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Provisional rosters for 2013 World Baseball Classic announced

World Baseball Classic, Inc. today announced the provisional rosters submitted before the January 16th deadline by the 16 participating Baseball Federations in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.  Provisional rosters allow up to 28 players to be listed. 

Teams with less than 28 players on their provisional rosters may fill the remaining spots prior to the Wednesday, February 20th deadline.  Each Federation must submit its final 28-man roster, including a minimum of 13 pitchers and two catchers, by February 20th

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Forty-six (46) Major League All-Stars, six Most Valuable Players and two Cy Young Award winners are among the event’s provisional participants.  The United States’ provisional roster has the most All-Stars with 15, including 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, 2011 N.L. Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun, 2009 American League MVP Joe Mauer and 2007 N.L. MVP Jimmy Rollins.  Venezuela’s roster currently features 11 All-Stars, including Triple Crown-winning 2012 A.L. MVP Miguel Cabrera, 2012 World Series Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet Pablo Sandoval, 2010 A.L. Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez and 2012 N.L. All-Star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.  The Dominican Republic’s roster is highlighted by 10 All-Stars, including infielders Adrian Beltre, Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and 2002 A.L. MVP Miguel Tejada.  Also participating is 2006 A.L. MVP Justin Morneau of Canada.

Seven-time All-Star Carlos Beltran and two-time World Series Champion Yadier Molina, both of Team Puerto Rico, will participate in their third World Baseball Classic.  Another third-time participant is Adrian Gonzalez of Team Mexico, which will have All-Star right-hander Yovani Gallardo.  Free agent right-hander Chien-Ming Wang will represent Chinese Taipei for the first time in the World Baseball Classic, while left-hander Bruce Chen will become the first Major Leaguer to represent China in the event.  

Pool A, which will be played at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome from Saturday, March 2nd–Wednesday, March 6th, will include the countries of Brazil, China, Cuba and Japan.  The opening game at the venue on March 2nd will feature two-time defending champion Japan vs. newcomer and Qualifier victor Brazil, managed by Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, at 7:00 p.m. (all times local).

Pool B will feature the countries of Australia, Chinese Taipei, Korea and the Netherlands at Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan from Saturday, March 2nd–Tuesday, March 5th.  The opening game on March 2nd will be played at 12:30 p.m. between 2009 finalist Korea and the Netherlands.

Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico will host the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain and Venezuela for Pool C contests from Thursday, March 7th–Sunday, March 10th.  Venezuela and the Dominican Republic will square off in the first game in San Juan on March 7th at 7:30 p.m.

Chase Field and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Arizona will host games in Pool D, featuring Canada, Italy, Mexico and the United States from Thursday, March 7th–Sunday, March 10th.  Salt River Fields will host the opening game on March 7th at 1:00 p.m. between Mexico and Italy.  Team USA, managed by Joe Torre, will debut on the night of Friday, March 8th vs. Team Mexico at 7:00 p.m. at Chase Field in Phoenix.

The First Round will feature a round-robin format with the top two teams at each venue advancing to one of two Second Round pools.  The Second Round, which will be a modified double-elimination format, will be played at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan and Marlins Park in Miami, Florida.  Pool 1 at the Tokyo Dome, from Friday, March 8th–Tuesday, March 12th, will feature the winners and runners-up from Pools A and B, while Pool 2 at Marlins Park, from Tuesday, March 12th–Saturday, March 16th, will host the winners and runners-up from Pools C and D.  The winners and runners-up from each of the Second Round pools will advance to the Championship Round at AT&T Park in San Francisco from Sunday, March 17th–Tuesday, March 19th.

The World Baseball Classic, which is officially sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), will for the first time in 2013 be recognized as the official national team World Championship, with the winner being crowned the 2013 World Baseball Classic Champion and the IBAF World Champion.

Tickets are available for all tournament venues at www.worldbaseballclassic.com.  MLB Network will be the exclusive English-language broadcast partner for all 39 games of the 2013 World Baseball Classic in the United States from March 2nd-19th.

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