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Friday, August 29, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-29-2014

Chicago Eagle, August 29, 1914:

Captain John C. Leonard, United States navy, who was in command of the battleship Virginia when Vera Cruz was taken, declared the other day that “the great game of baseball will civilize Mexico.”

“Besides having a great influence in that direction,” said Captain Leonard, “baseball will supplant the brutal bull fighting.

“In Vera Cruz boys are now playing the game.

“The bull fighting was not relished by the Americans, and General Funston put a stop to it.”

Well, he was half right. They do like their béisbol.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:06 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, international

Friday, August 22, 2014

Brisbee: Rusney Castillo reminds us how screwed amateur players can be

The Cuban guys do almost always have better names. “Rusney” is pretty good, although the “Castillo” is uninspiring. Stuff like “Erisbel Arruebarrena” and “Odrisamer Despaigne” is just incredible.

[Rusney] Castillo got just over nine times the largest bonus ever handed out in the draft, the $8 million Gerrit Cole received from the Pirates. That’s partially because the Red Sox are expecting Castillo to help the 2015 team, which makes this something of an apples/oranges comparison, but he’s getting the money mostly because the Red Sox could give it to him…

Just look at the pennywhistles and moon pies that Rusney Castillo can buy now, even though no one knows exactly how he compares to the 90 best outfielders around the league. The headline for this could just as easily be “Scott Boras makes an excellent point about the draft” or “Scott Boras, unlikely freedom fighter” or “Agreeing with Scott Boras and then taking a long, long shower,” because Boras mentions this same point every June. And Boras was the guy who found loopholes to make Travis Lee and Matt White free agents in 1996, eventually getting them contracts that, if they were draft bonuses, would still be the two largest draft bonuses in history today.

Repeat: Matt White and Travis Lee were paid more as free agents almost 20 years ago than any player in the draft has received as a bonus since.

This isn’t a call to action. This isn’t a post with suggestions on how to attack the CBA. This isn’t an editorial slamming MLB and the MLBPA for conspiring to allow this. It’s just a note directing your attention to the Red Sox, who paid an awful lot of money for a player who might not be good at all, and being positively giddy about their ability to do so. If Castillo is the next [Yasiel] Puig, we’ll spend the next decade saying, “What a bargain! What a bargain!”, even though he was paid exponentially more for his first deal than almost every other unknown-yet-fascinating talent is.

Reaching into your pocket for your wallet is much easier. But don’t forget that it’s a lot more expensive than paying the players who fall into a team’s lap every June. That’s not going to change, even as we have Castillo as proof that it probably should.

The District Attorney Posted: August 22, 2014 at 03:05 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, international, rusney castillo

BA (Badler): Seven Reasons Why MLB’s New International Rules Are Backward

Major League Baseball’s new rules… restrict [international] players from going to a team’s academy until either they turn 16 or until six months before they’re eligible (whichever comes first), and counts any visit to a team facility as one of the 30 days the player is allowed to be at the academy, regardless of whether the player stays there overnight.

The motivation behind the changes, it seems, is MLB’s desire to cut back on the extreme early agreements for players who can sign on July 2 that the industry has trended toward in the last year or so… Some teams last year agreed to deals with players at least 10 months in advance of July 2. The competition for younger players has only increased this year, with multiple teams already having agreements in place to sign players for July 2, 2015.

MLB’s goal to try to curb teams from being pushed to scout 14-year-olds and reach agreements with 15-year-olds a year before they’re eligible to sign is admirable and a worthwhile pursuit. Yet the way the commissioner’s office has gone about trying to fix that problem has only created more issues and a more imbalanced system that leaves teams and players worse off than they were before. Here’s why:

1. Less Opportunity To Evaluate…
2. Shots Fired At The DPL [Dominican Prospect League] And IPL [International Prospect League]...
3. Penalizes Younger Players…
4. Double Standard For Americans Vs. Latinos…
5. Condenses Schedule For Players…
6. Less Opportunity To Develop…
7. Who Benefits From These Rules?...
This perhaps is the best question to ask about the new regulations. They certainly don’t seem to give the players any advantage. And the teams now have fewer opportunities to see players, so it doesn’t help them either. The only party these rules seem to help is the commissioner’s office, which could potentially gain greater influence and control over the showcasing of amateur talent in Latin America.

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 22, 2014 at 12:33 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to sign with the Red Sox for $72 million

And he’s eligible for the playoff roster!

We’ve been following the derby to sign Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo. Now it looks like the Red Sox have won the derby:

Jesse Sanchez     @JesseSanchezMLB

Source: Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo on track for record-setting 6-year, $72 million deal with #RedSox. Check MLB.com

That’s a lot more than Yasiel Puig got ($42 million), and Puig was considered Castillo’s closest comp… Castillo, 27, is said to have plus speed and should be ready to debut with the Red Sox early next season.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bud Selig expects MLB regular season games in Europe soon

Outgoing Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig hopes to announce plans for regular season games in Europe before he leaves office, according to multiple reports.

