These are the overnight World Baseball Classic games you probably missed. Unless you’re one of those World Baseball Classic superfans.
And, hey, there are worse things to be.
Helped by a four-run fourth inning, Chinese Taipei defeated a feisty Netherlands squad 8-3 on Sunday in Taichung, Taiwan. Dai-Kang Yang homered and tallied three RBI. Taipei is now 2-0 in Group B with good odds to advance to the next round in Tokyo.
Over in Group A, two-time defending champion Japan beat China 5-2 at the Fukuoka Dome in Fukuoka, Japan. Yoshio Itoi racked up five RBI and Japanese starter Kenta Maeda fanned six batters over five scoreless frames. Japan is 2-0 in Group A.
If you want a nice breakdown of the pools and the tournament bracket that will follow pool play, check out the official 2013 WBC website. China will face Cuba today in Group A and Korea plays Australia in Group B.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.