HAVANA TIMES — From November 8 to 21, Japan and Taiwan will welcome the world’s best 12 baseball squadrons, set to compete for the first time in Premier 12, a tournament that today replaces yesterday’s World Cups while preserving the aim of gathering the best teams on the planet and awarding the winning country the world title.
The tournament is to be held every four years, always before the Olympic Games and never parallel the World Classics. Two of this competition’s major differences with respect to similar World Cups or Championships are the fact this event offers all participants monetary prizes and that eligibility is decided on the basis of the IBAF World Ranking at the close of the previous year.
The decision to establish the tournament was to a great extent motivated by the elimination of baseball in the Summer Olympics program.
The chair of the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC), Italian Riccardo Fraccari, stated that the tournament constitutes a vital push towards having baseball included in the 2020 Olympics, to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
With respect to monetary prices, the tournament’s organizing entity (the WBSC) recently confirmed that the Premier 12 winner will receive a US $ 1 million award (of US $ 3.8 million the organization will offer in such prizes).
The winning team will not be the only squadron to go home with their pockets full. All 12 contenders – Japan, the US, Cuba, Taiwain, Holland, the Dominican Republic, Canada, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Italy and Mexico (it appears Mexico will indeed compete and that rumors of its exclusion are false) – will walk away with cash prizes, and even those who come in last (from 9th to 12th place) will receive a total of US $150,000.
The following quantities will be offered teams in dependence of their ranking:
As we can appreciate, the mere fact of participating guarantees each country a monetary incentive 50% of which, at the close of the tournament, must end up in the hands of team players.
If we take Cuba’s team as an example, by participating in the tournament, the squadron will walk away with at least US $150,000, if it finishes at the bottom in 9th to 12th place. Divided in two, this provides US $75,000 dollars that must be divided among the 28 players on the team (US $2,678.57 each).
Let’s hope our baseball players are able to receive this well-deserved money without any problems or complications.