As noted on these pages before, the World Baseball Classic is about to begin starting March 8, in Mexico City. There are 4 pools worldwide, with the other first round games slated for Tokyo, Toronto, and San Juan, PR. The first round games in Mexico will pit Mexico vs. Australia and Cuba vs. South Africa. The second round games will then move on to San Diego, with the finals played in Los Angeles March 21 – 23.
This is great competition and illustrates the popularity of baseball worldwide. For some interesting comments from Mexico City check out ex-Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda’s blog, where there are sure to be some entertaining stories. ESPN2 will be televising the games live, as well as the new MLB cable channel, and you can follow the results on this site http://mlb.mlb.com/wbc/2009/schedule .
The next time you are in Mexico, check out a local game. It still doesn’t hold the same passion with the Mexican people as does soccer and bull fights, but there is more scoring than the former and less blood-shed than the latter. They even sell hot dogs and peanuts.