i heard a rumor that south florida and maybe puerto rico might host the 2nd round and the semi/finals will be in california. Again this is not a news source but merely a rumor among people in the baseball industry
But that doesn't mean that Miami couldn't host the top four teams from Pool C and Pool D (likely to be the United States, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic). Why would the political situation between the US and Cuba matter for those teams?
So, in short, I think you're wrong. If Miami doesn't get any games, politics won't be the reason why.
The official announcement will come July 31.
QUOTE=Rally Monkey;1250857]Someone give me a prize. According to the LA Times, Dodger Stadium will host the semi-finals and finals of the 2009 WBC. And (as predicted here), San Diego and, yes, Miami have gotten the nod to host the second round games.
The official announcement will come July 31.[/QUOTE]
How about a for a prize?
Here's a link to an article at MLB.com that recaps the news. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...=.jsp&c_id=mlb
Seems to me this pretty much confirms that San Diego and Miami (Dolphin Stadium) are the sites for the second round. It also adds that the second round will be a week before the semis- and finals. (No surprise there.) The article's worth a look for a pretty good round up of WBC news.
For anyone interested in my analysis of why it makes sense to hold part of the second round in Miami, see my earlier post here:
I'd add to that the obvious fact that Florida is teeming with itinerant baseball fans that time of year who're checking out Grapefruit League action. So I'm sure there was a push from MLB owners to have at least some of the WBC games take place near spring training sites. That's what they did last time when opening rounds took place in Phoenix and Orlando. And a lot of the fans who saw those games were in town for spring training. Expect the same for Miami in 2009.
What does everyone expect to be covered during the press conference on the 31st? Obviously, they will be announcing venue information, but does anyone think they may announce the First Round match-ups? I know they have annouced the groups, but I'm hoping that they announce who is actually playing who to start the double elimintion mini-tournaments off.
Having said that, I think I can predict the match-ups: I bet they'll seed Cuba, Japan, USA, and D.R. as the top four seeds. And it's easy to figure out the bottom seeds: China, Panama, Italy, and South Africa. I expect the top seeds will play the bottom seeds first in the first round, like this:
Pool A: Japan v. China; Korea v. Taiwan
Pool B: Cuba v. South Africa; Mexico v. Australia
Pool C: USA v. Italy; Venezuela v. Canada
Pool D: DR v. Panama; PR v. Netherlands
Assuming no upsets, this means that the bottom two teams in each pool will face elimination against the other in their second game of the tournament. And the top two teams will also face each other. The winner of the former game would go on to face the loser of the latter in another elimination match.
There will be a lot at stake in this format.
Last edited by Rally Monkey; 07-20-2008 at 11:00 PM.
USA/Canada/Venezuela (any 2 of the 3).
That's a shame in my opinion, as a crossing over from the First Round would have provided more varied match-ups. But at least the Semi-finals will be cross-overs.
I disagree that cross-overs in the Second Round are necessary. As you'll recall, a Pool Championship game will be held for each of the opening round pools. That means that a first place and second place team will emerge from each pool. And that propbably means that each will be matched up with its opposite number in the first games of the Second Round pool. Assuming that your prediction above is correct, and that Japan and Cuba win Pools A and B, that would mean that Japan plays Mexico in their first game of the Second Round, and Cuba plays Korea. And if the first place teams win those games (which isn't unreasonable to predict), then Korea and Mexico would drop to the loser bracket and play the first elimination game. Cuba and Japan would stay in the winners bracket and play each other. Note that the match-ups so far have been these: Cuba v. Korea; Japan v. Mexico; and Mexico v. Korea. None of these teams have played each other before in the tournament.
Now here's where there can be some repeat matchups: The loser of the Japan-Cuba game would play the loser of the Korea-Mexico game. And that of course means that Japan could play Korea or Mexico play Cuba. But this would be different than the 2006 tournament because it would be an elimination game. Imagine the intensity of the Japan-Korea second round game in 2006. And now double it, because the loser goes home this time--not on to the semi-finals for a re-match, as before.
