Archive for the 'Australia' Category

Blue Sox Release Manny

Monday, January 11th, 2021

Manny Ramirez Australian career did not last long. The Sydney Blue Sox had signed Manny to play for the team. An undisclosed injury, which was later reported to be an oblique injury prevented him from starting the season in December. The plan was for him to coach the team but then the corona virus smacked the Australian baseball season.

After playing two early games on December 17 and 18 the Sydney Blue Sox have not played since. Government policy has put a quarantine on the area (New South Wales) and teams are prevented from travelling to or leaving the area where Sydney plays their home games. This put a level of uncertainty to the season, which was used as the reason to release Ramirez.

An announcement is expected soon for when Sydney can restart their season. The Melbourne Aces have played 12 games while most of the other teams have only played four or five games. The corona virus is playing havoc on the schedule makers.

Australian League Dealing with Corona Virus Postponements

Wednesday, December 30th, 2020

The Australian Baseball League (ABL) is having some difficulty playing their games because of the corona virus. The Sydney area has had an outbreak and because of that there is a 14 day quarantine for anyone going to or leaving Sydney. This prevents teams from going to Sydney to play games or prevents players from the Sydney area to travel to play games.

Three games scheduled for January 1-3 between Sydney and Canberra have been pushed back. Three games between Sydney and Canberra for December 28-31 were postponed last week. A series between Sydney and Melbourne was shortened to two games because players from Melbourne had to leave Sydney before the quarantine was put into effect. Six of the eight games scheduled for the opening day had to be cancelled because of the corona virus.

A number of players from other teams also live in the greater Sydney area that is subject to the quarantine so games between teams other than Sydney have also had to be postponed. The only games being played this weekend in Australia is between the Perth Heat and the Melbourne Aces.

A revised schedule for the ABL to take into account these postponements will be issued tomorrow.

Blue Sox Win Despite an Absent Manny

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

In the ABL opener the Sydney Blue Sox defeated the Melbourne Aces 12-6. The biggest news was the absence of Manny Ramirez, who is said to have a medical issue that may throw into doubt any further playing participation in the ABL. The medical issue was said not to be related to COVID 19 or to any other medical issue that could be transmitted to others.

Manny did indicate that he would still support Sydney off the field. This is the second big blow for the Blue Sox. Mets top catching prospect Francisco Alvarez also had to back out of playing the 2020/2021 season.

WBSC to Live Stream Australian Baseball Games

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

The World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC) will work with the Australian Baseball League (ABL) to stream baseball games through a number of social media outlets. These outlets include GameTime.Sport, You Tube and Facebook. Games played in Australia are usually played on the weekends, though because of the delay in the season there may be some early week day games.

Though it is primarily a prospect league, you can watch to see what is left in the swing of Manny Ramirez while he plays designated hitter for the Sydney Blue Sox. Another designated hitter Delmon Young, the younger brother of Dmitri Young is in his third season in the ABL. He plays for the Melbourne Aces and is the defending homerun champion.

The season begins this weekend with the Sydney Blue Sox playing the Melbourne Aces.

ABL Hopes to Reach 100 Million US Households

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

The Australian Baseball League (ABL) hopes to reach 100 million households in the United States. The 2020/2021 season will have broadcasts from AT&T Sportsnet, ROOT Sports, Cox Sports Television and For the Fans (previously known as Eleven Sports). The signing of Manny Ramirez could help in that quest.

Many of the regular season games, the playoffs and four women’s showcase games will be syndicated and partnered with United States networks through the company Inverleigh. They will be responsible for the global production of the ABL. Unlike some of the Asian Leagues when the start times were at 4 AM, these start times will come at a more reasonable time of 7 pm or 8 PM in the United States. The games will also be played from December to March when there is no major league season.

The teams have a mixture of international stars on the rosters as well as Australian natives such as Aaron Whitfield and Travis Blackley. In addition to Manny Ramirez, the ABL homerun leader from last season Delmon Young returns to the ABL. German Donald Lutz (also tied with two others for most homeruns in a season with 16) and South Africans Gift Ngoepe and Dylan Unsworth will also play in the league. For those who want to get a taste of the young prospects playing in the ABL there is Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez, Orioles lefthanded pitcher and native Australian Alex Wells and Phillies outfielder Cornelius Randolph.

Alumni from the ABL include players like Ronald Acuna Jr., Rhys Hoskins, Jake Fraley, Ji-Man Choi and Kevin Kiermaier.

It’s Official: Manny Goes From Red Sox to Blue Sox

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020

It appears the 48 year old outfielder now prefers the Blue Sox over Red Sox. Back in August myworld had reported that Manny Ramirez was in negotiation with the Australian Baseball team the Sydney Blue Sox. The Blue Sox have now made that official.

The last professional team Manny played for was in Taiwan, the EDA Rhinos, now the Fubon Guardians. He did not last a full season there, playing 49 games in 2013 and hitting 8 homeruns with 43 RBIs. His hope for this year is to grow the game in Australia. He certainly increased the attendance in Taiwan when he played down there. We’ll see if he can have the same effect in Australia.

