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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Perth claim second consecutive Shield (Australian Baseball League title)

ADELAIDE, 8 February - For the fourth time in five years, Perth reign supreme atop the pedestal of the Australian Baseball League. The Alcohol. Think Again Perth Heat beat the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks, 12-5 in Sunday’s third and final game of the ABL Championship Series presented by ConocoPhillips, to take home the Claxton Shield for the second consecutive season.

The Yankees of Down Under.

Gamingboy Posted: February 08, 2015 at 02:26 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: australia, international

Friday, January 09, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-9-2015

Milwaukee Journal, January 9, 1915:

That the proposed tour of South America by major league baseball teams during the winter of 1915-16 will be a financial success and boom for the sport south of the equator is the confident prediction made by several American business men conversant with conditions throughout the southern continent. Baseball is frequently played by Americans residing in the principal cities of Chile, Peru, Argentina and other South American countries.
...
The younger generations are taking to the game and already play fair baseball. Leagues composed of native players are predicted within the next ten years…

Okay, so maybe there haven’t been any major leaguers from Chile, Peru, or Argentina, but South America has produced some excellent ballplayers. One of the best catchers in the American League was born and raised in Brazil.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

In Africa, Out of Nowhere, There Is Baseball - WSJ

It’s baseball.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 10:06 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pirates Win Bidding For Jung-ho Kang

The Pirates have won the bidding for Korean infielder Jung-ho Kang, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The amount of the winning bid has yet to be reported, but Kang’s former club, the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, will reportedly accept the bid.

The Heroes, you say???

The District Attorney Posted: December 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: international, jung-ho kang, korea, pirates, transactions

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Opening of Relations Could Bring Cuban Stars to Major League Baseball

At one point Wednesday, Major League Baseball became so concerned about the reaction to Obama’s announcement that it sent a directive to its 30 teams pointing out that it remained illegal to scout players in Cuba, or to sign them, because the American embargo of the island remained in effect. Obama cannot lift the embargo on his own, and a Congress that will be fully controlled by Republicans starting in January is unlikely to go along with the idea, at least any time soon.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 17, 2014 at 10:15 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, international

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Speck on the Map Gushes Talent Curaçao Becomes Unlikely Supplier of Major League Players

The soil here is not particularly arable, but those little rocks have helped produce some of the most talented middle infielders in baseball, softening their hands and honing their reflexes to react to the most unexpected of bounces.  One of them, Didi Gregorius, will most likely succeed Derek Jeter as the Yankees’ shortstop. Others include Andrelton Simmons of the Atlanta Braves, considered by many baseball’s best defensive shortstop, and Jonathan Schoop, the second baseman of the Baltimore Orioles, with the group’s ranks far exceeding what one might expect from such a tiny populace.

NattyBoh Posted: December 15, 2014 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: caribbean, curaçao, international, scouting

Monday, December 08, 2014

CBSSports: Mets, Giants, A’s, other clubs eye top Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang

Kang has consistently put up huge numbers in Korea and posted an amazing .364/.457/.733 slash line in 2014 for the Nexen Heores, hitting 39 home runs in 116 games. The big question is how those numbers translate, which is why he could be viewed as a bargain by some.

Yes, that is the question.  Any speculation on how this fellow’s skills translate?

Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 08, 2014 at 02:33 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, giants, international, korean baseball, mets

Friday, December 05, 2014

The Weirdest Cuban Baseball Defection Story You’ll Ever Read

But even executives who have spent years in the international player market are marveling at the mystery and innuendo surrounding 19-year-old Cuban phenom shortstop Yoan Moncada: his legal exit from Cuba, his subsequent romantic pairing with a player agent, and his representation by an accountant who has never had an athlete client in any capacity. Nobody has seen a Cuban defection story quite like this.

“It doesn’t make it comfortable for me, but in a way, we sort of have come to expect it with this market,” one American League team executive said of Moncada’s situation. “It makes us ask questions, but in the end, someone is going to spend smartly to get the services of a player that can change a franchise. Most teams are going to have a little reservation about the story itself, but I don’t think it’s going to stop the industry from paying.”

Gamingboy Posted: December 05, 2014 at 09:54 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, defection, international, yoan moncada

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

IOC to bring in cheaper, easier bidding for Games (also: Baseball/Softball could be in for 2020)

...

