Archive for the 'United States' Category

Five Teams Confirmed for the World Port Tournament

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

The Honkball and World Port tournament play every other year. The Honkball is in Haarlem while the World Port tournament is played in Rotterdam. Taiwan will be returning to defend their championship against the local team Netherlands and Curacao. Japan will also be participating as well as a United States group.

Cuba is not playing for the first time since 1993. Their absence is because they are unable to send a strong team to compete in the tournament. That is a sad sign of the decline of Cuban baseball.

The dates for the tournament are July 12 to 21.

Cuba and Major Leagues Agree on Free Agency

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Major League baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) have come to an agreement to allow Cuban players to play in the major leagues. Under this agreement the FCB will “release” all players under contract who are 25 years of age or older and have six or more years in the FCB to give them an opportunity to negotiate with a major league club. While not required to do so the FCB can also release players less than 25 years of age.

Once a player is released they are allowed to negotiate a contract with a major league club. If a major league team signs a Cuban player a release fee (15 to 20 percent of the negotiated contract), a formulae negotiated with the NPB, KBO and CPBL (though I don’t think the CPBL agreement has been formally agreed upon). The player will be allowed to play baseball in the United States under the standard work visa.

A player who is not part of the FCB will be allowed to sign with a major league club under the same rules that apply to all international free agents. FCB amateurs not playing in the Nacional Series are part of this agreement and must be released by the FCB to be eligible to negotiate with a major league club.

What is significant about this agreement is a player who is released by the FCB and is signed by a major league team can play in the Nacional Series or in an offseason tournament (such as the Olympics or World Cups) if they get approval from their major league club. Myworld would assume that any currently signed players would fall under this agreement, but that is unclear. This would certainly return Cuba to the ranks of the elite in baseball.

The contract with the FCB will expire on October 31, 2021. Any disputes between the FCB and major league baseball will be resolved in arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce.

Premier 12 Set for 2019

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

The top 12 teams from the Premier 12 will compete in November 2019 for two spots in the 2020 Olympics. The 12 teams will be broken out into groups of four similar to the World Baseball Classic. These games will be held November 2-8 in Mexico, Taiwan and Korea. Two teams from each of these these groups of four will advance to the finals in Tokyo. They will play the games November 11-16 in the Tokyo Dome and Chiba Marine Stadium in pool play. On November 17 the finals will be held with the top two teams playing against each other and the third and fourth place teams competing for the bronze. This could be rather anticlimactic since the top two teams have already qualified for the Olympics and third place only gets you a bronze medal. But athletes play for pride.

The 12 teams that are eligible to compete are (in order of ranking):

1) Japan, 2) United States, 3) Korea, 4) Taiwan, 5) Cuba, 6) Mexico, 7) Australia, 8) Netherlands, 9) Venezuela, 10) Canada, 11) Puerto Rico, 12) Dominican Republic

Just missing from qualifying for the event are Panama, Colombia and Nicaragua, which finished 13-15 in the rankings.

Korea is the defending champions of the only Premier 12 to be played to date. The United States finished second and Japan third. The November time frame has been established to allow the countries to bring their top players to compete in this event. The professional leagues from Japan, United States, Taiwan and Korea will be over. Cuba will postpone their Nacional Series schedule as they do for the World Baseball Classic. It will be the best baseball has to offer outside of the World Baseball Classic.

Top 14 Countries for Women’s Baseball

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

There are not as many countries that participant in woman’s baseball. Japan is the most dominant, currently carrying a 30 game world cup winning streak. Canada, the number two rated team came the closest to beating Japan in the World Cup, losing 2-1 in a Super Round game. Taiwan jumped three spots after finishing second in last year’s World Cup. Most of the top United States players are encouraged to play softball because of a lack of baseball programs for women. They dropped a notch after failing to medal the last two years. Below are the top 14 countries for woman’s baseball:

1. Japan - 2000 points
2. Canada - 1300
3. Taiwan - 1297
4. United States - 1094
5. Venezuela - 989
6. Australia - 904
7. Cuba - 537
8. Korea - 500
9. Dominican Republic - 433
10. Hong Kong - 363
11. Netherlands - 311
12. Puerto Rico - 267
13. India - 104
14. Pakistan - 67

United States Pan Am Roster

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

There will be a number of first round picks on this United States Pan Am roster that recently won the gold. A couple sons of major leaguers that many may be familiar with their names. Posted for reference sake.

