Archive for the 'France' Category

Mike Piazza to Coach Italy in European Chamionships

Thursday, March 4th, 2021

There will be 16 teams in the European championships to be played in Italy on September 12-19. Mike Piazza appears to be set to coach Italy. He was supposed to coach Italy in the 2021 World Baseball Classic, but that was postponed. So now he gets the opportunity to coach Italy in the European championships.

The Netherlands have won 23 European championships. Italy has won ten. The only other two countries that have won the championship are Spain (1955) and Belgium (1967). Israel won the qualifier for the Olympics that will be played in 2021.

Twelve of the 16 teams have been decided and positioned into groups. Four additional teams will be added in qualifying tournaments to be played in June of this year. Below are the pools for the European championship:

Group A - Italy, Austria, Belgium and qualifier

Group B - Spain, Croatia, Germany and qualifier

Group C - Israel, Great Britain, France and qualifier

Group D - Netherlands, Sweden, Czech Republic and qualifier

International Baseball Travel

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

With the corona virus still heavily on our plate, it may not be the best time to write about travel. But there is a website that is hoping to spark the interest of travel to all points of the world to watch baseball. It is Japanball.com and their link is in the lower right hand corner of my blog. You can click on Japanese baseball to find the website.

The trips planned for 2021 include the traditional Japan trip. They also hope to have trips to Europe and South Korea. In the fall the hope is to visit the Dominican Republic to watch some winter league ball and visit a few baseball academies. Myworld has been to all these areas to watch baseball, but it is much more enjoyable when you do it in a group.

Shane Barclay organizes the travel. He runs Zoom calls that have had special guests such as Kim Ng, general manager of the Miami Marlins, Trey Hillman, now coach of the Marlins and the manager of the SK Wyverns in Korea and the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan, and Sandy Alderson now with the New York Mets. Shane has also worked for major league baseball helping them organize the World Baseball Classic events. He is no relation to Shane Barclay who is a manager in the Australian Baseball League. Bob Bavasi used to organize the Japan trips but he transferred the business to Shane, who has expanded the trips outside of Japan.

Myworld can tell you of the nightmares we have experienced trying to travel to some of these places. Waiting in long lines to buy tickets and not progressing in the line because ticket buyers are cutting in front of the line to buy tickets or take a place in line so you can buy their place in line. Taking a taxi who takes you a few miles out of your way so he add fare to the ride. Or even have to negotiate with a driver for a rate he feels he can get out of you because you are a tourist. These are some of the challenges my world has faced traveling alone to various countries to watch baseball.

But there are the many joyful experiences. Eating the very different ball park food in the stadiums. Hot dogs can be found but they are not a commodity popular at the international ballparks. Being soaked in beer in Panama because beer is so cheap there and if the home team is winning in the ninth inning everyone buys a cup of beer. When the home team wins the beer is tossed in the air. You can open your mouth at that point and probably get drunk. Empanadas are more popular in Panama than hot dogs.

The bento boxes in Japan that are filled with all sorts of sushi and fish. I could probably eat two bento boxes and still be hungry after the game. And who can forget the beer girls in Japan who carry pony kegs on their backs and pour out beer for you.

Getting strangled by the streamers in Taiwan after a big win. It feels you have been ensnared in a spider’s web, but everyone is screaming for joy that it is a good experience. There are also the cheerleaders in the Dominican Republic and South Korea that are a big part of the game. Don’t know if the Dominican Republic still emphasize the cheerleaders since it has been awhile since myworld has been in that area, but watching the do the merengue is an experience.

You also get to experience the fan enthusiasm in the stadium. In the Netherlands they had an opera singer belt out a tune in the seventh inning. In Japan teams would blow up balloons and let them fly after the end of the top of the seventh. This tradition is now being discouraged because of the health concerns.

There is also the sightseeing that can be done when not at the ballpark. The night markets in Asia, the tulips in Netherlands. In the Netherlands you have a greater chance of being hit by a bicycle than a car when you walk the streets. There are also the beaches in the Dominican Republic and the fish market in Japan. Sumo wrestling was also a common theme for many of the Japan trips. A little sumo in the afternoon and baseball at night.

