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Matt Smith is the editor and lead writer at BaseballGB. An Oakland A's fan, Matt has been obsessed with baseball since 1998 and started writing about the sport in 2006.

World Baseball Classic this weekend

The World Baseball Classic has started with a bang, especially for two of the European teams.

The Netherlands looked impressive as they made their way through their First Round Pool in Taiwan earlier in the week and they started their Second Round Pool in the early hours of Friday morning, U.K. time, with a great win against Cuba.

It will be called a “shock” by some, a “surprise upset” by others, but the Dutch should get more credit than that considering how they performed in the 2009 event and their World Cup triumph in 2011. They’ve got a good team and although going all the way will be very difficult, don’t casually dismiss their chances of doing just that.

Meanwhile Italy came from behind to beat Mexico on Thursday evening, scoring 2 runs in the top of the ninth inning for a 6-5 victory. They will still need to earn a win against either the U.S. or Canada to progress into Round 2, and that will be a tall order, but they’ve given themselves a great chance and probably also ensured qualification for the 2017 tournament.

ESPN America is providing plenty of live coverage of the WBC this weekend, with British Eurosport 2 scheduled to show a couple of games too.

Friday 8

19.30 – Canada v Italy *ESPN America

22.30 – Spain v Puerto Rico *ESPN America, *British Eurosport2 (from 23.00)

Saturday 9

02.00 – Mexico v USA *ESPN America

10.00 – Pool 1 Gm 3 *ESPN America

Sunday 10

10.00 – Pool 1 Gm 4 *ESPN America

16.30 – Spain v Venezuela *ESPN America (Eurosport 2?)

20.00 – U.S. v Canada *ESPN America

23.30 – Dominican Republic v Puerto Rico *ESPN America

Note that there is a game listed as starting on Eurosport2 at 18.00 on Sunday. It will probably be the Spain game, either joining whilst it’s in progress or showing it on a time delay.

Sadly there has been no change on MLB.com’s policy of providing no online coverage of games via MLB.TV, except for MLB Network U.S.-based subscribers.

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4 Responses to “World Baseball Classic this weekend”

  1. Joe Cooter #

    Well it looks like the Italians are going to make it in, even if the do lose to the US tonight. They are going to make it in because Mexico has is losing to Canada 10-3 at last count.

    I have to admit, that if the US can’t make it I’d like to see the italians do well. In part because so many great Yankees from the past have had direct connections to Italy as their families immigrated to the US in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Joe Dimaggio’s parents hailed from Sicily. I believe Yogi’s family came from Milian. The scooter’s family immigrated from Italy as well.

    March 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm Reply
  2. Joe Cooter #

    When considering this tournament, I think that you have to keep in mind that all three European Courntries have differant goals. For Spain, the goal isn’t to win the tournament but mearly to be competative. As long as they can be competative then they’ve had a good tournament.

    For Italy, the goal probably is to advance to the second round, especially after falling a game short last time. In addition, I think that they wanted to prove that their victory over Canada in 2009 wasn’t a fluke, which off course they did via the mercy rule. Itally has advanced to the second round to achieve their goal. Anything more is a bonus.

    For the Dutch, the goals are somewhat higher as the next logical step is for the Dutch is the semifinals After advancing to the second round in 2008, the Dutch have to get to the semifinals to continue their advancement. If they can beat Japan, they advance to the semifinals which would be a good thing for Baseball.

    Obviously, the three European teams are competing at differant levels and competing for differant goals. Thus far, I think all three teams have had good tournaments. Whatever happens, the reuslts of this years tournament have gone a long way towards developing the sport in Europe. Should a European team win the tournament, it would help the development of the sport by leaps and bounds.

    March 10, 2013 at 3:53 am Reply
  3. Joe Cooter #

    WEll the Dutch did it. They Beat Cuba 7-6 meaning they’re going to the Semi Finals. Congratulations to the Dutch for making a wee bit of history. Although I think that the Cubans will be going back to the drawing board seeing that this is how many major tournaments in a row that they’ve lost?

    March 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm Reply
    • Matt Smith #

      What a fantastic result! Brilliant to see the Netherlands do so well once again. Cuba certainly aren’t the dominant force they used to be and it will be interesting to see how they rebound. As for the Dutch, they just might go all the way!

      March 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm Reply

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