Archive for October, 2012

Myworld Twenty Day Sabbatical

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Myworld will be going on a twenty day sabbatical as we take a cruise to Hawaii, killing two bucket lists with one trip.  We’ve never been on a cruise and we’ve never been to Hawaii.  Since cruise internet rates are like robbery we will not see much opportunity to log in to blog.  The short window we have for internet time will be more dedicated to reading email and cleaning up the comments section.  Myworld will return to publishing November 15th.

Madison Wins Pitcher’s Duel; Giants Up 2-0

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Madison Bumgarner and Doug Fister went toe to toe for the first six innings.  The closest any team got to scoring was the Tigers, but Prince Fielder was thrown out at home in the second for the first out of the inning.  After that the Tigers could not advance a runner past first base.  The Giants were able to score the first run in the seventh on a single, walk and bunt single by Gregor Blanco to load the bases with no out.  Brandon Crawford grounded into a double play, but the first run scored and it was all they needed in their 2-0 win.

The Giants added an insurance run in the eighth when they loaded the bases on walks.  Hunter Pence drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly.

Madison Bumgarner gave up only two hits in seven innings of work.  He struck out eight making up for his two playoff losses (0-2, 11.25 ERA).  The seven shutout innings added to his 2010 World Series start giving him 15 total shutout World Series innings.  The bullpen of Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo pitched a perfect inning each to close out the victory.

The two teams now head for Detrot for three games with the opener seeing Anibal Sanchez going against Ryan Vogelsong.

Instructional League (cont - 9) - End

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Misty didn’t like the two men from the Chinese embassy visiting to talk to her boss Senator Tommy Helms. They had an ostentatious air about them, from their expensively tailored suits to their perfectly combed hair. Both were part of the new Chinese order, ignorant on the use of a shovel or the pick axe. Misty liked her men strong. These men had fingernails that had never seen the roots of a weed lying beneath the dirt. They smelled of aristocracy. The older one also smelled of tobacco from the cigarettes he smoked. The younger one was drowning in aftershave. The heaviest thing either of them carried for their day at work was their back packs filled with briefing papers. They would fit well in the Raburn building where she worked, but she didn’t have too much respect for the people who worked in this building either. It was also filled with aristocratic moles seeking the greater gain for their livelihood. All anyone ever thought about was how much can I make and when.

Her friends wondered why she chose to work for Senator Helms. She was born in China and Senator Helms was so anti-Chinese. She tried to explain to them it is not the Chinese Senator Helms dislikes. It is the form of government he dislikes. Misty put up with the aristocratic moles in the Raburn building because she thought she could make a difference. In Senator Helms she found a person who seemed to care about what he was doing. Not moving in a direction because it was good for the party. Or making a decision because it was good for a career. Decisions were made because they were the right ones. He was far from an aristocratic mole. She respected him for that.

They were on a break from their meeting while Senator Helms talked in private in his office with the Chinese ambassador. Misty sat at the opposite side of the table from the two men from the embassy. She was the only person Senator Helms had brought to this meeting. Misty was his China expert.

The simultaneous interpreter had left her booth and was reading a magazine waiting for Senator Helms and the Chinese ambassador to return. Misty tried to hear what the two men across the table from her were talking about. They were speaking in Mandarin assuming Misty must not know the language since they had to use an interpreter for this meeting. There was a discussion about some baseball player from China. Misty did not know anything about baseball.

The older of the two was reading a Chinese newspaper and talking to his younger associate. “They are sending Jason Woo to Florida for an instructional league.”

The younger man was brushing lint off his suit jacket. He was always preening, looking at himself in the mirror at every opportunity. “What team is he playing for?”

“The Baltimore Orioles.”

“That is just north of here. We can go see him play.”

“He still has to make the team.”

“He will make the team.”

