As an update to my piece last week on international baseball, the World Baseball Classic is well under way. I’ve been too busy to watch any of the games unfortunately, but I’ve loved following the games so far.
As the more relevant note, both Brazil and the Netherlands know their fates for the next round. Brazil was unfortunately swept out, even after holding their own against heavyweights Japan and Cuba. They even led Japan until they allowed three runs in the top of the eighth.
The Netherlands went the exact opposite direction, becoming the first team to move on to the next round thanks to a win against Australia and an upset of Korea. This marks the second straight WBC they’ve done this, after upsetting the Dominican Republic to move on in 2009. This is definitely something MLB should work with; I would say a 2017 pool possibly based in Amsterdam (or somewhere equivalent) might be in order.
Stay tuned, as Pool C and D start this later this week. Pool C is more or less the pool of death (if you ask me), as it features European team Spain going against power houses Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. Pool D will feature Italy playing the continental North American triad of Mexico, Canada, and (my [admittedly biased] favorite team) the United States.