Pitchers

Riley Cornelio, Sammy Faltine, Ryan Hawks, Jared Kelley, Jack Leiter, Brennan Malone, Timmy Manning (LHP), Jacob Meador, Max Rajcic, Avery Short (LHP)

Catchers

Drew Romo,

Infielders

C.J. Abrams, Tyler Calihan, Yohandy Morales, Anthony Volpe, Bobby Witt Jr.

Outfielders

Dylan Crews, Pete Crow-Armstrong, Riley Greene

United States Puts Exclamation Point to Under 18 Pan Am Championship

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Myworld cannot recall such a dominant performance in a international tournament. The United States were in another league. After beating Panama in the Super Round 9-8 they got their chance to play them again in the gold medal round and won 17-2. Other than the 9-8 game no team got within seven runs. They outscored their opponents in the nine games 131-27, an average of about 12 runs more per game. It is the fifth straight Pan Am championship for the United States 18 and under team.

Bobby Witt Jr. was the big bat hitting for the cycle in a 4 for 5 day, driving in three runs. Corbin Carroll only collected one hit, but it was a homerun. He also drove in a team leading four runs. Tyler Callihan continued to be a hitting maching, going 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

With all the good hitting it is easy to ignore the pitching efforts. Jack Leiter pitched four innings of no hit ball, striking out nine.

In the bronze medal game Canada downed Nicaragua 5-3. LaRon Smith slugged a clutch two out two run homer in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie.

The United States, Panama, Canada and Nicaragua all qualify for the 18 and under World Cup that will be held in Korea in 2019. It will be interesting to see if the United States keep the same roster. Many of these players will be drafted in the first round of the major league draft. The United States won the last four 18 and under World Cup in 2017, 2015, 2013 and 2012.

Cuba did not get into the Super Round and failed to qualify for the 18 and under World Cup. The last time they won the event was in 2004.

Japan Wins Series Against the Major Leaguers

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

To be fair it was not really a major league All Star team. But Japan still showed that they can play baseball with some of the best beating a group of major leaguers five games to one. Yesterday they scored all their runs in the second inning to carry them on to a 4-1 win.

Sosuke Genda got the bit hit with a bases clearing three run triple. That was about all she wrote for the major league team, who found leads very fleeting in this series. They scored their lone run in the eighth inning on a solo blast from Ronald Acuna Jr. They did outhit Japan 10 to 8 but stranded 11 runners. The major leaguers were 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position.

Erasmo Ramirez had a dominating outing for the major leaguers after Brian Johnson could not retire a batter in the second inning. Ramirez went five innings, striking out seven and allowing just two hits. That was his best outing of a ugly series.

Shotaro Kasahara got the win working 4.2 scoreless innings. Yasuaki Yamasaki picked up his second save of the series.

Japan Continues to Defeat Major Leaguers

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

The pitching staff the major leaguers brought to Japan is not the best in quality. Most teams did not want their $20 million arms to barnstorm Japan. But Kenta Maeda may have been one of the better major leaguers that made the trip. He only pitched two innings while returning to his roots, holding the Japanese scoreless. It was then a bevy of relievers whose names are a bit sketchy even to those who closely follow major league baseball. Japan rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth off major league closer Kirby Yates to down the major leaguers 5-3.

The Japanese pitchers have not been star quality either, but they have been containing the major league bats a little better. Daichi Ohsera held the major leaguers to two hits in his five innings of work. One of those hits was a Rhys Hoskins solo blast in the second. The game froze at 1-0 until the seventh inning when the major leaguers tacked on another run on a Juan Soto double.

The Japanese hit their second inside the park homerun of the series, this one by Shogo Akiyama to left field in the eighth inning. The major leaguers countered that with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth by Carlos Santana.

In came the major league closer in Kirby Yates. The 2018 season saw him pick up 12 saves and carry a 2.14 ERA with 90 whiffs in 63 innings. The Japanese were not impressed. A leadoff walk to pinch hitter Kazuki Tanaka got the inning started. He stole second and then scored on a Seiji Uebayashi single. The Japanese played their style of baseball, bunting Uebayashi to second. He scored on a single by Kosuke Tanaka to tie the game.

