Americans, managed by Mike Piazza. Dunno how many of them actually went and got their Italian passports, but they can run out a mostly-major-league lineup. The Czech team is 90% from their domestic semipro league, but has two players who play in Germany, one in the Italian minor leagues (!), plus an NCAA pitcher.

Lars Nootbaar, the Cardinals' RF, was eligible for 4 nations, could be on that Netherlands roster, but opted for his mother's Japan - the only player on the Japanese roster who wasn't born in Japan. Japan really doesn't like dual-citizenship, so it's a bit of a surprise that he's there for several reasons.
 
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InsideTheParker

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Red(s)HawksFan

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Thanks. I can see the teams, but no info about where or if the game can be seen if you're not in the ballpark. If that info shows up somewhere, I'd love to see it, TIA.
Edit: I just saw a post by @Tokyo Sox from Sept. with a link to a WBC YouTube channel. Maybe they'll b'cast all the games.
Games are going to be broadcast on FOX, FS1, FS2, and FOX Deportes.
 

Tokyo Sox

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yo the Netherlands roster is actually kind of legit. With a few exceptions they were mostly from Aruba or Curacao, of course, but the best part is that they're sending 3 pitchers from Honkbal Hoofdklasse. They're not beating the US or Japan obviously, but they can roll out:

C: Chad Tromp (Braves)
1B: TBD, maybe Jurickson Profar (Padres '22)
2B: Jon Schoop (Tigers)
SS: Andrelton Simmons (Cubs '22)
3B: Xander Bogaerts (Padres)
LF: Richie Palacios (Guardians)
CF: Ceddanne Rafaela (Portland / BOS-AA) - #71 prospect by Baseball America
RF: Josh Palacios (Pirates; Rule-5 draftee from Nationals)
DH: Didi Gregorius (Phillies '22) - can also pitch, or spell Bogaerts in the field

SP: ...Kenley Jansen? (Red Sox)

Sure, Schoop had the lowest batting average in the majors last year, but he's still a major-league ballplayer. And Jansen has never started a game in the bigs but has played for the Netherlands since 2009, including making a big caught-stealing play in their 2009 upset of the Dominican Republic, when he was still a catcher.

That's going to be a fun team, because expectations will be low, but the talent is there to exceed them. Same is true of Israel, which has been a hodge-podge afterthought in previous WBCs, but this year has a roster of mostly major leaguers.

Don't sleep on Venezuela, either - they have an all-MLB roster thus far, headlined by Jose Altuve. By comparison, Cuba (2006 silver medallists) has only two current major leaguers, plus a bunch of people in the minors, in the Cuban league, and in Japan. Total wild card. The Italy team is 100% Italian-Americans, managed by Mike Piazza. Dunno how many of them actually went and got their Italian passports, but they can run out a mostly-major-league lineup. The Czech team is 90% from their domestic semipro league, but has two players who play in Germany, one in the Italian minor leagues (!), plus an NCAA pitcher.

Lars Nootbaar, the Cardinals' RF, was eligible for 4 nations, could be on that Netherlands roster, but opted for his mother's Japan - the only player on the Japanese roster who wasn't born in Japan. Japan really doesn't like dual-citizenship, so it's a bit of a surprise that he's there for several reasons.
Great post. Big honkbal fan, they have been sending great squads for a while. I saw Baby Xander play for them here in 2013. In 2017 they did indeed send all the big names you mention -- Xander, Didi, Simmons, Profar, and Schoop. And then they were all outhit by Wladimir Balentien, Japan's single season HR record holder who was past his prime by then but stepped up big in the tournament. The team also featured Loek van Mil, the tallest player in professional baseball history at 7'1".

As for Nootbar, he's not just the only current non-Japan born player, he's the first ever to don the Samurai Japan uniform, so his selection is a pretty big deal here. When he was a kid in California his family hosted a few of the players from a Japanese high school international team, including Masahiro Tanaka:
https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/sports/baseball/20230201-87867/
An early and indelible link to Japan came in 2006, when he was 9 and a team of Japanese high school all-stars came to the United States for a series of exhibition games. Included on that squad were two of the biggest stars of the day from the prestigious National High School Baseball Championship at the Koshien Stadium — pitchers Masahiro Tanaka of Hokkaido’s Komazawa University Tomakomai High School and Yuki Saito of Tokyo’s Waseda Jitsugyo High School.

