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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 - March 20 in stadiums that are in and around , , , , , and ). Japan, led by Sadaharu Oh, became the first champions.

Format

The first World Baseball Classic featured 16 teams in a round-robin. Each team played the other three teams in their pool once. Teams will be ranked by winning percentage in Round 1, with the top two teams in each pool advancing to Round 2, 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 will be ranked by winning percentage in Round 2, without regard to the results of Round 1, 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 shall be the home team. If the Teams competing in the Final have identical winning percentages in the tournament, then WBCI shall conduct a coin flip or draw to determine the home team.

In Round 1 and 2, ties shall 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 highest batting average (AVG) in head-to-head games between the tied teams;

5. Drawing of lots, conducted by WBCI.

In Final Standings, ties shall 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 highest batting average (AVG) in all games;

Note: Standings and Tiebreaking Procedures are based on International Baseball Federation rules.

Rosters

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

A game on Mar.
13, 2006, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, USA
Eight stadia were used during the tournament:
Pool A - Tokyomarker Pool B - Phoenixmarker Pool B - Scottsdalemarker Pool C - San Juanmarker
Tokyo Domemarker Chase Fieldmarker Scottsdale Stadiummarker Hiram Bithorn Stadiummarker
Capacity: 42,000 Capacity: 49,033 Capacity: 8,500 Capacity: 18,000
No Image Available
Pool D - Lake Buena Vistamarker Pool 1 - Anaheimmarker Pool 2 - San Juanmarker Finals - San Diegomarker
Cracker Jack Stadiummarker Angel Stadiummarker Hiram Bithorn Stadiummarker PETCO Parkmarker
Capacity: 9,500 Capacity: 45,037 Capacity: 18,000 Capacity: 42,445


Teams and Pools

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." There was no official qualifying competition.

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D


Round 1

Pool A

Rk Team W L Tiebreaker
1 3 0 -
2 2 1 -
3 1 2 -
4 0 3 -








Pool B

Rk Team W L Tiebreaker
1 2 1 1-1, 1.59 RA/9
2 2 1 1-1, 4.00 RA/9
3 2 1 1-1, 7.50 RA/9
4 0 3 -











Pool C

Rk Team W L Tiebreaker
1 3 0 -
2 2 1 -
3 1 2 -
4 0 3 -











Pool D

Rk Team W L Tiebreaker
1 3 0 -
2 2 1 -
3 1 2 -
4 0 3 -











Round 2

Pool 1

Rk Team W L Tiebreaker
1 3 0 -
2 1 2 1-1, 2.55 RA/9
3 1 2 1-1, 2.65 RA/9
4 1 2 1-1, 3.50 RA/9














Pool 2

Rk Team W L Tiebreaker
1 2 1 1-0
2 2 1 0-1
3 1 2 1-0
4 1 2 0-1











Finals




Final Standing

Rk Team W L Tiebreaker
1 5 3 -
Lost in Final
2 5 3 -
Lost in Semifinals
3 6 1 -
4 5 2 -
Failed to qualify for Semifinals
5 4 2 -
6 3 3 2.77 RA/9
7 3 3 3.40 RA/9
8 3 3 3.75 RA/9
Failed to qualify for Round 2
9 2 1 -
10 1 2 5.48 RA/9
11 1 2 6.84 RA/9, 6.48 ERA
12 1 2 6.84 RA/9, 6.84 ERA
13 0 3 6.85 RA/9
14 0 3 6.92 RA/9
15 0 3 14.40 RA/9
16 0 3 15.55 RA/9


Championship Trophy


Attendance

737,112 (avg. 18,900; pct. 67.3%)

Round 1

326,629 (avg. 13,609; pct. 55.4%)
  • Pool A - 100,964 (avg. 16,827; pct. 40.1%)
  • Pool B - 91,205 (avg. 15,200; 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. 69.0%)
  • Pool D - 59,988 (avg. 9,998; pct. 105.2%)


Round 2

283,880 (avg. 23,656; pct. 75.1%)
  • Pool 1 - 191,717 (avg. 31,952; pct. 70.9%)
  • Pool 2 - 92,163 (avg. 15,360; pct. 85.3%)


Finals

126,603 (avg. 42,201; pct. 99.4%)
  • Semifinals - 83,907 (avg. 41,953; pct. 98.8%)
  • Final - 42,696 (avg. 42,696; pct. 100.6%)


All-WBC team

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


Statistics

Team Batting

Ordered by batting average [256650]

