In case the first game you watch of the WBC is tonight

You may not have an interest in a competition unless only your team is playing, and that’s OK, everybody’s interest in something varies from person to person. With the US squaring off against Mexico tonight at 6pm PST, some people are likely going to be watching televised baseball for the first time since either the MLB playoffs or the last regular season. Let’s start with the bracket.

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 3.57.09 PM

You’ll notice the top half of the bracket has completed their first round already while the bottom half hasn’t. This is to give the two teams that advance in the second round time to adjust to the time/environment differences when they fly from Tokyo to the United States. Two teams from each pool advance after they go through a round robin (everyone plays each other) within their own pool. In case of a three-way tie, the simple way to put it is that it goes by a run-differential, and they already had to do it in Pool B. It’s why Korea isn’t in the tournament anymore.

As you can see in the graphic, the US plays against Mexico (tonight), Italy (tomorrow @ 6), and Canada (Sunday @ 1). The games in Pool D are being played where the Arizona Diamondbacks play their home games.

Who can play?

This is a little bit of a complicated question, but if you have some sort of ancestry tie to the country, you are eligible. For Team Spain, whom you’ll notice that only one player was born there, they allowed players that were married to women from Spain to be eligible. The teams all work their hardest to get the most talented players they can to play in the tourney, but players have the right to decline.

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 3.59.00 PM

Lineup rules and instant replay

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 4.00.50 PMAmerican League rules, so the pitchers don’t bat, and like in the MLB, only home runs are reviewable. They are reported to be researching other methods of replay in the second round in Miami.

Who’s on Team USA

Here’s the link to the page that lists everybody on the roster, and while you may not be super blown away with who’s there, it is a good one. Their lineup for today has also been posted:

Games aren’t played on paper, but the roster is the best of anybody in the Pool. We’ll see how the names translate to tournament play. Anything can happen in these short series, as evidenced by the Pool D standings right now:

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 4.40.17 PM

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