2006 World Baseball Classic

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2006 World Baseball Classic
Tournament details
Host countries  Japan
 Puerto Rico
 United States
Dates March 3–20
Teams 16 (from 5 continents)
Final positions
Champions
Gold medal world.svg
 Japan (1st title)
Runner-up
Silver medal world.svg
 Cuba
Third place
Bronze medal world.svg
 South Korea
Fourth place  Dominican Republic
Tournament statistics
Games played 39
Attendance 737,112 (18,900 per game)
Most Valuable Player Japan Daisuke Matsuzaka
First
2009
Countries that participated

The 2006 World Baseball Classic was the inaugural tournament between national baseball teams that included players from Major League Baseball. It was held from March 3 to 20 in stadiums that are in and around Tokyo, Japan; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Lake Buena Vista, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Scottsdale, Arizona; Anaheim, California; and San Diego, California.

The first two rounds had a round-robin format, which led to two teams being eliminated on run difference tiebreakers: in the first round, Canada was eliminated despite its 2–1 record, due to a blowout loss to Mexico as well as failing to run up the score on South Africa; and in the second round, eventual champion Japan advanced despite its 1–2 record, due to a blowout win over Mexico and losing more narrowly to South Korea than did the United States. The higher-seeded teams generally advanced to the second round, including Puerto Rico and Venezuela, as well as the teams mentioned elsewhere in this summary.

Although South Korea defeated Japan twice in the earlier rounds, they were matched against each other again in the semifinals as the two teams emerging from the same second round pool, and Japan won that game to advance to the final against Cuba (which had defeated the Dominican Republic in the other semifinal). Japan defeated Cuba 10–6 to be crowned the first champion of the World Baseball Classic.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, a NPB veteran who was little-known outside Japan at the time, was crowned the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The following year he made his debut with the Boston Red Sox.

Format[edit]

The first World Baseball Classic featured 16 teams in a round-robin. Each team played the other three teams in their pool once. Teams were ranked by winning percentage in the first round, with the top two teams in each pool advancing to the second round, where the teams from Pools A and B (in Pool 1) and the teams from Pools C and D (in Pool 2) competed against each other in another round-robin.

Teams were ranked by winning percentage in the second round, without regard to the results of the first round, with the top two teams from each pool entered a four-team single-elimination bracket, with the pool winners and runners-up from each pool facing each other in the semifinals. The winners of the semifinals then met to determine the World Baseball Classic Champions.

In the final, the team with the higher winning percentage of games in the tournament were to be the home team. If the teams competing in the final had identical winning percentages in the tournament, then World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) would conduct a coin flip or draw to determine the home team.

In the first two rounds, ties were to be broken in the following order of priority:
1. The winner of head-to-head games between the tied teams;
2. The team allowing the fewest runs per nine innings (RA/9) in head-to-head games between the tied teams;
3. The team allowing the fewest earned runs per nine innings (ERA) in head-to-head games between the tied teams;
4. The team with the highest batting average (AVG) in head-to-head games between the tied teams;
5. Drawing of lots, conducted by World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI).

In the final standings, ties were to be broken in the following order of priority:
1. The team allowing the fewest runs per nine innings (RA/9) in all games;
2. The team allowing the fewest earned runs per nine innings (ERA) in all games;
3. The team with the highest batting average (AVG) in all games;

These standings and tiebreaking procedures are based on International Baseball Federation (IBAF) rules.

Rosters[edit]

Each participating national federation initially submitted a 45-man provisional roster. Final rosters of 28 players, which also must include a minimum of 13 pitchers and two catchers, were later submitted. If a player on the submitted roster was unable to play, usually due to injury, he could be substituted at any time before the start of the tournament.

