The organizers of the World Baseball Classic today released the names of 30 players confirmed to play in the tournament, which begins March 6 with pool play in Seoul, South Korea, Tokyo, Miami, and Jalisco, Mexico.
Javier Baez is the only Cubs player on the list; he’ll play for his native Puerto Rico. Others announced Monday for the Puerto Rico squad: Carlos Beltran, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor and Yadier Molina.
Additional WBC participants and countries revealed Monday:
Canada: Russell Martin
Colombia: Jose Quintana, Julio Teheran
Dominican Republic: Adrian Beltre, Dellin Betances, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Manny Machado
Mexico: Adrian Gonzalez, Oliver Perez, Roberto Osuna
Netherlands: Xander Bogaerts, Jonathan Schoop, Andrelton Simmons
USA: Chris Archer, Nolan Arenado, Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Max Scherzer
Venezuela: Jose Altuve, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, Felix Hernandez, Salvador Perez
Just looking at those lists, the D.R. and Venezuela will be formidable teams. Obviously, more major-league players could be added to these rosters later, and undoubtedly will especially for the USA team.
The WBC organizers also announced that ticket strips for the championship round at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles are on sale at worldbaseballclassic.com, as well as tickets for earlier-round games at Petco Park in San Diego and Marlins Park in Miami.
If you are in these areas you really should try to attend one of these games. The passions of fans for players playing for their own country is something worth seeing. In 2013 I went to an early-round game between Canada and Italy (Anthony Rizzo played for Italy in that WBC), and it was a terrific time. I’m sorry they won’t be playing any WBC games in the Phoenix area this spring, though the Cubs will face two of the WBC teams in exhibition games (Italy on March 7 and a team from the Asia pool on March 18). All WBC games will be streamed online and many will be televised on MLB Network.