The older one placed the newspaper on the table. Misty looked at the photo of the person they were talking about, his blank, stern face looking out from the newspaper. His face looked familiar. It was older than she remembered. It had to be him. She couldn’t forget the flat face and the awkward smile. He still had the simple, innocent farmboy look about him. Misty had grown up with him at the adoption center for eight years, helped the women at the adoption center change his diapers and give him a bath. Probably got in the way more than she helped since she was only four when he arrived. She blurted out in Mandarin “Did you say his name is Jason Woo?”

The two men looked at her, shocked in her knowledge of Mandarin. They smiled uncomfortably. “Yes,” said the older man with the cigarette smell.

“I know that man. His Chinese name is Xiang-Deng Woo.”

End of Chapter 8

Mexican League Update

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The Mexican League is filled with mostly veterans, but some of these veterans get enough exposure to get an opportunity to play in the major leagues.  The Dodgers got good use of Luis Cruz (.340, 17, 47) last year.  The Yankees signed Jorge Vazquez (.330, 18, 60) but could find no room for him and he considered Japan.  On the pitching front the Baltimore Orioles got good use from Miguel Gonzalez (5-0, 2.53).  Who will be the next diamond in the rough.

The Culiacan Tomateros are off to a sizzling start at 10-0.  Most of those wins were done on the road.  Hermosillo will be hosting the next Caribbean World Series and have gotten off to a slow start at 4-6.

Culiacan Tomateros (10-0)

Marlon Byrd (.389, 4, 9) hopes his comeback attempt begins in Mexico.  He has an impressive .477 OBA.  Cory Aldridge (.293, 6, 13) is another player sending balls flying over the fence.  The Pirates recently claimed Ali Solis (.240, 0, 3) off waivers.

The Cuban and ex-Yankee Amauri Sanit (2-0, 0.82) gave up only four hits in his first 11 innings of work.  The bad news is he walked five.  Francisco Campos (2-0, 1.64) shows more control, not walking a single hitter in his 11 innings of work.  Hassan Pena (0.00, 3 saves) has been their closer.

Mexicali Aguilas (6-4)

Gil Velasquez (.419, 0, 3) has five stolen bases.  He also has a 5/3 walk to whiff ratio.  Issmael Salas (.268, 4, 8) is the big run producer.  He also is tied for the team lead in runs scored with Chris Roberson (.333, 1, 5).  Chris has hit three triples in 10 games.

Sergio Mitre (1-0, 0.00) has yet to give up a run but has only thrown six innings in his two starts.  He has hit three batters and walked two.  Irwin Delgado (1-0, 2.53) has whiffed 15 in just 11 innings of work.  Oscar Villareal (2.25, 3 saves) is their closer but Nick Walters (1-0, 1.23) is their everyman, appearing in nine of their ten games.

Guasave Algodoneros (6-4)

Jesus Lopez (.355, 0, 7) is their most consistent hitter.

The starting pitching has been weak but Beau Vaughan (1.69, 4 saves) has been solid as their closer.

Los Mochis Caneros (5-5)

Jason Botts (.406, 2, 5) continues to extend his hope in Mexico.  Sebastian Valle (.286, 2, 6) is no longer the Phillies catcher of the future after they acquired Tommy Joesph.  Sebastian hopes to bounce back from the horrible season he had in the Mexican League last year.  Sandy Madera (.250, 2, 4) is usually up there fighting for the batting title, hitting .400 or better.

Jesus Rodriguez (0-1, 2.35) has lacked control with five walks in seven plus innings.  Tomas Solis (1-0, 3.38) has been another solid starter.  Luis Niebla (2-0, 2.35) has vultured two victories in three relief appearances.

Hermosillo Naranjeros (4-6)

Todd Cunningham (.259, 1, 1) is a nice prospect in the Braves system getting his licks in batting leadoff for the Naranjeros.  Karim Garcia (.313, 2, 6) had a nice major league and KBO career.  Jesse Gutierrez (.286, 3, 7) is their best hitter to date.

Ryan Brasier (1.80, 4 saves) is their closer.  Garret Mock (1-0, 0.00) has yet to give up a hit in four innings of relief.  He has walked three.