Sports will also not wait seven years from approval to their Olympic first appearance, and instead could be brought in for just one Olympics to maximize the Games’ reach and attraction.

The first Games to benefit could be the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with organizers pushing for the inclusion of baseball and softball.

Gamingboy Posted: November 18, 2014 at 12:03 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: international, olympics

Friday, November 07, 2014

Tohoku field of dreams: Sanriku Railway forms baseball team in disaster-hit town

More general manager news.

Sanriku Railway Co. and food giant Nestle Japan Ltd. announced Nov. 6 that they have teamed to form an amateur baseball club in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, to invigorate the region still rebounding from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake….

To be called Sanriku Tetsudo Kit Dreams, the team will be made up of 29 players from Sanriku Railway staff members and local residents living near the railway lines.

Miyako Mayor Masanori Yamamoto was named manager of the team and Seattle Mariners pitcher and former Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles standout Hisashi Iwakuma has been tapped to be general manager.

“We want to inject our energy into supporting reconstruction (in the Tohoku region) through the team,” Iwakuma said at a Nov. 6 news conference in Tokyo.

Greg Franklin Posted: November 07, 2014 at 01:51 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international, japan, mariners

Cano, Puig head Japan All-Star Series roster

Originally Harper, Pujols and Adam Jones were going to go too, but obviously they/their agents/their teams decided otherwise. All games will be on MLB.tv and MLB Network

PITCHERS (14)
Jeff Beliveau, Rays
Jerry Blevins, Nationals
Chris Capuano, free agent
Randy Choate, Cardinals
Jeremy Guthrie, Royals
Tommy Hunter, Orioles
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
Mark Melancon, Pirates
Franklin Morales, free agent
Hector Santiago, Angels
Matt Shoemaker, Angels
Jose Veras, Astros
Tsuyoshi Wada, Cubs
Rob Wooten, Brewers

CATCHERS (3)
Drew Butera, Dodgers
Erik Kratz, Royals
Salvador Perez, Royals

INFIELDERS (7)
Jose Altuve, Astros
Robinson Cano, Mariners
Alcides Escobar, Royals
Evan Longoria, Rays
Justin Morneau, Rockies
Eduardo Nunez, Twins
Carlos Santana, Indians

OUTFIELDERS (2)
Dexter Fowler, Astros
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers

INFIELDERS/OUTFIELDERS (3)
Chris Carter, Astros
Lucas Duda, Mets
Ben Zobrist, Rays

 

Gamingboy Posted: November 07, 2014 at 10:44 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: international, japan

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jim Kaat: Will we finally get The Real Deal?

Kaat Said: Orientalism.

A couple of short stories about Asian pitchers and Irabu: I was announcing Yankee games in the mid-90s when I said over the air, “I wonder if we’ll ever see an Oriental position player in the Major Leagues?” Dion James was playing for the Yankees at the time, and told me about an exciting 19-year old named Ichiro Suzuki who had a chance to be the first. We all know that story. Big fan of Bernie Williams from watching Yankee games in Japan. Wears number 51 because of that.

So, I get a letter about a week later from an Asian baseball fan. Not a malicious letter but scolding me gently for referring to Asian players as “Oriental.” He said, “Noodles and rugs are Oriental, not people. We are Asians.” Fortunately for me, he put his phone number in the letter, so I called him.

We had a pleasant conversation and I told him I certainly didn’t intentionally say “Oriental’ as a slur or condescending remark. It was said innocently out of ignorance. He understood. I asked him if he would be watching the next game we televised. He said he would. He was a huge baseball fan and was complimentary of our telecasts on the MSG Network. I asked if he would please watch and listen in the top of the 4th inning. He said he would.  I took the opportunity to clear up the Oriental/Asian situation.

...So, I’lll be keeping a close eye on Yu Darvish and see if he is finally the one to be able to challenge and dominate our bigger, more powerful big league hitters. For his and the Rangers’ sake, I hope he does. It will be good for the game and the Rangers profit and loss statement!

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 06:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, history, international, japan, media, rangers, yankees

SI.com: Economic considerations at heart of Carmona’s decision

An interesting analysis of signing ages, signing bonuses, and success rates in the Dominican Republic, by Melissa Segura of Sports Illustrated ...

