Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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Spring training is boring, old news by the time March rolls around. Don’t worry about that in 2017, though, as the next World Baseball Classic is happening from March 6 through the 22, so you can get your fill of baseball that counts well before the next regular season begins. Tiebreaker games have been introduced to determine the second advancing team from each pool in the first and second rounds, too, so we might even get more WBC than we’re used to.
Pool A features Israel, Korea, the Netherlands, and Chinese Tapei, and will play its games in Seoul. Pool B, hosted in Tokyo, includes Australia, China, Cuba, and Japan. Pool C is comprised of Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and the United States, with games played in Miami. Finally, Pool D, played in Jalisco, includes Italy, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and host team Mexico. Teams from Pool A and B will advance to face each other in Tokyo, as teams from Pool C and Pool D move on to San Diego. Then it’s E and F in Los Angeles until we have ourselves a 2017 World Baseball Classic champion.
You can find the entire schedule in graphic form here, which is great and all, but it’s still disappointing that we’re seeing it released now when we won’t actually be able to see a game played for nearly another four months. We just have like, 90 percent of the offseason, Winter Meetings, the dead period that is all of January, and the start of spring training to get through first. It’s going to be a long winter.
- The New Orleans Zephyrs are no more, as they are now the New Orleans Baby Cakes. If King Cake Baby is their mascot, we riot.
- The Braves are showing a strong interest in Chris Sale, and they absolutely have the prospects and young players to convince the White Sox to finally sell.
- Not only do the Braves have the chips to get it done, but Mike Bates writes that they absolutely should.
- The Braves aren’t the only team who could get a deal done, of course. The Cardinals could, if they begin a package with Alex Reyes.
- Corey Seager and Michael Fulmer are your 2016 Rookies of the Year. Here’s what you can expect from an average Rookie of the Year winner.
- The paperwork is in: David Ortiz is officially retired, ending a 20-year big-league career.
- The Tigers are looking to trade J.D. Martinez, and the Giants are into that idea.
- Dave Roberts was named the NL Manager of the Year, and while it certainly wasn’t due to in-game management, balancing a roster with as many injuries and young players on it as the Dodgers had is noteworthy.
- No surprise over in the AL, as Terry Francona took home their Manager of the Year honors.