As the calendar turns to March, the world of baseball is set to return not only at the Major League Baseball level but on the global stage as well. The World Baseball Classic is set to begin on Tuesday, March 7th, and span two weeks, concluding on the 21st. Countries from around the world will gather to compete against each other to see who will be atop the world in the sport of baseball.
This tournament, much like FIFA’s World Cup and MLB’s World Baseball Classic, occurs every four years during the month of March. Now, with the World Baseball Classic, it is different from the World Cup in the sense that it is not played in a singular country.
This year's tournament will take place in Taichung, Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan; and Miami and Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States. This will be followed by the elimination round, which will only take place in Miami, USA. The tournament will consist of preliminary pool play with round-robin formatting between four different groups.
Group A will consist of China Taipei, the Netherlands, Cuba, Italy, and Panama, who will play in Taiwan. Group B will consist of Japan, Korea, Australia, China, and the Czech Republic, which will play in Japan. Group C will consist of the USA, Mexico, Colombia, Canada, and Great Britain, who will play in Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States. Group D will consist of Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Israel, and Nicaragua, who will play in Miami, Florida, in the United States.
Although the tournament has not taken place since March of 2017, when team USA took home first place, the World Baseball Classic is set to resume right where it left off. Being an extremely young event, many were uncertain of how it would take place following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the help of Fox in the United States, the tournament will be aired around the world with the promise of getting its viewership back.
While Major League Baseball still seems far away, look no further than the World Baseball Classic to see the best players in the world compete against each other even sooner.
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