Venues[edit]

A game on Mar. 13, 2006, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, USA

Seven stadiums were used during the tournament:

Pool A Pool B Pool B Pool C & 2
Tokyo Phoenix Scottsdale San Juan
Tokyo Dome Chase Field Scottsdale Stadium Hiram Bithorn Stadium
Capacity: 42,000 Capacity: 49,033 Capacity: 8,500 Capacity: 18,264
TokyoDome GiantsFighters.jpg Flyover at Diamondbacks season opener 2010-04-05.JPG Scottsdale Stadium - 2004-03-12 - View from lawn seats.JPG Hiram Bithorn Stadium.jpg
Pool D Pool 1 Championship
Lake Buena Vista Anaheim San Diego
Cracker Jack Stadium Angel Stadium of Anaheim Petco Park
Capacity: 9,500 Capacity: 45,037 Capacity: 42,445
Home Of The Braves.jpg Angel Stadium of Anaheim.jpg Petco Park Interior.JPG

Pools composition[edit]

The teams selected for the inaugural World Baseball Classic were chosen because they were judged to be the "best baseball-playing nations in the world and provide global representation for the event."[1] There was no official qualifying competition.

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
 China  Canada  Cuba  Australia
 Chinese Taipei  Mexico  Netherlands  Dominican Republic
 Japan  South Africa  Panama  Italy
 South Korea  United States  Puerto Rico  Venezuela

First round[edit]

Pool A[edit]

Rk
Team
W L HTH RA IPD RA/9
1  South Korea 3 0
2  Japan 2 1
3  Chinese Taipei 1 2
4  China 0 3

NOTE: Tiebreaker notes: HTH − Head-to-head. RA − Runs against. IPD − Innings the team pitched. RA/9 − The index of (RA*9)/IPD.

Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 3, 2006 11:30 South Korea  2–0  Chinese Taipei   Tokyo Dome 3:19 5,193 Boxscore
Mar 3, 2006 18:30 Japan  18–2  China 8 Tokyo Dome 3:04 15,869 Boxscore
Mar 4, 2006 11:00 China  1–10  South Korea   Tokyo Dome 2:52 3,925 Boxscore
Mar 4, 2006 18:00 Japan  14–3  Chinese Taipei 7 Tokyo Dome 3:10 31,047 Boxscore
Mar 5, 2006 11:00 Chinese Taipei  12–3  China   Tokyo Dome 3:31 4,577 Boxscore
Mar 5, 2006 18:00 South Korea  3–2  Japan   Tokyo Dome 3:02 40,353 Boxscore

Pool B[edit]

Rk
Team
W L HTH RA IPD RA/9
1  Mexico 2 1 1–1 3 17.0 1.59
2  United States 2 1 1–1 8 18.0 4.00
3  Canada 2 1 1–1 15 18.0 7.50
4  South Africa 0 3

NOTE: Tiebreaker notes: HTH − Head-to-head. RA − Runs against. IPD − Innings the team pitched. RA/9 − The index of (RA*9)/IPD.

Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 7, 2006 14:00 Mexico  0–2  United States   Chase Field 2:06 32,727 Boxscore
Mar 7, 2006 19:00 Canada  11–8  South Africa   Scottsdale Stadium 3:38 5,829 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2006 14:00 Canada  8–6  United States   Chase Field 3:02 16,993 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2006 19:00 South Africa  4–10  Mexico   Scottsdale Stadium 3:17 7,937 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2006 18:00 Mexico  9–1  Canada   Chase Field 3:00 15,744 Boxscore
Mar 10, 2006 13:00 United States  17–0  South Africa 5 Scottsdale Stadium 1:47 11,975 Boxscore

Pool C[edit]

Rk
Team
W L HTH RA IPD RA/9
1  Puerto Rico 3 0
2  Cuba 2 1
3  Netherlands 1 2
4  Panama 0 3

NOTE: Tiebreaker notes: HTH − Head-to-head. RA − Runs against. IPD − Innings the team pitched. RA/9 − The index of (RA*9)/IPD.

Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 7, 2006 20:00 Panama  1–2  Puerto Rico   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 2:47 19,043 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2006 14:00 Cuba  8–6  Panama 11 Hiram Bithorn Stadium 4:11 6,129 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2006 20:30 Puerto Rico  8–3  Netherlands   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:29 15,570 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2006 20:00 Cuba  11–2  Netherlands   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:19 7,657 Boxscore
Mar 10, 2006 14:00 Netherlands  10–0  Panama 7 Hiram Bithorn Stadium 2:18 6,337 Boxscore
Mar 10, 2006 20:30 Puerto Rico  12–2  Cuba 7 Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:01 19,736 Boxscore

Pool D[edit]

Rk
Team
W L HTH RA IPD RA/9
1  Dominican Republic 3 0
2  Venezuela 2 1
3  Italy 1 2
4  Australia 0 3

NOTE: Tiebreaker notes: HTH − Head-to-head. RA − Runs against. IPD − Innings the team pitched. RA/9 − The index of (RA*9)/IPD.

Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 7, 2006 13:00 Dominican Republic  11–5  Venezuela   Cracker Jack Stadium 3:16 10,645 Boxscore
Mar 7, 2006 20:00 Australia  0–10  Italy 7 Cracker Jack Stadium 2:16 8,099 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2006 19:00 Italy  0–6  Venezuela   Cracker Jack Stadium 2:48 10,101 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2006 13:00 Italy  3–8  Dominican Republic   Cracker Jack Stadium 2:39 9,949 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2006 20:00 Venezuela  2–0  Australia   Cracker Jack Stadium 2:45 10,111 Boxscore
Mar 10, 2006 19:00 Australia  4–6  Dominican Republic   Cracker Jack Stadium 2:52 11,083 Boxscore

Second round[edit]

Pool 1[edit]

Rk
Team
W L HTH RA IPD RA/9
1  South Korea 3 0
2  Japan 1 2 1–1 5 17.2 2.55
3  United States 1 2 1–1 5 17.0 2.65
4  Mexico 1 2 1–1 7 18.0 3.50

NOTE: Tiebreaker notes: HTH − Head-to-head. RA − Runs against. IPD − Innings the team pitched. RA/9 − The index of (RA*9)/IPD.

Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 12, 2006 13:00 Japan  3–4  United States   Angel Stadium of Anaheim 3:09 32,896 Boxscore
Mar 12, 2006 20:00 Mexico  1–2  South Korea   Angel Stadium of Anaheim 2:57 42,979 Boxscore
Mar 13, 2006 19:00 United States  3–7  South Korea   Angel Stadium of Anaheim 3:27 21,288 Boxscore
Mar 14, 2006 16:00 Japan  6–1  Mexico   Angel Stadium of Anaheim 2:36 16,591 Boxscore
Mar 15, 2006 19:00 South Korea  2–1  Japan   Angel Stadium of Anaheim 2:44 39,679 Boxscore
Mar 16, 2006 16:30 United States  1–2  Mexico   Angel Stadium of Anaheim 2:50 38,284 Boxscore

Pool 2[edit]

Rk
Team
W L HTH RA IPD RA/9
1  Dominican Republic 2 1 1–0
2  Cuba 2 1 0–1
3  Venezuela 1 2 1–0
4  Puerto Rico 1 2 0–1

NOTE: Tiebreaker notes: HTH − Head-to-head. RA − Runs against. IPD − Innings the team pitched. RA/9 − The index of (RA*9)/IPD.

Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 12, 2006 14:00 Cuba  7–2  Venezuela   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 2:56 13,697 Boxscore
Mar 12, 2006 21:00 Puerto Rico  7–1  Dominican Republic   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:01 19,692 Boxscore
Mar 13, 2006 14:00 Dominican Republic  7–3  Cuba   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:48 6,594 Boxscore
Mar 13, 2006 20:00 Venezuela  6–0  Puerto Rico   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:09 19,400 Boxscore
Mar 14, 2006 20:00 Venezuela  1–2  Dominican Republic   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:02 13,007 Boxscore
Mar 15, 2006 20:00 Cuba  4–3  Puerto Rico   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:56 19,773 Boxscore

Championship round[edit]

Semifinals Final
           
2R  Cuba 3
2W  Dominican Republic 1
SF1W  Cuba 6
SF2W  Japan 10
1R  Japan 6
1W  South Korea 0

Semifinals[edit]

Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 18, 2006 12:00 Cuba  3–1  Dominican Republic   Petco Park 3:42 41,268 Boxscore
Mar 18, 2006 19:00 Japan  6–0  South Korea   Petco Park 2:40 42,639 Boxscore

Final[edit]

Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 20, 2006 18:00 Japan  10–6  Cuba   Petco Park 3:40 42,696 Boxscore

Final standings[edit]

Attendance[edit]

737,112 (avg. 18,900; pct. 67.1%)

First round[edit]

326,629 (avg. 13,610; pct. 55.3%)

  • Pool A – 100,964 (avg. 16,827; pct. 40.1%)
  • Pool B – 91,205 (avg. 15,201; pct. 52.8%)
    • Chase Field – 65,464 (avg. 21,821; pct. 44.5%)
    • Scottsdale Stadium – 25,741 (avg. 8,580; pct. 100.9%)
  • Pool C – 74,472 (avg. 12,412; pct. 68.0%)
  • Pool D – 59,988 (avg. 9,998; pct. 105.2%)

Second round[edit]

283,880 (avg. 23,657; pct. 74.7%)

  • Pool 1 – 191,717 (avg. 31,953; pct. 70.9%)
  • Pool 2 – 92,163 (avg. 15,361; pct. 84.1%)

Championship round[edit]

126,603 (avg. 42,201; pct. 99.4%)

  • Semifinals – 83,907 (avg. 41,954; pct. 98.8%)
  • Final – 42,696 (avg. 42,696; pct. 100.6%)

All–WBC team[edit]

Position Player
C Japan Tomoya Satozaki
1B South Korea Seung-Yeop Lee
2B Cuba Yulieski Gourriel
3B Dominican Republic Adrián Beltré
SS United States Derek Jeter
OF United States Ken Griffey, Jr.
South Korea Jong-Beom Lee
Japan Ichiro Suzuki
DH Cuba Yoandy Garlobo
P Cuba Yadel Martí
Japan Daisuke Matsuzaka
South Korea Chan Ho Park

Statistics leaders[edit]

Additional rules[edit]

There were several rule changes from normal major league play. Pitchers were held to a pitch count of 65 pitches in the first round, 80 pitches in the second round, and 95 in the championship round. (Netherlands pitcher Shairon Martis used exactly 65 pitches to throw the only no-hitter of the tournament, a 10–0 win over Panama that was stopped by the mercy rule [see below].) If a pitcher reached his maximum pitch count in the middle of an at-bat, he could continue to pitch to that batter, but was required to be replaced once that at-bat ended. A 30–pitch outing needed to be followed by one day off, and a 50–pitch outing by four days off. No one would be allowed to pitch on three consecutive days.


A mercy rule came into effect when one team led by either fifteen runs after five innings, or ten runs after seven innings in the first two rounds. In addition, ties could be called after fourteen innings of play.

The designated hitter rule was in place for all games.

Controversies[edit]

Format

South Korea completed the first two rounds undefeated (6-0) but was still forced to play Japan, a team it had already beaten twice, in the semifinal round. South Korea lost the match and subsequently was placed 3rd, despite the fact that South Korea's final standings were 6-1, with the most wins. Other international sporting competitions, such as the FIFA World Cup, are formatted so as to make it impossible that teams play each other three times. They can only face twice at most - in round robin group play and then again for the championship or 3rd-place match. In addition, the regional grouping of teams was called into question, for the groups were perceived to be unevenly distributed, and the four-team pool system and subsequent three-way tiebreakers were widely seen as awkward.