Cuba would play the winner of this game in a non-elimination Pool Championship game. If that winner is Korea, then this is another new match-up for the tournament. If it's Japan, then that'd be the second time they play in the pool. This redundancy in pool play, I admit, is the worst feature of the WBC's double elimination format.
An equally likely outcome would see Japan lose the winners bracket game and Mexico win the losers bracket game. Then there'd be a Japan-Mexico face-off for elimination (another new match-up for the tournament), and Cuba would meet the winner of that game in the Pool Championship game. Under this scenario, Cuba will automatically play a team it's played once before. Again, this redundant outcome is a flaw with the entire format.
Cross-overs for the second round would, indeed, make for more varied match-ups. But we'd lose the drama of possibly seeing first round rivals square off in elimination matches. And, moreover, there are pretty good odds that the match-ups in the Second Round of the tournament as it's now planned would be nearly as varied as a Second Round with cross-overs.
So I guess I don't think it's a real shame that the teams won't be crossing over in Round 2.
By the way, if Cuba played Korea after Korea won the Japan-Korea elimination re-match then it wouldn't be a new match up (see sections in bold).
When I get back from Beijing I will turn my focus to the WBC. I need to get some tickets for Mexico City, and then the rest will be in my back yard being that I live in San Diego. I wish the games were in Anaheim, home of my rocking and rolling beloved Angels, instead of San Diego or LA, but San Diego will sure allow me to save on gas money. There is also a potential to be in the dugout for a game or two if I decide to work O.T. instead of going to the game . I can't wait for these to start, but first things first...Let's get some Olympic baseball in, and there is also the Caribbean World Series in Mexicali too.
Have they released ticket information yet anywhere? I've not found it.
Today's article confirming what was reported here earlier: Dodger Stadium will host the semi-finals and finals, and PETCO Park and Dolphin Stadium get the second round games:
The other news is that the second round has been scheduled for March 14-19.
For those of you disappointed that Dolphin Stadium got the nod, consider this: The Marlins spokesman in the story said that the team is looking forward "to becoming a regular World Baseball Classic destination once we move into our new ballpark in Miami." As you know, funding for the new ballpark is on hold pending the outcome of a lawsuit. Could it be that MLB is putting the WBC there next year so everyone around the world will notice how terrible Dolphin Stadium is--and that this will embarrass the hold-outs in South Florida to support the new stadium?
Just my conspiracy theory du jour. Enjoy the Olympics.
UPDATE: Here's more grist for my conspiracy theory: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...=.jsp&c_id=mlb.
Last edited by Rally Monkey; 08-04-2008 at 04:33 PM.
Well, at least I'll attend a game or two because I live just minutes from Dolphin Stadium.
Compared to its peer tournaments, I think the WBC has the most varied venues. The World Cups of soccer, rugby, and cricket are all held in one (or two) countries. The WBC is, of course, much more ambitious, with five host countries this time hosting games in seven different venues. And only one of those venues--Petco Park in San Diego--hosted games in 2006.
I think that's what makes this one of the most exciting international tournaments: lots of variety in venues, lots of diversity in the fans. And I hope WBC doesn't end up following the model of the other major tourneys and putting all of the games in one or two countries.
Does anyone think that the WBC final should be a Best of Three series?
But maybe I'm feeling this way because I'm a poor student for the time being haha.
Uh oh. Looks like there's trouble on Team Venezuela:
Maybe you should start forgetting about spending any of your savings on a plane ticket to Toronto...
By the way, the article mentions--and I've read elsewhere--that Venezuela has picked Luis Sojo to manage the 2009 team. According to the Sun-Times, Venezuelan major leaguers are mad that they weren't consulted. On the other hand, Sojo was quoted in Venezuelan newspapers that he expects all Venezuelan major leaguers to be on the team. I suppose we'll have to wait to see what happens next.
If Zambrano and Santana effectively boycott the tournament, it would be very bad.
Last edited by Rally Monkey; 08-07-2008 at 08:03 AM.