#REDS’ ROB BUTCHER CHECKS IN FOR DAY TWO FROM @WBCBASEBALL QUALIFIERS IN TAIWAN

Reds Director of Media Relations Rob Butcher is currently in Taiwan working the World Baseball Classic qualifiers on behalf of Major League Baseball. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to check in with a blog post and send some photos. Enjoy!

Day Two

Today’s blog photos are from Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City, Tawain, which beginning Thursday will host one of Major League Baseball’s four qualifying tournaments for the 2013 World Baseball Classic (Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand). The qualifier in Panama City, Panama also begins Thursday (Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua). The two winners advance to the third WBC in March along with Spain and Canada, who qualified in September.

Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium seats about 13,000 fans, and work crews have been working hard getting it ready for Thursday’s first two games. Two games also will be played Friday, followed by single games Saturday and Sunday. The Taiwan bracket’s championship game will be broadcast live on MLB Network at 1:00 a.m. ET Sunday.

One of the things that jumped out at me during our walkthrough of the ballpark is that the main press box is located slightly below field level right behind the plate. For someone used to watching the game from high above the playing field, the view will be a little different. There is auxiliary press seating in the last three rows of stands behind the plate and then broadcast booths at suite level at the top of the stadium.

New Zealand, Philippines and Thailand were scheduled to arrive today, when they will be fitted for their WBC uniforms. The teams will work out at the ballpark tomorrow, when our photographer will take head shots of each member of the team. Wednesday, the workouts will be followed by an introductory press conference and a welcome party. Team photos will be taken on the field Thursday.

Fans can follow this week’s tournaments at http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com, and beginning Wednesday MLB.com contributor Debby Wu will report from here daily.

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