As of the writing of this post, the World Baseball Classic is mere minutes from beginning. The WBC will run from March 7 to March 21, and we’re starting to see teams gather as the games start to get underway. This WBC was actually meant to take place in 2021, but for obvious reasons had to be postponed futher, meaning we haven’t had a Classic since 2017, and this year 20 teams will be participating.
The initial games will be a truly international affair, taking place in Taiwan, Japan, and the US (with two stadiums in America being used: Miami and Phoenix).
This links post and likely those through the 21st will be heavy with WBC content, as we get to enjoy the best of the best on the world stage.
And so it begins. Cuba vs Netherlands . Let’s play some international baseball pic.twitter.com/wm47ZPiRbH— Matt Monagan (@MattMonagan) March 8, 2023
Let’s get into the links!
- Want the most basic of basic breakdowns of the World Baseball Classic? The Athletic staff have you covered with this primer. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Want that info in a tweet thread?
Here is everything you need to know about all 20 national teams in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, in infographic form.— Shawn Spradling (@Shawn_Spradling) March 7, 2023
A thread. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/bqpBTcYmzm
- Kyle Kishimoto looks at Samurai Japan, who are highlighting the best of NPB and MLB.
- Lars Nootbaar has one of the best names in baseball, and he’s also proud to represent his mother and her heritage with Team Japan. Story by Michael Clair. Clair also offers up the best player on each team.
- An unexpected problem for the Classic:
Anybody have a chart of KM to MPH for pitcher’s velocity? Don’t really want to do division while at the plate— Vinnie Pasquantino (@VPasquantino) March 8, 2023
- Chris Gilligan tries to determine how the WBC will impact players who are on the cusp of making (or missing) an MLB roster.
- Emma Baccelierri offers us six good reasons to watch the WBC.
- David Schoenfield lists the top 50 players in the WBC.
- Jesse Borek gives us the story of Team USA, who have a lot to live up to after their last WBC win.
- David Waldstein has the story of a Czech firefighter who will be taking on MLB superstars in the WBC.
- Who are experts predicting will win the WBC, and who will claim the MVP title? (MLB)
- Which players are going to be the most impacted by the new MLB rules? The Athletic staff pick one from each team. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Is Max Scherzer testing the limits of the new pitch clock, writes Jay Jaffe.
- Justin Turner suffered a grisly injury during spring training after he was hit in the face with a pitch. His wife shared details, and Karl Rasmussen reports.
- Jimmy Traina has some words from Bob Costas, who admits to not being on his game when he called the postseason last year.
- Stephanie Apstein spotlights Chris Sale who seems to have found a new love for spring training.
- Lorenzo Cain has announced he’ll be retiring this summer, with the Royals. (Reuters)
- This weekend the Rays lost the beloved voice of their radio broadcasts, Dave Wills. Jayson Stark remembers the man and why he was so adored by listeners. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- J.J. Cooper asked some minor league team operators: Do shorter games reduce concession sales?. The answer: Nope.
- How did minor league players win a union? Story by Kelly Candaele and Peter Dreier.
- And last, a look at some pretty uniforms.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.