Although there are at least one year away, the World Baseball Classic is preparing to show up again.
First, decide which field to play is quite important, according to the source told the Canadian Press, Canada is a “strong possibility” to host one of the four groups in first-round play at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
The group, which would include the powerhouse United States, will play its games at the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays (Due to the weather condition I think). And the other three groups could be Tokyo, Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico, which could let the first round to be all-international.
The second and final rounds would revert back to the United States, where most of the inaugural Classic back in 2006 was played. Currently site running include Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, Minute Maid Park in Houston, AT&T Park in San Francisco, Chase Field in Phoenix and 2006 WBC final game host, Petco Park in San Diego.
An official announcement is likely to come in March.
Last time in World Baseball Classic, Canada posted a thrilling 8-6 upset of the Americans at Chase Field on March 8, 2006, which is one of the biggest wins in Canada National team history – but due to 9-1 lost to Mexico in the third game, it let Canada, America, Mexico tied at 2-1, but due to the tie-breaking formula, Canada did not advance to the second round.
In the 2009 tournament, Canada and the America are likely to be joined by a Latin American country and a non-traditional baseball country. That would once again leave the Canadian in tough to advance, although their team this time around has the potential to be much stronger than the ’06 club.
All-star catcher Russell Martin of Chelsea, Que., and pitchers Rich Harden of Victoria, Ryan Dempster of Gibsons, B.C., and Eric Gagne of Mascouche, Que. and starters Jeff Francis of North Delta, B.C., and Adam Loewen of Surrey, B.C., all took a miss last time because of injury or team issues.
2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau of New Westminster, B.C., and two-time all-star Jason Bay of Trail, B.C. and Erik Bedard of Navan, Ont., have all advanced in their careers and are much stronger now, which could be the nightmare for any teams within their group.
I can’t wait for World Baseball Classic 2009.