The World Baseball Classic starts this Week

While Major League Baseball has not yet reached the wild card round of play, the World Baseball Classic is preparing for its first round of qualifiers with games being played in Jupiter Florida and Regensburg, Germany.

For teams that are going to

rely on filling out their rosters with current MLB players, well you are just going to have to wait apparently, something that could harm the chances of some of the teams involved.

The first qualifier, the one held in Jupiter, will feature teams from France, Israel, South Africa and Spain while the second one in Regensburg will have the teams from Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and Great Britain.

The next two sets of qualifiers are slated for play in November. One will take place in Panama City, Panama and will feature Brazil, Columbia, Nicaragua and Panama while the other will take place in Taipei, Taiwan and will include Taipei, New Zealand, Philippines and Thailand.

The Jupiter qualifiers run from Sept. 19-23 while the Regensburg qualifiers run from Sept. 20-24. The Panama City qualifiers run from Nov. 15-19 while the Taipei City qualifier runs from Nov. 15-18. All of the game will be broadcast for free online.

In addition, the final game of each pool will be aired in the United States and Puerto Rico on MLB Network. MLB Network will air the final qualifier game from Jupiter on tape delay at 8 p.m. ET this Sunday, September 23rd and the final game of the Regensburg qualifier live on Monday, September 24th at 1 p.m. ET

The winner of each qualifier is then entered into the 2013 World Baseball Classic tournament that will begin next year in March. The qualifier rounds, which include the four teams that did not win any games in the 2009 WBC, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Panama and South Africa, are a six-game modified double-elimination format.

The winners of these rounds join the 12 nations that received automatic invites based on their last WBC performance. The countries are – Australia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.

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