2009 World Baseball Classic

2009 World Baseball Classic
Tournament details
Host countries  Canada
 Puerto Rico
 United States
Dates March 5–23
Teams 16 (from 5 continents)
Defending champions  Japan (2006)
Final positions
 Japan (2nd title)
 South Korea
Third place
Fourth place  United States
Tournament statistics
Games played 39
Attendance 801,408 (20,549 per game)
Most Valuable Player Japan Daisuke Matsuzaka
Jumbotron ad for the 2009 WBC at Rogers Centre

The 2009 World Baseball Classic was an international baseball competition. It is the only international baseball tournament to feature a large number of players from the major leagues of North America and Asia. It began on March 5 and finished March 23.

Unlike in 2006, when the round-robin format of the first two rounds led to some eliminations being decided by run difference tiebreakers, the first two rounds of the 2009 edition were modified double-elimination format. The modification was that the final game of each bracket was winner-take-all, even if won by the team emerging from the loser's bracket, although that game only affected seeding as two teams always advanced from each bracket.

The biggest surprise in the first round was the Netherlands, which twice defeated the Dominican Republic in Pool D to advance. The second round saw the two Pool A teams (South Korea and Japan) defeat the two Pool B teams (Cuba and Mexico) while the two Pool C teams (Venezuela and the United States) defeated the two Pool D teams (Puerto Rico and the Netherlands). South Korea and Japan then advanced to the final game, playing each other for the fifth time in the tournament (split 2–2 up to that time), and Japan emerged victorious for the second straight Classic, winning the final game 5–3 in 10 innings.

Also for the second straight Classic, Daisuke Matsuzaka was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.


As was the case for the 2006 tournament, the sixteen teams were split into four pools of four teams each.[1] Whereas previously the teams played in round-robin competition in the first two rounds, this time they took part in a double-elimination format, similar to the USA's College World Series sponsored by the NCAA. Under the new format, teams were only guaranteed to play two games. This change was made to eliminate the complicated tiebreaking procedures,[2] which were required for one of the pools in each of the first two rounds in 2006.

After the first round, the tournament was held on American soil. The top two teams from each of the four poolsseeded from the final game in their respective poolswent to the second round, with the teams from Pools A and B meeting at Petco Park in San Diego for Pool 1, and the teams in Pools C and D playing at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens for Pool 2.[3] Again, both pools made use of double-elimination to determine the teams qualifying for the semifinals. In another change from 2006, the four qualifying teams crossed over for the semifinals, with the winner of each pool playing against the runner-up from the other pool.[2] The championship round process was otherwise unchanged, with each semifinal being a single elimination match, the victors meeting in the final to determine the tournament champion. All three championship round games were held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.[3]

In the final, the team with the higher winning percentage of games in the tournament were to be the home team. If the teams competing in the final had identical winning percentages in the tournament, then World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) would conduct a coin flip or draw to determine the home team.

In the final standings, ties were to be broken in the following order of priority:

  1. The team allowing the fewest runs per nine innings (RA/9) in all games;
  2. The team allowing the fewest earned runs per nine innings (ERA) in all games;
  3. The team with the highest batting average (AVG) in all games;

These standings and tiebreaking procedures are based on International Baseball Federation (IBAF) rules.


Each participating national federation had a deadline of January 19, 2009 to submit a 45-man provisional roster. Final rosters of 28 players, which also must include a minimum of 13 pitchers and two catchers, were submitted on February 24. If a player on the submitted roster was unable to play, usually due to injury, he could be substituted at any time before the start of the tournament. While rosters cannot be changed during a round of competition, a team that advances to a later round can change its roster for the later round.


Seven stadiums were used during the tournament:

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
Japan Tokyo, Japan Mexico Mexico City, Mexico Canada Toronto, Ontario, Canada Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico
Tokyo Dome Foro Sol Rogers Centre Hiram Bithorn Stadium
Capacity: 42,000 Capacity: 26,000 Capacity: 49,539 Capacity: 18,264
Pool 1 Pool 2 Championship
United States San Diego, United States United States Miami Gardens, Florida, United States United States Los Angeles, United States
Petco Park Dolphin Stadium Dodger Stadium
Capacity: 42,685 Capacity: 38,560 Capacity: 56,000

Pools composition

The 16 teams that participated in the 2006 World Baseball Classic were all invited back for the 2009 tournament. The World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) changed the members of each pool as compared with the 2006 Classic, however, except for Pool A. There was no official qualifying competition.

