La Feria News

The International Game

2023 World Baseball Classic Pools and Venues announced

By Ruben Rodriguez
La Feria News

After a long pause, The 2023 World Baseball Classic will be making its long awaited return in March 2023. Originally planned to play in 2021, the Classic was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The 2023 tournament, which will be the fifth edition of the classic, has just had the pool seeding and venues announced. The Classic will be taking place from March 8 to the 21. With four venues across the world. In addition, the 2023 Classic will feature 20 teams for the first time, with 16 teams already qualified. Pool Play will be from March 8-15, Elimination play will be March 15-18, Semifinal round will be March 19-20 while the Championship game will be March 21.

Pool A will be taking place in Taichung, Taiwan, and will feature Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Italy, 2017 semifinalist Netherlands and a qualifier team. Pool B will take place in Tokyo, Japan and feature 2017 semifinalist Japan, Korea, Australia, China and a qualifier team. Pools C and D will take place in The United States. Pool C will be in Phoenix, Arizona, and will feature defending champion USA, Mexico, Colombia, Canada, and a qualifier team. Pool D will take place in Miami, Florida. Being considered the “group of death”, Pool D will feature powerhouses Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic. Israel and a qualifier team.

The Qualifying tournament, which will feature two pools, will take place in Regensburg, Germany and Panama City, Panama, will feature 12 teams all trying to punch their tickets to the Classic. Pool A will feature Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Great Britain and South Africa. Pool B will feature Panama, Nicaragua, Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan and New Zealand. South Africa and Panama, who appeared in the first two Classics, look to return to the WBC for the first time since 2009. Spain looks to reach their second WBC after their first and only appearance in 2013. Each pool’s top two teams will automatically qualify for the 2023 WBC.

The United States heads into the 2023 Classic as the defending champion, defeating Puerto Rico in the 2017 Championship game. Team Japan, who won the inaugural tournament in 2006 and the second in 2009, look to win their third WBC Title. Trying to bounce back are Puerto Rico, who have finished as the runner-up in the last two Classics in 2017 and 2013.

With rosters yet to be announced, Multiple Major Leaguers are expected to participate and make their debuts in the World Baseball Classic. Some names expected to make their first appearances will be Shohei Ohtani for Japan, Trevor Story and Mike Trout for the USA. Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr for the Dominican Republic. Luis Urias, Alex Verdugo and Christian Villanueva for Mexico.

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