WBC Update (May 18, 2016)

It’s time for a WBC update!

Taiwan has abandoned plans to bid for a WBC pool, likely ensuring that Korea will host something.

Aroldis Chapman is now a US Citizen and says he’d play for Team USA if asked.

And if he is going to take part in the WBC, it’s going to have to be on Team USA, since Cuba has announced that, despite some negotiations to make it happen, defectors will not be allowed on the Cuban national team.

Bryce Harper is in so long as some of the other top US players are going to be playing.

Manny Machado is now on record as being on Team Dominican Republic next year.

And, finally, in what I believe is the first appearance of the WBC in a English-language fictional work, Japanese-American author Naomi Hirahara’s latest book involves a amateur detective trying to solve a murder that takes place at the 2009 WBC finals between Japan and Korea.

First References in “The Sporting News”: The Caribbean

One of the great perks of SABR membership is access online to The Sporting News’ archives. While it now is dedicated to all sports, for a good chunk of it’s earlier history it was almost entirely focused on baseball. This allows us to see how players, ideas, teams and even countries first got the attention of the baseball press. So, similar to my article on the first references to Japanese baseball, here’s a look at the first references to baseball in the Caribbean in the Sporting News archives…. just in time for the Caribbean World Series in February!

(go below the jump for the article)

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Read this story on the first Americans to meet Yasiel Puig

Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan has the story of the first Americans to meet Yasiel Puig and get his autograph… the twist being that they were Coast Guard sailors who had foiled a defection attempt.

Read it. It’s good.

Video of the undetermined amount of time: The crazy Cuba-Netherlands game

In case you missed that awesome game between Cuba and the Netherlands this morning, MLB has this little recap for you:


It was a good game.

WBC Round 2 Preview: Pool 1 (Tokyo)

Well, Pool 1 of Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic is all set. Go below the jump for a preview of the pool, and also consider looking back at my predictions for Pool A and Pool B of the first round, which include a good amount of other information, such as the history and culture of the nations.

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World Baseball Classic Preview: Pool A (Fukuoka, Japan)

Pool A of the World Baseball Classic has two traditional powerhouses, Japan and Cuba, and two countries where baseball is a niche sport, Brazil and China.

Go below the jump for the preview:

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Lost history: A US-Cuba Series was “likely” in the late 70s

According to a December 22, 1977 article from the AP in the Youngstown Vindicator, there were discussions of a series between an MLB All-Star Team and the Cuban National Team:

It, of course, never happened. It wasn’t until the late 90s that MLB players (the Baltimore Orioles) played the Cuban National Team. The two teams split a home-and-home series.

For those wondering, Cuba’s record against teams in the World Baseball Classic that have had large numbers of MLB players is mixed: they had a 3-2 record in 2006 against teams with large numbers of MLB players (Puerto Rico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic) and had a 2-0 record against Mexico in the 2009 WBC (the rest of their games were against teams that were either made up of predominantly foreign league players, or against mainly minor leaguers).