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#pounditMonday, August 3, 2020

Articles tagged: world baseball classic

World Baseball Classic reportedly will not be played in 2021

Adam Jones WBC

Another sporting event has been pushed back, this time one set in 2021.

According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, the World Baseball Classic will not be played as scheduled in 2021. No alternative date was reported.

There are multiple reasons for this. Qualifying matches were supposed to take place throughout 2020, but those are off now. In addition, baseball will return to the Summer Olympics, which have also been pushed back to 2021. Playing both events in the same year likely wasn’t feasible.

We don’t yet know if the WBC will simply postpone to another year or skip the event completely this cycle and aim for a 2025 return. Part of the issue is that there’s still uncertainty surrounding the Olympics, which could make it very hard to reschedule with any certainty.

Tim Tebow will play for Philippines in World Baseball Classic

Tim Tebow Mets

Tim Tebow will be aiming to play in the World Baseball Classic in 2021 — but not for the United States.

It was announced Wednesday that Tebow will play for Team Philippines in WBC qualifiers ahead of the 2021 tournament.

How is Tebow eligible to represent the Philippines? He was actually born there, as his parents were working in the country as missionaries.

Before the Philippines can play in the tournament itself, they must make their way through qualifying. They have tried and failed to qualify for the main tournament in both 2013 and 2017.

Tebow’s baseball career has had less than stellar moments, and he certainly wouldn’t have a chance of making the United States team. However, the Philippines will be able to use his talents, and it will at least add an interesting angle to their qualifying campaign.

Yadier Molina rips Adam Jones for saying Puerto Rico celebrated early

Yadier Molina says Adam Jones made some uneducated comments about his opponent after the World Baseball Classic championship game, and the Puerto Rican team captain is demanding that Jones apologize for it.

After the United States dominated Puerto Rico with an 8-0 win on Wednesday, Jones said the U.S. team was motivated by the Puerto Rican players planning a celebration and having championship T-shirts made before the game was even played. Puerto Rico did, in fact, have a celebration, but Molina says the team was going to have one either way.

“Adam Jones … is talking about things he doesn’t know about,” Molina told ESPN. “He really has to get informed because he shouldn’t have said those comments, let alone in public and mocking the way [preparations] were made.

“He has to apologize to the Puerto Rican people. Obviously, you wanted to win; he didn’t know what this means to [our] people.”

Although they only took home a silver medal, Molina implied that award means more to the people of Puerto Rico than the gold means means to the U.S.

“That’s why I’m sending a message to [Jones], saying, ‘Look at this, right now you’re in spring training working out, and we’re with our people, with our silver medals,'” he said. “You’re in spring training and you’re working … you have no idea how to celebrate your honors, you don’t know what it means.”

Puerto Rico had gone 7-0 in the World Baseball Classic prior to the championship game. The country was incredibly excited about the run, and third baseman Carlos Correa echoed Molina’s sentiments.

“It’s funny because they have been talking about that, but it’s all about the country; it’s not about our team,” Correa said. “Our country has been behind us since we have started [the tournament]. When we were in Mexico, we told the governor in Puerto Rico that if we made it to the finals, we need to plane to get back and celebrate with our people.”

Like it or not, the World Baseball Classic created plenty of drama this time around. With the war of words between Puerto Rico and the U.S. and Adrian Gonzalez unloading on the tournament, no one can argue there was no entertainment.

Adam Jones: US was motivated by Puerto Rico’s celebration plans

Adam Jones WBC

The United States beat Puerto Rico 8-0 on Wednesday night in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic to clinch their first ever title in the event.

After the game, Adam Jones, who was stellar as a team leader, said on MLB Network that the team was motivated about some celebratory plans for Puerto Rico they heard about before the game.

“Before the game, we got a note that there was some championship shirts made — we didn’t make ‘em — and a flight. That didn’t sit well with us. And a parade — it didn’t sit well with us,” Jones said.

“So we did what we had to do. Stroman went out there and gave us his all. The players — they battled. The offense swung the bats, and we brought it home for the United States!”

Whether the information they got was accurate or not didn’t really matter. All that mattered is that it served to motivate the team and have them at their best.

ESPN’s Marly Rivera even says the flight and parade was happening win or lose, so it doesn’t sound as if Puerto Rico was getting ahead of itself.

Hey, whether slights are real or perceived is insignificant if it ends up leading to motivation in the end.

Japan’s Byosuke Kikuchi uses Zelda theme song as at-bat music (Video)

If you were wondering which player had the best walk-up music for an at-bat during the World Baseball Classic this year, you can stop now. Byosuke Kikuchi of Japan officially took the cake during his team’s loss to the U.S. in Tuesday night’s semifinal game.

With Japan trailing 2-1 and a runner on second in the eighth inning, Kikuchi strolled to the plate with the “Zelda” theme song playing in the background.

YES.

Some of you may be too young to feel a true emotional connection to this, but there are others — maybe myself — who now consider Kikuchi a legend. Just when we thought no one would ever top Josh Reddick, a new champion emerges.

Adrian Gonzalez unloads on World Baseball Classic, says he’ll never take part again

Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzalez is still furious over the way Mexico was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic earlier this week, and the Los Angeles Dodgers star says he will never take part in the event again because of it.

Mexico, of course, was knocked out of the tournament over a controversial tiebreaker rule. Although they defeated Venezuela 11-9 early Monday morning, Venezuela advanced because they allowed .01 less runs per defensive inning. Gonzalez felt the entire ordeal was handled horribly.

Gonzalez will be 38 when the next World Baseball Classic is played in 2021. And because Mexico finished last in their pool this year, they are not guaranteed an automatic bid next time and will instead have to qualify. Apparently Gonzalez isn’t concerned either way.

It was initially believed that Mexico would advance on Monday with a victory as long as they won by more than a run, but there was some discrepancy over how partial innings were calculated. You can read more about the situation here, including additional thoughts from Gonzalez about the outcome.

Adrian Gonzalez sounds off about Mexico/Venezuela tiebreaker controversy

Adrian Gonzalez

Venezuela is set to take on Italy in a one-game tiebreaker on Monday to determine which team will advance to the next round of the World Baseball Classic, but Mexico is trying to change that.

After Mexico defeated Venezuela 11-9 early Monday morning, it was initially believed that Mexico would be the team facing Italy for the tiebreaker. However, the tiebreaker between Venezuela and Mexico is determined by runs allowed per defensive inning. Mexico has allowed 1.12 compared to Venezuela’s 1.11, though there is a discrepancy over how partial innings have been counted.

Mexico has decided to file an official protest, and team captain Adrian Gonzalez has been outspoken about the controversy.

“The issue that we have is regarding partial innings (defended). They have one interpretation and we have another,” Gonzalez said, according to The Associated Press. “Even the MLB writer published that we were going to play tomorrow, because he has the same interpretation like we did. Now they are giving us the chance to file a protest and they (MLB) will give us an answer tomorrow.”

The writer Gonzalez was referring to was Jon Morosi, who initially believed Mexico was moving on to face Italy.

As of now, Venezuela is still scheduled to play Italy. There has already been one controversy at the World Baseball Classic that inspired Yadier Molina to unload on Major League Baseball, and we’re guessing several players from Mexico are just as angry. The rule regarding tiebreakers obviously needs to be clarified.