Teams pay premiums for 16-year-olds for two primary reasons: One, because teams often want to be the first to sign a promising player and, thus, avoid bidding wars with other teams; and two, clubs prefer to develop their players’ skills under the watchful eyes of their own club personnel rather than under those of unqualified and unaffiliated coaches or trainers.

But are 18-year-old Latin American players really worth 70 percent less than their 16-year-old counterparts? Here’s another data analysis that calls into question the industry practice of placing a premium on youth. Let’s assume the most basic marker of a successful signing is making it to the majors. We’ll make it simple and look at the 79 players who have made their major league debuts from 2008-2011 from Carmona’s Dominican Republic. Of those 79, only six were signed as 16-year-olds. The debuts suggest older players were more likely to advance to the majors. ...

[...]

What’s more, SI tracked down the bonus data for 60 of the 79 players. Fernando Martinez, signed by the Mets in 2005 for $1.3 million, was the only one to receive a seven-figure bonus. Only nine others signed for six figures and one — the Rockies’ Juan Nicasio — received nada to sign, according to the data obtained by SI. The median signing bonus among them tallied a paltry $35,000.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 21, 2012 at 04:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, international, mets, miami, minor leagues, rockies, scouting

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fausto Carmona arrested in Dominican Republic for using false identity

Sure, when Newton McPherson uses a different name, its okay, but when Roberto Hernandez Heredia does it, its a criminal matter!

Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com passes along word from reporter Yancen Pujols that Indians right-hander Fausto Carmona was arrested in the Dominican Republic and is being charged with using a false identity.

According to Pujols, Dominican police arrested Carmona–whose real name is apparently Roberto Hernandez Heredia–while he was leaving the American consulate after renewing his visa.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2012 at 03:46 PM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, international

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jimmy Rollins Travels to Uganda to Play with Kids, Freestyle Raps Along the Way

Shortstopyo: Game Beginning.

ESPN The Magazine’s Steve Wulf wrote about Rollins’ experience with the kids. Not surprisingly, the trip seems to have meant as much to Rollins as it did for the kids, who will hopefully get a nicer ball field due in part to Jimmy’s efforts.

The whole story is worth your time, for sure, but we thoroughly enjoyed one nugget in particular. Jimmy was pulled onto a stage during a lunchtime gathering on Martin Luther King Day and busted out a freestyle rap that went something like this, according to ESPN:

“One two one two, in Uganda baseball comes through

Big D Lee in the house and so is me doing it everyday casually

Because we like to play and get down, Uganda, Nsambya, the big towns

I’m not done, we get it down, we get it too, I stand up and push, it’s on you

And when the ball leave the field I’m gonna clown

Walk down the baseline, throw a pound

To the sky, up high, to my fans, we got a plan

Everybody just say baseball … baseball

Everybody say baseball … baseball”

Repoz Posted: January 17, 2012 at 08:47 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: international, music, phillies

Monday, January 16, 2012

NYT: Puerto Rico Traces Decline in Prospects to Baseball Draft

The league’s struggles are merely the most vivid manifestation of a more profound, and surprising, phenomenon playing out here: the general decline of baseball in a place where it was long considered the national pastime, if not a religion. After decades of populating major league rosters with All-Star players at every position, Puerto Rico had only 20 players on Major League Baseball rosters on opening day last season. Only two of them made the All-Star team. (By contrast, the 1997 All-Star Game included eight Puerto Ricans.)

and

“From a socioeconomic standpoint, things have changed quite a bit in Puerto Rico,” Alderson said. “There are lots of other ways to spend your time. In the Dominican Republic, on the other hand, unfortunately, poor kids who are playing ball and who are from the lowest economic strata in that country, baseball is a way to escape, so there’s a greater concentration of players and effort. I think they’re just very different dynamics than Puerto Rico.”

Obvious solution: expansion of poverty! Why are you guys making this so hard?

 

Cris E Posted: January 16, 2012 at 05:35 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, international

Oakland manager Melvin excited about Japan series

The Athletics and Seattle Mariners open the regular season with a two-game series at Tokyo Dome on March 28-29. Many hoped the series would feature a showdown between Matsui and countryman Ichiro Suzuki, but Melvin said the A’s likely wont be re-signing the 37-year-old free agent Matsui.