The Nootbaars served as a host family for several members of the team. Nootbaar endeared himself with the players, swinging the bat with them in the house and serving as batboy at their games. He was presented with a team cap, and he got all of their autographs. He still treasures the mementos, which are kept at his parents’ house near his home.
Here he is at the time (and a current interview):
View: https://twitter.com/BallySports/status/1621270589787734017?s=20&t=zWS6zaQgN-B1pK5mD2kuXw


And a brief slideshow:
https://www.asahi.com/articles/photo/AS20230111003014.html?iref=pc_photo_gallery_next_arrow

Needless to say, I'll be rooting for the kid.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Masataka Yoshida - Japan
Rafael Devers - Dominican Republic
Kike Hernandez - Puerto Rico
Jarren Duran - Puerto Rico
Alex Verdugo - Mexico
Kenley Jensen - Netherlands
Cedanne Rafaela - Netherlands
Richard Bleier - Israel
Ryan Sherriff - Israel

This may not be complete, but it's all I could find. There might be more minor leaguers I missed.
Thanks. While I enjoy watching the WBC, I'm glad most of the Sox pitching staff will have a normal spring training (and I think Jensen and Bleier have been around long enough to adjust their routines as necessary).
 

Tokyo Sox

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Is there a list of players from the Sox who are playing in the WBC?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2023_World_Baseball_Classic_rosters

A lot of rosters are still missing or incomplete. But hitting ctrl+F yields:

Ceddanne Rafaela (milb), Netherlands
Kenley Jansen, Netherlands
Masataka Yoshida, Japan
Trevor Story, USA
Kike Hernández, Puerto Rico
Rafael Devers, Dominican Republic
Richard Bleier, Israel
Ryan Sherriff (milb), Israel

Plus some alumni:

Yu Chang, Taiwan
Tzu-Wei Lin, Tawian
Xander Bogaerts, Netherlands
Yoenis Céspedes, Cuba
Yoán Moncada, Cuba
Roenis Elías, Cuba
Jonathan Araúz, Panama
Daniel Bard, USA
Mookie Betts, USA
Adam Ottavino, USA
Kyle Schwarber, USA
Martín Pérez, Venezuela
Ryan Lavarnway, israel
Robert Stock, Israel
Kevin Pillar, Israel
Erasmo Ramírez, Nicaragua
Ian Kinsler (manager), Israel
Kevin Youkilis (hitting coach), Israel
Jerry Narron (coach), Israel
Paul Quantrill (coach), Canada
Tim Leiper (coach), Canada
Ernie Whitt (manager), Canada
Lou Collier (coach), USA

I spent way too much time on this.
Masataka Yoshida - Japan
Rafael Devers - Dominican Republic
Kike Hernandez - Puerto Rico
Jarren Duran - Puerto Rico
Alex Verdugo - Mexico
Kenley Jensen - Netherlands
Cedanne Rafaela - Netherlands
Richard Bleier - Israel
Ryan Sherriff - Israel

This may not be complete, but it's all I could find. There might be more minor leaguers I missed.
It looks like Jansen will only join Team Netherlands if they advance out of the pool stages and get to the semis in Miami. ie, he's not going to Asia.

View: https://twitter.com/Shawn_Spradling/status/1622739867967930369?s=20&t=LkP-y7EilI5XO-CveF9e9g
 

Tokyo Sox

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This thing starts in less than one week! Six days and two hours from right now, Cuba and Netherlands square off at noon local time in Taichung Stadium in Taiwan in the first game of both Pool A play, and the tournament at large. There's a decent chance that those are the two teams that advance from Pool A, though Taiwan and Panama will have something to say about it.

