Secaucus, NJ — MLB Network will air the WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC TONIGHT ROSTER SPECIAL on Monday, January 19 at 6:00 p.m. ET, to announce the provisional rosters for the 2009 tournament. The one hour special will include live interviews with special guests featuring Team USA Manager Davey Johnson, as well as participating World Baseball Classic players Curtis Granderson of the Detroit Tigers and Carlos Delgado and David Wright of the New York Mets. The 2009 World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, which will take place from March 5 to March 23, 2009.
MLB Network’s live WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC TONIGHT ROSTER SPECIAL will reveal the provisional rosters for each of the participating teams, which will feature the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. MLB Network on-air talent Greg Amsinger, Barry Larkin, Harold Reynolds and special host, former Major League Baseball player Alex Gonzalez, will provide detailed analysis and commentary regarding each 2009 player, team and bracket. The show will also feature special guests including Granderson — who in October 2008 became the first current MLB player to tour China promoting the game of baseball with trips to Shanghai and Beijing — Wright, Delgado and Johnson. Coverage will also include special footage of players and a recap of the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006. MLB Network will also broadcast 16 World Baseball Classic games throughout March.
“MLB Network’s coverage of the World Baseball Classic provisional roster is another way we are working to build special programming around specific announcements and events,” said Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer of MLB Network. “Viewers will come to us as a source of timely information presented in a unique way.”
The live 6:00 p.m. ET show on Monday, January 19 will be immediately followed by Hot Stove at 7:00 p.m. ET. MLB Network will replay the 2009 WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC TONIGHT ROSTER SPECIAL at 10:00 p.m. ET and plans to air a second, live show once the final 2009 World Baseball Classic roster is confirmed in February. MLB Network will also air extensive coverage throughout the 2009 World Baseball Classic tournament, including a series of live shows prior to and during the tournament.
MLB Network launched in approximately 50 million cable and satellite homes on January 1, 2009 as the largest debut in cable television history, exceeding any other cable television launch by approximately 20 million. With live games, original programming, highlights, classic games, and coverage of baseball events, MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans. For more information, go to mlbnetwork.com.
Participating Teams and First-Round Schedules:
Pool A – China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea, from March 5-9 in Tokyo.
Pool B – Australia, Cuba, Mexico and South Africa, from March 8-12 in Mexico City.
Pool C – Canada, Italy, the U.S. and Venezuela, from March 7-11 in Toronto.
Pool D – Dominican Republic, the Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico, from March 7-11 in Puerto Rico.
About World Baseball Classic, Inc.
World Baseball Classic, Inc. is a company created at the direction of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), is supported by MLB, the MLBPA, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other leagues and players from around the world.
About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament, sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. In March 2006, 486 players (235 of them from MLB organizations) representing 16 teams from across the globe competed in the inaugural event. More than 740,000 fans from 48 states and 15 countries attended games (16 of which sold out) and millions more watched on TV as Team Japan was crowned the first-ever World Baseball Classic Champion. The inaugural tournament was broadcast by 48 media outlets in 10 languages to 205 countries and territories around the world. Media members representing 25 different nations attended the 39 games in seven host venues across three countries/territories. The upcoming World Baseball Classic will be played from March 5 – 23 and will again feature 16 of the greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held every four years thereafter, with plans in place to expand the participant field beginning in 2013.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.