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    China puts Classic in perspective

    Ask China manager Jim Lefebvre the kind of journey his squad has made leading up to the World Baseball Classic, and he will tell you it is beyond description. And it is ongoing.

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    Taipei manager emphasizes balance

    Chinese Taipei manager Hua-Wei Lin looked ahead on Monday to his club's competition in the opening round of the World Baseball Classic, stressing the importance of balance.

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    Wait over, first Classic ready to begin

    Two years in the planning, the inaugural World Baseball Classic will begin Thursday night (Friday in Japan) in Tokyo Dome when Korea faces Chinese Taipei. It's the first step in a grand tournament featuring baseball's best.

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    Pool A projected lineups, rotations

    Four national baseball squads will converge in Tokyo this weekend to begin play of the inaugural World Baseball Classic. The top two teams in Pool A will advance to the second round, which will be held March 12-16 in Anaheim.

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    Taipei setting realistic goals

    Chinese Taipei's mantra for the World Baseball Classic will sound something like this: We can't win if we don't score any runs, but if they don't score any runs, we can't lose.

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    China ready for looming challenge

    The Chinese national team has come a long way in a short time, and the World Baseball Classic offers the biggest challenge yet for the team that will represent China in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

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    Korea seeks final four Classic finish

    Korea, with the most-developed offensive squad in the Asia round, enters the World Baseball Classic with a talented roster and great expectations for national glory.

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    Talented Japan the class of Pool A

    Japan is the host nation for Pool A, and it is the most established baseball power in East Asia. The Japanese have legitimate stars in the Major Leagues, and some think the upper echelon of Japan's pro league can be competitive with the MLB's best.

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    Pool A teams converge in Tokyo

    Four countries with varied baseball histories converge in Tokyo this weekend for the first round of games in the inaugural World Baseball Classic.

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    Notes: Clemens to pitch to prospects

    Roger Clemens will pitch to Astros Minor League prospects, including his son Koby, on Monday and Thursday as he continues to prepare for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Clemens will be leaving for Team USA's camp in Arizona later this week.