World Baseball Classic returns after 6-year hiatus

The international tournament will feature 20 teams, up from 16 in previous years, and be played over a longer period of time to allow for more games.
Baseball fans hold national flags of Cuba, Taiwan and Netherlands at a World Baseball Classic game.
Posted at 2:48 PM, Mar 08, 2023

The World Baseball Classic is back and underway for the first time since 2017.

The revamped tournament kicked off Wednesday, with the Netherlands defeating Cuba 4-2. In the later Group A game, Panama defeated the host country, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), 12-5 for its first win in tournament history.

The WBC is an international tournament intended to be held every four years, excluding the first two due to formatting changes and this year's tournament, which was delayed two years due to theCOVID-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, the WBC has been praised for its ability to showcase the talents of the best players from countries around the globe as they compete for the title of world champion.

It's also been credited with growing the popularity of the sport, particularly in countries like Japan, South Korea, and the Dominican Republic.

The tournament was first held in 2006 and has crowned four champions since: Japan (2006, 2009), the Dominican Republic (2013), and the United States (2017).

This year's edition of the WBC promises to be even more exciting than previous years, with more teams and more games than ever before.

The tournament will feature 20 teams, up from 16 in previous years, and will be played over a longer period of time to allow for more games.

The games will be held at four locations around the globe: the United States, Mexico, Japan, and Taiwan, with the semi-finals and championship rounds being held in Miami, Florida. 

Here's a look at remaining games this week

(All times Eastern in U.S.)

Wednesday, March 8:

Australia vs. Korea - 9 p.m.

Panama vs. Netherlands - 11 p.m.

Thursday, March 9:

China vs. Japan - 4 a.m.

Italy vs. Cuba - 5 a.m.

Czech Republic vs. China - 9 p.m.

Cuba vs. Panama - 10:30 p.m.

Friday, March 10:

Korea vs. Japan - 4 a.m.

Italy vs. Chinese Taipei - 5 a.m.

China vs. Australia - 9 p.m.

Panama vs. Italy - 10 p.m.

Saturday, March 11:

Czech Republic vs. Japan - 4 a.m.

Netherlands vs. Chinese Taipei - 5 a.m.

Nicaragua vs. Puerto Rico - 11 a.m.

Colombia vs. Mexico - 1:30 p.m.

Dominican Republic vs. Venezuela - 6 p.m.

United States vs. Great Britain - 8 p.m.

Czech Republic vs. Korea - 9 p.m.

Chinese Taipei vs. Cuba - 10 p.m.

For the full schedule and pool standings, click here.

Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu
Related Story

U.S. allows MLB start to play for their home country in World Baseball Classic

MLB stars such as José Abreu, Yordan Alvarez, Randy Arozarena, Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert can now decide whether to play for Cuba in the WBC.