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
 China  Australia  Canada  Dominican Republic
 Chinese Taipei  Cuba  Italy  Netherlands
 Japan  Mexico  United States  Panama
 South Korea  South Africa  Venezuela  Puerto Rico

First round

Pool A

  Preliminaries Qualifiers Seeding
  China 0  
  Japan 4  
  W1   Japan 14  
  W2   South Korea 2  
  Chinese Taipei 0
  South Korea 9  
  W4   Japan 0 AR
  W5   South Korea 1 AW
L1   China 4  
L2   Chinese Taipei 1  
  W3   China 0
  L4   South Korea 14  
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 5, 2009 18:30 China  0–4  Japan   Tokyo Dome 2:55 43,428 Boxscore
Mar 6, 2009 18:30 Chinese Taipei  0–9  South Korea   Tokyo Dome 2:48 12,704 Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 12:30 Chinese Taipei  1–4  China   Tokyo Dome 2:51 12,890 Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 19:00 Japan  14–2  South Korea 7 Tokyo Dome 2:48 45,640 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2009 18:30 China  0–14  South Korea 7 Tokyo Dome 2:13 12,571 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2009 18:30 South Korea  1–0  Japan   Tokyo Dome 3:02 42,879 Boxscore

Pool B

  Preliminaries Qualifiers Seeding
  South Africa 1  
  Cuba 8  
  W1   Cuba 5  
  W2   Australia 4  
  Australia 17
  Mexico 7  
  W4   Cuba 16 BW
  W5   Mexico 4 BR
L1   South Africa 3  
L2   Mexico 14  
  W3   Mexico 16
  L4   Australia 1  
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 8, 2009 12:00 South Africa  1–8  Cuba   Foro Sol 2:37 11,270 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2009 19:00 Australia  17–7  Mexico 8 Foro Sol 3:43 20,821 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2009 20:00 Mexico  14–3  South Africa   Foro Sol 3:33 10,311 Boxscore
Mar 10, 2009 20:00 Cuba  5–4  Australia   Foro Sol 3:29 13,396 Boxscore
Mar 11, 2009 20:00 Mexico  16–1  Australia 6 Foro Sol 2:31 16,718 Boxscore
Mar 12, 2009 19:00 Mexico  4–16  Cuba 7 Foro Sol 3:33 20,149 Boxscore

Pool C

  Preliminaries Qualifiers Seeding
  Canada 5  
  United States 6  
  W1   United States 15  
  W2   Venezuela 6  
  Italy 0
  Venezuela 7  
  W3   United States 3 CR
  W5   Venezuela 5 CW
L1   Canada 2  
L2   Italy 6  
  W4   Italy 1
  L3   Venezuela 10  
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 14:00 Canada  5–6  United States   Rogers Centre 2:55 42,314 Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 20:00 Italy  0–7  Venezuela   Rogers Centre 3:00 13,272 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2009 20:00 United States  15–6  Venezuela   Rogers Centre 3:39 13,094 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2009 18:30 Italy  6–2  Canada   Rogers Centre 3:36 12,411 Boxscore
Mar 10, 2009 17:00 Italy  1–10  Venezuela   Rogers Centre 3:04 10,450 Boxscore
Mar 11, 2009 18:30 Venezuela  5–3  United States   Rogers Centre 3:08 12,358 Boxscore

Pool D

  Preliminaries Qualifiers Seeding
  Netherlands 3  
  Dominican Rep. 2  
  W1   Netherlands 1  
  W2   Puerto Rico 3  
  Panama 0
  Puerto Rico 7  
  W4   Puerto Rico 5 DW
  W5   Netherlands 0 DR
L1   Dominican Rep. 9  
L2   Panama 0  
  W3   Dominican Rep. 1
  L4   Netherlands 2  
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 12:00 Netherlands  3–2  Dominican Republic   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:01 9,335 Boxscore
Mar 7, 2009 18:00 Panama  0–7  Puerto Rico   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 2:57 17,348 Boxscore
Mar 8, 2009 16:30 Panama  0–9  Dominican Republic   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 2:46 9,221 Boxscore
Mar 9, 2009 18:30 Netherlands  1–3  Puerto Rico   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:11 19,479 Boxscore
Mar 10, 2009 18:30 Dominican Republic  1–2  Netherlands 11 Hiram Bithorn Stadium 3:38 11,814 Boxscore
Mar 11, 2009 17:30 Netherlands  0–5  Puerto Rico   Hiram Bithorn Stadium 2:55 19,501 Boxscore

Second round

Pool 1

  Preliminaries Qualifiers Seeding
AR   Japan 6  
BW   Cuba 0  
  W1   Japan 1  
  W2   South Korea 4  
BR   Mexico 2
AW   South Korea 8  
  W4   South Korea 2 1R
  W5   Japan 6 1W
L1   Cuba 7  
L2   Mexico 4  
  W3   Cuba 0
  L4   Japan 5  
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 15, 2009 13:00 Japan  6–0  Cuba   Petco Park 3:33 20,179 Boxscore
Mar 15, 2009 20:00 Mexico  2–8  South Korea   Petco Park 3:43 22,337 Boxscore
Mar 16, 2009 20:00 Cuba  7–4  Mexico   Petco Park 3:09 9,329 Boxscore
Mar 17, 2009 20:00 Japan  1–4  South Korea   Petco Park 3:21 15,332 Boxscore
Mar 18, 2009 20:00 Japan  5–0  Cuba   Petco Park 3:26 9,774 Boxscore
Mar 19, 2009 18:00 Japan  6–2  South Korea   Petco Park 3:42 14,832 Boxscore

