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Monday, October 07, 2013

Bologna, Italy to play in Asia Series

The Italian Baseball League’s Fortitudo Bologna will be Europe’s first-ever representative in the competitive Asia Series and will be pitted against other club champions from the professional leagues in Australia, Chinese Taipei, Korea and Japan.

The Asia Series Executive Committee approved expanding the competition to include the winner of the annual European Cup, which was won in August by Bologna in a field that included league champions from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, San Marino, Spain and Switzerland.

With the new expanded format, winners of the Australian Baseball League, the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), the European Cup, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) will unite to determine the champion of champions at the 7th edition, which is being hosted by CPBL in Taichung, Chinese Taipei from 15-20 November 2013.


Gamingboy Posted: October 07, 2013 at 06:58 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: asia, australia, cpbl, europe, international, kbo, npb

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   1. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: October 07, 2013 at 10:39 PM (#4564353)
And which TV network or online streaming channel is stepping up to air this?
   2. ursus arctos Posted: October 07, 2013 at 11:18 PM (#4564455)
Fortitudo are unlikely to do well in this tournament, having failed to make the Italian finals this season (San Marino won the title). Italian clubs are materially behind NPB in terms of true talent.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: October 07, 2013 at 11:52 PM (#4564556)
Next year they will be in the NL West.
   4. Gamingboy Posted: October 08, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4565103)
Oh, Fortitudo will no doubt get crushed. The pay and level of play in Europe's domestic leagues, even in Italy and the Netherlands, are several steps below Asia and Australia. But still, it's cool that they will be taking part, although the Asian Series has always been a bit of a hit-and-miss event, with crowds for games not involving the "home" team usually drawing maybe hundreds of people, sort of similar to how WBC games in Japan that don't feature Japan don't draw well.

In a perfect world, of course, MLB would join in with this or face the winner of this for a "real world series", but that'd be way too complicated and long, and while I bet there will eventually be a "real world series" sometime in the next few decades, it'd probably be something more simple like just a MLB vs. NPB series in Hawaii or something.
   5. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: October 08, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4565138)
The European leagues are well below the Japanese level, certainly, but I'm not sure that Australia is several steps above them.
   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 08, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4565218)
Maybe they won't do particularly well, but the Italians have a heck of a fireballer.
   7. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 08, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4565225)
San Marino has a baseball league?
There are 32,000 people in that country. It's 24 square miles in size.
   8. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 08, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4565238)
San Marino has a team in the Italian league, but no league AFAIK. I think the author either misunderstood or wasn't clear, in that a team from San Marino (but not the Sammarinese league) has competed for the European Cup.
   9. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 08, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4565242)

There are 32,000 people in that country. It's 24 square miles in size.

Slightly smaller on both counts than old Braves Field, then.
   10. Athletic Supporter wants to move your money around Posted: October 08, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4565243)
But Italy is in Europe.
   11. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 08, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4565245)
Slightly smaller on both counts than old Braves Field, then.
Well played.
   12. Gamingboy Posted: October 08, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4565293)
San Marino has a team in the Italian league and also get it's team into the European club championships by default due to the fact it's not like there is another semi-competent San Marino team to defeat. Sort of like how South Africa is in the WBC (or, now, it's qualifying) because they are the only country in Africa that is even pseudo-competitive with the rest of the world.

I think the rule of thumb is this:

NPB is AAAA- somewhere between AAA and MLB.
KBO is about AA.
CPBL would be about a High-A.
Australian League would be probably around what the CPBL is, since it also gets a lot minor leaguers and such for winter ball.
Europeans leagues range from like short-season A-Ball levels (the good teams in Italy and the Netherlands) down to glorified high school teams (in the smaller less-developed baseball countries).

That said, it's really hard to determine this stuff. I've heard some people note that the teams in Europe can sometimes consist of two or three former Minor Leaguers surrounded by a bunch of people who would be college level or in one of the crappier Independent Leagues in America. That can make honestly labelling that team kind of hard.
   13. ursus arctos Posted: October 08, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4565304)
Jim Magrane, who was MVP of the recent Italian League final series for San Marino, is a decent example of the top tier of talent in the league.
   14. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 08, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4565315)
Darwin Cubillan, who had a cromulent partial season out of the bullpen for the '01 Expos, is T&A San Marino's closer. (As an aside, I chuckle every time I see that team name. Yes, my sense of humor is juvenile.)

In three seasons for T&A, Cubillan has thrown 96.2 innings of 0.84 ERA ball with 123 strikeouts, 25 walks, and one home run. This season, he struck out 30 and walked 1.
   15. Gamingboy Posted: October 08, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4565416)
This past year (during which they won the European Cup), Bologna had Chris Aguila on the roster. They also had Juan Carlos Infante, Claudio Liverziani and quite a few pitchers who had MiLB experience.
   16. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 08, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4565487)
This seems like something the US independent leagues could send a team to?
   17. Gamingboy Posted: October 09, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4566966)

This seems like something the US independent leagues could send a team to?

Oddly enough, I think it'd be cool if the US Indepedent Leagues did something like this amongst themselves...
   18. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 09, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4566970)
That 7-game series between Fortitudo Bologna and the Yuma Scorpions is going to be grueling.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: October 09, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4566999)

Oddly enough, I think it'd be cool if the US Indepedent Leagues did something like this amongst themselves...

I was thinking about this the other day. What about a North American series to be conducted like this:

Class A teams play a two-week tourney in early May. 30 teams are narrowed down to two, who advance to play in the Class AA tourney held in late May early June. Class AA sends two teams to Triple A for the late-June tournament. Top two from Class AAA move up to play in the 32-team big league event in July, starting right after the all-star break. All tournaments held over two weekends: Eight sites (teams rotate hosting duties) first weekend. Two sites for the second weekend at the minor league level, one site for Final 8 the second weekend.

All tournament seeding at the big league level done by random draw, to be televised on MLB Network. At minor league levels, seeding is done on geographic basis, to reduce travel costs.

At major league level, teams eliminated during first weekend play three-game series among themselves, with schedule to be determined.

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