Looks like WBC has making progress during pass few days, Venus is almost done, and Japan might change their previous mind and join WBC 2006.
On Monday and Tuesday in New York, officials from MLB and MLBPA have had extensive talks with NPB owners and representatives of their players’ association. To discuss about the Japanese appearing in next year’s inaugural World Baseball Classic.
On Wednesday, the international committee and the executive council heard a report stating that MLB International was close to finalizing venues for the event and would probably have a complete list by the middle of September. They were also told that the likelihood of Japan’s participation is promising.
Owners from NPB that control the two Japan leagues have agreed to participate, but the players have had reservations, voting last month to avoid the tournament. Their main concerns are the time of year the tournament is being played and having more representation in the decision-making process when the WBC is played again in 2009.
Japan is one of 16 nations invited to appear in the WBC, which is scheduled to take place next March 3-20. The dates fall during Spring Training in both Japan and the U.S. The first round is slated to be played in three different locales, with rounds set to be played in Japan and Puerto Rico and at Minor League or Spring Training facilities in Florida and Arizona.
First-round games for the Asian Pool, tentatively scheduled for the Tokyo Dome, are slated to begin on March 3. MLB has been listening to bids to host the semifinals and finals from Major League franchises in Southern California, Arizona and Texas.
Another Baseball Giant, Cuba also has yet to accept its invitation, and MLB International officials are expected to meet with representatives from the country next week.