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ldswoosh33

2013 World Baseball Classic

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Mike Piazza played for Italy in 2009.

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That's where I find the WBC to be a bit of a hard sell. It's not like other sports where each country not only has many leagues and a ton of talent nationally to choose from, but as well has an entire governing body overseeing their international competition. Baseball is such a nitche sport globally that they have to essentially find any connection just in order to field a full tournament. That's why it looks so bad that the USA didn't win the first two WBCs, and what looks even more ridiculous is that the country who has won both doesn't even have a roster that consists of major leaguers. It would be one thing to have the Dominican Republic or Venesuela win the WBC because their rosters are almost exclusively MLB stars, but when you see a championship game between Japan and Cuba, that just looks bad.

Hopefully the USA can actually field a proper team this time around.

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It didn't look bad because the Americans were just BSing around in spring training while Japan and Cuba were playing to win. Context is important.

What would be interesting to me would be a Team USA made entirely of collegiate players and/or recently retired major leaguers. I bet Maddux could take care of Team Norway or something.

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Well Braun would quality to play for Israel under IOC rules because of his father being born in Israel and the fact that its been at least three years since the last WBC.

I do tend to agree that the citizenship issue with both the IOC and the WBC is kind of crap but it is what it is.

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It didn't look bad because the Americans were just BSing around in spring training while Japan and Cuba were playing to win. Context is important.

What would be interesting to me would be a Team USA made entirely of collegiate players and/or recently retired major leaguers. I bet Maddux could take care of Team Norway or something.

I can understand the point of view that a lot of guys didn't want to play in a pretty aggressive tournament that close to the season and all, but maybe that's the problem. Why bother fielding a team of major leaguers for an international tournament if it's only the bottom half of top major leaguers and they don't even take it seriously?

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It didn't look bad because the Americans were just BSing around in spring training while Japan and Cuba were playing to win. Context is important.

What would be interesting to me would be a Team USA made entirely of collegiate players and/or recently retired major leaguers. I bet Maddux could take care of Team Norway or something.

I can understand the point of view that a lot of guys didn't want to play in a pretty aggressive tournament that close to the season and all, but maybe that's the problem. Why bother fielding a team of major leaguers for an international tournament if it's only the bottom half of top major leaguers and they don't even take it seriously?

Because if you're not going to play MLB guys then what's the point? If you wanted to watch amateurs or young guys there's was already a tournament for that. And no one really cared about it.

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Well Braun would quality to play for Israel under IOC rules because of his father being born in Israel and the fact that its been at least three years since the last WBC.

I do tend to agree that the citizenship issue with both the IOC and the WBC is kind of crap but it is what it is.

Any Jewish player is eligible to represent Israel, regardless of whether their family has roots in the modern state of Israel, as they are able to claim citizenship under the Law of Return.

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Being able to claim citizenship isn't the same as having citizenship, though. Partitioning off American Jews to play as Israelis so we can perpetuate this facade of "international play" winds up being closer in spirit to putting together, I dunno, Team Black Guys or something. I also get kind of uneasy about how it may invite any sort of "so they're Americans second?" stuff. Let's just send the entire Yankees team to this tournament, because New York, New Amsterdam, hop, skip, jump, Team Netherlands.

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Being able to claim citizenship isn't the same as having citizenship, though.

The World Baseball Classic doesn't seem to think so:

According to the rules, a player is eligible to join a team if a player is a citizen of the nation, qualified for citizenship or can hold a passport of that country.

While I agree fluid citizenship cheapens the idea of an international tournament, I don't think the sport of baseball has much of a choice at this point. Without the diaspora teams, it's essentially a North American/Caribbean/East Asian tournament that might intrigue countries that already play baseball, but does nothing to establish interest in new places. I'd imagine the organizers envision the WBC igniting worldwide passion for baseball to the point where future Israeli and Italian teams have more Avis and Luigis than Ryans and Mikes.

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I'd imagine the organizers envision the WBC igniting worldwide passion for baseball to the point where future Israeli and Italian teams have more Avis and Luigis than Ryans and Mikes.

I think you're right on there. I remember watching the '06 WBC and everyone kept talking about "expanding the game," which meant crazy things like having Mike Piazza play for Italy, for example. MLB has been very clear from the outset that this thing is less about pure international competition and more about expanding the market for baseball.

Maybe four or five iterations from now we'll see for-real national teams, but this thing is so new, and baseball is such a small sport compared to the real international titans (soccer, cricket) and local sports like rugby and Aussie football, they need to expand the strike zone a little, create some global buzz and then go from there...

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I'm surprised Great Britain has a national baseball team. In my mind soccer, cricket, and rugby dominate the British sports scene. It just seems like "the American pastime" would get no love across the pond.

Nearly every country has a national team for nearly every sport.

Exhibit A: The US Australian Rules Football Team.

Exhibit B: The Ireland National Baseball Team

Exhibit C: The United Arab Emirates national ice hockey team.

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Hopefully they fix the format so after round of one of pool play there is cross over so teams don't play eqch other over and over again. I think Japan and Korea played each other something like 5 times each the lear two tournaments. That makes the tournament loom bad, when you consider other similar major sports tournaments have a set-up where teams play twice max.

It is a very simple solution 1st place of pools A and B go to a group with second place of C and D and vice versa, Also with two teams advancing there is no need for a "seeding game" of the double elimination. Whoever clinches advancement out of the winners side of the bracket is the pool winner, the team that comes from the loser side is the runner up.

If you set it up right the whole tounament can be olayed in a week in half if you play every day (and build in travel days beween rounds).

The odd formats like that for the first two shows MLB had little to no experience running an international tournament.

The eligibility rules are loose, but they kind of have to be or you are going to have major blowouts. Of course qualification this time around should help competition. No more South Africa being invited so there is an African team.

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Any word on products such as caps and jersey for this new WBC?

MLB Shop has 20 of the 28 team caps up for sale.

http://shop.mlb.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2186354&cp=2180646&view=all

I don't see:

Japan

Mexico

Korea

Venezuela

Great Britain

France

Brazil

Thailand

7946609854_e9c5475a2c_b.jpg

Another site is showing slightly different versions of Australia (white logo), Italy (white button), and Panama (blue visor)

australia-new_era-bi-01.jpg

italy-new_era-bi-01.jpg

panama-new_era-bi-01.jpg

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IIRC, Japan and Korea dont wear New Era caps, and I dont ever recall MLB shop selling them.

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Any word on products such as caps and jersey for this new WBC?

MLB Shop has 20 of the 28 team caps up for sale.

http://shop.mlb.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2186354&cp=2180646&view=all

I don't see:

Japan

Mexico

Korea

Venezuela

Great Britain

France

Brazil

Thailand

7946609854_e9c5475a2c_b.jpg

Another site is showing slightly different versions of Australia (white logo), Italy (white button), and Panama (blue visor)

australia-new_era-bi-01.jpg

italy-new_era-bi-01.jpg

panama-new_era-bi-01.jpg

Thank you

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I like them except Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Nicaragua and Germany. The Israeli one is awesome, right up there with the Aussie, American and Canadian caps (which are the class of the WBC).

Can't wait to see the British, French and Brazilian caps.

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