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​Team USA Is Eager to Defend Its World Baseball Classic Title

​Team USA Is Eager to Defend Its World Baseball Classic Title

Mike Trout, captain of the World Baseball Classic Team USA squad, is looking to help his team repeat as champions. Or maybe it’s his chance to put together an MLB Dream Team of his own. “The main reason we’re here is to win this thing,” Trout said. “All the other stuff is great—being able to play with each other and getting to know each other a little bit more.

“But there’s only one thing on our mind, and that’s trying to win this whole thing.”

It’s been seven years (2016) since the last World Baseball Classic. It’s supposed to happen every four years, but the pandemic delayed everything. Now we’re just one month away from seeing 20 teams from across the globe joining to compete to see which country will claim the title of World Champions.

You can catch some of the action in person.

If you want to see Team USA in person in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), you’ll have two chances—in the opening round of Pool C in Phoenix at Chase Field (home of the Diamondbacks) March 11th through the 13th, or in two exhibition games in Phoenix on March 8th and 9th as a warmup right before competition starts.

And if Team USA advances to the WBC Quarterfinals and beyond, they’ll play in Miami at loanDepot park, home of the Marlins. Here’s where and when Team USA starts in this year’s WBC:

Tickets are on sale now for the USA-based games and all others. If you go online, you can find tickets for the exhibition and tournament games.

How does the tournament work?

There are four phases to the tournament:the opening round, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

The opening round:

  • Remember, there are four pools (A,B, C and D). They’re the mini divisions with five teams each
  • In the first round, each team plays the other in their pool. The USA’s first-round games take place March 10–14

The top two clubs from each five-team pool head to the quarterfinals.


  • Teams that advance from pools A and B will play the quarterfinals in Japan March 15–16
  • Teams from pools C and D will play in Miami March 17–18

Semifinals and finals:

The semifinals (March 19–20) and championship game (March 21) will take place in Miami.

Get ready to follow the tournament.

Of course, if you’re cheering for your personal home country’s team, you’ll need to know when and where they’re playing.

Team USA: Jr. Griffey is the hitting coach!

Team USA will be managed by Mark DeRosa, who played on the 2009 U.S. squad. His dugout crew features Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. as hitting coach and former Yankee and five-time World Series champ Andy Pettitte as pitching coach. Other coaches include Jerry Manuel, Lou Collier, Dino Ebel and Dave Righetti.

Here is the powerful Team USA lineup:

C J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies

C Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers

1B Pete Alonso, New York Mets

1B Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals

2B Trevor Story, Boston Red Sox

2B Jeff McNeil, New York Mets

3B Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals

3B Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals

SS Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox

SS Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies

OF Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers

OF Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies

OF Cedric Mullins, Baltimore Orioles

OFMike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

OFKyle Tucker, Houston Astros

OFKyle Schwarber, Philadelphia Phillies

RPDavid Bednar, Pittsburgh Pirates

RP Dillon Tate, Baltimore Orioles

RP Devin Williams, Milwaukee Brewers

RP Adam Ottavino, New York Mets

SP Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

SP Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Nestor Cortés, New York Yankees

SP Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies

SP Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals

SP Merrill Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks

Which country are you cheering for?

Here are the 20 teams in the 2023 World Baseball Classic:

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. China
  4. Chinese Taipei
  5. Colombia
  6. Cuba
  7. Czech Republic
  8. Dominican Republic
  9. Great Britain
  10. Israel
  11. Italy
  12. Japan
  13. Mexico
  14. Netherlands
  15. Nicaragua
  16. Panama
  17. Puerto Rico
  18. South Korea
  19. United States
  20. Venezuela

A talking Trout.

Mike Trout announced he would play for Team USA last July. After his announcement, he said other big-name players contacted him. “A lot of players reached out,” Trout said. “It’s going to be something special getting to represent Team USA and go out there with the whole country behind you.”