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  • 09 WBC venues, pools, and rules changes announced

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...=.jsp&c_id=mlb
    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...=.jsp&c_id=mlb


    Pool A -- China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea will begin play on March 5 in Tokyo Dome, where the A's are opening the regular season against the Red Sox this week.

    Pool B -- Australia, Cuba, Mexico and South Africa, from March 8-12 in Mexico City.

    Pool C -- Canada, Italy, the U.S. and Venezuela, from March 8-12 in Toronto.

    Pool D -- Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico, from March 7-11 in Puerto Rico.


    Also love the addition of the double knockout format, I think that's a waaay better rule. Also, I expect TONS of Italian-Canadians at the Toronto games which I'm guessing is why they put in the Toronto pool. So let's start predicting who comes out of the pools!! I'm actually worried that Canada has a good chance of maybe disappointing the home town fans. I'm also thinking we might have alittle of a good chance of perhaps an Australain team in the second round if they can handle the Mexican atmosphere.

    Also, Monterrey must be mad they didnt get the venue, whats the stadium like in Mexico City?
    Last edited by cutchemist42; 03-23-2008, 08:49 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
    Next year, as soon as a team losses its second game in each of the first two rounds, it is eliminated. Once two teams have lost out, the other two move on to the next round.
    Hmm. This isn't entirely clear.

    Does this mean that some games might not be played, if they are no longer able to determine elimination and advancement? Surely not... but the phrasing here ("as soon as," "once") almost makes it sound that way.

    What if three of four teams go 2-1? Where does the second loss come from? Do all three have to play an additional game? If only two of the three play a tiebreaker, who gets the bye?

    Comment


    • #3
      The second round may be interesting if the favorites advance:

      Pool 2: USA-Dominicana-Venezuela-Puerto Rico

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by spark240 View Post
        Hmm. This isn't entirely clear.

        Does this mean that some games might not be played, if they are no longer able to determine elimination and advancement? Surely not... but the phrasing here ("as soon as," "once") almost makes it sound that way.

        What if three of four teams go 2-1? Where does the second loss come from? Do all three have to play an additional game? If only two of the three play a tiebreaker, who gets the bye?
        Hmmm, good questions. I like the sound of this double knockout but didnt even think of that. Do you randomly get drawn your schedule and if you get drawn US-Venezuala in your first two games, tough luck?

        I'd love an explanation.

        Comment


        • #5
          Maybe this answers your questions (from the WBC press release):

          WBCI also announced two changes in the competitive structure of the tournament. The 2009 World Baseball Classic will feature a double-elimination format during the first two rounds of play, as well as the introduction of cross-over Semi-Final games. The double-elimination format takes the place of the roundrobin pool-play system used in the inaugural event. For Rounds One and Two, the first two teams with two losses will be eliminated from the competition, with the two remaining teams moving on. In both rounds, teams in the final game will compete for a Pool Championship prize, as well as seeding in the following round (see tournament bracket below). The winners of each Round Two Pool will play the opposite Pool's runners-up in two single-elimination Semi-Final games. As in 2006, the winners of the Semi-Final games will advance to the one-game tournament Final to compete for the World Baseball Classic Championship.
          Clear as mud to me.

          Comment


          • #6
            The cross-over semifinals are good (that's almost universal for every other sport).

            I thought the double-elimination was supposed to be that in the case of a tie in the win record between teams then those teams would play an extra game and whoever lost would be eliminated (I'm sure this was discussed in one of the other WBC threads). If it is a case of a team being eliminated immediately upon losing two matches then wouldn't that mean that some teams might never have to play more than two games in the first round?

            As for cutchemist42's call for predictions of which teams will make it out of the first round, mine were (from the Final 8 teams thread):

            Pool A -- Japan and Korea

            Pool B -- Cuba and Mexico

            Pool C -- the U.S. and Venezuela (with an outside chance for Canada)

            Pool D -- Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic (or if the DR fails to play then the Netherlands or whichever team comes in place of the DR - this pool might be anyone really depending on if the DR plays or not).

            Hmm...none of the articles say anything about crossovers for the second round from the first...so in that case does it mean that the top two teams from a first round pool would end up in the same second round pool as in 2006? Usually there is a cross over once the first round in any competition is over so the two teams won't face each other until the semis or even the finals. If crossovers were being used from the second round then the series of games would potentially look like this:

            First Round: Japan v. Korea, Cuba v. Mexico and so on.

            Then possible Second Round pools could end up like (this is just one possibility out of many):

            Pool 1: Japan, Mexico, the USA and the DR or whoever

            Pool 2: Korea, Cuba, PR and Venezuela

            Thereafter possible semis could be (using the four teams from the examples in the first round):

            Semifinal 1: Japan v. Cuba

            Semifinal 2: Korea v. Mexico

            Thus only in the final would any of those four teams actually face each other again (e.g. Japan v. Mexico, Korea v. Cuba, Japan v. Korea or Cuba v. Mexico).

            I hope they institute crossovers for the second round pools from the first round.
            Last edited by ShawnC; 03-24-2008, 01:20 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rally Monkey View Post
              Maybe this answers your questions (from the WBC press release):



              Clear as mud to me.
              Does this double elimination mean the US would have advanced to the semi-finals in 2006 (instead of ending up as the number 4)? Only because they wouldn't have had to play their last game (that they eventually would have lost) because two other teams already had lost twice?

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe this is a stupid question, but will Cubans be permitted to travel to Mexico to watch the WBC?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Richard View Post
                  Maybe this is a stupid question, but will Cubans be permitted to travel to Mexico to watch the WBC?


