World Baseball Classic heats up

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Baseball fans around the world are tuning into the 2009 World Baseball Classic, which holds its final championship game on March 23. Who will it be?

At press time teams in the running include Japan, South Korea, Cuba, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.

South Korea will face Japan. These are two powerhouse teams that really know how to play fundamental baseball.

The U.S. is set to play Puerto Rico. The island nation clobbered the U.S. 11 to 1 in round one.

Whoever wins in these second round match ups will move to the semi-finals and those who lose will be eliminated.

Cuba, a world competitor who got the silver medal in the Beijing Olympics will face the winner in the Japan vs. Korea set. And Venezuela, a dominant team will play the winner in the U.S. vs. Puerto Rico match.

The WBC has been very exciting showcasing world talent and should be viewed as the real World Series. It would be great to see Cuba and Japan go at it again. Both teams played each other in the final game in 2006 and Japan won.

And the U.S. had better step up its game if they plan on making it past Puerto Rico. But they all better watch out for Venezuela. Let’s play some ball.

plozano@pww.org