For MLB fans waiting with bated breath for the new season, there is some good news. The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is returning in 2023 and will feature a slurry of prime MLB talent.
The 2023 World Baseball Classic will be played between March 8th and March 21st, 2023, at stadiums around the USA, Japan, and Taiwan. It is carefully planned to take place before the majors season, not interfering with any team schedules.
It is the first WBC to be played since 2017. The USA captured the title last time around, with Puerto Rico finishing in second place. Japan and the Netherlands rounded up the top four.
The USA looks set to contend once again this year. Captained by star Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, they feature a stacked composition of world-class talent. Team USA is certainly the team to beat in the 2023 World Baseball Classic tournament.
“INF Nicky Lopez and 1B Vinnie Pasquantino are joining Team Italy for the 2023 World Baseball Classic in March, the Royals announced” – @ The Athletic MLB
Italy does not exactly come to mind when you think of baseball-mad countries. However, the team is usually comprised of Italian-Americans. This year, it will feature MLB players like Jordan Romano of the Toronto Blue Jays and Trey Mancini of the Houston Astros.
Perhaps the most notable part of Italy’s 2023 WBC team is their manager. Mike Piazza has been selected as the manager of the Italian team. Piazza played in the majors from 1992 to 2007, winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 1993, as well as a dozen All-Star selections.
“Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza will be the manager of Team Italy for the 2021 World Baseball Classic!” – @ World Baseball Classic
Piazza, who was born in Pennsylvania to a father who was born in Italy, was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016. His number 31 was retired by the New York Mets.
Although the Italian team may have the odds stacked against them in the tournament, their manager’s baseball knowledge will undoubtedly benefit them.
The prominence of MLB players and coaches makes the WBC worth watching
The World Baseball Classic is a time when pro players can come forward and compete for their national team. This makes for an exciting, competitive atmosphere.
It’s also the perfect occasion to warm fans up for the subsequent MLB season that’ll start shortly after the WBC on March 30th.