MLB plans to play World Baseball Classic again in '09

Updated: November 14, 2006, 4:59 PM ET
Associated Press

NAPLES, Fla. -- Baseball players and owners plan to stage the second edition of the World Baseball Classic in 2009.

"Timing and format still have to be discussed, but we're going to go ahead with it," Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said Tuesday at the general managers' meetings.

Japan won the first edition of the WBC last March, beating Cuba 10-6 in the final. The United States was eliminated in the second round with a 2-1 loss to Mexico.

"We think the Classic was a positive experience, and expect to be able to reach an appropriate agreement with the clubs," said Gene Orza, the chief operating officer of the players' association. "A 2009 WBC is on the agenda for our upcoming board meeting."

Baseball at first hoped to launch the WBC in 2005 but extensive planning caused a one-year delay. After 2009, baseball hopes to stage the tournament every four years -- keeping it out of Olympic years.

Some have suggested holding the tournament in November, after the World Series, but Orza has said in the past that it is far more practicable to stage it before the start of the regular season. Because this year's tournament was held during spring training, there were pitch limits in place to prevent strain on arms just getting into shape for the regular season.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press