So if you get the chance and you can afford the coin myworld would recommend you try a trip. What can be better than international travel to watch a baseball game. Just tell Shane that myworldofbaseball sent you.

More European Leagues Set to Open Season

Friday, June 12th, 2020

Some of the European Leagues not considered top notch in baseball are set to open this weekend. Switzerland, Bulgaria and Finland are set to open this weekend. The two major European countries Italy and Netherlands have yet to start. It is my understanding the Netherlands has cancelled their 2020 season while Italy is still looking at playing sometime in July. France has also cancelled their season.

The Confederation of European Baseball has cancelled all 2020 competitions between European teams.

Women’s Baseball World Cup Scheduled for November

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

It was originally scheduled for September 11-20 but had to be cancelled because of the corona virus. It has now been scheduled for November 12-21 in Tijuana, Mexico. Twelve teams will be competing in this event. They are:

Americas: United States, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela
Asia: Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines
Europe: France
Oceania: Australia
Wild Card: Cuba, Dominican Republic and Netherlands

Japan is the defending champion and has won the last six events. They have not lost a game in their last 30 contests. Taiwan lost in the finals to Japan. Canada defeated the United States for the bronze medal. The 2018 games were played in Vierra, Florida.

World Baseball Classic Officially Announces Qualifiers

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

The World Baseball Classic has officially announced their qualifiers, both to be played in Tucson in March. The games will be played at the Kino Sports Complex.

Pool 1 (March 12-17) - Brazil, France, Germany, Nicaragua, Pakistan and South Africa

Pool II (March 20-25) - Czech Republic, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines and Spain.

The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the World Baseball Classic that will be held March 2021. All 16 teams who participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic have qualified for the 2021 event. Those countries include the defending champion United States, Australia, Canada, Cuba, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Venezuela

2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

Major league baseball did announce that they would be holding the World Baseball Classic in 2021. That is one year after the Olympics, where two remaining teams are still undecided to be one of the six competitors for the Olympics. One of those Olympic qualifiers is to be scheduled in Arizona from March 22-26.

It could be a busy time for baseball in Arizona in March. With spring training and the Olympic qualifiers and now also the two World Baseball Classic qualifiers to be held in Arizona. Where will they find all the fields?

Baseball Reference.com shows that there will be two World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Arizona. The first will be held from March 12-17 and the second from March 18-26. Below are the teams that will be participating in those qualifiers.

March 12-17

Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Philippines and South Africa

March 18-26

Czech Republic, France, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Panama and Spain.

The top two teams from each of these pools will advance to the World Baseball Classic for 2021.

What got me interested in this was an article appearing in baseballasia.org that talked about the rise in baseball in the Philippines. The Philippine Amateur Baseball Association President talked about participating in the WBC qualifiers in March 18-25, which are different dates from what the Philippines appears to be scheduled in according to Baseball Reference.com. They also talk about adding Tim Tebow, who was born in the Philippines to their roster. Tim Tebow has recently been invited to the New York Mets spring training tryouts and they train in Florida.

So there is not a lot of publicity being issued on these qualifiers but they appear to be happening some time in March. That could be a good time to travel to Arizona to watch some International baseball. Poor Nicaragua appears to be scheduled to play in both the Olympic Qualifiers in Arizona and the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Arizona. Good way to save on travel costs, provided the tournaments are not scheduled during the same week.

Bruce Bochy Will Manage France

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

There were rumors that Bochy was not headed for retirement after he left the Giants. Many thought he would be heading back to the Padres. Turns out half of that was right. Bochy is not retiring but he will be managing the French baseball team. He will manage he French team in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in 2020.

Bochy was born in France while his father was in the Army. Now that is a pretty cool way to spend your retirement years, hanging out in France managing their national baseball team.

Go to the WBSC website for the announcement.

