With the World Baseball Classic in full swing, there comes a number of questions revolving around some of the lesser known participating nations. Questions that I have a sneaking suspicion I can help answer. Maybe. Things like…
…Team Spain? Are any of them from Spain?
ANSWER: Sort of. They have 1 player from the Canary Islands. The rest, well, have taken advantage of a fairly lenient WBC eligibility criteria to play for Espana.
…Italians play baseball?
ANSWER: Yes, and as we’ve learned in the last few days, pretty darn well. While taking advantage of WBC eligibile Italian-Americans to fill their roster, Italy does boast a very competitive professional league, that keeps one eye on developing local talent in preparation for international competition.
…Chinese Taipei? Is that
Formosa Republic of China Taiwan?
Yes, they have been all of those at one time or another, but for international competition, they take the name of Chinese Taipei. While now out of WBC contention, Chinese Taipei does boast a very competitive 4 team professional league, as well as a historically good Little League program.
I greatly enjoyed writing these WBC country write ups for Camden Depot, and I hope that these and the review on Australia I wrote a little while back help you gain a better appreciation of these teams and their talents, and in some respects, how far they’ve come historically as baseball playing nations. I encourage you to read up on the other WBC nations over at Camden Depot.
I might be in the minority, but I love the WBC. While it falls short of it being the ‘true’ World Series for baseball, it nonetheless exposes us to other nations and their talent, be it MLB level or otherwise, and to how they play the game. Also, it’s also nice to see the team uniform model guy get work:
I’m sure it’s getting tougher and tougher to get his usual gig as a wedding cake groom these days.
Been a slow couple of weeks for me due to hitting the disabled list for a bit, but here’s what I’ve been up to as of late…
I wrote a 2013 World Baseball Conference preview post for Camden Depot on Australia; you can check it out here. It was the first article in a series that the Depot is doing in preparation for the upcoming WBC games, showcasing and reviewing each of the participating nations.
UPDATE: The entire series (as of Feb 15) is posted over at ESPN
For Baseball Press, I wrote a couple of articles again with a WBC feel to them, looking at the effect of WBC participation on MLB performance and injury potential for Team USA. Results for pitchers are here, and you can read about the WBC effect on hitters here.
…and for the Washington Nationals fan in your life, I contributed some material to the Citizens of Natstown Washington Baseball Annual e-book, available now on Amazon. My contributions include pieces on Bill Bray, Kurt Suzuki, and Zach Duke.
Thank you for your patronage, and may you have a pleasant baseball blog reading experience.