More Japanese baseball as Tanaka steals second and advances to third when J.T. Realmuto throws the ball away. Shogo Akiyama is intentionally walked and in comes John Brebbia. He lacks the credentials of Craig Kimbrel or Wade Davis, but this is Japan and they play by a different set of rules. Ryosuke Kikuchi lays down a bunt to score the go ahead run and is safe at first. A passed ball moves the runners over and Yuki Yanagita drives in the fourth run of the inning with a ground out.

Not one extra base hit in the inning but four runs. Enough to send the United States to their third loss of the series. Japanese closer Yasuaki Yamasaki pitched a scoreless ninth to drop the major leaguers record to 2-3 while in Japan.

They recently lost another game 6-5, again victimized in the late innings by a four run outburst by the Japanese. Rhys Hoskins again got the scoring started for the major leaguers with a two run homer in the second. The Japanese bounced back with a solo shot from Kazuma Okamoto in the bottom of the second. It was the only hit Junior Guerra would allow in his five innings of work.

The major leaguers dominated the next four innings to take a 5-2 lead. Juan Soto again drove in a run with a single in the third. Yadier Molina continued to carry a hot bat with his RBI double in the fourth. And Carlos Santana drove in another run with a single in the sixth.

The Japanese are relentless with their small ball tactics. Three singles and an error score two. Hotaka Yamakawa ties the game with his two run double. Japan wins it in the eighth on a Takuya Kai RBI double. Seiji Uebayashi had started out the inning with a two out single.

Japan brought out Yuki Matsui to shut out the major leaguers in the ninth to improve their record to 4-1 against the major leaguers (the Yomiuri Giants taking the other loss.)

Molina Leads Major Leaguers to First Win

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

The jet lag should be over. The major leaguers. led by the three run homerun from Yadier Molina in the fifth inning beat Japan for the first time 7-3. The major league pitching staff, led by rookie Scott Barlow finally prevented the Japanese All Stars from crossing the plate in village like numbers.

J.T. Realmuto got the scoring started for the major leaguers with a solo homerun, his second homerun of the series. Japan responded with a run of their own in the bottom half on a Shuta Tonosaki RBI double. The major leaguers then pulled away from Japan with four in the sixth, capped by a Molina three run homer.

Eugenio Suarez and Mitch Haniger drove in runs for the major league team in the seventh to extend the lead to 7-1. The Japan all stars scored two in the bottom of the ninth to make the score closer.

Japan did manage to spray 10 hits, but did strand 13 baserunners. The major leaguers collected 12 hits and stranded 14 baserunners. Molina finished the day with a game high three hits, raising his average for the series to .636. Japan now leads the series two games to one.

Juan Soto again hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome, which may have prevented him from hitting a homerun in his third consecutive game. The ball was then caught by the right fielder.

Japan Hammers Major League Pitching

Saturday, November 10th, 2018

Japan hitters are hammering major league pitching, scoring 19 runs in their first two games of a six game series. They won the first game 7-6 and the second 12-6.

Kirby Yates failed to protect a lead in the opener giving up three runs in the final frame to take the loss. As he did in the Japan Series Yuki Yanagita blasted a two run sayonara homerun to end the contest. Shogo Akiyama had the other big hit for Japan with a three run double in the fifth.

The United States team slammed three homeruns, Ahmed Rosario with a solo shot in the third, Carlos Santana with a three run bomb in the fifth and Juan Soto with a two run shot in the sixth. Every time the major leaguers would take the lead Japan would match them to tie it, except when the major leaguers scored two in the sixth the Japan all stars waited until the ninth to strike.

Japan banged out 17 hits in the second game, abusing major leaguers Erasmo Rodriguez and Brian Johnson for 12 runs in 6.2 innings. Yanagita again went deep for the Japan stars in a perfect 4 for 4 day with 4 RBIs. Akiyama also had a good day going 3 for 4 with three RBIs and a triple. Sosuke Genda also contributed three hits.

The major leaguers got another homerun from Juan Soto, a solo shot in the fifth for their first run to make it 9-1. J.T, Realmuto also went deep with a three run dinger in the eighth, but that only made it 12-6.

There is probably a little jet lag involved in the United States performance. Their bats are hot scoring enough runs to win most ballgames, but their arms are no match for the Japanese hitters.