Pool 2

  Preliminaries Qualifiers Seeding
DR   Netherlands 1  
CW   Venezuela 3  
  W1   Venezuela 2  
  W2   Puerto Rico 0  
CR   United States 1
DW   Puerto Rico 11  
  W4   Venezuela 10 2W
  W5   United States 6 2R
L1   Netherlands 3  
L2   United States 9  
  W3   United States 6
  L4   Puerto Rico 5  
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 14, 2009 13:00 Netherlands  1–3  Venezuela   Dolphin Stadium 2:22 17,345 Boxscore
Mar 14, 2009 20:00 United States  1–11  Puerto Rico 7 Dolphin Stadium 2:15 30,595 Boxscore
Mar 15, 2009 19:30 Netherlands  3–9  United States   Dolphin Stadium 3:14 11,059 Boxscore
Mar 16, 2009 20:00 Venezuela  2–0  Puerto Rico   Dolphin Stadium 3:23 25,599 Boxscore
Mar 17, 2009 19:00 Puerto Rico  5–6  United States   Dolphin Stadium 3:54 13,224 Boxscore
Mar 18, 2009 19:00 United States  6–10  Venezuela   Dolphin Stadium 3:32 16,575 Boxscore

Championship round

Semifinals Final
1R  South Korea 10
2W  Venezuela 2
SF1W  South Korea 3
SF2W  Japan 5
2R  United States 4
1W  Japan 9


Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 21, 2009 18:00 South Korea  10–2  Venezuela   Dodger Stadium 3:22 43,378 Boxscore
Mar 22, 2009 17:00 United States  4–9  Japan   Dodger Stadium 3:15 43,630 Boxscore


Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 23, 2009 18:00 Japan  5–3  South Korea 10 Dodger Stadium 4:00 54,846 Boxscore

Final standings

Rk Team W L Tiebreaker
1  Japan 72
Lost in Final
2  South Korea 63
Lost in Semifinals
3  Venezuela 62
4  United States 44
Eliminated in Second Round
5  Puerto Rico 421.75 RA/9
6  Cuba 424.15 RA/9
7  Netherlands 243.98 RA/9
8  Mexico 2410.10 RA/9
Eliminated in First Round
9  Dominican Republic 121.57 RA/9
10  Italy 126.84 RA/9
11  China 127.43 RA/9
12  Australia 1210.96 RA/9
13  Canada 026.35 RA/9
14  Chinese Taipei 027.31 RA/9
15  Panama 029.00 RA/9
16  South Africa 0211.65 RA/9

 2009 World Baseball Classic Champions 

Second title


801,408 (avg. 20,549; pct. 54.5%)

First round

453,374 (avg. 18,891; pct. 55.6%)

Second round

206,180 (avg. 17,182; pct. 42.3%)

Championship round

141,854 (avg. 47,285; pct. 84.4%)

All–WBC team

C Puerto Rico Iván Rodríguez
1B South Korea Tae-Kyun Kim
2B Venezuela José López
3B South Korea Bum-Ho Lee
SS United States Jimmy Rollins
OF Japan Norichika Aoki
Cuba Frederich Cepeda
Cuba Yoenis Céspedes
DH South Korea Hyun-Soo Kim
P South Korea Jung-Keun Bong
Japan Hisashi Iwakuma
Japan Daisuke Matsuzaka

Statistics leaders


Statistic Name Total/Avg
Batting average* Australia Brett Roneberg .714
Hits Japan Norichika Aoki
Cuba Frederich Cepeda
Japan Ichiro Suzuki
Runs United States Adam Dunn
South Korea Tae-Kyun Kim
United States Kevin Youkilis
Home runs 7 Players 3
RBI South Korea Tae-Kyun Kim 11
Walks United States Adam Dunn 9
Strikeouts United States Adam Dunn
Japan Michihiro Ogasawara
Stolen bases Japan Yasuyuki Kataoka
United States Jimmy Rollins
On-base percentage* Canada Jason Bay .778
Slugging percentage* Australia Brett Roneberg 1.286
OPS* Australia Brett Roneberg 2.036

