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2006 World Baseball Classic

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The 2006 World Baseball Classic was international baseball tournament that included players from Major League Baseball. The competition was held from March 3 to March 20 in stadiums in Japan, Puerto Rico, and the United States. The competition was won by Japan.

Contents

[edit] Competing Nations

The teams selected for the inaugural World Baseball Classic were chosen because they were judged to be the "best baseball-playing nations in the world and provide global representation for the event." There was no official qualifying competition.

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
Flag of People's Republic of China China China Flag of Canada Canada Canada Flag of Cuba Cuba Cuba Flag of Australia Australia Australia
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei Taiwan Flag of Mexico Mexico Mexico Flag of Netherlands Netherlands The Netherlands Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Flag of Japan Japan Japan Flag of South Africa South Africa South Africa Flag of Panama Panama Panama Flag of Italy Italy Italy
Flag of South Korea South Korea South Korea Flag of United States United States United States Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Flag of Venezuela Venezuela Venezuela

[edit] Format

The first World Baseball Classic featured 16 teams in a round-robin style tournament. Each team played the other three teams in their pool once. The top two teams of each pool moved onto the second round, where the top two teams of Pools A and B (Pool 1) and the top two teams of Pools C and D (Pool 2) competed against each other in another round-robin. The top two teams from each pool in the scond round entered a four-team single elimination bracket, with the pool champions and runners-up facing each other in the semifinals. The winners of the semifinal games then met to determine the champion.

[edit] Competition Dates, and Venues

Round One Round Two Semifinals Finals
Pool A Flag of Japan Japan March 3March 5
Tokyo Dome
Tokyo, Japan
Pool 1
Top two teams from Pools A and B
March 12March 16
Angel Stadium
Anaheim, CA
Semifinal 1
Pool 1 Winner versus Pool 1 Runnerup
March 18
PETCO Park
San Diego, CA
Semifinal 1 Winner versus Semifinal 2 Winner
March 20
PETCO Park
San Diego, CA
Flag of South Korea South Korea
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
Flag of People's Republic of China China
Pool B Flag of United States United States March 7March 10
Chase Field/Scottsdale Stadium
Phoenix, AZ/Scottsdale, AZ
Flag of Canada Canada
Flag of Mexico Mexico
Flag of South Africa South Africa
Pool C Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico March 7March 10
Hiram Bithorn Stadium
San Juan, PR
Pool 2
Top two teams from Pools C and D
March 12March 16
Hiram Bithorn Stadium
San Juan, PR
Semifinal 2
Pool 2 Winner versus Pool 2 Runnerup
March 18
PETCO Park
San Diego, CA
Flag of Cuba Cuba
Flag of Panama Panama
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands
Pool D Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic March 7March 10
Cracker Jack Stadium
Lake Buena Vista, FL
Flag of Venezuela Venezuela
Flag of Australia Australia
Flag of Italy Italy

[edit] Results

Further information: 2006 World Baseball Classic (Results)

[edit] Round One

Korea (3-0) won Pool A, and Japan (2-1) finished second, enabling both to move into Pool 1. Taiwan (1-2) and China (0-3) were eliminated after Pool A play.

Pool A Standings
Team W L RS RA RS/9 RA/9 Tiebreaker
Flag of South Korea South Korea 3 0 15 3 5.19 1.00 -
Flag of Japan Japan 2 1 34 8 12.75 3.00 -
Flag of Republic of China Taiwan 1 2 15 19 5.40 6.84 -
Flag of People's Republic of China China 0 3 6 40 2.08 14.40 -

Mexico (2-1) won Pool B, and the United States (2-1) finished second, placing both into Pool 1 as well. Canada (2-1) was eliminated based on a runs-allowed tiebreaker. South Africa (0-3) was eliminated but surprised many by posting respectable scores against Canada and Mexico.