Obregon Yaquis (4-6)

Alfredo Amezaga (.317, 0, 1) has been their top hitter.  Willy Taveras (.300, 0, 5) continues his career in Mexico.  He is 5 for 5 in stolen bases.  Those two set up sluggers Carlos Valencia (.263, 4, 8) , Barbaro Canizares (.250, 2, 7) and Doug Clark (.286, 3, 5).

Arturo Lopez (2-0, 3.27) has half the teams wins.  Oswaldo Martinez (0.00) has not given up a run in two starts but that has only covered seven innings.  Esmailin Caridad (0-1, 1.13) has one start and three relief appearances.  Rolando Valdez (1-0, 2.61) leads the team in strikeouts with 12.  Luis Ayala (0-1, 13.50) struggled in two relief appearances.

Navojoa Mayos (3-7)

Francisco Arias (.394, 0, 2) is raking early in the season.  Steve Moss (.294, 1, 7) has four stolen bases in five attempts.  He also has an 8/13 walk to whiff ratio in just 10 games.

Javier Martinez (1-0, 0.00) has yet to give up a run in two starts.  He has struck out 11 in 10 innings of work.  Orlando Lara (1-0, 2.08) is another pitcher in the rotation giveing them solid starts, also striking out 11.

Mazatlan Venados (2-8)

Ivan Terrazas (.368, 2, 13) has been an RBI machine.  His eight runs scored also is the team lead.  Jesus Castillo (.314, 4, 8) has sent some balls deep.  He leads the team in total bases.

Walter Silva (1-1, 6.23) needs to pitch well for this team to win.  He has yet to strike out a hitter in eight plus innings of work.  Nick Additon (1-1, 3.68) leads the Mexican League in games started with three.

Lions Rip Wyverns in Game Two

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The Samsung Lions took a commanding 2-0 Korean series lead with a 8-3 shellacking of the SK Wyverns.  Hyung-woo Choi blasted a grand slam in a six run third inning to ice the game for the Lions.  The grand slam is only the third in the thirty year history of the KBO.

Won-sam Jang threw six innings to get the win, striking out seven.  The best opportunity the Wyverns had to score against Jang was in the first when they loaded the bases but could not score.  Jang retired 15 of the next 16 hitters, giving up a solo shot to Keun-woo Jeong to lead off the sixth.

Mario Santiago blew up in the third inning to take the loss.  Leadoff hitter Young-seob Bae drove in the first two runs in the six run third with a double.  He finished the day 2 for 3 with two doubles, two runs scored and two driven in.

You can read more about the game here: http://nwww.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20121025001076

Fighters Draft Otani

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The Nippon Ham Fighters complicated the negotiating strategy of major league teams by selecting Shohei Otani.  They were the only team to draft Otani in the first round so they won his rights.  Now have have until March 31 to negotiate with him.  Informally, no major league team can negotiate with Otani until after this March 31 period.  There is nothing in writing that enforces this, but after how Bud slapped the Orioles hand for signing a high school player from South Korea major league teams will probably wait.

The Fighters were awarded a lot of coin for posting Yu Darvish.  You have to wonder if they may tempt Otani with some of that coin from the Darvish posting to bring him to the Fighters.  To keep him from going to the major leagues they will have to offer him more than what a major league team is prepared to offer.  The Fighters are currently in the Nippon Series where they are playing the Yomiuri Giants.

Last year the Fighters could not sign their number one pick.  If they do not sign Otani it would be the second straight year they failed to sign their number one pick.

The most popular pick in the draft was Fujinami Shintaro.  It was Fujinami and his mid-90s fastball and not Otani who was the ace of the Japanese 18 and under team in Korea.  Four different teams selected him in the first round.  In a drawing the Hanshin Tigers were rewarded his rights.

