Major League Baseball Expands The World Baseball Classic

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIJune 1, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 23:  Starting pitcher Jungkeun Bong #51 of Korea throws the first pitch of the game to Ichiro Suzuki #51 of Japan during the finals of the 2009 World Baseball Classic on March 23, 2009 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Japan won 5-3 in 10 innings.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

How about some World Baseball Classic news for the first time in a while? Sadly, some people reading this right now are even wondering what the WBC is.

The WBC is Major League Baseball's version of the World Cup, and in 2013, it’s going to get a makeover. The previous two WBCs featured 16 countries fighting it out for world domination, but in 2013, the WBC will expand to 28 countries.

Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Philippines, Spain and Thailand will now field teams in this tournament. So here is how the tournament will work going forward.

The 12 new countries mentioned above will join Canada, Chinese Taipei, Panama and South Africa and compete in a double-elimination qualifying round. Canada, Chinese Taipei, Panama and South Africa will compete in this round because they didn’t win a game in the 2009 WBC.

The 16 teams will broken up into four pools and the four winners of each pool will advance to the WBC tournament. The pools will be determined by geographical location, competitive balance and regional rivalries.

While I am not a fan of the WBC in general, I think expanding the field is a good idea. Baseball is doing its best to become a global game like basketball or soccer, and having more countries participate in this event can only help that cause.