Pool B Standings
Team W L RS RA RS/9 RA/9 Tiebreaker
Flag of Mexico Mexico 2 1 19 7 6.58 2.42 1-1, 1.59 RA/9
Flag of United States United States 2 1 25 8 10.23 3.13 1-1, 4.00 RA/9
Flag of Canada Canada 2 1 20 23 6.67 7.67 1-1, 7.50 RA/9
Flag of South Africa South Africa 0 3 12 38 4.70 6.92 -

Puerto Rico (3-0) won Pool D and Cuba (2-1) attained spots in Pool 2. The Netherlands (1-2) and Panama (0-3) were eliminated after Pool C play.

Pool C Standings
Team W L RS RA RS/9 RA/9 Tiebreaker
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 3 0 22 6 8.25 2.16 -
Flag of Cuba Cuba 2 1 21 20 7.00 6.67 -
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 1 2 15 19 5.40 6.84 -
Flag of Panama Panama 0 3 7 20 2.33 6.92 -

The Dominican Republic (3-0) won Pool D with Venezuela (2-1) as the runner-up, putting both teams into Pool 2. Italy (1-2) and Australia (0-3) were eliminated.

Pool D Standings
Team W L RS RA RS/9 RA/9 Tiebreaker
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 3 0 25 12 9.00 4.00 -
Flag of Venezuela Venezuela 2 1 13 11 4.50 3.67 -
Flag of Italy Italy 1 2 13 14 4.68 5.48 -
Flag of Australia Australia 0 3 4 18 1.44 6.85 -

[edit] Round Two

Korea went undefeated to win Pool 1. Japan was the runner-up despite losing to twice following the United States lost to Mexico.

Pool 1 Standings
Team W L RS RA RS/9 RA/9 Tiebreaker
Flag of South Korea South Korea 3 0 11 5 3.96 1.67 -
Flag of Japan Japan 1 2 10 7 3.33 2.36 1-1, 2.50 RA/9
Flag of United States United States 1 2 8 12 2.67 4.32 1-1, 2.64 RA/9
Flag of Mexico Mexico 1 2 4 9 1.38 3.12 1-1, 3.50 RA/9

The Dominican Republic won Pool 2 with its win over Cuba, the runner-up.

Pool 2 Standings
Team W L RS RA RS/9 RA/9 Tiebreaker
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 2 1 10 11 3.46 3.67 1-0
Flag of Cuba Cuba 2 1 14 12 4.67 4.00 0-1
Flag of Venezuela Venezuela 1 2 9 9 3.00 3.12 1-0
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 1 2 10 11 3.33 3.67 0-1

[edit] Semifinals

The Cuba defeated the Dominican Republic 3 to 1.

South Korea lost to Japan 6-0, despite narrowly beating them twice in the early rounds.

[edit] Finals

Japan defeated Cuba by a score of 10 to 6, to become the winner of the inaugural World Baseball Classic.

[edit] Final Standings

Round Rank Team Record Tiebreaker
Finals 1 Flag of Japan Japan 5-3 -
2 Flag of Cuba Cuba 5-3 -
Semifinals 3 Flag of South Korea South Korea 6-1 -
4 Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 5-2 -
Round 2 5 Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 4-2 -
6 Flag of Mexico Mexico 3-3 2.72 RA/9
7 Flag of Venezuela Venezuela 3-3 3.40 RA/9
8 Flag of United States United States 3-3 3.75 RA/9
Round 1 9 Flag of Canada Canada 2-1 -
10 Flag of Italy Italy 1-2 5.48 RA/9
11 Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 1-2 6.84 RA/9, 6.48 ERA
12 Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 1-2 6.84 RA/9, 6.84 ERA
13 Flag of Australia Australia 0-3 6.85 RA/9
14 Flag of Panama Panama 0-3 6.92 RA/9
15 Flag of People's Republic of China China 0-3 14.40 RA/9
16 Flag of South Africa South Africa 0-3 15.55 RA/9