If you want to see a good expanation of the Japanese draft you can go to http://yakyubaka.com/2012/10/25/2012-draft-possible-first-round-picks-as-predicted-by-sanspo-nikkan-sports/

Instructional League (cont - 8)

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

“On English days I will find me a nice Chinese girl to take out to dinner.”

“You do that you just make sure she not my wife.”

“You have a Chinese wife?”

“100 percent.”

“That is good. You will have to introduce me to her.”

“In time.” Kevin took out his cell phone, pushed a few buttons and showed a picture of Shu to Jason. “That my wife.”

“She is very pretty.”

Kevin brought the phone back, pushed a couple more buttons and showed another photo to Jason. “That is my daughter Jasmine.”

“Very nice.”

“I never thought babies look cute. People see cuteness in them but to me all babies same until reach one year old. Jasmine a sweetheart. But then me biased.” Jason had a simpleness to him Kevin liked. There was no attempt to be more than he was or try to sell himself off as more than he was. He seemed centered. Balanced. In this game filled with testosterone it was difficult to find a personality with those qualities.

“Family is important. I miss not having a family. John was always good with me, but sometimes I wonder who my parents are. Do I have a brother or sister? If I ever met my parents would I accept them? It would be difficult to accept them when they seemed to discard me away so easily.”

“You not know circumstances in their life. They may not have choice. Not much you do about past. Future is what you can impact. In a few year you start family of your own.”

“It is important one has family and friends. It is difficult to make friends in a country where you do not understand the language or culture. A family can help fill that void. I have neither.”

“Trust me. You will not have problem to make friend. Men in baseball uniforms attract friends like flies to sticky rice. Just make sure you can read the sincerity of flies to your sticky rice.” Kevin wished Jason could understand English. He might have been better able to communicate the thought. This is probably why Shu always spoke to him in Mandarin when she was upset or wanted to tell him something important. He spent more time trying to find the right word than speaking it.

The waitress came with the food. “Oh how cute,” she said as she looked at the phone still showing the picture of Jasmine.

“See what I mean,” Kevin said to Jason in Mandarin then turned to the waitress. “That is my daughter.”

“She’s a doll. How old is she?”

“Less than a year.”

“That is the best time.”

The food was set on the table. The waitress asked if she could get them anything else and Kevin said he was good. He looked at Jason. Jason said “Good,” in English and the waitress left.

“Now before we eat an English lesson. I do this few times.” He picked up his fork. “This is fork.” Kevin used the English word for fork, holding it up in front of him. “Let me hear you say fork.”

“Phuck,” Jason spit out with hesitancy.

“You make eating utensil sound like sex act. That is not purpose.” Kevin could see Jason turn red. “I’ll say slowly and you copy. Fo—ork.”

“Pho-uck,” Jason struggled, slowly churning out the two syllables.

“Do me favor? No ask lady in English for fork. You might get –” Kevin couldn’t think of the Mandarin word for slapped and motioned his hand across his face, slapping the right side. Jason smiled. “We try something easier, something with no ‘r’.” He picked up his knife. “How about this. Knife.” Kevin used the English word for knife.

“Knife.” Jason said flawlessly, his smile communicating how well he had done.

“Excellent. Me hungry. That it for today lesson. We work on fork part another day. Now we eat.”

They ate in silence for a couple minutes, Jason wolfing down his food as if he had not eaten all day. It was Kevin who broke the silence. “Just curious, but you have bank account where you get money?”

“John took care of that.”

“But he in China. If you need money how you get it?”

Jason looked at Kevin blankly. “John would take care of that. If I needed money I would ask John and he would give me money.”

“Again, John not here. That money machine is gone.”

“The Orioles will give me money.”

“That is not how works. You need to get own money. Orioles put in bank for you to take out as you need it. Do you know bank name?”

“John took care of that.”

Kevin didn’t think he was getting through. He laughed in frustration. If only he could speak Mandarin better. “What about money? Did Orioles pay you money?”

“I don’t know anything about money. They would have spoken to John about that. He took care of all the money matters. I just played baseball.”

“How you know John left money in bank? He could take all money when he go back to China.”

