The 2013 World Baseball Classic will be an international baseball competition. The main tournament is scheduled to be held from March 2 to 19. For the first time, a qualifying round was played during the second half of 2012 that expands tournament participation from 16 to 28 teams.
Japan enters as the two-time defending champion, having won the first two World Baseball Classics in 2006 and 2009.[
PHOENIX — For the second time since the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, the Phoenix area will be home to one of the first four pools, beginning next Thursday when Italy plays Mexico in a 1 p.m. MT game at Salt River Fields, the Spring Training complex shared by the D-backs and Rockies.
Team USA and Team Canada complete the bracket in which four of the six games will be played at Chase Field. The U.S. opens with one of the most exciting games of the weekend against neighboring Mexico on Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at Chase Field.
MLB Network will broadcast all 39 games in a tournament that eventually closes with the semifinals and final March 17-19 in San Francisco’s AT&T Park.
“It’s going to be a blast,” D-backs president Derrick Hall said. “We bid for it because we were hosts for the first round of the first one in 2006 and we thought it was such a success. The U.S.-Mexico game should be quite an event. We’ll continue to market to our Hispanic friends and across the border to Mexico, and hopefully get visitors up here again to watch those games. Last time, we couldn’t keep merchandise on the shelf, and the World Baseball Classic is much more popular now.”
The U.S. plays the other two premier games at Chase Field in the round-robin first round: on Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m. against Italy and Sunday, March 10, at 1 p.m. against Canada. There’s a day-night doubleheader under the dome on March 9 with Canada playing Mexico at 12:30 p.m.
The top 12 teams that participated in the 2009 World Baseball Classic were invited back for the 2013 tournament. Spain, Canada, Brazil and Chinese Taipei won their pools of qualification.