[edit] Awards

All-Tourney team

[edit] Statistics

[edit] Team Batting

Ordered by OPS
Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Flag of Canada Canada 3 104 20 29 10 4 2 17 53 23 24 2 2 .280 .420 .510 .930
Flag of Japan Japan 8 270 60 84 9 3 10 57 129 32 39 13 2 .310 .390 .480 .870
Flag of United States United States 6 197 33 57 7 2 9 32 95 19 26 1 1 .290 .360 .480 .840
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 6 203 32 58 9 0 8 31 91 24 34 7 3 .290 .370 .450 .810
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 7 233 36 61 8 0 9 28 96 33 33 6 4 .260 .360 .410 .780
Flag of Cuba Cuba 8 279 44 79 12 1 8 41 117 24 51 3 4 .280 .360 .420 .780
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 3 102 15 27 9 0 1 11 39 7 21 3 1 .270 .340 .380 .720
Flag of South Korea South Korea 7 218 26 53 13 1 6 26 86 16 51 2 0 .240 .310 .390 .700
Flag of Italy Italy 3 95 13 19 8 2 2 13 37 11 24 0 0 .200 .290 .390 .680
Flag of Mexico Mexico 6 189 23 44 11 1 5 21 72 15 36 2 0 .230 .290 .380 .670
Flag of Venezuela Venezuela 6 188 22 35 6 0 7 20 62 35 40 2 1 .190 .320 .330 .650
Flag of South Africa South Africa 3 87 12 22 3 1 0 11 27 7 34 0 2 .250 .330 .310 .640
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 3 102 15 27 3 0 0 11 30 11 22 0 0 .270 .340 .290 .640
Flag of People's Republic of China China 3 92 6 17 4 0 2 5 27 9 33 0 2 .190 .290 .290 .580
Flag of Panama Panama 3 91 7 15 3 0 1 7 21 10 16 0 1 .170 .280 .230 .510
Flag of Australia Australia 3 80 4 9 2 0 0 3 11 7 32 3 2 .110 .190 .140 .330

[edit] Team Pitching

Ordered by ERA
Team W L ERA G CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HBP BB SO WHIP HLD GF
Flag of South Korea South Korea 6 1 2.00 7 0 1 4 63.0 45 14 14 7 4 18 50 1.00 8 7
Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 4 2 2.08 6 0 0 1 52.0 33 17 12 3 5 22 28 1.06 5 6
Flag of Japan Japan 5 3 2.49 8 0 1 2 68.2 52 21 19 7 8 11 62 0.92 3 8
Flag of Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 5 2 2.57 7 0 0 3 63.0 56 26 18 3 4 23 53 1.25 6 7
Flag of Mexico Mexico 3 3 2.77 6 0 0 1 52.0 41 16 16 4 3 17 37 1.12 4 6
Flag of Venezuela Venezuela 3 3 3.06 6 0 3 1 53.0 39 20 18 6 0 20 55 1.11 7 6
Flag of United States United States 3 3 3.75 6 0 2 1 48.0 43 20 20 4 3 17 48 1.25 4 6
Flag of Cuba Cuba 5 3 4.13 8 0 0 4 72.0 66 43 33 7 6 41 51 1.49 2 8
Flag of Italy Italy 1 2 4.30 3 0 1 0 23.0 21 14 11 4 2 8 16 1.26 0 3
Flag of Panama Panama 0 3 5.19 3 0 0 0 26.0 33 20 15 2 5 13 17 1.77 0 3
Flag of Netherlands Netherlands 1 2 6.48 3 1 1 0 25.0 30 19 18 5 3 8 14 1.52 0 2
Flag of Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 1 2 6.84 3 0 0 0 25.0 31 19 19 1 2 14 22 1.80 0 3
Flag of Australia Australia 0 3 6.85 3 0 0 0 23.2 24 18 18 3 2 26 16 2.11 0 3
Flag of Canada Canada 2 1 7.33 3 0 0 2 27.0 32 23 22 3 3 13 18 1.67 2 3
Flag of People's Republic of China China 0 3 9.72 3 0 0 0 25.0 48 40 27 6 4 10 16 2.32 0 3
Flag of South Africa South Africa 0 3 13.50 3 0 0 0 22.0 42 38 33 5 2 22 13 2.91 0 3

