World Baseball Classic 2013: Roster and Pool C Schedule

What do the following countries have in common: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, the United States, and Venezuela?

These 16 countries are competitors in the 3rd World Baseball Championship the real "World Series," held every three years in March. Round 1 of tournament play began on March 2. The competing countries are divided into 4 pools for the first round and play in different areas of the world. The Championship Game will be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco, on Tuesday, March 19.

Major League Baseball players consider it an honor to play for their home countries, so you’ll see some familiar faces in unfamiliar uniforms. Among many others: Corey Adamson of the Padres and Matt Kennely of the Braves will play for Australia, Rafael Moreno of the Orioles will play for Brazil, Joey Votto of the Reds will play for Canada, Ray Chang of the Reds will play for China, Che-Hsuan Lin of the Astros will play for Chinese Taipei, Erick Aybar of the Angels and Robinson Cano of the Yankees will play for the Dominican Republic, Jeff Bianchi of the Brewers will play for Italy, Andrelton Simmons of the Braves will play for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Oliver Perez of the Mariners will play for Mexico, Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals and Fernando Cabrera of the Angels will play for Puerto Rico, Adrian Nieto of the Nationals will play for Spain, and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Pablo Sandoval of the Giants will play for Venezuela.

Lest you think Team United States is lacking, the following MLB players are skipping spring training this year to uphold American honor in championship play: Jeremy Affeldt, J.P Arencibia, Heath Bell, Willie Bloomqist, Mitchell Boggs, Ryan Braun, Steve Cishek, Tim Collins, Ross Detwiler, R. A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Luker Gregerson, David Hernandez, Derek Holland, Adam Jones, Craig Kimbrel, Jonathan Lucroy, Joe Mauer, Glen Perkins, Vinnie Pestano, Brandon Phillips, Jimmy Rollins, Giancarlo Stanton, Mark Teixiera, Shane Victorino, Ryan Vogelsong, David Wright and Ben Zobrist.

Results from Pools A and B are below:

Pool A – Fukoku, Japan

1

Sat, Mar 2

 

Japan 5, Brazil 3

2

Sun, Mar 3

 

Cuba 5, Brazil 2

3

Sun, Mar 3

Japan 5, China 2

4

Mon, Mar 4

 

Cuba 12, China 0

Pool B – Taichung, Taiwan

1

Sat, Mar 2

 

Chinese Taipei 4, Australia 1

2

Sat, Mar 2

 

Netherlands 5, Korea 0

3

Sun, Mar 3

Chinese Taipei 8, Netherlands 3

4

Mon, Mar 4

 

Korea 6, Australia 0

Pool C action gets under way on Thursday night, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. EST, at Puerto Rico’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium, with Venezuela vs. the Dominican Republic. That game is certain to be a barnburner.  

Team United States begins Pool D play on Friday night, March 8 at 9:00 p.m. EST, at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ. The U.S. will play Mexico. Knuckleballer and 2012 Cy Young Award winner R. A. Dickey is slated to start an advantage for our side if there ever was one.

Both of the above games will be broadcast live on MLBN, as will Round 2 and the semifinals and championship games.