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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Opening Series leaves a lasting impression

Mainly a puff piece, but I figure we should have some sort of place to discuss it in retrospect and discuss future possibilities for non-WBC MLB international ventures.

...
This trip is over now, but MLB’s international adventures will continue. The details and itineraries of the next excursions have yet to be mapped out. There’s a whole world out there, and much of it is as intrigued by baseball as it is in Taiwan or China or Japan or, as it turns out, Down Under.

So cheers, Australia, and no worries. Major League Baseball will be back.

Gamingboy Posted: March 23, 2014 at 02:25 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: australia, diamondbacks, dodgers, international

Monday, March 10, 2014

Camden Depot: Suk-min Yoon’s Korean Comic (translated)

Sung-min Kim is a mother, father, gentleman.

Suk-min Yoon has inspired a comics writer in Korea to compose this comicSung-min Kim was kind enough to provide a translation for us.
The District Attorney Posted: March 10, 2014 at 03:02 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: international, korea, orioles, suk-min yoon

Friday, February 28, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-28-2014

Milwaukee Journal, February 28, 1914:

There are many indications that baseball will gain a real foothold in France this year. The visit of the New York and Chicago teams which are concluding their tour of the world will be followed by organized effort on the part of many of the French admirers of the American game to popularize it [there].
...
The pronunciation by the French youths is amusing to Americans especially as to “foul,” which is termed “fool,” and “fly,” which they call “flea.”

You know who really likes French baseball terms? “Rondelle” White.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-24-2014

Pittsburgh Press, February 24, 1914:

The world touring players, now in London, have come in for considerable panning as a result of their failure to play ball in the rain in Paris. The London papers gave great space to their arrival, but did not take kindly to the remarks of John McGraw that baseball would be a betetr [sic] game than cricket for England if that country wished to take the lead in sports. The Pall Mall Gazette suggested that “Mr. McGraw keep these impertinences to his friends at home.”

Not a great start to McGraw’s trip to Wee Britain, but it could have been worse.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

USA Cricket: David Warner to give baseball a shot

Australian opener David Warner has attracted the attention of American baseball scouts and was considering it, The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday. Warner has been in superb form throughout the Ashes and scored his second century in the third Test and his sixth this season.
[...]
Warner has endorsement deals with Gray Nicolls, Asics and ANZ Stadium and could sign deals to the tune of $5 million based on his current form.  He is also expected to fetch $2 million at the next IPL auction. “His talent is second to none in raw ability and now he’s combining it with a great work ethic,” [Warner’s manager Tony] Connelly told the Telegraph. “If he was any good at baseball, he could double or triple what he earns from cricket.”


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Olympics in Future For Baseball, Softball?

This summer, it seemed like baseball’s chances to be in the Olympics again had died, when the International Olympic Committee added wrestling over sports such as baseball on its future Olympic program.

Now that the 2020 Games have been awarded to Tokyo, however, it looks like baseball and softball, in a joint bid, are likely to be added, thanks to a strong push from the host country Japan.

International baseball officials attending the Winter Meetings said new IOC president Thomas Bach was expected to push for approval of Japan’s plans to have both stick-and-ball sports on the program for 2020. Host cities have some discretion with the Olympic program, and because no new venues will have to be built for the sports in Tokyo, the IOC will not stand in the way if Japan wants to have both sports.

winnipegwhip Posted: December 10, 2013 at 02:12 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: international

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-13-2013

Pittsburgh Press, November 13, 1913:

An Australian paper, speaking of the coming visit of the Giants and White Sox world touring baseball teams, says: “The tour should give a much to be desired fillip to the game here by enabling local players to witness the skill displayed by some of the best players in America. It is to be hoped as a result of the tour that in due course strong combinations of Australian and other British players will visit America to take part in international games.”

100 years later, we’ve had two Aussies named to play in the All-Star Game. It’s been glacial, but baseball does have a solid foothold in Australia.


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.


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?


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

All Bases Covered: Hall of Fame ballot: Returning players

Jacket Morris and his schitterende stats! ~ “Superb stats, but they seem be exactly not sufficient for a fleck in Cooperstown.” Spot on!

Jack Morris

Morris staat al sinds 1999 op de ballot. De voormalige startende werper ontvangt elk jaar steeds iets meer stemmen, maar steeds niet genoeg. In zijn tiende jaar ontving hij van ruim 52% van de schrijvers een stem en vorig jaar steeg hij slechts 1%. Het lijkt voor hem, met het oog op pitchers die in de komende jaren op de ballot zullen komen (Clemens, Maddux, Glavine, Mussina, Johnson, etc.), lastig om de Hall of Fame ooit te halen. Hij had een schitterende carriere, maar lijkt niet in het rijtje Nolan Ryan, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson en Carlton Fisk (om maar eens een paar namen te noemen) te passen. Zijn career win-loss record is 254-186 en hij eindigde met een ERA van 3.90 en bijna 2500 K’s. Hij was vijf keer All-Star, won vier World Series en werd in 1991 World Series MVP voor de Minnesota Twins. Schitterende stats, maar ze lijken net niet toereikend te zijn voor een plekje in Cooperstown. Het enige wat voor Morris spreekt op dit moment is dat vorig jaar Bert Blyleven, met enigszins vergelijkbare stats wel in de Hall of Fame gestemd werd. Als hij nog een kans heeft, met het oog op de eerdergenoemde pitchers die de komende jaren op de ballot zullen verschijnen, is het dit jaar. Er zitten tussen de nieuwkomers namelijk nog geen grote pitchers. Grappig weetje over Jack Morris is dat hij het record in Opening Day Starts heeft, hij startte 14 keer de season opener voor zijn team.

 

Repoz Posted: December 16, 2011 at 03:17 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, international

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