“Matsui was a great fit for us last year and we all loved having him on our team,’’ Melvin said at a press conference on Monday to promote the series. “But this year it doesn’t look like a fit for us based on the personnel we have going forward.’‘

...Suzuki also had a down season in 2011. For the first time in his career, He failed to reach 200 hits - finishing with 184 - and hit a career-worst .272. Other numbers were lower too, including on-base percentage, infield hits and home runs, while he struck out a career-high 69 times.

Former Seattle star Ken Griffey Jr., who now serves as a special consultant to the Mariners, said he expects Suzuki to bounce back this season.

“Ichiro is going to be fine, you can ask these two guys (Melvin, Wedge) if a guy had 184 hits they wouldn’t be complaining,’’ Griffey said. “But you are looking at a guy who is a special athlete. He had one hiccup in his career and come this time next year we won’t even be talking about this. He is going to come into this season determined and with a little fire.’‘

Hiccup?...That was a freakin’ Dave McNally tally if ever!

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:06 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, international, japan, mariners

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fangraphs: Can Yoenis Cespedes Showcase Talents In MLB?

Os as shape-shifter deluxe, Mitch Williams said the other day…“All Yoenis Cespedes does is hit ground balls!”

So although Cespedes was definitely one of the top power hitters in the Cuban League, his exploits are hardly all-world or necessarily the best in his own country. The Cuban parks seem to be very difficult to pitch in. According to Davenport’s translations — which probably have to be taken with a pound of salt given how few players make the transition from Cuban baseball to American professional baseball — Cespedes’s numbers still work out to above-average major league power. I don’t think this is a terribly surprising conclusion — it’s difficult to hit 33 home runs in 350 at-bats in any league. It just doesn’t necessarily mean a 60-homer season is coming in the states.

The next question relates to plate discipline.

...Cespedes has shown remarkable improvement from a hack-tastic first season, all the way to the point where he walked more times than he struck out in 2011. However, there is the question of how many of those walks were intentional — he was in the process of setting a new home run record, after all. Either way, Cespedes made excellent contact in each of the past four seasons and although his strikeouts will undoubtedly rise against the higher talent in the MLB, we shouldn’t expect him to be the next Austin Jackson.

...Just looking at the statistics Cespedes compiled in Cuba, there isn’t a glaring weakness which looks to tank his game upon landing with an American (or Torontonian) squad. He was as complete as a player can be in any league. Much of his value depends on his ability to play center field, of which there seems to be optimism around scouts. His Cuban numbers seem to suggest above-average power for the position already, and with any sort of plate discipline he has the ability to push an All-Star level in MLB. With his power and his superior athleticism and strength, the risk factor for Cespedes seems lower than with other relative unknown players, and the reward if he reaches his potential could be incredible.

Repoz Posted: January 14, 2012 at 06:51 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international, projections, sabermetrics

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

[Australian] Baseball attendances a numbers game

Melbourne Aces, who call the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds home, have attracted one crowd of more than 1500 in 10 openings this season.
...

[ABL chief executive Peter Wermuth] said the ABL needed crowds of at least 2500 to be sustainable, but he added there wasn’t an expectation that mark would be reached in the second year.

“We knew it would be a long haul. We’re looking for slow growth rather than take steps that we couldn’t afford or sustain. Our biggest challenge ... is a lack of decent venues. We knew this going in, but we didn’t realise how bad the situation was. It affects us on all kinds of fronts - it makes it tough to get people in the stands, to get corporates involved and, almost in every case, they’re not set up for TV.

You want sponsors?  Put a team in Toowoomba.


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vene: My vote for Cooperstown will be for a single candidate

Every year I come across one special ballot (among other beauties)...this year it’s Juan Vene’s. Let there be luck, Juan!

Something very serious. The six hundred members of the Association know. We got our hands the ability to immortalize them or not. So we have to be so honored as to be beyond the sentimienrtos by race, nationality, religion, friends, enemies and other prejudices.

Do not vote for Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire nor, Edgar Martinez, Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell, Dave Parker, Lee Smith, Jeff Bagwell, and Tim Raines.