“He wouldn’t do that. Even if he did he deserves it. He raised me for twenty years with little complaint. I owe him anything I earn. I’ll just make more money.”

Kevin didn’t know John but he could tell Jason was getting a little agitated. “We find out tomorrow where Orioles send your money. We see how much money still in bank. You have to eat and me not afford to buy you dinner every night. How much you have?”

Jason reached in his back pocket, brought out a very thin and frazzled wallet. It didn’t have much there. He opened the bill fold, peered in. “When I exchanged my Dominican pesos they gave me back this,” he showed him a five dollar bill and two ones. Jason reached in his left front pocket to bring out some change he held in his large hands “and this.” There were three dimes and four pennies.

“That not enough for meal. You have credit card?”

Jason gave him a dull look. “I don’t know what that is.”

Kevin reached into his pocket to pull out his wallet. He grabbed a credit card from one of the slots. “Do you have one of these?”

“No. John had one of those. He used it a lot, but he never gave me one.”

Kevin shook his head in exasperation. “You just don’t give someone a credit card. You have to apply for it. It looks like I buy tonight. Tomorrow you need to get money. You buy tomorrow.” If you have any money left in the bank, Kevin thought to himself.

>>>>>

Panda Feasts on Tigers

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Pablo Sandoval went deep in his first three at bats, joining Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only hitters to homer three times in a World Series game, Panda being the first to hit a homerun in his first three at bats.  In his fourth at bat he lined a single as the Giants crushed the Tigers 8-3.  The Tigers did score two runs in the last inning, but the Giants have beaten their opponents down in the last four games 28-4.

Pablo hit two homeruns off Justin Verlander, a solo shot in the first and a 2-run homer in the third.  His third homerun came off Al Alburquerque in the fifth, another solo shot.  He had a chance to be the first player ever to hit four homeruns in a World Series game, but lined a single in the seventh to finish the day 4 for 4.

Marco Scutaro continued his hot bat, going 2 for 4 with two runs batted in and two runs scored.  He had an RBI single in the third and another RBI single in the seventh.

Justin Verlander almost seemed like a cinch win going against Barry Zito.  Zito limited the Tigers to just one run in five plus innings of work.  Verlander was ambushed for five runs in just four innings of work.  Three of those runs scored on Panda’s two homeruns.

Jose Valverde had another bad outing, giving up four hits and two runs while only getting one hitter out.  Jim Leyland will probably try to avoid using him in crucial situations until he can show he can get some hitters out.  It is getting a little late now to trust Valverde with a lead.

On the other side, Tim Lincecum struck out five of the seven hitters he faced, pitching a perfect two plus innings in relief.

Johnny Peralta hit a 2-run homer in the ninth off George Kontos.  This may be a bit of momentum the Tigers need for tomorrow.  Doug Fister will go against Madison Bumgarner.

Lee Leads Lions to Opening Day Win

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Seung-yeop Lee slugged a 2-run homerun in his first post season at bat since returning from Japan and it proved to be the difference maker in the Samsung Lions 3-1 win over the SK Wyverns in a best of seven.  Young-seob Bae added an RBI double in the seventh to give the Lions an insurance run.

Sung-hwan Yoon got the start and the victory for the Lions, working five plus innings.  He gave up a run in the fourth after a Ho-joon Lee single in the bottom of the fourth.  Seung-whan Oh picked up the save.

You can read more about the game here: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/sports/2012/10/136_123077.html

Dominican Winter League Update

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Offense seems to be up this year in the Dominican League.  Perhaps the balls are juiced.  Better than the players.  After the first week all teams are within two games of each other.

Estrellas Oriente (4-2)

Junior Lake is having a good season, hitting .316 with two homeruns and four runs driven in.  He is second to Todd Lindon (.381, 2, 5) in total bases.  Dennis Phipps (.294) is reaching that age where he should be in a starting lineup.  He leads Estrellas in runs scored with five.  Luis Jimenez (.273) is an Angels third base prospect to watch.