[edit] Batting Leaders

A minimum 2.7 plate appearances/game needed to qualifiy

At Bats

Hits

Runs

Doubles

Triples

  • 15 tied with 1

Home Runs

Runs Batted In

Total Bases

Walks

Strikeouts

Stolen Bases

Batting Average

On-Base Percentage

Slugging Percentage

On-base plus Slugging

[edit] Pitching Leaders

A minimum 0.8 innings pitched/game needed to qualify

Wins

Losses

Saves

Games

Games Started

Complete Games

Shutouts

Innings Pitched

Hits Allowed

Runs Allowed

Earned Runs Allowed

Home Runs Allowed

Batters Hit

Walks

Strikeouts

Holds

Games Finished

Earned Run Average

Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched

[edit] Controversies

This page needs wiki formatting, links and a general cleanup.

[edit] Cuba

The Cuban National Team announced it would not allow players who had defected to the United States to play in the major leagues to play on their team, eliminating big names such as Orlando Hernandez, Jose Contreras, Danys Baez, and Rafael Palmeiro. One former defector, Livan Hernandez, expressed interest in pitching for Puerto Rico because he owns a house there and the rules allow players to compete for a nation based on permanent residency.

On December 14, it was also reported that the United States Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control denied the Cuban National Team a license to play due to the continuing [U.S. embargo against Cuba, the embargo being in place to prevent Cuba from making a profit at the expense of the United States.

Afterwards, Cuban President Fidel Castro announced publicly that any profit made by Cuba in the Classic would be donated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Major League Baseball's commissioner's office and the MLBPA both resubmitted Cuba's application soon after the announcement [1].

In response to the possible exclusion of Cuba, the Puerto Rican Baseball Federation stated that it did not plan to hold games if Cuba was not allowed to participate [2]. On January 6, 2006, the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), baseball's world governing body, also threatened to withdraw its sanctioning of the World Baseball Classic unless the Bush administration allowed Cuba to compete. A withdrawal would have dealt a crippling blow to the tournament, affecting many of the teams involved [3]. The IOC also said not allowing them to play would damage future American cities bids to host Olympics

The entire issue came to resolution, however, on January 20 2006, when the U.S. Treasury Department issued a license to Cuba. Department spokeswoman Molly Millerwise announced that by "working closely with World Baseball Inc. and the United States Department of State, we were able to reach a licensable agreement that upholds both the legal scope and the spirit of the sanctions...This agreement ensures that no funding will make its way into the hands of the Castro regime." [4]

The Miami Herald reported that in the March 9, 2006 game between Cuba and the Netherlands, Jose Garcia, a Cuban exile living in San Juan held up a sign saying, Abajo Fidel (Down with Fidel). The sign was clearly seen on the international feed which was carried in Cuba. He was confronted in the stands by four Cuban delegates. One of them, Angel Iglesias, vice-president of Cuba's National Institute of Sports, rushed to confront the man. Puerto Rican police intervened and took Iglesias to a police station and lectured him about free speech. [5]

After this incident, the Cuban Baseball Federation made a deal with World Baseball Classic organizers to ban political signs from the stands. During the second game of Pool 2 play between Cuba and the Dominican Republic, a group of fans caused a scuffle at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, spelling "Abajo Fidel" with the letters on their shirts. The fans also had a small sign with the same message about the Cuban president, as did an airplane pulling a sign that appeared over the ballpark.

Other spectators chanted "Fuera! (Take them out!)" and security guards took the sign away and asked the fans with the anti-Castro message to change shirts or leave the ballpark. The anti-Castro fans wore two shirts to hide the letters when they entered the stadium, and they put their second shirts back on after an inning-long confrontation in the fifth.