* Minimum 2.7 plate appearances per game


Statistic Name Total/Avg
Wins Japan Daisuke Matsuzaka 3
Losses United States Jeremy Guthrie 2
Saves Venezuela Francisco Rodríguez 3
Innings pitched Japan Hisashi Iwakuma 20.0
Hits allowed United States Roy Oswalt 17
Runs allowed United States Jeremy Guthrie 10
Earned runs allowed South Korea Kwang-Hyun Kim 8
ERA* Venezuela Enrique González 0.00**
Walks 5 Players 6
Strikeouts Japan Yu Darvish 20
WHIP* Dominican Republic Rafael Pérez 0.00

* Minimum 0.8 innings pitched per game
** González is tied with 17 others with a 0.00 ERA but he pitched the most innings with 9.2

Additional rules

As was the case for the 2006 Classic, several rules were announced for the 2009 tournament that modified the existing rules for international baseball set out by the IBAF.[4][5]

Once again there were limits on the number of pitches thrown in a game, though the limits themselves were changed from the previous tournament:

If a pitcher reached his limit during an at bat, he was allowed to finish pitching to the batter, but was removed from the game at the end of the at bat.

A 30–pitch outing needed to be followed by one day off, and a 50–pitch outing by four days off. No one would be allowed to pitch on three consecutive days. As the championship round was played over three consecutive days, a so-called "pitcher rest equalization" rule was added: a pitcher making 30 or more pitches in a semifinal was ineligible to pitch in the final. This negated an advantage the winners of the first semifinal would have had in the final.

A mercy rule came into effect when one team led by either fifteen runs after five innings, or ten runs after seven innings in the first two rounds.

Instant replay was also available to umpires during the tournament. As was introduced in Major League Baseball during the 2008 season, replays were only used to adjudicate on home run decisions, to determine whether the ball was fair or foul, over the fence or not, and the impact of fan interference.

An alternative version of the IBAF's extra inning rule was also introduced. If after 12 innings the score was still tied, each half inning thereafter would have started with runners on second and first base. The runners would have been the eighth and ninth hitters due in that inning respectively. For example, if the number five hitter was due to lead off the inning, the number three hitter would have been on second base, and the number four hitter on first base. However, this rule was never actually employed in this year's Classic, as the two extra-inning games in the tournament ended prior to a 13th inning.

All base coaches were required to wear protective helmets, in the aftermath of the death of Mike Coolbaugh and participating teams were required to announce the next day's starting pitcher. Additionally, a modified early termination rule was in effect for the first two rounds; had a team been ahead by 15 or more runs after five innings or ten or more runs after seven or eight innings, the game ended at that point.

Prize money

USD 14,000,000

By final standings

Bonus for pool winners

Media coverage

In the United States, ESPN and the MLB Network shared the rights, with ESPN broadcasting 23 of the games, including the Finals, while MLB Network showed the remaining 16.[6] Spanish language telecasts in the USA were handled by ESPN Deportes telecasting all games. Internationally, it was broadcast to 167 countries by ESPN International.

In Canada, Rogers Sportsnet aired all 39 games.[7]

In the Dominican Republic, CDN (Cadena de Noticias) and CDN2 broadcast all games live (except for games played in Tokyo, shown on tape delay)

In Japan, J Sports broadcast all 39 games. TV Asahi (Round 1) and TBS (Round 2 and Finals) broadcast all games featuring Japan. For all games featuring Japan, they gained viewing ratings of at least 20%. The final game gained ratings in the range 30-45%.[8]

Video games

World Baseball Classic 2009 has licensed three video games, all made in Japan: Pro Yakyuu Spirits 6,[9] Baseball Heroes 2009[10] and Jikkyou Pawafuru Major League 2009[11]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2009 World Baseball Classic.


  1. "WBC 2009 Brackets". Major League Baseball. 2008-07-31. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
  2. 1 2 "Classic changes advancement rules". Major League Baseball. 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
  3. 1 2 "Dodger Stadium to host Classic finals". Major League Baseball. 2008-07-31. Archived from the original on 9 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
  4. "Several rules changes adopted for 2009 World Baseball Classic" (Press release). Major League Baseball. 29 January 2009. Archived from the original on 6 October 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  5. Miller, Doug; MLB.com (30 January 2009). "Rules changes approved for Classic". WorldBaseballClassic.com. Major League Baseball. Archived from the original on 4 February 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2009.
  6. Ibarra, Sergio (2008-10-07). "ESPN, MLB Net Map Plans for World Baseball Classic". TelevisionWeek. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  7. "Notebook: Happy fans would pay Junior well". Toronto Star. 2009-02-25. Archived from the original on 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  8. "WBC決勝戦視聴率、36.4%【WBC】" (in Japanese). Jiji Press. 2009-03-25. Archived from the original on 2009-09-08. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
  9. "Pro Yakyuu Spirits 6". Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  10. "Baseball Heroes 2009". Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  11. "Jikkyou Pawafuru Major League 2009". Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2010.

External links

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