                  Cubans do not have money and the Cuban government must authorize Cuban to travel outside. If you see Cubans there, they are exiles. In Puerto Rico some Cubans went to see the games. There are a lot of Cubans in Puerto Rico (20,000). In San Diego there were some Cubans there too during the finals.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ShawnC View Post
                    As for cutchemist42's call for predictions of which teams will make it out of the first round, mine were (from the Final 8 teams thread):

                    Pool A -- Japan and Korea
                    If S. Korean and Taiwan face to each other with their best roster, I will say Taiwan has more chance to win. Taiwan has far way better member in MLB.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think I get it now. This double elimination format is designed to weed-out the weakest teams early on and create a "sudden death" screnario for the remaining teams. The weakest teams will likely lose their first two games and be eliminated. That seems unfair, but recall that they'd only play three games if they were to compete under the 2006 rules.

                      Here's how I think it works:

                      Pool B is Australia, Cuba, Mexico and South Africa. No offense to our African friends, but the RSA is clearly the weakest team here. So imagine a schedule where they play Mexico first (MEX W, RSA L) and Cuba plays Australia (CUB W, AUS L). And then Australia plays RSA (AUS W, RSA L). South Africa is gone, Australia survives. (That'll be a dramatic game!) In the other game, Cuba and Mexico play (assume for the sake of argument CUB W, MEX L).

                      The standings now are

                      CUB 2-0
                      MEX 1-1
                      AUS 1-1
                      RSA 0-2 (eliminated)

                      Australia then plays Mexico. If, miraculously, the Aussies win, then Mexico is eliminated and Australia plays Cuba for what's being called a Pool Championship prize--which seeds the teams for the following round. (This is a guess, but I think seeding will be necessary to determine the order that the second round teams play each other. And how the schedule is set could have an effect on the timing of a team's elimination.)

                      Anyway, I believe this is how this double eliminaiton format will work, and I think it'll create a lot of high stakes games. Especially in the second round, where the quality of play will be much more aligned.
                      Last edited by Rally Monkey; 03-24-2008, 08:23 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm actually still alittle confused. Im going to us Canada's pool as an example. If Canada plays it's first two games against the US and Venezuala and loses them, does that mean the Italy game doesn't get played? If so, what will determine the first two games you play?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rally Monkey View Post
                          I think I get it now. This double elimination format is designed to weed-out the weakest teams early on and create a "sudden death" screnario for the remaining teams. The weakest teams will likely lose their first two games and be eliminated. That seems unfair, but recall that they'd only play three games if they were to compete under the 2006 rules.
                          Yes, I also think it is to eliminate the weaker teams as soon as possible. I think it is a shame to let 2 teams not play against each other even if they already lost their first 2 games. Like 2 years ago, the Netherlands would never had the chance to play against Panama, because both teams already had lost 2 times. So Holland never would have got the no-hitter. It also will mean a much lower number of visitors, because some games will not be played.

                          And what i meant by my previous post. What would happen in this double elimination with the game between Mexico en the US in this situation from 2 years ago in the second round:

                          US - Japan 4-3
                          Korea - Mexico 2-1
                          Korea - US 7-3
                          Mexico - Japan 1-6
                          Japan - Korea 1-2
                          Mexico - US 2-1

                          The US lost to Mexico and ended up as the number 4. But will this last game between Mexico and US be played in 2009? Because Japan en Mexico already lost their first 2 games?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cutchemist42 View Post
                            I'm actually still alittle confused. Im going to us Canada's pool as an example. If Canada plays it's first two games against the US and Venezuala and loses them, does that mean the Italy game doesn't get played? If so, what will determine the first two games you play?
                            Good questions. To be clear: I'm sort of guessing here. All I have to work with is the WBC's press release. But I think your second question is the critical one: What will determine the first two games in Round One? My guess (and, again, it's only a guess) is that there will be an informal ranking. In the example you give, Pool C, the ranking probably goes down like this:

                            1. USA
                            2. Venezuela
                            3. Canada
                            4. Italy

                            (This is easy to do for every pool. The top two teams were quarterfinalists in 2006; the bottom two missed the cut.)

                            The schedule would be set up so that the number 3 and number 4 teams play in the second game. This will insure that at least one of them advances to a third game--and maybe farther. And it essentially creates an elimination game for one of the teams. Here's what I mean:

                            Game 1a. Team USA v. Italy. (Say USA wins.)
                            Game 1b. Venezuela v. Canada. (And Venezuela pulls out the win.)

                            So after the first games, here's the results:

                            USA 1-0
                            VZ 1-0
                            CAN 0-1
                            IT 0-1

                            Next is game 2:

                            2a. Canada v. Italy. (And Canada wins.)
                            2b. USA v. Venezuela. (VZ wins in an upset.)

                            Standings:

                            VZ 2-0
                            USA 1-1
                            CAN 1-1
                            IT 0-2. Italy is eliminated.

                            Now game 3:

                            3a. USA v. Canada. (A must win for either team to avoid elimination. And Canada shocks the world with a win!)

                            So then in a Pool Championship Game, VZ plays CAN. And both advance to the second round.

                            By the way, every team in the Toronto-based Pool C won at least one game in the 2006 Classic. Which means that Pool C comes the closest in 2009 to a "Pool of Death". The WBC organizers did not go easy on Team USA.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One thing I haven't seen much comment on is the potential matchups for the second round of pool play in the 2009 Classic. If it's anything like last time, the winners of Pool A will meet the top-two from Pool B. And Pool C winners will play Pool D. Assuming the same quarterfinalists advance this time as last time, this is how it'll look:

                              Pool 1: Japan, Cuba, Korea, Mexico
                              Pool 2: USA, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico

                              We'll definitely, then, see a Japan v. Cuba rematch. And USA v. DR could be the highlight of the tournament.

                              Pool 2 seems a lot stronger to me than Pool 1. Another Pool of Death for Team USA!

                              Comment

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