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The final World Baseball Classic qualifier begins Thursday

Thursday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes Brooklyn’s WBC qualifier, the wild card races, and poor Joakim Soria.

China v Brazil - World Baseball Classic First Round Group A Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

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The 2017 World Baseball Classic will take place in — wait for it — 2017, but 2016 has featured four qualifying rounds to determine the final four entrants in the tournament. We’re now up to the last of those, as Brooklyn will host Great Britain, Pakistan, Brazil, and Israel from Thursday through Sunday as they vie for said last spot. They aren’t necessarily the countries you think about when you consider global baseball powers, but that’s part of the fun of this whole ordeal, isn’t it?

The first two games will be played on Thursday, with Pakistan vs. Brazil at noon ET and Great Britain against Israel at 7 p.m. We’ll then get two more games tomorrow with fresh matchups of some kind, depending on who the winners of Thursday’s games are, at noon and 7 again. All we know is that Israel has the day game, and Great Britain the evening. Then on Saturday and Sunday we’ll have one game each: Saturday’s at 8 p.m., Sunday’s at 6, with the first a semifinal and the finals, obviously, on Sunday.

The winner of this tournament already has a place in next spring’s tournament, as they’ll be in Pool B with host-country South Korea, the Netherlands, and Chinese Taipei. That’s not an easy pool to be in, but if you take a look at some of the others, things could be a lot worse for whichever of these four countries makes it out of Brooklyn.

You can watch all of the qualifier’s games on, streamed for free. If you’re in the area, you can also attend for $15 — the games will be played at the Brooklyn Cyclones’ park. If you’re on the fence, just know I’ll be jealous if you’re in attendance.