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World Baseball Classic 2006
Author: Peter Portero
Articles Category: Baseball News
Yesterday the World Baseball Classic got underway in Tokyo. The first two games matched up South Korea against Taiwan and Japan against China. With approximately 150 major league players involved and sixteen nations, this unique tournament is one of the hottest things in baseball right now.
Experts say the teams to watch this year are the United States, Japan, the Dominicans, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. With Cuba being the current Olympic champions, this classic should be pretty interesting indeed. While these teams are said to be the best of the best, critics say that Italy, China, and a few others have a small chance of winning anything.
There are four groups of players this year, with competitions occurring in Tokyo, Arizona, San Juan, and Florida. The United States, Canada, Mexico, and South Africa will play in Scottsdale and Phoenix. Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, and the Netherlands will compete in San Juan. Lastly, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Australia, and Italy will weigh in at the Kissimmee, Florida field.
The tournament is pretty clear-cut. Each team will play three games. Within each group, they will allow the top two teams to advance. There will be second-round groups, which will meet in Anaheim, California and San Juan. The final game is scheduled for March 20 in San Diego and is one not to miss.
So, pay attention to the competition at hand. It is likely it will not take place again until 2009. When you watch these exciting games you will be seeing the best players from each nation, paired together like never seen before. It is not everyday that nations get to play each other, which is one thing that makes this tournament truly unique. With the winning teams getting a significant part of the tournament profits, everyone is playing for keeps.