In preparation for the 2009 World Baseball Classic next March, the two European participants Italy and the Netherlands will face Major League teams in Florida before the start of the tournament. Italy is squaring off against Washington Nationals on March 3rd and the Florida Marlins on March 4th. Afterwards they are traveling to Toronto to open the WBC against Venezuela. Canada and Team USA are the other two competitors in Pool C at the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Dutch team is using the Spring Training facilities of the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton in training camp and will likely face the Major League team in an exhibition match. On March 5th they will make the bus ride to Fort Myers to play against the Minnesota Twins. They are in Pool D with Panama, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, playing at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, which has hosted Major League games of the Montreal Expos in the past. The Netherlands open the tournament against the Dominicans.
European Teams in Major League Spring Training:
March 3rd, 1.05 pm ET, Italy versus Washington Nationals
March 4th, 1.05pm ET, Italy versus Florida Marlins
March 5th, 2.05pm ET, Netherlands versus Minnesota Twins
TBD, Netherlands versus Pittsburgh Pirates