Lost in the excitement of another Milwaukee Brewers season is a long-awaited international event. Around the world in March and for the first time in six years, the World Baseball Classic will kick off with twenty countries vying for the right to be called world champions. The preliminary rounds will commence in four sites– Taiwan, Japan, Arizona, and Florida–with five regional countries meeting at each of the spots. Each regional will whittle its five teams to two through round-robin competitions, and the remaining eight countries will battle for the eventual WBC crown, set to be determined in Miami on March 21. A full breakdown of the WBC schedule is found here.
THE BREWERS ARE PART OF THE WARMUP TO THE ACTUAL COMPETITION
The Arizona regional will welcome the squads from Canada, Colombia, Great Britain, Mexico, and the USA on Monday, March 6. After team workouts in various spots around Arizona on Tuesday, March 7, each country will play two exhibitions on March 8-9 against a major league team at their training facility. The Milwaukee Brewers are slotted to take on Great Britain on the 8th; nine other clubs will host one game over those two days.
GREAT BRITAIN’S ROSTER
In September, Great Britain qualified for the World Baseball Classic for the first time ever. They came from behind to defeat Spain in 10 innings, 10-9, to punch their ticket to the big show.
Although its roster is not littered with household names, Great Britain could eventually lure MLB notables like Jazz Chisholm and Lucious Fox because those players and others come from Britain’s territories. Writes David Hill in the blog “Call To The Pen”:
“The British National Team has some intriguing players on the roster already. Mariners prospect Harry Ford made his presence felt with three homers in the Qualifying Round. Pirates prospect Tahnaj Thomas has a plus-plus fastball that can hit triple digits, although he has struggled with his command when throwing that hard….There are also several former major leaguers that suited up for Great Britain. Vance Worley, Michael Roth, Chris Reed, and Akeel Morris all saw time in the majors, with Worley having the most extensive experience.”
Pitchers and catchers will report to the Brewers camp in Phoenix on Monday, February 13. The countdown to spring training has officially begun.