Brandon Kloess (0.00) has yet to provide a hit in his closer role.  He has picked up two saves and one win in his three appearances.  That accounts for 75 percent of Estrellas wins.  Scott Rice (0.00) has struck out more than half the hitters he has faced (5).

Cibao Gigantes (3-3)

Marcel Ozuna (.435, 4, 8) is sending balls over the fence with great regularity.  He also has five doubles which makes nine of his ten hits extra base hits.  That’s pretty impressive.  Jean Segura (.389) would like to enhance his skills to cement the Brewers starting shortstop position.  Moises Sierra (.318, 3, 6) will be gunning for the Blue Jays starting outfield job in 2013.  Based on his start with the Gigantes he is making a good impression.  Leury Garcia (.444) is another hot shortstop in the Rangers system.  The Gigantes have the luxury of having two prospect shortstops playing for them in Garcia and Segura.  Garcia leads the team in stolen bases with two.

Fabio Castro (1.50) is a pitcher loaded with talent, but lacking any command of his pitches.  In his two appearances, one of them a start he has yet to walk a batter in his six innings of work.

Escogido Leones (3-3)

Taylor Green (.400) got off to a monster start with seven hits in his first eight at bats.  Now he is 1 for his last 12.  Melky Mesa (.316, 2, 4) finally got his callup with the Yankees.  He leads the team in stolen bases but has also struck out nine times in five games.  Pedro Florimon (.105) and Mauro Gomez (.050) are struggling in the early going.  Mauro has one hit, a homerun.

Daniel Cabrera (1.13) has had two impressive starts.  His 4/1 walk to whiff ratio in eight innings is not impressive, but he has only given up four hits.  We’ll see if this lasts.  The knuckleballer Steven Wright (3.00), who went from the Indians to the Red Sox struck out seven in six innings of work in his first start.

Licey Tigres (3-3)

Mike Olt (.417) is getting some at bats with the Tigres.  He has slugged one homerun.  Jordany Valdespin (.400) leads the team in total bases homeruns (2) and runs scored (7).  Dee Gordon (.320) is getting some shortstop time and is 2 for 2 in stolen bases.  He needs to show the Dodgers he is a better alternative than Hanley Ramirez.  The Rangers are paying a lot to Leonys Martin (.227) and he needs to show a propensity to hit for average.  He does have more walks (4) than whiffs (3).

No one here we see to get excited about yet.

Cibaenas Aguilas (2-3)

Oscar Taveras (.333, 2, 3) is raking.  He leads the team in total bases and OPS (1.178).  Chris Coghlan (.300) can no longer rest on his rookie of the year laurels.  He leads the team in RBIs and is tied with a number of players for the lead in runs scored.

Bartolo Colon (5.40) has found a place to pitch.  Not a great first start but he did strike out eight in five innings of work.  Lorenzo Barcelo (2.61) has had two impressive starts.  His 10/1 whiff to walk ratio in 10 innings and 0.97 WHIP is impressive.

Este Toros (3-4)

Charlie Blackmon (.385) was traded to the Rockies from the Giants for Marco Scutaro.  Now it is his turn to shine.  His five RBIs lead the team, but he is a better fit to hit at the top of the order.  Yan Gomes (.259, 3, 4) was the first Brazillian born player to make the major leagues.  He leads the Toros in total bases.  Angel Villalona (.200) is back but he has only gotten five at bats.  That doesn’t sound like a guy deserving of a 40 man roster spot.  Tyler Pastornicky (.176) still not hitting.

Josh Outman (0.00) has yet to give up a run in two starts.  He has pitched nine innings and has a 0.56 WHIP, which means he puts a man on base via a walk or a hit every other inning.  Osiris Matos (0.00) has appeared in six of the teams seven games.  No wins, no losses, no saves and no strikeouts.  Aneury Rodriguez (1.50) could be the 2013 version of Lucas Harrell.  He needs to improve his command before that happens.