The next day Pool B play begins here in Tokyo. A few of the MLB guys have just arrived for Team Japan (though sadly not Seiya Suzuki who had to back out with an oblique injury) -- Ohtani on a private jet and Nootbar on a normal flight. Even Nootbar had a few hundred people waiting for him at the airport, snapping pics and wishing him well. I posted the video of Nootbar as a kid upthread, but here is the next step in the dream coming true:

View: https://twitter.com/Shawn_Spradling/status/1631106351522013193?s=20


With Suzuki backing out, Japan is a bit thin in the OF. They'll need a lot of innings out there from both Nootbar and our man Yoshida.

I've got tickets for next Saturday March 11th - a one day ticket gets me into China/Australia at noon, and Czech/Japan at 7pm. I think Roki Sasaki is scheduled to be on the hill vs the lovable Czech underdog assortment of firefighters and school teachers.
 

BigSoxFan

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This thing starts in less than one week! Six days and two hours from right now, Cuba and Netherlands square off at noon local time in Taichung Stadium in Taiwan in the first game of both Pool A play, and the tournament at large. There's a decent chance that those are the two teams that advance from Pool A, though Taiwan and Panama will have something to say about it.

The next day Pool B play begins here in Tokyo. A few of the MLB guys have just arrived for Team Japan (though sadly not Seiya Suzuki who had to back out with an oblique injury) -- Ohtani on a private jet and Nootbar on a normal flight. Even Nootbar had a few hundred people waiting for him at the airport, snapping pics and wishing him well. I posted the video of Nootbar as a kid upthread, but here is the next step in the dream coming true:

View: https://twitter.com/Shawn_Spradling/status/1631106351522013193?s=20


With Suzuki backing out, Japan is a bit thin in the OF. They'll need a lot of innings out there from both Nootbar and our man Yoshida.

I've got tickets for next Saturday March 11th - a one day ticket gets me into China/Australia at noon, and Czech/Japan at 7pm. I think Roki Sasaki is scheduled to be on the hill vs the lovable Czech underdog assortment of firefighters and school teachers.
I’m so envious. The atmosphere for the Japan games are going to be so electric. I was going to be in Tokyo next week but my wife had a last minute work conflict that ruined the trip.
 

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For those of us without cable, what's the best way to watch this? It looks like fubo TV would have most of the games, but I haven't used this before. Any reason it's not a good option or problems canceling after a month?
 

Tokyo Sox

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I’m so envious. The atmosphere for the Japan games are going to be so electric. I was going to be in Tokyo next week but my wife had a last minute work conflict that ruined the trip.
Bummer on the trip, sorry. Yeah all Japan games are sold out, and should be pretty electric as you say. I think the pitching schedule is:
9th vs China - Ohtani
10th vs Korea - Darvish
11th vs Czech - Roki Sasaki
12th vs Australia - Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yamamoto is very likely to go to MLB next year so is a name to get to know. Roki won't be too far behind.
 

BigSoxFan

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Bummer on the trip, sorry. Yeah all Japan games are sold out, and should be pretty electric as you say. I think the pitching schedule is:
9th vs China - Ohtani
10th vs Korea - Darvish
11th vs Czech - Roki Sasaki
12th vs Australia - Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yamamoto is very likely to go to MLB next year so is a name to get to know. Roki won't be too far behind.
What a sick rotation. I really, really, REALLY want to see Japan in a game vs. the Dominican Republic in the knockout stage.
 

Tokyo Sox

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What a sick rotation. I really, really, REALLY want to see Japan in a game vs. the Dominican Republic in the knockout stage.
If they both win their respective pools (Japan Pool B, DR Pool D), it wouldn't happen until the final, but it certainly could happen:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2023_World_Baseball_Classic#Bracket

Either Puerto Rico or Venezuela could take a game from the DR in pool play though (or Korea could surprise Japan), in which case they could meet in the semis. My rough feel is that Japan has the best pitching, the US has the best offense, and the DR is second in both. It's going to be fun.
 

