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March is generally a terrible month for baseball, as spring training has gone on just a little too long and the start of games that count still seems so far away. That's not the case during years where the World Baseball Classic is being played, however: at 4:30 a.m. ET, the 2017 World Baseball Classic kicked off in Seoul, South Korea, with Israel taking on the hosts of Pool A. From March 6 through March 22, we've got the best version of March baseball to watch. And don't worry: the 4 a.m. games will be over by the end of the week.
Here's the full scheduled for the 2017 WBC, with game times and locations. Of course, we don't know just who is going to be in those game times just yet, since we're in the first round of pool play, but that's the whole point of this tournament, yeah? What we do know is that Israel is playing two games on day one because of time zones, with the tourney opener at 4:30 a.m. and a game against Chinese Tapei scheduled for 10 p.m. ET Monday night. Of course, for Team Israel, it's a night game and an afternoon game the next day, not a before-the-sun-rises game followed by a late-night affair.
Tuesday will feature Korea taking on the Netherlands on tape delay at 8 a.m. on MLB Network, as well as the opening games for Pool B as Cuba takes on first Japan and then China. Pool C and Pool D will both open on Wednesday, but Team USA won't get their first game until Friday, when they take on Colombia. By then, we'll already know who survived Pool A and maybe even Pool B if no tiebreaker is necessary there. See that word, survive? Games that matter are here!
- As Grant Brisbee writes, March is secretly the worst baseball month. The exception, of course, is when we get the World Baseball Classic. Otherwise? You suck for baseball, March, why don't you try to be more like April?
- MLB published a video featuring the biggest, most exciting moments in World Baseball Classic history to this point, to help get you pumped for the 2017 edition.
- There is "no evidence" that the Royals and Eric Hosmer are talking about an extension, which is probably better news for KC than their first baseman.
- Andrew Benintendi's spring is reminding Red Sox fans about why they're excited for a full season of the 22-year-old.
- The Royals are reportedly interested in the recently cut Brett Lawrie, but they aren't alone: Lawrie's former team, the Blue Jays, are also showing interest.
- Greg Bird isn't showing any signs of rust this spring, and that's just what the Yankees needed.
- Ben Lindbergh wonders if the Rangers' luck has to run out at some point.
- The end is coming for David Wright, but there is no need to rush it, writes David Roth.
- Yasiel Puig crushed a baseball then flipped his bat, and all is right in the world. Well, the baseball world, anyway.
- Here's a look at some international players to watch in this year's World Baseball Classic.