2017 World Baseball Classic Report (Day 2)

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International baseball has seen an interesting saga over the last few decades going from the biggest international stage to the cutting room floor.

It first entered the Olympic program in 1904 but didn’t become a permanent fixture in the program until 1992.

Since that time it was a big part of the summer games as one of the few major team sport tournaments in the summer program.

The fans of it wanted it to be the hockey tournament of the summer games, a popular part of the program with the best in the world competing in the world’s best tournament.

It never quite got to that level though as the MLB refused to take time off in their schedule to let the best players in the world participate.

That left a number of top players out of the tournament making it far from the tournament that many wanted it to be.

There was still talent though as a few teams sent the best of their domestic leagues but the tournament never really caught on.

Baseball in the Olympics wasn’t popular enough and eventually, the IOC decided to remove the sport from the permanent program after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Before that final decision though the Olympics had always seemed to have issues with the sport as it always seemed to be on the chopping block.

Every year since it joined the program, detractors were constantly stating that the game didn’t belong in the Olympics.

To them, the rules didn’t seem to apply to the sport and they were keeping it in simply to put a big sport in the Olympics again.

The rules are fairly simple for inclusion in the Olympics as there needs to be interest around the world and competition as in there needs to be more than just a few good teams.

Participation is a big factor as there needs to be more than a few teams actually playing the game and according to some baseball is great in a few countries and nowhere else.

Amid all of this debate about the sport, the MLB wanted to make their own mark on the international stage.

They were always considered the top league in the world and with baseball lacking much of an international showcase that involved the best players in the world they wanted to step in.

They did so in creating the World Baseball Classic where the best players could actually play and show the talent level in the sport.

The WBC eventually served as a replacement for the Olympics and a tournament that is far better than the Olympics have ever been.

Where the Olympics failed the WBC is hoped to succeed as the tournament has been a chance for the baseball world to come to light.baseball-sidebar

It has served as proof that the sport is far more reaching than what the Olympics showed and it has also provided a space to grow.

The WBC is a tournament that has given a chance to teams that never had a chance before and a tournament that has seen those smaller teams get a good shot.

The first day of the 2017 tournament proved that, as Israel proved what can happen in any game throughout the tournament.

They took the win against a team that was expected to only have difficulty with one other team in the pool stage.

It isn’t entirely unexpected in this type of tournament where one game can be won or lost on a simple mistake.

That ability to win at any point in any play is what makes this tournament so great and what makes this tournament an important one.

The ability for any team to win shows the competition level of international baseball in that it is as healthy as ever.

For years the argument against an international tournament was the fact that there weren’t enough competitive teams.

That is proving to be inaccurate as the WBC seems to feature more than one unexpected win in every tournament.

That pattern has been a good one for international baseball and with the Olympics potentially bringing the sport back when the Summer Games travel to Japan in 2020.

That could be a result of the fact that the WBC has shown the level of talent throughout the world of baseball.

It continues to do so in 2017 with the tournament getting going in Asia and soon in North America with a title still up for grabs.

day-2

Day 2:
Israel 15-7 Chinese Taipei
– Israel showed their diversity as they took on Chinese Taipei in a shootout which was much different than the close battle against Korea in their first game and with the win they seem ready to head to the next round in their first tournament ever

Netherlands 5-0 Korea
– The Koreans were hosting for the first time in the tournament but their performance left the fans wanting more as they took a loss to the Dutch and won’t be moving on to the next round this year after two games

Japan 11-6 Cuba
– It was built as the game to determine the winner of Pool B but when the game ended it turned out to be more of a wake-up call for the Cubans who couldn’t match the output of the Japanese and need to figure things out quickly to move on past the pool stage

Day 3:
China vs. Cuba (Tuesday, March 7th; 10:00 pm ET)
– The Cubans didn’t open their tournament the way they wanted to after a shootout with the Japanese and now they try to get back to it and put the loss behind them as they take on the Chinese who will look to take advantage of a quick turnaround by the Cubans

Chinese Taipei vs. Netherlands (Wednesday, March 8th; 4:30 am ET)
– The Dutch opened their tournament with a convincing win against the team that was supposed to be their biggest challenge but they need to focus on beating Chinese Taipei who had a great offensive performance against Israel in their opening game despite the loss

Japan vs. Australia (Wednesday, March 8th; 5:00 am ET)
– After a great performance in what was to be their toughest test the Japanese will be looking to begin an undefeated run against the Aussies who will hope that overconfidence helps them launch what would be the biggest upset of the tournament

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