Saturday, March 11, 2006

World Cup of Baseball

Tomorrow I'll be spending half the day in the OC, watching two 2nd round games, at 1:00 Japan vs. USA and at 8:00 Korea vs. Mexico. Should be fun, and some good first games kick off the season.

One thing, though: everyone's hailing the World Baseball Classic as "Baseball's World Cup". (Googling "baseball world cup" gets you a whole bunch of WBC stories.) So what about, you know, the real World Cup of Baseball? It's been going on since 1938, and is run by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), the same group that oversees the WBC and Olympic baseball. The list of winners can be found here - I like that the first one had only two teams. The most recent World Cup of Baseball was in September 2005, won by Cuba and hosted by the Netherlands. (There it's called "Wereld Kop Honkbal", a name which, I'm sorry, is about 1000 times cooler than"World Baseball Classic").

So what happens to the real World Cup of Baseball? Does it continue, or does it get folded into the WBC? Do the Cubans and Dutch keep getting to send the same squads to both, while the US has two squads (professional and amateur) to represent them? It's weird just how little attention this 70-year old tournament has gotten through all this.

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