I check the names of 27 candidates, and conclude that one vote for Jack (The Jack) Morris, because without steroids, was a tremendous horse in the playoffs and World Series in addition to its record of 254-186 with two thousand 478 strikeouts in three thousand 824 innngs, among other beauties.

If the sole purpose of spectator sport is to win enough who help their teams to reach the ball in October, and then excel in that particular activity, they deserve the vote to go to Cooperstown.

...Now, if you believe in predictions, only this time achieved a minimum of 75% votes. Dawn and see, as they say ... I say, right?

Among the candidates this year, honestamete, I find it difficult to find sufficient reasons, after Morris, to deserve the honor of Cooperstown. So vote for him only. Let there be luck, Jack!

Repoz Posted: December 31, 2011 at 02:43 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, international

Friday, December 30, 2011

Doctor who treated A-Rod: I can cure arthritis

This better have nothing to do with me waiting on my “Phlegm-scented Invisible Cement” patent!

The doctor that New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez traveled to Germany to see for his aching knee and shoulder is a former physician for Pope John Paul II who claims to be a miracle worker when it comes to reversing arthritis.

A long list of Hollywood stars and pro athletes have travelled to Dusseldorf to seek treatment from Peter Wehling, a brash molecular scientist with a taste for celebrity. His website shows him arm and arm with patient Nick Nolte. Golfer Fred Couples wrote an introduction to Wehling’s recent book, The End of Pain. But it took the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who sought help for his ailing right knee this summer, to get A-Rod interested in Wehling’s pioneering treatments.

...In an interview with ESPN The Magazine, Wehling claimed to have a 90 percent success rate by genetically screening his patients to personalize their serums.

“I am the only one to have found a way to cure arthritis,” he said.

...But MLB’s medical director, Gary Green, told ESPN New York that the league did not give the Yankees any green light.

“We don’t have a mechanism for a medical approval process,” he said. “We just tell the teams to make sure their players follow state and local laws.”

Repoz Posted: December 30, 2011 at 12:27 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: international, rumors, steroids, yankees

Friday, December 23, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-23-2011

New York Times, December 23, 1911:

“These Cubans,” said Mr. McGraw last night, “are only fair ball players. They are as fast as lightning on the bases and they can throw to beat the band. They have picked up all the knacks of fielding, but they cannot bat.

“Not only that, but they do not play what we call brainy baseball. Very little attention is given to brainwork on the diamond. They perform the manual part of the game very well, but the keen, crafty headwork we see in the game here is missing.”

Hey Reggie White, what about Japanese players?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Author W.P. Kinsella selected as Jack Graney Award winner for his book ‘Shoeless Joe’

Author W.P. Kinsella has won the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Jack Graney Award for his 1982 novel “Shoeless Joe.”
....

The Jack Graney Award is given for significant contribution to baseball in Canada through a life’s work or a singular outstanding achievement.

Gamingboy Posted: December 21, 2011 at 11:42 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Australian Baseball League: World All-Stars prevail in inaugural showcase

The ConocoPhillips 2011 ABL All-Star Game, held at Perth’s Barbagallo Ballpark, was a thrilling affair in which the World All-Stars, led by game MVP Tyler Collins, prevailed over the home-standing Australian National Team by an 8-5 score. Collins drove in three on an opposite field home run, scored two, and added another hit in the game. Mike McGuire started on the mound for the World team and was credited with the win and veteran reliever Dae Sung Koo picked up the save.

Collins is in the Tigers system.

Gamingboy Posted: December 21, 2011 at 11:10 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, international, minor leagues, tigers

2011 (Australian Baseball League) All-Star Game tomorrow

Australian National Team vs. a team of the best foreign players in the Australian Baseball League (an eclectic mix of Minor Leaguers, some young Japanese players, and a few Indy-leaguers) . It’ll be on (on tape delay) at 1:00 PM EST tomorrow on MLB Network.

(Link is to the starting lineups)

Players with MLB experience on Team Australia: Luke Hughes, Shane Lindsay, Chris Oxspring, Justin Huber

Players on Team World with MLB experience: Chin-lung Hu, Jason Hirsh, Dae-Sung Koo (there are also several players with NPB experience)

Gamingboy Posted: December 21, 2011 at 12:37 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: international, minor leagues

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