Reds Director of Media Relations Rob Butcher is currently in Taiwan working the World Baseball Classic qualifiers on behalf of Major League Baseball. He’s been kind enough to document his experience for Better Off Red with posts and pictures. Enjoy!

The single photo of the tarp on the field summarizes Saturday’s vibe in New Taipei City, Taiwan. After a rain delay of 4 hours and 38 minutes, we played under dry skies and New Zealand beat Philippines, 10-6, to advance to the qualifier final. Sunday’s championship game between New Zealand and undefeated Chinese Taipei can be seen live on MLB Network and mlb.com at 1:00 a.m. ET. The winner advances to the third World Baseball Classic in March.

In the Panama City qualifier on Friday, Colombia beat Nicaragua, 8-1, to set up Saturday afternoon’s 2:00 p.m. ET meeting between manager Eduardo Perez’ Colombia team and manager Barry Larkin’s Brazil club. Follow all the games at www.worldbaseballclassic.com. For the very curious, gamenotes and stats can be found at www.mlbpressbox.com/wbc.

Saturday’s long rain delay did allow me the opportunity to catch up with an old Rodger O. Borror Junior High and Wilmington High School classmate of mine, David Atkin, who with his son Noah took the bullet train from Taichung to Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City. David works in Taiwan for a church planting organization called Team Expansion (www.teamexpansion.org). This summer, as part of their mission David and Noah are going to bike across the United States. Follow their 3,600-mile journey at www.gloritrek.com.

Until tomorrow, no cheering in the press box…

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