The link at the top is to MLB’s shop page, where hats for (some of) the WBC teams are now on sale, including for the new teams that are in the qualifiers. Presumably the countries missing haven’t finalized their hat design, or something.
Canada has released their qualification roster as they head to Germany to face the best that Europe and European-descended North America has to offer. It can be found in this PDF or at the www.baseball.ca site. It’s made up entirely of players either currently or formerly playing pro ball, usually in the minors but with a few Indy-leaguers and retired guys thrown in. They will be in St. Petersburg to train this coming week.
Meanwhile, in Japan, there is some wondering about whether Daisuke Matsuzaka’s injury last time might dissuade some of current Japan-born MLBers from taking part. In other words, the question is whether Yu Darvish will play. Oh, and various sources say that Japan still hasn’t picked a manager yet, as the increased activity for the team with the “Samurai Japan” plan will mean more games, making it far less appetizing to current managers.
In Korea, it’s a possibility that Kim In-Sik could manage the team again. Technically they’d made a rule that whoever were to win the Korean Series was to be the manager, but they forgot to put in any way of enforcing that, meaning that that rule might be more like a suggestion, which may mean that In-Sik, who is no longer a active manager in Korea, could lead again.
Today in “creative use of WBC ancestry loopholes” comes the news that Toby Gardenhire will be playing for Germany, which is doubly creative because Ron Gardenhire was born in Germany to American military parents. Bravo, creative use of ancestry, bravo. I thought you’d reached your peak with the Bahamians playing for Great Britain because the Bahamas were a British Colony when their grandparents were born there, but this goes above even that.
As the qualifying tournaments near, more WBC stories are likely on their way, and so I’l try to keep up with them for everybody, just like last time.