BigSoxFan

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If they both win their respective pools (Japan Pool B, DR Pool D), it wouldn't happen until the final, but it certainly could happen:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2023_World_Baseball_Classic#Bracket

Either Puerto Rico or Venezuela could take a game from the DR in pool play though (or Korea could surprise Japan), in which case they could meet in the semis. My rough feel is that Japan has the best pitching, the US has the best offense, and the DR is second in both. It's going to be fun.
You think US has best offense with the DR having Soto, Julio, Vlad, Devers, Machado, and Eloy? That’s a pretty hard group to top.
 

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You think US has best offense with the DR having Soto, Julio, Vlad, Devers, Machado, and Eloy? That’s a pretty hard group to top.
Mookie, Trea Turner, Trout, Goldschmidt, Alonso, Arenado, Witt Jr, Kyle Tucker...I think it's close but the US is deeper and stronger. Cedric Mullins and Tim Anderson may not crack the starting lineup.
 

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Masataka Yoshida is in the building: https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20230305/p2g/00m/0sp/034000c

The new Boston Red Sox outfielder, who made the unprecedented step of interrupting his first MLB spring training to return home to play for Japan, pronounced himself ready to go.

"I'm ready to play now, because I've been building up toward that goal (in America)," the 29-year-old said.

Asked why he joined the national team for the March tourney instead of focusing exclusively on acclimating to MLB as every star moving from Japan had done before his first season overseas, Yoshida said, "Because I want to win a championship."

"That will be possible if we all put our talents together and just play."

Yoshida's light workout came a day ahead of the team's final two warm-up games in Osaka on Monday and Tuesday and just four days before Japan opens Pool B play against China on Wednesday at Tokyo Dome.

Only one member of Japan's MLB contingent, pitcher Yu Darvish, arrived when Kuriyama's team opened its training camp on Feb. 17, while none of the four have been allowed to play prior to Monday's game.

"I envisioned the team being complete a bit earlier than this, and we were doing a lot of work to make that happen, but there were hurdles we could not overcome," Kuriyama said.

"Instead, the guys have arrived one by one, and interestingly enough, each created a new spark within the team when they arrived, and that was good. What matters now is how well we play."
To the point Kuriyama makes about the team getting a spark when each new MLB guy has arrived, obviously Ohtani's arrival was a big deal and even some of the younger Japanese players who have never met him were very fanboyish about it. Then Nootbar (whose Japanese middle name is Tatsuji) joined the squad one of the other players had shirts made up with American & Japanese flags and "Tacchan" written on the back - a new nickname derived from Tatsuji. They have welcomed him with open arms and it's been awesome to see.

View: https://twitter.com/yakyucosmo/status/1631820776168099841?s=20

View: https://twitter.com/Dorapeinet/status/1631552247950876673


Teams Korea and Japan are both in Osaka today and tomorrow, taking turns playing vs the Orix Buffaloes and Hanshin Tigers in warmup games. Then Wednesday it's go time.
 

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InsideTheParker

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LogansDad

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https://www.mlb.com/video/quick-question-the-classic?partnerId=web_video-playback-page_video-share
This is a nice quick intro to some of the foreign teams for the truly ignorant, like myself.

Edit: I downloaded tubi to my roku, but I can't find the WBC games on it anywhere. If anyone knows how, please post it here. I am part Czech, and I would love to see their firefighters et al play baseball.
I think tubi is only airing 3 of the games, but I may be wrong.

Follow up question, do I need to have a subscription to something that carries Fox/Fox Sports to watch, or will it be streaming for free on the website?


Follow up answer: Subscription required: https://www.sportskeeda.com/baseball/news-can-i-watch-world-baseball-classic-fox-subscription-prices-details-explored
 
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BoSox Rule

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Pretty unimportant but does anyone know the history of players wearing different/lower numbers in Olympics/World Tourneys? Betts usually wears 50, he’s wearing 3. I believe Griffey wore 3 for Team USA. Michael Jordan wore 9 for the US team, Bird wore 7, etc.
 

edoug

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In Olympic basketball, you can only pick from numbers 4-15. I guess they figure the WBC is an honorary Olympic sport, so maybe the same reasoning?