Comox Valley’s Taylor Green returns to baseball’s international stage this week as Canada vies for the title of The #1 Baseball Country at the inaugural WBSC Premier12 in Japan and Taiwan.
The Nov. 8-21 tournament brings together the top 12 ranked nations in the baseball world according to the WBSC ranking system. Canada, currently #7, meets #3 Cuba Nov. 10 in their first game at Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan.
Canada and Cuba are in Group A along with #4 Chinese Taipei, #5 Netherlands, #9 Puerto Rico and #11 Italy. Group B includes #1 Japan, #2 United States, #6 Dominican Republic, #8 South Korea and #10 Venezuela.
Canada’s preliminary round games and potential quarter-final game will take place in Taichung, while semifinal and medal games will be played at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.
After arriving in Taiwan on Nov. 5, Canada played tune-up games against Mexico (8-0 win Nov. 6) and Venezuela (5-5 tie Nov. 7) before Tuesday’s opener against Cuba.
Other Group A games for Canada are Nov. 11 vs. Puerto Rico, Nov. 12 vs. Chinese Taipei, Nov. 14 vs. Italy and Nov. 15 vs. Netherlands. Quarter-finals go Nov. 16, with semifinals Nov. 19-20 and the gold and bronze medal games on Nov. 21.
Green is not a newcomer to the national team. He represented Canada at the 2013 World Baseball Classic and has played in several international and Olympic qualifying tournaments over the past decade.
The Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School grad is with the Milwaukee Brewers organization and had the honour of playing in the MLB 2011 National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Green says he is thrilled to be reuniting with one of his childhood idols and Canadian team coach Larry Walker for Premier12.
The 29-year-old infielder was drafted by the Brewers in the 25th round (745th pick) of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his MLB debut on Aug. 31, 2011 as a pinch hitter, singling in his first at bat. He played the 2015 regular season with the AA Biloxi Shuckers.
After guiding Canada to a gold medal at the Pan Am Games in Toronto in July, Ernie Whitt will manage the 25-player senior national team for the 13th time at Premier12. Also returning to the coaching staff from the Pan Am Games are Walker, Denis Boucher, Paul Quantrill and Greg Hamilton.
SHORT HOPS Fans in Canada can watch the game on Sportsnet ONE (5:30 a.m. ET with a replay at 3 p.m ET) …fans not in the Sportsnet ONE viewing region can view the game at: http://bit.ly/1QcFHuU … follow Premier12 action at wbsc.org … Team Canada details are at baseball.ca … Green will be wearing uni #14 … along with national pride, there is $4 million in prize money at stake, with the winner going home $1,000,000 richer …