Are you into the World Baseball Classic?
I am, and I know many others here are. It’s a way to have a different sort of competition, players playing for their countries (or, long-ago country of origin, as was the case for Anthony Rizzo, who played for Italy in 2013) instead of their MLB team.
Yes, I know. It interrupts spring training, and there have been thoughts (never proven) that it gets in the way of players preparing for the season.
Try telling that to the players from Japan (who won in 2006 and 2009) or the Dominican Republic (who won in 2013). They were genuinely thrilled, and it shows there’s plenty of baseball talent outside the USA. The United States has never even made the championship game.
First-round games will begin Tuesday, March 7, 2017 in the Tokyo Dome, the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea, Marlins Park in Miami and Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico. I suspect first-round crowds in Miami won’t be all that large -- in the past, when first-round games were played in Arizona, they were played at spring-training venues rather than Chase Field (except for one 2013 game, which I attended, which had to be moved indoors due to heavy storms).
The Tokyo Dome and Petco Park in San Diego will host second-round games and the championship round (semifinals and final) will be at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on March 20 and 22.
All the games can be seen in the USA on MLB Network, and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
Here’s the complete schedule: