If you missed this late night Tuesday and early Wednesday — and given the time difference, you might have — the World Baseball Classic began in Taichung, Taiwan.
There’s already been an upset of sorts — the Netherlands defeated Cuba 4-2 in the opening game of the tournament.
In the other initial game in Taiwan, Panama and Chinese Taipei are still in progress at the time of this post, with Panama leading 12-5 in the bottom of the eighth.
There was a bit of pomp and ceremony too:
What a MOment at the #WorldBaseballClassic!— MLB (@MLB) March 8, 2023
Legendary closer Mariano Rivera threw out the 1st pitch before the Panama-Chinese Taipei game. pic.twitter.com/rjxZiZZuQY
Josh will have lots more coverage of the WBC as the tournament goes along, but I thought I’d give you a brief introduction.
Later today, Australia will face Korea (9 p.m. CT, FS1) and Panama will play the Netherlands (10 p.m. CT, FS2). Pool play in Japan will begin tomorrow.
Meanwhile, here in the USA, 10 teams have gathered, five in Phoenix and five in Miami, and those pools will begin play Saturday.
Those 10 teams will play exhibition games against Major League clubs today and tomorrow. That includes the Cubs facing Canada at Sloan Park this afternoon at 2:05 p.m. CT. Full details on today’s Cubs game are coming up here at 12 noon CT, but for now I can tell you that Justin Steele will start for the Cubs and a Rangers prospect named Mitch Bratt will start for Canada.
Other games on the schedule for today involving WBC teams:
Dominican Republic at Braves, 12:05 CT
Colombia at Athletics, 2:05 CT
Mexico at Guardians, 2:05 CT
Great Britain at Brewers, 2:10 CT
Puerto Rico at Red Sox, 5:05 CT
Venezuela at Astros, 5:05 CT
Nicaragua at Mets, 5:10 CT
Israel at Marlins, 5:40 CT
USA at Giants, 8:05 CT
There will be 10 more exhibition games between WBC teams and MLB teams tomorrow.
Check out some of the action if you can. This tournament is good competition and it’s always fun to watch players compete for their countries.