Oct 4, 2011; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chase Field will serve as one venue for Pool D play during the upcoming World Baseball Classic. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

World Baseball Classic Starts Tonight

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I know it has its detractors. I know there are some that think this idea is flat our ridiculous. I know some are excited to watch baseball regardless of the circumstances. That’s what the World Baseball Classic faces in 2013.

First round play commences this evening with the debut of World Baseball Classic Live at 11:30 PM ET on MLB Network followed by the opening game from Taichung, Taiwan. Australia and Chinese Taipei will be featured in the game with JB Long and Joe Magrane as its announcers. The team of Hall and Magrane will provide the coverage for all games in Taichung.

Also, at 5 AM ET on Saturday, Barry Larkin and Brazil will face Japan. This game will also air on MLBN. In fact, all 39 WBC games will air on MLBN.

Tomorrow morning at 11 AM ET, World Baseball Classic Today will mark its first broadcast. Here’s the announcer assignments for the entire tournament (subject to change):

First Round

Pool A: Brazil, China, Cuba, Japan – March 2-6
Rich Waltz and Buck Martinez – Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome, Fukuoka, Japan

Pool B: Australia, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Netherlands – March 1-5
JB Long and Joe Magrane – Taipei Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, Taichung, Taiwan

Pool C: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, Venezuela – March 7-10
Gary Thorne and Jose Mota – Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Pool D: Canada, Italy, Mexico, United States – March 7-10
Matt Yallof and Jeff Nelson – Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Phoenix
Matt Vasgersian, Jim Kaat and Sam Ryan – Chase Field, Phoenix

Second Round

Pool 1: Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan – March 7-12
Rich Waltz and Buck Martinez

Pool 2: Marlins Park, Miami – March 12-16
March 12-13: Matt Vasgersian, John Smoltz and Heidi Watney
March 14: Matt Vasgersian, Tom Verducci and Heidi Watney
March 15: Matt Vasgersian, Harold Reynolds and Heidi Watney
March 16: Matt Vasgersian, Harold Reynolds, Tom Verducci and Heidi Watney

Championship Round

Semi-finals: AT&T Park, San Francisco – March 17-18
Matt Vasgersian, Jim Kaat and Tom Verducci

Championship: AT&T Park, San Francisco – March 19
Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and Tom Verducci

Be sure to check out mlbnetwork.com for the schedule for start times.

Here are some links that will hopefully enhance your WBC experience:
International Baseball Federation
World Baseball Classic
Baseball de World

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