Last year the Blue Sox failed to make the playoffs. They had five third place finishes in the playoffs from 2010 to 2014 but have failed to make the playoffs since. The league had been expanded to eight teams last year, but the two expansion teams (Auckland and Geelong) are dropping out this year because of the corona virus concerns and the expense it put on travel, so it is now down to the original six teams.

Australia Loses Two Teams for 2020/2021 Season

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Last year the Australian Baseball League added two expansion teams, a team of Korean players named the Geelong-Korea and a team from New Zealand named Tuatara. It appears those two teams will not participate in the 2020/2021 season and the ABL will fall back to the six normal teams.

Geelong-Korea pulled out because of the challenges created by the corona virus, but they hope to participate again next year. Direct flights to Australia were limited and quarantine requirements were daunting for fielding a team this year. They looked at a number of alternatives but the costs were too prohibitive.

Shortly after, the Aukland Tuataras withdrew from the ABL. This appears to be a little more permanent. New Zealand would have the same challenges as Geelong-Korea with flight arrangements and quarantine requirements, but the ABL was disappointed that Aukland did not try to resolve those issues months ago instead of just recently. Australia provided alternatives to reduce the costs but Aukland still balked. Australia now feels that Aukland is in violation of their ABL license agreement and have 28 days to address it.

So now, instead of two four team divisions or pods, it appears the ABL will be one six team division, though that has not been finalized.

Manny Signs With Sydney in Australia

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

The 48 year old Manny Ramirez has appeared to sign with the Sydney Blue Sox in the Australian Baseball League. A couple weeks ago myworld posted that there was some buzz that he would be signing with the expansion team out of New Zealand. The Sydney Blue Sox appear to have gotten into the fray and beaten the Auckland Tuatara to the punch. The ABL begins December 18.

There are no details on the contract other than it is a one year contract. Manny will be a player coach and an ambassador to baseball in Australia. The last time Ramirez played any baseball was in 2017 when he played for an Independent League in Japan.

Manny Ramirez Rumors to New Zealand

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

The Australian Baseball League (ABL) has renewed their agreement with major league baseball signing a three year agreement. It appears they also maybe making a splash with some interesting signing rumors.

There is some buzz that Manny Ramirez may sign with the Auckland Tuatara, an expansion team to the ABL for the 2018/2019 season. This signing, or even rumor of signing could be enough to sell some tickets. This would be for the 2020/2021 season if the corona virus allows for a season to be played.

In their second season in the ABL Auckland won the Northeast Division with a 21-18 record. The Melbourne Aces eliminated them in the first round of the playoffs.

There was recent news that Manny wanted to return to Taiwan to play baseball. The Taiwan rosters were filled and teams normally focus on foreign pitchers and not hitters. Ramirez did play half a season in Taiwan a number of years ago. It is still possible he could sign with the CPBL expansion team the Wei Chuan Dragons, but that is only conjecture on myworld’s part. If the Dragons wanted to attract attendance for the inaugural season a Ramirez signing could give them that.

Asian Dream Team

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Because one of the requirements is you have to have played in the major leagues it limits the talent level of the Japanese players. Some of the all time greats from Japan are not eligible. Limiting it to Japanese players who played in the major leagues would not create a full roster of quality players. In some cases, like with catcher you only have one player born in Japan that played catcher in the major leagues. This is a team filled with Asian players from Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, thought Australia and Taiwan only had one player each.

Starting Lineup

Ichiro Suzuki RF (Japan)
Kosuke Fukudome CF (Japan)
Shohei Ohtani DH (Japan)
Hideki Matsui LF (Japan)
Ji-Man Choi 1B (Korea)
Kang Jung-Ho 3B (Korea)
Tadahito Iguchi 2B (Japan)
Kenji Johjima C (Japan)
Kazuo Matsui SS (Japan)

Bench

Dave Nilsson (C) (Australia), Rob Refsnyder (UTL) (Korea), Nori Aoki (OF) (Japan), Shin-Soo Choo (OF) (Korea), Dave Roberts (OF) (Japan), Tsuyoshi Shinjo (OF) (Japan)

Starting Pitching

Hideo Nomo (Japan), Masahiro Tanaka (Japan), Daisuke Matsuzaka (Japan), Yu Darvish (Japan), Park Chan-Ho (Korea)

Bullpen

Koji Uehara (Japan), Kazuhiro Sasaki (Japan), Hideki Okajima (Japan), Shohei Ohtani (Japan), Seung-Hwan Oh (Korea), Chien-Ming Wang (Taiwan)

This team lacks a true shortstop. Matsui and Kang played a lot of shortstop in Japan and Korea but were not considered major league shortstops. This is a big hole. Behind the plate you can rotate Nilsson and Johjima. Choi was even considered a catcher when he played in Korea and briefly in the minor leagues. So Taguchi was left off the roster but he and Shinjo are interchangeable. Refsnyder was included because of his ability to play infield. There are a number of quality starting pitchers to choose from. Kenta Maeda was left off this roster in favor of Park. The bullpen can have seven relievers because of the dual ability of Ohtani. Wang is the one player from Taiwan who I could not squeeze in the rotation but I did put him in the bullpen. He could make an occasional emergency start. That knocked off Australian lefty Graeme Lloyd.