Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Red Sox and the World Baseball Classic

There's less buzz about the World Baseball Classic among Red Sox fans this time around than there has been in the past - mostly because far fewer Red Sox players are among the participants.  In 2009, the Sox lent out David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Marco Scutaro to various teams, while this year the Sox major league players at the WBC are limited to Shane Victorino and Alfredo Aceves.

Aceves, playing for Mexico, and Victorino, playing for the USA, are both in Pool D for the first round, and are playing in Phoenix, Arizona. It's likely that at least one of them will advance to the second round, which will be played in Miami, and should USA or Mexico make the semifinals and finals, they'll be headed out to AT&T Park in San Francisco. If you want more detailed info about this year's World Baseball Classic, check out this awesome infographic from MLB.

Former Red Sox Daisuke Matsuzaka was the MVP in the 2006 and 2009 tournaments, leading Japan to the title in both of the first two WBCs. However, the thirty-two year old pitcher is not on Japan's roster this year, guaranteeing that there will be a new MVP for the first time in the WBC's short history. My money is still on Japan to take the whole thing, but I couldn't begin to make an MVP projection.

The Red Sox will face off against the Puerto Rican WBC team in an exhibition tonight at JetBlue Park. John Lackey will start the game for the Red Sox, but he is just one of five Sox pitchers scheduled to get his work in during the contest.

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