The World Baseball Classic is supposed to take place every four years, but thanks to COVID-19, and a looming Major League Baseball lockout, that didn’t happen. It has now been almost six years since the 2017 version of the tournament, but finally, things are finally starting to happen. While the rosters still are far from set, and managerial roles are still to be decided, we do know some things, including who Canada will play in Pool C.
Playing their games at Chase Field in Phoenix, home of the MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks, the Canadians will take on the United States, Mexico, Colombia, and Great Britain. Games are currently scheduled to kick off in early March, but before then, exhibition games against MLB opposition during Spring Training have been announced.
Canada will hit the field for their first game action during Spring Training against the Chicago Cubs, in Mesa, Arizona, on March 8th, 2023, before travelling to Peoria to play the Seattle Mariners, on March 9th, 2023. The connection between Team Canada and the Cubs will continue, as the Canadians will hold their training camp at Sloan Park, in Mesa, Arizona, the Cubs’ Spring Training facility.
The four other teams will also play two games against Cactus League opponents, during their respective training camps. Additionally, the five teams in Pool D (Dominican Republic, Isreal, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Nicaragua), who will play their games in Miami, Florida at LoadDepot Park (home of the MLB’s Miami Marlins), will play two games each against Grapefruit League opposition.
Teams in Pool A (Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, Cuba, Italy, and Panama), who will be playing their games at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taiwan, and teams in Pool B (Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, and Czechia), who will play their games at the Tokyo Dome, in Tokyo, Japan, will not have MLB tune-up games during their preparation.
For Canadians, particularly those who are fans of the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays, it is worth noting that the Jays are not a part of the Group D tour of the Grapefruit League, and will continue their Spring Training in Dunedin, Florida, as normal.
Team Canada will play their first game of the 2023 World Baseball Classic on March 12th, against Great Britain, at Chase Field in Phoenix, at 2 pm ET.
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