Team G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG OPS
8 270 60 84 9 3 10 57 129 32 39 13 2 .390 .478 .311 .868
6 197 33 57 7 2 9 32 95 19 26 1 1 .359 .482 .289 .841
6 203 32 58 9 0 8 31 91 24 34 7 3 .365 .448 .286 .813
8 279 44 79 12 1 8 41 117 24 51 3 4 .357 .419 .283 .776
3 104 20 29 10 4 2 17 53 23 24 2 2 .419 .510 .279 .928
3 102 15 27 3 0 0 11 30 11 22 0 0 .342 .294 .265 .636
3 102 15 27 9 0 1 11 39 7 21 3 1 .342 .382 .265 .724
7 23 36 61 8 0 9 28 96 33 33 6 4 .364 .412 .262 .776
3 87 12 22 3 1 0 11 27 7 34 0 2 .330 .310 .253 .640
7 218 26 53 13 1 6 26 86 16 51 2 0 .305 .394 .243 .699
6 189 23 44 11 1 5 21 72 15 36 2 0 .292 .381 .233 .673
3 95 13 19 8 2 2 13 37 11 24 0 0 .290 .389 .200 .679
6 188 22 35 6 0 7 20 62 35 40 2 1 .323 .330 .186 .653
3 92 6 17 4 0 2 5 27 9 33 0 2 .286 .293 .185 .579
3 91 7 15 3 0 1 7 21 10 16 0 1 .276 .231 .165 .507
3 80 4 9 2 0 0 3 11 7 32 3 2 .191 .138 .113 .329


Batting Leaders

(minimum 2.7 plate appearances/game) [256651]

Batting Average Hits

Runs

Doubles

Triples
  • 15 players tied with 1


Home Runs

Grand Slams

Runs Batted In

Total Bases

Walks

Strikeouts

Stolen Bases

On-Base Percentage

Slugging Percentage

OPS

Team Pitching

Ordered by ERA [256652]

Team W L ERA G CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR HB BB SO WHIP HLD GF
6 1 2.00 7 0 1 4 63.0 45 14 14 7 4 18 50 1.00 8 7
4 2 2.08 6 0 0 1 52.0 33 17 12 3 5 22 28 1.06 5 6
5 3 2.49 8 0 1 2 68.2 52 21 19 7 8 11 62 0.92 3 8
5 2 2.57 7 0 0 3 63.0 56 26 18 3 4 23 53 1.25 6 7
3 3 2.77 6 0 0 1 52.0 41 16 16 4 3 17 37 1.12 4 6
3 3 3.06 6 0 3 1 53.0 39 20 18 6 0 20 55 1.11 7 6
3 3 3.75 6 0 2 1 48.0 43 20 20 4 3 17 48 1.25 4 6
5 3 4.13 8 0 0 4 72.0 66 43 33 7 6 41 51 1.49 2 8
1 2 4.30 3 0 1 0 23.0 21 14 11 4 2 8 16 1.26 0 3
0 3 5.19 3 0 0 0 26.0 33 20 15 2 5 13 17 1.77 0 3
1 2 6.48 3 1 1 0 25.0 30 19 18 5 3 8 14 1.52 0 2
1 2 6.84 3 0 0 0 25.0 31 19 19 1 2 14 22 1.80 0 3
0 3 6.85 3 0 0 0 23.2 24 18 18 3 2 26 16 2.11 0 3
2 1 7.33 3 0 0 2 27.0 32 23 22 3 3 13 18 1.67 2 3
0 3 9.72 3 0 0 0 25.0 48 40 27 6 4 10 16 2.32 0 3
0 3 13.50 3 0 0 0 22.0 42 38 33 5 2 22 13 2.91 0 3


Pitching Leaders

(minimum 0.8 innings pitched/game) [256653]

Wins

Losses

Saves

Innings Pitched

Hits Allowed

Runs Allowed

Earned Runs Allowed

ERA

Walks

Strikeouts

WHIP

No-hitter

Additional rules

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 semifinals and championship rounds. (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.

The 2006 champions gold medal.
A mercy rule came into effect when one team lead 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

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.

Republic of China (Taiwan)

The Republic of China baseball team was originally listed as "Taiwan" and bearing the ROC national flag ( ), but following pressure from the People's Republic of Chinamarker 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.[256654] South Korean pitcher Myung-Hwan Park tested positive for a banned substance during the event, and he was subsequently kicked out of the WBC.[256655]. Venezuelan pitcher Freddy Garcia 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. Puerto Rico threatened to pull out as hosts, IBAF said they would rescind its sanctioning of the tournament, and the IOCmarker suggested that such a development would influence the ability of American cities to successfully bid to host future Olympic Games. As a result, financing was restructured and the U.S. government withdrew their opposition.

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 questioned whether the event would be credible. Cuba barred from its team players such as Orlando Hernández, his half-brother Liván Hernández, and José Contreras, Cubans who had previously defected. Italy was criticized for a roster made up almost entirely of second-generation Italian Americans such as Mike Piazza.

Success of tournament

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." [256656] 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. These ratings all but assure the next WBC, in 2009, will be awarded more live broadcasts during prime time.

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

The total earnings of the World Baseball Classic is divided into net profit (53%) and prize money (47%).[256657]

Net profit (53%)

  • 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%)

  • 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



References

  1. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2259278
  2. http://www.primerahora.com/noticia.asp?guid=869CC20D05F8467F93BC93B8D1FF81C4
  3. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/john_donovan/01/06/cuba.wbc/
  4. http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/9099373/2
  5. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/worldclassic2006/news/story?id=2299485


External links




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