The World Baseball Classic Canceled

World Baseball Classic

Amid all the talk of player salaries and a plan for some type of 2020 season, some big news has dropped.Reported by Bob Nightengale, there will be more pause in the baseball world as the World Baseball Classic has been canceled.

There will not be games played in 2021. This comes as quite a stunner as the tournament was set to undergo some big changes. The most notable was the expansion to 20 teams. The tournament itself was also set to take place across the countries of Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. The original dates for the classic were set for March 9-23 of next year.

According to sources, the push to still have a 2020 season is a top priority. While the WBC has been put on the back burner. The WBC itself is a collectively bargained event and must have approval from both the MLB and the players association and has not been addressed yet. For fans of the WBC, there may be a reason to worry further. Because the current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire in December of 2021, there may not be any WBC action until 2023.

Domino effect

The news comes as part of a domino effect on baseball. The cancellation of the WBC follows the postponement of the 2020 Olympics set in Tokyo. It’s another bruise to baseball fans as both baseball and softball were set to make a return to the Olympics. That would have marked the end to a 12-year absence.

For the World Baseball Classic, the tournament picture was almost complete as 16 teams had already punched their tickets. Those teams included the United States, Venezuela, Canada, China, Australia, Chinese Taipei, Mexico, Columbia, Cuba, Isreal, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Korea, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. There was a qualifying event scheduled in Arizona in March for 12 remaining teams to punch their respective tickets. That has since been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last four World Baseball Classics, Japan has claimed two titles (2006 and 2009) followed by the Dominican Republic in 2013. The United States claimed the most recent WBC title back in 2017.

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