What Is the World Baseball Classic and When Is It?
The World Baseball classic is a professional International baseball tournament. It is entering its fifth year in 2023, with the pandemic postponing previous participation that was supposed to resume in 2021. Previous installations have held sixteen teams, however, this year the WBC is up to twenty teams participating. This year, the WBC begins with “round-robin” style tournaments March 8th-March 15th. The semi-finals occur March 19th-20th, and the championship game will be held March 21st in Miami, Florida.
How Does the World Baseball Classic Actually Work?
Four pools of five teams each (thus, 20 teams in total) compete in round-robin style tournaments. The best two teams from each pool move on to the quarter-finals, then the top single-elimination games are held. Teams then advance to the semi-finals, and the best of the best are determined at the championship game. Many former Major League Baseball players have spots on their country’s team.
Italy's World Classic Plans
Italy’s 2023 team roster is currently in the works. Currently ranked at 16th in the WBC, the team is eager to work their way up the rankings. Thirteen players have already committed to play this upcoming season under MLB contracts. The team does not have extensive time to prepare, however, they are committed to performing exceptionally this year.
Mike Piazza-Italy's Coach
Does that name sound familiar? Well, it should! Mike Piazza is a former Catcher and First Baseman that played 16 seasons in the MLB. Best known for his spots with the LA Dodgers and NY Mets, Piazza’s retirement from the MLB sparked an inspiration to coach team Italy for the WBC. His love for baseball and Hall of Fame status makes him the right man for the job. Piazza has previously stated that he is very proud of his Italian-American heritage. He attributes his success in baseball to the encouraging relationship he had with his family.
When is the 2023 World Baseball Classic and how does it work?[NBC]
Nimmo, Mancini Headline Team Italy Roster for 2023 World Baseball Classic [FanNation]
Italy launch World Baseball Classic programme [WBSC]
Mike Piazza [BASEBALL REFERENCE]
Mike Piazza, A Touch of the Italian-American Heritage in the Baseball Hall of Fame [L’Italo Americano]