Baseball, as former commissioner Bart Giamatti once wrote, “is designed to break your heart.” The World Series is over, the chill rains have come, the days are all twilight, and we’re forced to scavenge, staring glumly at the garish colors and chemical aftertaste of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Baseball!
There is one more event on the calendar before the offseason: The World Baseball Softball Confederation is hosting the first Premier 12 tournament in Japan and Taiwan next week. The event features the top 12 nations in the WBSC’s rankings, which are based on participation in other WBSC tournaments, and will serve as a qualifying event for future Olympic baseball tournaments. According to the WBSC, the Premier 12 is the “flagship professional baseball world championship.” This is not to be confused with the World Baseball Championship, which was labeled the WBSC’s “Official men’s Baseball World Championship” [sic] when the MLB-WBSC partnership was renewed in September. (WBSC did not respond to requests to clarify the distinction between the two.)
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