In the 2009 World Baseball Classic the Dominican Republic were eliminated in the first round of Pool play, after losing to the Netherlands in memorable fashion. That 2009 Dominican Republic team was loaded with MLB stars, including David Ortiz (Boston Red Sox), Hanley Ramirez (Los Angeles Dodgers), Robinson Cano (New York Yankees), and many others. There was no reason for a team with that type of talent to get knocked out in the first round, especially in a Pool that included Panama, Netherlands, and Puerto Rico.
The 2013 Dominican Republic team will once again be highlighted by the big names, with Jose Reyes at shortstop (Toronto Blue Jays), Carlos Santana at catcher (Cleveland Indians), Robinson Cano at second, and Hanley Ramirez at third. Without question, this 2013 team on paper should once again be the favorites headed into this year’s WBC.
However, Pool C could be tough for even this star-studded Dominican Republic team to get out of.
The three other teams competing in Pool C out of San Juan, Puerto Rico will be Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Spain. Venezuela also features some of the biggest MLB Stars, such as the 2012 AL MVP Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers), Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies), Pablo Sandoval (San Francisco Giants), and others.
Puerto Rico has their own fair share of MLB stars, including Yadier Molina (St. Louis Cardinals), Carlos Beltran (St. Louis Cardinals), and a few others. The first ever WBC appearance for Spain won’t be an easy one going up against this kind of elite competition. Although, the same thing was said about the 2009 Netherlands team and look at how that turned out.
So, Pool C will without a doubt be competitive, but which two teams will advance into the second round?
(Complete coverage of the WBC will be on the MLB Network.)
Pool C: Hiram Bithorn Stadium – San Juan, Puerto Rico. (March 7-10)
Thursday, March 7th, 6:30 p.m. ET.
Venezuela @ Dominican Republic
Friday, March 8th, 5:30 p.m. ET.
Spain @ Puerto Rico
Saturday, March 9th, 11:00 a.m. ET.
Dominican Republic @ Spain
Saturday, March 9th, 5:30 p.m. ET.
Puerto Rico @ Venezuela
Sunday, March 10th, 12:30 p.m. ET.
Spain @ Venezuela
Sunday, March 10th, 7:30 p.m. ET.
Dominican Republic @ Puerto Rico
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