Umpires

Tournament organizers were unable to reach an agreement with the MLB umpires' union and so the Classic was overseen by umpires from the minor leagues. American umpire Bob Davidson made controversial calls at critical moments in two different games that benefited the American team.

Chinese Taipei

The Chinese Taipei team was originally listed as "Taiwan" and bearing the ROC national flag, but following pressure from the People's Republic of China the listing was later changed to Chinese Taipei with the Chinese Taipei Olympic flag.

Drug Testing

The World Anti-Doping Agency criticized IBAF's drug testing program and threatened to withdraw sanction of the event.[1] South Korean pitcher Myung-Hwan Park tested positive for a banned substance during the event, and he was subsequently kicked out of the WBC.[2]. Venezuelan pitcher Freddy García tested positive for marijuana.

Team Cuba

In an effort to enforce the United States government's embargo on Cuba, the Cuban team was initially denied a license to play in the United States.[2] Puerto Rico threatened to pull out as hosts,[3] IBAF said they would rescind its sanctioning of the tournament,[4] and the IOC suggested that such a development would influence the ability of American cities to successfully bid to host future Olympic Games.[5] As a result, financing was restructured and the U.S. government withdrew their opposition.[6]

Player participation

A number of Major League baseball players chose not to participate, some backing out at the last minute. Without players such as Barry Bonds, Vladimir Guerrero (who pulled out because 3 cousins died in a car accident right before World Baseball Classic), Manny Ramírez, Hideki Matsui, and José Vidro, some[who?] questioned whether the event would be credible.[citation needed] Cuba barred players such as Orlando Hernández, his half-brother Liván Hernández, and José Contreras, from its team, Cubans who had previously defected.[citation needed] Additionally, Italy utilized a roster of players made up almost entirely of second-generation Italian Americans such as Mike Piazza.

Success of tournament[edit]

Many members of the United States press were skeptical of the Classic since its inception. The event proved to be quite popular, however, providing many memorable moments including a first round game between Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Attendance was higher than expected at several sites, including the 18,000-seat Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, which was sold out for every Puerto Rico game in the first two rounds. Though international ratings figures are not yet available, viewership is expected to be high, ESPN spokeswoman Diane Lamb said. In addition, there were 4,000 media credentials issued — more than the World Series — which bodes well for the stated goal of internationalizing the sport. Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci reported that "more merchandise was sold in the first round than organizers projected for the entire 17-day event." [3] He also reported that, at one point, jerseys for the Venezuelan team were selling at the rate of one every six seconds.

The U.S. television ratings on ESPN were stronger than initially expected, drawing in more than one million television sets for some games, more than almost any other ESPN program in the month of March. This occurred despite less than stellar airing times for the games. Most were not aired live but taped, and sometimes with innings cut, as the WBC was organized well after ESPN had committed to much of its programming.

Outside the U.S. the tournament was very successful. In Latin America, a first round game between the United States and Mexico, was the third most watched game in the history of ESPN Dos, one of the three Spanish-language channels of ESPN in Latin America.

The allocation of earnings[edit]

The total earnings of the World Baseball Classic is divided into net profit (53%) and prize money (47%).[4]

Net profit (53%)[edit]

  • World Baseball Classic Inc.: 17.5%
  • Baseball Players Union: 17.5%
  • Japanese Baseball Organization: 7%
  • Korean Baseball Organization: 5%
  • International Baseball Federation: 5%
  • Miscellaneous expenses: 1%

Prize money (47%)[edit]

  • Japan (Champions): 10%
  • Cuba (Runners-up): 7%
  • South Korea and Dominican Republic (Semifinalists): 5% each
  • The 4 teams that drop out of the Round 2: 3% each
  • The 8 teams that drop out of the Round 1: 1% each

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]