The 2023 World Baseball Classic is set for March and there is a lot of excitement on the international baseball scene. Sixteen of the 20 teams have been determined already as Chinese Taipei, the Netherlands, Cuba, and Italy are in Pool A, Japan, South Korea, Australia and China are in Pool B, the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Canada are in Pool C, and Puerto Rico, Israel, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic are in Pool D. On Friday, the United States named their manager as Mark DeRosa was given the managerial duties.
DeRosa of Passaic, New Jersey played 16 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays from 1998 to 2013. In 1241 games, 4094 plate appearances, and 3633 at bats, DeRosa batted .268 with 100 home runs and 494 runs batted in. He also scored 538 hits, and had 975 hits, 196 doubles, 12 triples, 23 stolen bases, 358 walks, 1495 total bases, 15 sacrifice bunts, 36 sacrifice flies, an on base percentage of .340 and a slugging percentage of .412.
DeRosa was known throughout his career for his ability to play numerous positions. He played 363 games at third base, 343 games at second base, 507 games in the outfield, 140 games at shortstop, and 53 games at first base. The fact that De Rosa played multiple positions in his Major League career should help him be an asset in a managerial role for the United States.
Productive Postseason Player
DeRosa batted an admirable .358 in 22 playoff games with the Braves, Cardinals and Cubs. In 53 at bats, he scored eight runs, and had 19 hits, six doubles, one home run, 10 runs batted in, four walks, 30 total bases, an on base percentage of .414 and a slugging percentage of .566.
DeRosa is married to supermodel Heidi Miller. The couple have a daughter Gabriella, and son Brooks. Since retirement, DeRosa has a significant amount of broadcasting experience. The hiring is interesting by Team USA because of DeRosa’s lack of coaching experience at the professional level.
There are two qualifying tournaments for the World Baseball Classic. In Pool A in Regensburg, Germany, the six countries are Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, France, Great Britain, and South Africa. In Pool B in Panama City, Panama, the six countries are Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Panama, New Zealand, and Nicaragua.
If you go by world ranking, Germany and the Czech Republic would be favoured from Pool A in qualifying as Germany is 18th and the Czech Republic is 14th. However, Spain and France should be strong contenders to qualify for the World Baseball Classic, based on their play at the European level over the last 20 years. Panama and Nicaragua would have to be the heavy favourites to qualify out of Pool B qualifying, as the other four nations in that pool do not have a rich baseball history.
Where is the 2023 World Baseball Classic?
Four cities will host the 2023 World Baseball Classic. They are Tokyo, Phoenix, Miami and Taichung, Taiwan. Taichung will host Pool A, Tokyo will host Pool B, Phoenix will host Pool C, and Miami will host Pool D. The quarterfinals are in Tokyo and Miami, and the championship round is in Miami.