Report: 2021 World Baseball Classic won’t be played

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Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes tweeted a little while ago that, according to a source, the World Baseball Classic will not be played in 2021. There has been no official word from Major League Baseball as of yet.

The fifth installment of the WBC is currently scheduled to be played from March 9-23, 2021. It is currently scheduled to take place at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan, Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium in Taoyuan, Taiwan, the Tokyo Dome, Chase Field in Phoenix, and Marlins Park in Miami.

If Rojas’ report is accurate, it is possible that, the inability to conduct qualifying rounds — which were to have taken place this year and which have already been cancelled — is what is sinking it. It is likewise possible that organizers of the event do not envision being able to schedule something with an international scope like this even with ten month’s notice and what is, hopefully, the abatement of the COVID-19 pandemic by then. At the moment baseball in Taiwan is happening, but the return of baseball in Japan and the United States is still uncertain.

It is also likewise possible that Major League Baseball, which is the primary underwriter of the tournament, does not feel able, or does not feel it wise, to invest in the WBC when its own operations are reportedly on such shaky ground.

We’ll no doubt hear more on this soon. Likely in an official announcement from Major League Baseball.