Cuba refused to attend the post-game news conference for the second time in the tournament. Cuba also did not speak to journalists after the game between Cuba and the Netherlands.[6]

[edit] Taiwan

The Taiwanese baseball team was originally listed as "Taiwan" and bearing the flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan), but under political pressure from the People's Republic of China, was later changed to Chinese Taipei and bearing the Chinese Taipei Olympic Flag (Chinese Taipei). [7],[8], [9]

Additionally, at the website of the WBC, the introduction of the Taiwanese team [10] is a completely different article from the Chinese translation. [11] The original article that the Chinese translation was based on was removed, and the Chinese version changed "Taiwan" to "Chinese Taipei" during the process of translation (See the difference). The official TV commercial contains neither ROC flags—see below.

However, MLB has given Taiwan a sympathetic ear on occasion, such as the recap of its 12-3 win over China. [12]

[edit] TV Commercial

At the end of the official World Baseball Classic television commercial, the background is composed of flags of the participating nations, along with the WBC logo in the center and a URL to the official website. However the background contains a few errors:

  • Both the Cuban (Cuba) and South Korean flags (South Korea) are flipped horizontally.
  • A flag representing the Taiwanese team (either Taiwan or Chinese Taipei) is missing.
  • The Italian flag (Italy) in the upper middle section is twice as large as the other flags, probably to compensate for the space that should have had the Taiwanese flag.

[edit] Umpires

[edit] Sacrifice fly appeal, Japan vs. United States

In the top of the eighth inning of the second-round game between Japan and United States, a Japanese run was nullified when the umpiring crew ruled that Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who was on third base, left the base before USA leftfielder Randy Winn caught the ball. Although the second-base umpire declared that the Japanese runner had tagged-up properly and was safe, home-plate umpire Bob Davidson met with the other umpires and ruled that the runner had left early. The third-base umpire had gone into left field to watch the catch and was not in any position to make a call [13].

Slow motion video replays (which baseball umpires do not have access to) appeared to show Nishioka's foot on the bag when the catch is made, but his movement before the catch may have confused the home-plate umpire, as the runner's upper body appeared to begin moving before his foot left the bag. Baseball etiquette states that the home plate umpire should make the final call on tag-up plays. Therefore, the call stood and the U.S. ended up winning the game by one run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Japanese manager Sadaharu Oh called the ruling "a pity" and stated that he had never seen a call overturned in that manner before [14].

For a few moments after the call was decided, it looked as if the Japanese team might not return to the field, thus forfeiting the game. Ultimately they took the field and the game resumed.

Some have pointed out that only the third-base umpire, Australian Neil Poulton, was not from the U.S., as well as the fact that it appeared that the home plate umpire was persuaded to make the call by USA manager Buck Martinez. Some argued that the call did not end the game, only the inning, and some will argue that Alex Rodriguez's single in the ninth inning would have scored two runs in any case (had the next run mattered). However, others countered that had Japan scored that run by Nishioka, they would have deployed their closer Akinori Otsuka to pitch the ninth inning.

Despite the controversy, Japan went on to the semi-finals, and eventually won the championship.

[edit] Home Run off foul pole, MEX vs. USA

In the bottom of the third inning of the second-round game between Mexico and the United States, Mexican hitter Mario Valenzuela batted a ball into right field that bounced off the yellow foul pole (later proven by the yellow paint mark on the baseball [15]) and back onto the field. By rule, the hit was a home run. First base umpire Bob Davidson, though, ruled that the ball remained in play and credited Valenzuela with a double, the strident protests of Mexican manager Paquin Estrada notwithstanding. Valenzuela would score later this inning on a Jorge Cantu single. Mexico went on to win the game, 2-1.

[edit] Format

In the Classic, the Korean team played in and won every game they played in Pool A. They advanced to round two, again winning all three games to secure a place in the semifinals. However, in the semifinals, the Korean team lost to the Japanese team, who they had beaten twice previously. In Korea this led to controversy over the regulations of the WBC concerning the fact that Korea had to face Japan three times and that it was Japan that was allowed to go to the finals, when it had four victories and three losses up to that point, two of those losses to Korea, while the Korean team, which had only one loss and had already beaten Japan twice, was eliminated from the finals.