The league has its eye on London and Amsterdam as potential hosts, Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal tweeted. Of the two sites, Selig believes Amsterdam is “more prepared” to host games as soon as 2015, per Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi.

Gamingboy Posted: August 13, 2014 at 02:08 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: europe, international

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-31-2014

Virginia [MN] Enterprise, July 31, 1914:

ENGLAND WANTS BASEBALL

Writing on the subject a well known American athlete now abroad states there is evidence that cricket is loosing [sic] some of its popularity among English sports devotees.
...
“...the English appreciated the speed of our game as compared to cricket; that they marveled at the accurate throwing and catching and liked the idea of the game being completed in one afternoon instead of three days as cricket does. I am told that cricket is loosing [sic] its hold on the people, that baseball clubs have already been formed and that many have given up cricket for tennis.

If the Englishmen of 1914 thought cricket was long, drawn out, and an unnecessary waste of time that’s mostly spent accomplishing absolutely nothing, they hadn’t seen anything yet. The next four years would make a test match seem positively zippy.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 31, 2014 at 09:24 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cricket, dugout, history, international

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Signing Predictions For The Top 30 International Prospects

Today is International Signing Day, so consider this a thread for signings.

1. Adrian Rondon, ss, Dominican Republic

The combination of premium position, one of the most advanced game hitters on the market and projectable power from an athletic frame makes Rondon the No. 1 prospect for July 2. Or in Rondon’s case, July 7, which is his 16th birthday and the first date when he’s eligible to sign. With a price tag that figures to be in the neighborhood of $3 million, that means only a team with one of the biggest bonus pools or one that plans to ignore them completely is going to be able to get him. The Rays have scouted Rondon heavily and look prepared to shatter their international bonus pool and pay the maximum penalty to get him signed.

The Rays have indeed inked Rondon for $3.4 million.

John Sickels has a good thread with a summary of signings and bonus pools.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Reuters: Abe’s new plan to beat deflation: more baseball teams

WHIP deflation now?

A set of recommendations to lift growth in Japan’s economy drafted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s party seen by Reuters calls for slashing corporate taxes, reforming public pensions, and—in a curve ball—increasing the number of professional baseball teams to 16 from 12.

“Prosperous baseball teams could strengthen attachment to regional cities and help local economies thrive,” said the report, which cited the success of U.S. Major League Baseball in nearly doubling from 16 teams to 30 since the 1960s.

 

Greg Franklin Posted: May 21, 2014 at 10:35 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: business, expansion, international, japan, politics

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 07:20 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 05:09 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 04:46 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 09:47 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 06:35 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 07:06 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 07:51 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.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:28 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: business, international

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 03:43 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 01:27 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?

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: December 23, 2011 at 09:01 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, international

Thursday, December 22, 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 22, 2011 at 12:42 AM | 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 22, 2011 at 12:10 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: game recaps, international, minor leagues, tigers

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

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 01:37 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: international, minor leagues

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Moment to Reflect on North Korea’s Website

Last January, I became moderately obsessed with North Korea, thanks to this book, this graphic novel, and these photos. North Korea is both terrible and completely bizarre—in this day of hyper-connectedness, it’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that a country actually exists where millions of people have no light, not to mention no internet, phones, or non-programmed radios and TVs.

Illustrating North Korea’s strangeness is its official website, which is down today, the day that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il has also ceased to exist. Though it’s North Korea’s official website, it’s a very simple page with early-90s cyberspace graphics. It links to a CafePress shop, which is still up and where you can buy such items as an official North Korea baseball tee:
Strange.

Tripon Posted: December 20, 2011 at 02:02 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur, business, fantasy baseball, international, media, special topics

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nationals do not bid on Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish

The identity of the team that won the right to negotiate with Yu Darvish has yet to be revealed, but it was not the Nationals. Washington did not submit a posting bid, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation, opting to stay on the sideline of a sweepstakes that will cost whomever lands the Japanese superstar upward of $100?million.

Damn it.

By the way, there’s another wonderful WaPo headline for Andy. Time to go back to grammar school.

Dan Evensen Posted: December 18, 2011 at 04:18 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: business, international, japan, nationals

Friday, December 16, 2011

Japan Times: Asao, Uchikawa win league MVP awards

This news is actually a couple of weeks old, but I’m posting it mainly because I thought people might be interested to know that a set-up man, Chunichi Dragons reliever Takuya Asao, won the MVP Award in Japan’s Central League. After the controversy about Verlander’s MVP win, and some writers questioning whether pitchers should be eligible for the MVP at all, it’s interesting to look overseas and see not a starting pitcher, not a closer, but a set-up man walk away with the hardware…

“I can’t believe it,” Asao said at a news conference.

...

Asao played a vital role out of the bullpen for the pennant-winning Dragons, making 79 appearances and recording 45 holds. He finished the season with 10 saves, 100 strikeouts, a 0.41 ERA and didn’t allow a single home run in 87? innings on the mound.

“I was determined to do my best the entire year,” Asao said. “I didn’t believe I would ever be named MVP. I’m really surprised.”

vortex of dissipation Posted: December 16, 2011 at 07:15 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, international, japan

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