European Championships - Playoff Time

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Below are the final pool standings. The big game on the final day of pool play was Netherlands sending Israel to their first loss in convincing fashion.

Pool A

1) Netherlands 4-1, 2) Israel 4-1, 3) Czech Republic 3-2, 4) Germany 2-3, 5) Great Britain 2-3, 6) Sweden 0-5

Pool B

1) Italy 5-0, 2) Spain 4-1, 3) France 3-2, 4) Belgium 2-3, 5) Austria 1-4, 6) Croatia 0-5

Netherlands 13 Israel 4

A six run seventh broke the game open. Ademar Rifaela continued to stay hot slugging a three run homer in the inning and finishing the game with five RBIs. He also mashed a two run homer in the fifth. That gives him five homeruns and 12 RBIs in his last two games. Hendrik Clementina and Kalian Sams also went deep with solo shots for the Netherlands. Daniel Valencia had a two run blast for Israel.

Italy 11 Belgium 4

Angelo Palumbo pitched five innings of two hit shut out ball and Chris Colabello slugged a three run homer to lead Italy to a win and a first place seed in the playoffs. John Andreoli got the scoring started with his solo homerun in the first. Alessandro Vaglio drove in three runs with a two run single in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth. Beau Maggi drove in two runs, each with a double.

Spain 19 Austria 1

Spain scored a run in all six innings they batted. Jesus Ustariz started the scoring with a two run homer in the first inning. Javier Monzon finished the game with five RBIs, a two run double in the fifth and a three run homer in the sixth. Oscar Angulo scored four times on a perfect 3 for 3 day with one walk.

Great Britain 13 Sweden 7

Great Britain received 9 RBIs from the bottom of their lineup to trigger their win. Nateshon Thomas led the charge with three RBIs and two runs scored on a perfect 3 for 3 day. He also stole two bases.

France 23 Croatia 0

A 14 run second ended this game in six. Bastien Dagneau finished the game with six RBIs. Dagneau had two singles in the third inning that drove in three runs and blasted a 3-run tater in the third.

Netherlands 10 Great Britain 2

In a makeup game the Netherlands romped. Sharlon Schoop drove in three runs on three hits. Rifaela continued his RBI tear with two more. He and Chris Colabello share the RBI lead with 14, but Rifaela has driven in all 14 of his run in the last three games. Orlando Yntema tossed six innings of three hit shutout ball to net the win.

Czech Republic 10 Germany 6

The Czechs win put them in third place in pool A. Matej Hejma clubbed a three run homerun and drove in four to prove the difference in the game.

In a couple of play in playoff games between the bottom two teams in pool play Austria defeated Great Britain 6-1 and Croatia blasted Sweden 17-2.

European Championships - Day 4

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Italy downed Spain to send them to their first loss. And there appears to be a new powerhouse in the European game, with Israel remaining undefeated after four games. The big test for Israel will be today when they play Netherlands.

Italy 13 Spain 3

This was the opportunity for Spain to show Europe that they could play with the big boys. The game was close until the bats for Italy came alive with 10 runs in the last three innings. Chris Colabello got the scoring started for Italy in the first with a two run homer. He would contribute three more RBIs with an RBI single in the 7th and a 2-run single in the 9th. Giuseppe Mazzanti blasted a 3-run homer in the 7th and added an RBI single in the third. Alberto Mineo added a three run homer in the six run ninth. Those three players combined to drive in 12 of the 13 runs scored by Italy.

Spain scored two in the sixth on a Aaron Galvan double to pull within one, 3-2, but that was as close as they would get.

Israel 7 Great Britain 4

Blake Gaillen broke a 3-3 tie with a two run homer in the seventh inning. He added another solo shot in the ninth for insurance. Zach Weiss came on in the ninth to close out the game.

Great Britain had jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on a 3-run homer from Ben Andrews in the first inning.

