At its best, the World Baseball Classic could grow into what the World Cup is for soccer. At its worst, the WBC still is better than spring training.
The Dominicans' unbeaten title run highlighted the WBC, which might not have registered with the U.S. audience, but did so everywhere else.
Stage is set for Puerto Rico against the Dominican Republic in the finals of the World Baseball Classic, with the Dominicans trying to become the first team to run the table at the WBC.
The Netherlands, once just a feel-good story in the World Baseball Classic, is now a team that's a legitimate threat to win the tournament.
A key hit by Alex Rios and a key baserunning mistake to squelch a rally helped propel Puerto Rico past Japan, ending a WBC three-peat threat.
Japan sits just two wins from a third WBC title in as many attempts heading into its semifinal game against Puerto Rico.
Team USA advances and heads to Miami after rallying to beat Canada in their high-stakes, win-or-go-go-home WBC game.
Canada needed to win and Mexico couldn't afford to lose as pressure-packed WBC baseball boiled over into an on-field fight.
Losing to Mexico puts the U.S. team in mathematical bind whose best solution is to win, win again and hope.
Not to worry that some of America's best players aren't on Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Joe Torre's group taking the field this weekend looks just fine without them.
Italy looks like a contender after its double-walk-off, mercy-rule victory over Canada moved the Italians one step closer to the second round.
Just an exhibition series here. A steppingstone there. A matter of national pride elsewhere. The World Baseball Classic means different things to different teams.
Say what you want about the WBC, but Italy's comeback win against Mexico showed why it sure beats spring training games.
All the team by team spring training notes fit to make up.
Team USA must conduct an 11th-hour search for a first baseman to replace Mark Teixeira, who dropped out of the WBC on Tuesday because of an injury.
The president spoke to the nation Tuesday night. Now it's Off Base's turn. And you know what? Compared to the state of the union, Major League Baseball looks marvelous.