Yes, we love baseball and we also think that the World Baseball Classic is a cool idea. Even though many Major League Baseball teams like to complain about the WBC’s timing (it starts this weekend), we don’t care.
12 teams from all over the world. Games played in Japan, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, and the United States. Real competitive baseball in March, instead of just catching spring training games. A championship weekend in San Francisco starting on St. Patrick’s Day.
And of course, the WBC is filled with some very interesting storylines. Here are just 10 of them:
- Brazil is playing in the WBC. Cincinnati Reds legend Barry Larkin is the team’s manager. Did you know that 14 players from Brazil are signed to U.S. pro contracts? Fútbol is king in Brazil, but béisbol is sowing the seeds.
- Spain has a team, too. Yes, Spain. It’s Spain. Spanish guys playing béisbol. That alone will get us to watch them, to see how really bad they are or if they are decent.
- Look at who is playing for the Dominican Republic: Robinson Canó, Hanley Ramírez, José Reyes, Nelson Cruz and, yes, Miguel Tejada. That should be a fun team.
- Look at who is playing for Venezuela: Asdrubal Cabrera, Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro, and 2012 Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera. Another fun team, for sure.
- China’s team is All USA. Former Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners manger John McLaren is the manager for China. His pitching coach is former Red Sox and Padre Bruce Hurst, and Art Howe of “Moneyball” fame is a coach for the Chinese.
- You know that the Cuban team will take this seriously. We doubt there will be any defectors this time around, but you never know.
- Puerto Rico has good team. Again. Carlos Beltrtán and Yadier Molina will lead the Puerto Rican team, which has always been competitive. The boricuas will also have Ángel Pagán.
- Will the USA win one? The Americans have never won a WBC, but this year they bring in Joe Torre to head up the team, which includes Giancarlo Stanton, Ryan Braun, Adam Jones, David Wright, and Mark Texiera.
- ¡Viva México! And who doesn’t love the Mexican team with Adrián González and yes, Sergio Romo? ¡ROMO!
- Go, San Francisco and Milwaukee. Speaking of Romo, it is official: the San Francisco Giants and the Milwaukee Brewers are the coolest most forward-thinking MLB teams right now. The Giants are sending eight players , including Sandoval, Pagán, and Romo to the WBC, while the Brewers are sending 14 players, including pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada, who will be pitching for Mexico.