World Baseball Classic 2013 Schedule: Dates and Times for Opening Weekend Action

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World Baseball Classic 2013 Schedule: Dates and Times for Opening Weekend Action
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The World Baseball Classic is set to begin in the late hours (Eastern time) on Friday, Mar. 1, and it will be a chance for teams from around the globe to showcase their talents in the hopes of becoming international champions.

The last WBC occurred back in 2009 and it was Japan who emerged victorious over South Korea to take home international bragging rights. Japan's tournament win was its second and they remain the sole champions of the WBC.

South Korea will be making a return appearance in the tournament after falling just short in the 2009 version. The Koreans were oh so close to beating Japan but fell short in what was an exciting extra-innings affair.

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Cuba is also a top team in this year's tournament and fell victim to the talented Japanese squad in the second round last time around after making it all the way to the final back in 2006.

The United States is obviously another team to watch as it will have some of the most talented players from Major League Baseball on its roster.

Although it must be said that overall effort should be a concern considering the desire to win this event pales in comparison to the Americans' ultimate goal of winning their own World Series. This is more of a tune-up for the MLB season for this United States squad.

With all the great teams set to take the field in the WBC, the 2013 tourney will no doubt make for some exciting baseball.

Let's take a look at the schedule for the opening weekend of the WBC.

 

World Baseball Classic schedule can be found on WorldBaseballClassic.com.

All games will be broadcast on MLB Network (Click here for TV schedule).

  

WBC Opening Week Schedule: First Round (Round Robin)

Pool A: Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome - Fukuoka, Japan

Game Date/Time (Local) Date/Time (ET) Matchup    
1 Sat, Mar 2, 7:00 PM Sat, Mar 2, 5:00 AM Japan @ Brazil  
2 Sun, Mar 3, 12:30 PM Sat, Mar 2, 10:30 PM Cuba @ Brazil  
3 Sun, Mar 3, 7:00 PM Sun, Mar 3, 5:00 AM China @ Japan  
4 Mon, Mar 4, 4:30 PM Mon, Mar 4, 2:30 AM China @ Cuba  
5 Tue, Mar 5, 5:00 PM Tue, Mar 5, 3:00 AM Brazil @ China  
6 Wed, Mar 6, 7:00 PM Wed, Mar 6, 5:00 AM Japan @ Cuba

 

Pool B: Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium - Taichung, Taiwan

Game Date/Time (Local) Date/Time (ET) Matchup    
1 Sat, Mar 2, 12:30 PM Fri, Mar 1, 11:30 PM Australia @ Chinese Taipei  
2 Sat, Mar 2, 7:30 PM Sat, Mar 2, 6:30 AM Korea @ Netherlands  
3 Sun, Mar 3, 2:30 PM Sun, Mar 3, 1:30 AM Netherlands @ Chinese Taipei  
4 Mon, Mar 4, 6:30 PM Mon, Mar 4, 5:30 AM Korea @ Australia  
5 Tue, Mar 5, 12:30 PM Mon, Mar 4, 11:30 PM Australia @ Netherlands  
6 Tue, Mar 5, 7:30 PM Tue, Mar 5, 6:30 AM Chinese Taipei @ Korea  

 

Pool C: Hiram Bithorn Stadium - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Game Date/Time (Local) Date/Time (ET) Matchup    
1 Thu, Mar 7, 7:30 PM Thu, Mar 7, 6:30 PM Venezuela @ Dominican Rep.  
2 Fri, Mar 8, 6:30 PM Fri, Mar 8, 5:30 PM Spain @ Puerto Rico  
3 Sat, Mar 9, 12:00 PM Sat, Mar 9, 11:00 AM Dominican Rep. @ Spain  
4 Sat, Mar 9, 6:30 PM Sat, Mar 9, 5:30 PM Puerto Rico @ Venezuela  
5 Sun, Mar 10, 12:30 PM Sun, Mar 10, 12:30 PM Spain @ Venezuela  
6 Sun, Mar 10, 7:30 PM Sun, Mar 10, 7:30 PM Dominican Rep. @ Puerto Rico  
 
 
Pool D: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick - Phoenix, Arizona

Game Date/Time (Local) Date/Time (ET) Matchup    
1 Thu, Mar 7, 1:00 PM Thu, Mar 7, 3:00 PM Italy @ Mexico  
2 Fri, Mar 8, 12:30 PM Fri, Mar 8, 2:30 PM Canada @ Italy  

 

Pool D: Chase Field - Phoenix, Arizona

Game Date/Time (Local) Date/Time (ET) Matchup    
3 Fri, Mar 8, 7:00 PM Fri, Mar 8, 9:00 PM Mexico @ United States  
4 Sat, Mar 9, 12:30 PM Sat, Mar 9, 2:30 PM Canada @ Mexico  
5 Sat, Mar 9, 7:00 PM Sat, Mar 9, 9:00 PM United States @ Italy  
6 Sun, Mar 10, 1:00 PM Sun, Mar 10, 4:00 PM United States @ Canada  

 

Must-See Matchups From Opening Round

Pool A: Japan vs. Cuba

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

This particular showdown will be a rematch of the 2006 WBC final in which Japan was victorious over Cuba.

The Japanese team won't have its usual major leaguers appearing this year, but it will be led by catcher Shinnosuke Abe, who hit .340 with 27 homers and 104 RBI in Japan last season (per Baseball-Reference.com)

The Cuban squad has one of the best hitters on the planet in Jose Dariel Abreu, also known as the "Cuban Barry Bonds." Abreu is great with the stick and has produced some eye-popping numbers. During the 2010-11 season in Cuba, Abreu hit an astounding .453 with 33 homers and 93 RBI in just 66 games played (per Baseball-Reference.com)

If you're going to watch any game during this tourney, a showdown between two of the best teams is the one to make time for.

 

Pool C: Venezuela vs. Dominican Republic

There is no shortage of talent on either roster in this game and major league players will be all over the place.

Venezuela will feature MVP and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, as well as other talents like Carlos Gonzalez, Elvis Andrus, Asdrubal Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval.

The Dominican Republic will trot out Robinson Cano, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Nelson Cruz and Edwin Encarnacion to the field.

There's no question these two squads have two of the deepest lineups in this event.

 

Pool D: United States vs. Mexico

The United States might have the deepest lineup of all the participants.

The U.S. has a ton of talent in its batting order, including Ryan Braun, Giancarlo Stanton, Adam Jones, Shane Victorino, Mark Teixeira, Brandon Phillips, Jimmy Rollins and David Wright.

Mexico doesn't have anywhere near the amount of talent that the Americans do, but players such as slugger Adrian Gonzalez and reliever Sergio Romo will do their best to make up for what this team lacks.

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