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Cuba Holds Off Puerto Rico To Reach Semifinals

Eric Edwards -

Cuba's big red mystique grew even larger on Wednesday night. The reigning kings of international baseball proved they belong on the biggest stage, avenging their second-ever knockout loss by scoring an improbable 4-3 victory over Puerto Rico at the inaugural World Baseball Classic, assuring their passage into the final four of this 16-country tournament.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

Tiebreaker Rules May Vex Team USA

J.J. Cooper -

Team USA could be eliminated before it plays another game. Because of a quirk in the scheduling, Japan plays two more games before the U.S. plays its pool finale against Mexico. If Japan beats Mexico by any margin in Tuesday night's game, then beats Korea in Wednesday's game in a relatively low-scoring affair, the U.S. would be eliminated, as the first tiebreaker in case of a three-way tie is runs allowed in common games.

International | #2006#International Affairs#Olympics

World Baseball Classic Notebook

Eric Edwards -

Albert Pujols said he is already looking forward to representing the Dominican Republic at the next World Baseball Classic in 2009. Dominican manager Manny Acta would like to see the spring exhibition season moved up so the players would have a more game experience before the tournament begins. Yuliesky Gourriel practiced with Cuba on Tuesday and will be in the lineup against Puerto Rico. Bob DuPuy, President and Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball said that he discussed with officials from MB Sports the prospect of bringing more games to San Juan, either this season, or beyond.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

Memo For MLB

Alan Schwarz -

Lost in the hoopla, forgotten in the waning skepticism and mounting excitement of each of its 39 games, was the fact that the inaugural World Baseball Classic was just that—the first attempt at what will surely be an even better event in 2009 and beyond. It was a dry run, a hastily planned experiment that as much as anything became a learning experience for all. Here are the Top 10 things everyone involved — the players, the organizers, the press and the fans — learned from the first World Baseball Classic.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic: Let The Games Begin

Matt Meyers -

When plans for the World Baseball Classic were announced last summer, it was hard to find a baseball fan who wasn't drooling over the prospect of seeing an international competition of the highest order. But as details of the event gradually got hammered out, many attitudes in the press toward the event evolved from intrigue to insult. While the focus for many has been on the foibles of the event, for those paying attention many participants and fans have shown a lot of enthusiasm.

International | #2006#International Affairs#World Baseball Classic