Netherlands 8 Germany 1

Lars Hujer kept the German bats quiet, limiting them to one run in 6.2 innings. He struck out 11, allowing just four hits. Ademar Rifaela had a pretty impressive hitting day, going deep three times to drive in 7 of the 8 Dutch runs. Sharlon Schoop drove in the first run for the Netherlands with an RBI single in the first. After that it was all Ademar, blasting a 2-run homer in the second, another 2-run homer in the fourth and finally finishing it off with a 3-run homer in the eighth.

France 12 Belgium 2

France stayed alive with a win over Belgium, both teams now sitting at 2-2. France battered the Belgium pitchers for 18 hits and three homeruns. Maxime Lefevre was a perfect 3 for 3 with two doubles and three runs scored. Maei Zan added a 2-run homer in the 4th, Andy Paz hit a 2-run homer in the 8th and Bastien Dagneau made it back to back with his solo shot in the 8th.

Marc-Andre Habeck went seven innings for France, giving up just one run and striking out nine.

Austria 12 Croatia 1

In a battle of the winless, Austria came out on top. An eight run sixth put the game out of reach. Alex Seidl pitched a complete game seven innings. Croatian pitchers walked nine batters. Samuel Hackl got the scoring started for Austria with a 3-run homer in the first. Dominik Talir closed out the scoring with a grand slam in the sixth.

Czech Republic 10 Sweden 3

The Czechs scored five in the first and it was over after that. Martin Cervenka drove in the first two runs with a single. Jan Tomek pitched six innings of one run ball. The Czechs are tied with Great Britain and Germany at 2-2 for third place in pool A.

European Championships - Day Three

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Israel and Italy continue to roll. Great Britain bounces the Czech Republic for their second loss. Only Israel is undefeated in pool A while Spain and Italy have yet to lose in pool B.

Italy 10 Austria 1

Chris Colabello hit a grand slam homerun in the eighth to cinch the victory. Andrew Maggi and John Andreoli each went deep earlier in the game to lead the Italian offense. Austria could score only one unearned run off four Italy pitchers.

Great Britain 4 Czech Republic 3

Great Britain scored a run in the top of the tenth without benefit of a hit, the Czechs preferring to sacrifice a run while they turned a double play. Richard Brereton stuck out a critical hitter with runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the tenth to salvage the win. Martin Schneider whacked a three run homer in the seventh to account for all the Czech runs. Except for the three run homer, Alex Webb pitched well, striking out 12 in 6.2 innings of work.

Belgium 9 Croatia 6

Belgium kept Croatia winless, rallying for six runs in the eighth to pick up the win. Thomas de Wolf got the big hit in the inning with a grand slam homerun. He finished the game with 5 RBIs. Kenny Branden pitched the last two innings without allowing a run to pick up the victory.

Slobodan Gales drove in four runs for Croatia on a double and triple.

Netherlands 9 Sweden 0

Netherlands got their first win of the tournament. Donny Breek pitched six innings of shutout ball, striking out 10. Ex-major or minor leaguers Roger Bernadina, Curt Smith and Sharlon Schoop all went deep for Netherlands to account for 7 of the 9 runs. Schoop was a perfect 5 for 5 with three RBIs, falling a triple short of the cycle.

The Swede hitters could manage only two hits and they struck out 15 times.

Spain 6 France 3

Spain scored all their runs in the seventh to come up with the win. France committed six errors in the game, three in the nightmarish seventh inning that allowed four unearned runs to score. Leonel Cespedes pitched six shutout innings and France decided to go with their bullpen and Spain erupted for six.

Israel 4 Germany 2

It took ten innings but Israel escaped with a victory to remain undefeated in pool play. For the hosts it was their first loss. Israel got seven shutout innings from their bullpen, Dean Pelman pitching the last inning to secure the victory.

Israel scored two in the top of the tenth, two hitbatsmen benefiting the rally. Nick Rickles broke a 2-2 tie with an RBI single, a second run erased on a throw out at home. Benjamin Wanger drove in an insurance run with a SF. Germany wasted a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the tenth when Kevin Kotowski was thrown out at home on a Simon Guehring single. Don Lutz ended the game grounding into a double play.