Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
* * *
The World Baseball Classic is almost here! There is only one more qualifier left, and that will wrap up a month from now in Brooklyn. So, since we know the identity of every team participating in the 2017 WBC except for one, the pools and locations have been released. You only know this if you happened to catch a tweet sent out by the WBC’s official account, though, because as enjoyable as this tournament is, they still are not great at promoting it!
Pool A will play in Tokyo, Japan, and feature Australia, China, Cuba and Japan. Pool B will play in Seoul, South Korea, and includes Chinese Taipei, Korea, the Netherlands, and whichever of Brazil, Israel, Great Britain or Pakistan come out of the Brooklyn qualifier being played between September 22 and 25. Pool C will be played in Miami, with Canada, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and the United States vying for supremacy. Last, we have Pool D in Guadalajara, Mexico, whose foursome is Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
A winner and a runner-up will advance from each pool after a round-robin, into a second round-robin made up of Pool A and B — that’s Pool E, played in Tokyo again — and on the other side, Pool C and D will make up Pool F, whose games will be at San Diego's Petco Park. The winner of Pool F will then take on the runner-up of Pool E in a semifinal at Dodger Stadium, while the winner of Pool E will face Pool F’s runner-up in the same venue. The winners of those two single-elimination contests will then face each other in the World Baseball Classic finals, once again at Dodger Stadium, to determine who the champion is this time around. Was that all confusing? You can go look at the picture on that tweet again. It’s not complicated, but it is exciting, and it begins on March 7.
- Marlins Park lowered the walls this offseason, which is how this amazing catch by Jarrod Dyson was allowed to happen in the first place.
- Jason Kipnis pretended to be terrified of Rougned Odor after sliding into second base.
- Yoenis Cespedes isn’t going to give away millions just to make you happy, Mets fans. Though at this point y’all should probably be used to disappointment, anyway, so you’re probably already prepared for the worst here.
- Matt Moore just missed a no-hitter — he lost it with one out to go — but the Giants did manage to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Dodgers, and are now just two games back in the NL West.
- Matt Moore wasn’t the only pitcher nor the only Matt to flirt with a no-no on Thursday, as Matt Wisler tossed six no-hit frames in his return from the minors.
- Will the Indians use their September call-ups to overcome the current obstacles on their roster?
- Mookie Betts is great! He could end up being even better once pitchers force some adjustments out of him.
- Longtime and beloved Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was traded to the Dodgers for Clayton Kershaw’s best bud, A.J. Ellis, so that was a weirdly emotional trade of backup catchers. Do you think Chooch will be able to get ice cream in Los Angeles or nah?
- Tennessee advanced to the semifinals of the Little League World Series, where they’ll take on undefeated New York for the U.S. Championship. On the international side, South Korea will meet up with Panama.