World Baseball Classic Update 7/22/22: Dominican and Korea get managers

The big news since our last update is that Rodney Linares will manage the Dominican Republic team in the WBC. Currently the third base coach for the Tampa Bay Rays, Linares had a brief minor league career and has been coaching ever since. He managed for several years in the Astros system before joining the Rays.

Speaking of the Dominican Republic, don’t expect to see Albert Pujols suiting up to play for them next year. With him retiring after this year and the Dominican talent pool so deep, he says he wouldn’t want to take the spot of a more worthy player. Instead, he’s planning on getting some traveling and spending time off with his kids. It’s similar to what I noted Miguel Cabrera said a few days ago, although Cabrera didn’t completely close the door to some sort of involvement.

Meanwhile, over in Asia, it’s been announced that Lee Kang-Chul will manage the South Korean squad in the WBC next year. A longtime pitcher in the KBO, he was the league’s strikeout champ back in 1992 and who remains one of the leaders in the league’s history in strikeouts and win. Lee has been the skipper of the KT Wiz since 2019, including a Korean Series title last season.

Finally: As has been noted before here and elsewhere, an effort is being made by Cuban players in North America to be part of the WBC. Major League Baseball again has noted that it isn’t up to the league, though, since rules for international competition put such decisions with national federations.

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC UPDATE (July 8, 2022): Stuff I missed

Yesterday in my World Baseball Classic update, I mentioned that there had been some WBC news over the past few weeks that I had neglected to share. Consider this a catch-up post on those things.

MANAGER ANNOUNCEMENTS:

OTHER NOTES:

I’ll have more WBC news as it becomes available and as I find it.

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).