Originally posted on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 3/2/13
The tournament held every four years to crown the world champions of baseball is back. In the World Baseball Classic, a combined 16 national teams play in four separate pools to earn bids in future rounds, all with hopes of vying against the most elite teams in order to earn the top title in the sport. Team Japan has won the first two titles, with the inaugural WBC being held back in 2006. By local time standards, the worldwide tournament kicked off on Saturday, with Australia taking on Chinese Taipei in Taichung, Taiwan in Pool B action. Other teams in Pool B include Korea and the Netherlands.  Games will continue through March 19th, when the finals are slated to be held in San Francisco, CA. Pool A also begins on Saturday and features China, Brazil, Cuba and Japan. Those games are set to be played in Fukuoka, Japan. Pool C, set to be played in San Juan, Puerto Rico beginning on Thursday, features, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and, of course, Puerto Rico. Pool D, which will be played in Arizona beginning Thursday, will have the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Italy competing against one another. Semifinal rounds are scheduled for Tokyo, Japan, with two teams each that advance from Pools A and B, and Miami, FL, with two teams each that advance from Pools C and D. Team USA will include Phils shortstop Jimmy Rollins on the playing roster. Among the club’s coaches are former Phillies All-Star and manager Larry Bowa and former Phillie Dale Murphy, who will coach first base for the Americans.  Former Phils outfielder Shane Victorino will also be on the U.S. roster. Team Canada will feature plenty of Phillies, including outfielder Tyson Gillies, infielder Pete Orr, right-handed relief pitcher Phillippe Aumont and lefty hurler Jay Johnson. Additionally, catcher John Suomi, who has played with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs in each of the past three seasons, was added to the Canadian roster this week as a replacement.  Former Phillies pitcher Scott Mathieson is also with Team Canada. The Australian team includes Phillies minor leaguer Tim Kennelly, who switched from utility man to pitcher last season, as well as former Phils infielder Brad Harman and outfielder Chris Snelling, who was once a member of the Phils as well. Right-handed pitcher Rodrigo Lopez and catcher Sebastian Valle will be the Phillies that represent Mexico. And to wrap up the Phils playing in the WBC, veteran lefty hurler Cesar Jimenez will represent Venezuela, while 18-year-old infielder Lucas Rojo will play for Brazil. Team Puerto Rico will feature former Phils pitchers J.C. Romero and Nelson Figueroa. Phillies first base coach Juan Samuel, a three-time big league All-Star, is slated to join the Dominican team as a coach, while Phils minor league catching coordinator Ernie Whitt, who is a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, will manage Team Canada. Whitt had a 15-year big league career, playing with Baltimore, Boston, Toronto and Atlanta. You can catch broadcasts of this year’s Classic on MLB Network as well as on ESPN Deportes.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What the Selection Committee taught us: Week 13

Majority of FIFA sponsors demanding independent review on reforms

Zack Greinke expected to choose between Dodgers, Giants by end of week

Reports: David Price, Red Sox agree to seven-year, $217 million contract

LSU officials’ media leaks about Les Miles blew up in their faces

Sam Bradford returns to practice, but does it matter for broken Eagles?


Cam Newton won’t be ‘lured in’ by talk of undefeated season

Report: Miami job is Mark Richt’s 'if he wants it'

WATCH: Cowboys’ security guard being investigated for choking Panthers fan

Mariners ‘trying hard’ to trade Mark Trumbo before Wednesday’s tender deadline

Bill Belichick: Patriots always looking to improve win or lose

NFL: Refs did not blow calls on Ravens' blocked FG return

Colin Kaepernick jerseys on sale at 49ers’ team store

Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz named Big Ten Coach Of The Year

Mid-American Conference Championship preview

Lakers trying to decide which Kobe Bryant jersey number to retire

Matthew Dellavedova is becoming a better passer

Ryan Kesler says the Ducks are 'too good not to be in the playoffs'

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

WATCH: LSU releases video to honor Leonard Fournette

Report: Jim Hackett’s tenure as Michigan’s interim AD is ending

Josh Norman pretends to be a movie character each game

Ex-Giants OL Chris Snee 'wanted to see the Jets lose all the time'

Kyle Long gives Bears tickets to trash collector who found wallet

Last of a dying breed: Kobe's retirement marks end of an era

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MAC Championship preview

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Durant blasts media on behalf of Kobe

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker