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'World Baseball Classic' to be given go-ahead

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Baseball set to name World Cup the 'World Baseball Classic'

By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer

May 10, 2005


NEW YORK (AP) -- Major league baseball and its union are ready to give a go-ahead to starting their international tournament next year and will name it the World Baseball Classic.


Management and the players' association planned to announce the 16-nation event after Wednesday's owners' meeting in New York, a high-ranking baseball official said Tuesday on condition of anonymity. Owners gave their preliminary approval Aug. 19, and baseball hopes to have agreements in place that will allow a formal launch of the tournament to take place during the All-Star break in July.


Planning for the tournament, which has been generally referred to as the Baseball World Cup, has been in the works for several years, but the process has moved slowly. Major league baseball originally hoped to launch the tournament in 2005, then pushed it up to 2006.


Wednesday's announcement was first reported by Baseball America on its Web site Tuesday.


Major league baseball and the union already have reached an agreement with the International Baseball Federation to have international drug testing standards for players during the event, which will be played in March, during spring training.


Participation in the tournament will be voluntary.


Japan has not yet formally decided whether it will participate, a Japanese baseball official said, also on condition anonymity, although Japan is likely to send a team to the tournament.


One of the four first-round groups will be played in Asia, the other three in the United States.


Question: If MLB refers to the winner of the World Series as World Champions. What will the winner of the World Cup be refered as?


World Cup Champions?

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The World Series are the World Champions at the Professional Level.


The World Baseball Classic Champion will be the country rated the best baseball team in the world.


TV rights for this should end up with ESPN or FOX. Wonder how they will cover this.


First-Round Sites

Florida: TBA

Arizona: TBA

Puerto Rico: Hiram Bithorn Stadium

Tokyo Dome in Japan


Japan Pool: Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China will play March 3-5

All other pools from March 8-11

Arizona will likely have Australia, Mexico, Panama, and Italy.

Florida will likely have US, Canada, Netherlands, and South Africa.

Puerto Rico will like have Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.


The two teams in each pool with the best records would advance to the second round, another round-robin, on March 13-15 at different major-league stadiums. Houston's Minute Maid Park, Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium and San Diego's Petco Park have long been considered strong candidates.


The four outright winners of those pools would each advance to a single-game semifinal on March 18, again at a major-league stadium. The winners of those games will meet for a winner-take-all final March 20 -- a Monday, presumably to avoid television conflicts with the NCAA men's basketball tournament.


Team rosters, currently set at 27 players, will be chosen according to Olympic eligibility guidelines by tournament organizers. According to one union official, major-league clubs will not be able to block any of their players from participating. Several teams, most vocally the Yankees, have expressed concerns both privately and publicly about their high-priced stars possibly getting injured before the season starts. The Yankees have also been reluctant to release their minor-leaguers for USA Baseball's teams in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003.


This will be in 2006 during Spring Training.


More info: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2057633

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Guest Moneyball

Aren't they building a huge stadium in Puerto Rico or DR?


Arizona would probably be the BOB and the Florida site can either be the Trop or Cracker Jack Stadium maybe?

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I think the Florida site may be Fort Myers. City of Palms and the Stars Complex both can handle these games easily.


Stars Complex has Hammond Stadium along with an auxiliary stadium with reduced seating that can host two games at one time. The other fields are for Twins practice and little league'.


City of Palms has the stadium and the practice field.


Both have television hookups and can be easily used for televising games.


Both host tournaments all year long.

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These will be on TV. Bidding to start soon.


Major powers...


FOX could go after the games for itself, FSN, FX, and Comcast SportsNet.

ESPN could go after games for its family of networks and ABC.

NBC Universal could jump in with Olympic-style coverage in a partnership with MLB.

CBS jumping in is out in my mind due to their lack of a cable network suitable. They will not air games on MTV or vh1.


This could be a preview of the next MLB TV contract.


This has to be run like Olympic-style coverage. Each broadcaster must be given a clean game feed with basic graphics put in to identify country and then the broadcaster can add banners and other such graphics.


NBC would be ideal, however ESPN is the favorite IMO.

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Fla. spring training sites to host baseball world cup


By Glenn Miller

[email protected]

Published by news-press.com on May 12, 2005


Baseball?s version of soccer?s World?s Cup is scheduled to make its debut in March 2006 and will likely include games in Florida spring training parks.


Does that mean some games in the World Baseball Classic will be played in two Lee County big-league spring-training parks? It?s too early to know, according to local officials.


?We haven?t been approached yet by anybody,? said Gary Ewen, sports development manager for the Lee County Sports Authority.


The Minnesota Twins have played home spring training games at the Lee County Sports Complex since 1991. The Boston Red Sox have played their spring home games at City of Palms Park since 1993.


Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced the event on Wednesday. More details on the tournament will be known by July, according to Major League Baseball.


It is expected that an announcment about venues will be made at that time.


The 16-team tournament will include players competing for their home countries instead of their big-league teams. That means, for example, Minnesota Twins pitcher Johan Santana could pitch for Venezuela and New York Mets ace Pedro Martinez might suit up for the Dominican Republic.


Pool play would likely include games played in Florida from March 8-11, a time when spring-training is in full swing in Southwest Florida.


?That?s bad timing for us,? Ewen said.


Although the tournament would occur during spring training, Todd Stephenson, the Red Sox coordinator of Florida operations, would welcome the event.


?I?d love it," Stephenson said. ?It would be wonderful for the city. I think it would be great to show off these two great facilities.?



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