Japan, despite winning the tournament, finished with a 5-3 (.625) overall record that was actually only tied with Cuba for the fourth best among tournament teams, ranking behind Korea (6-1, .857), the Dominican Republic (5-2, .714), and Puerto Rico (4-2, .667). However, the Japanese team ranked first in batting average (.314), runs (47), number of hits (74), homeruns (10), and stolen bases (12), all ahead of Korea. They also scored 4 more runs (9-5), 12 more hits (24-12), 3 more homeruns (4-1), and 4 more stolen bases (4-0) than Korea in their three head-to-head games in the WBC.

Also, there was no 3rd place game, and it was unevenly balanced. For example, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic were in the same pool. Many said they were the 2 most loaded teams, and should've been on opposite sides of the bracket.

[edit] Drug Testing

Myung-hwan Park, a pitcher for the Korean team, was disqualified from the WBC after testing positive for the use of an illegal substance. The type of the substance has not been announced yet. Park will be banned from international baseball competition for the next two years, and will be banned for life if he tests positive again.

[edit] Additional Rules

There were several rule changes from normal major league play. Pitchers were held to a pitch count of 65 pitches in the first round, 80 pitches in the second round, and 95 in the semifinals and championship rounds. If a pitcher reached his maximum pitch count in the middle of an at-bat, he could continue to pitch to that batter, but was required to be replaced once that at-bat ended. A 30-pitch outing needed to be followed by one day off, and a 50-pitch outing by four days off. No one would be allowed to pitch on three consecutive days. A mercy rule would come into effect with one team leading by either fifteen runs after five innings, or ten runs after seven innings in the first two rounds of play. In addition, ties could be called after fourteen innings of play.

The designated hitter rule was in place for all games.

[edit] Success of tournament

Many members of the United States press, and New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, were skeptical of the Classic since its inception. The event proved to be quite popular, however, providing many memorable moments including a first round game between Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Attendance was higher than expected at several sites, including the 19,000-seat Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, which was sold out for every Puerto Rico game in the first two rounds. Though international ratings figures are not yet available, viewership is expected to be high, ESPN spokeswoman Diane Lamb said. In addition, there were 4,000 media credentials issued — more than the World Series and the Olympic Games — which bodes well for the stated goal of internationalizing the sport. Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci reported that "more merchandise was sold in the first round than organizers projected for the entire 17-day event." [16] He also reported that, at one point, jerseys for the Venezuelan team were selling at the rate of one every six seconds.

The US television ratings on ESPN were stronger than initially expected, drawing in more than one million television sets for some games, more than almost any other ESPN program in the month of March. This occurred despite less than stellar airing times for the games. Most were not aired live but taped, and sometimes with innings cut, as the WBC was organized well after ESPN had committed to much of its programming. These ratings all but assure the next WBC, in 2009, will be awarded more live broadcasts during prime time.

[edit] Allocation of Earnings

The total earnings of WBC is divided into net profit (53%) and prize money (47%).

[edit] Net Profit

  • World Baseball Classic Inc.: 17.5%
  • Baseball Players Union: 17.5%
  • Japanese Baseball Organization: 7%
  • Korean Baseball Organization: 5%
  • Korean Baseball Union: 5%
  • Miscellaneous expenses: 1%

[edit] Prize Money

  • Japanese team (1st place): 10%
  • Cuban team (2nd place): 7% - Donated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina
  • Korean and Dominican teams (semi-finalists): 5% each
  • The 4 teams that drop out of the second round: 3% each
  • The 8 teams that drop out of preliminaries: 1% each

[edit] See Also

[edit] External links

[edit] Official site

[edit] News and media


Some or all content from this article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "2006 World Baseball Classic".

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