Archive for November, 2012

2012 Asian Baseball Championship Boxscores

Friday, November 30th, 2012

For those who have an interest in seeing the boxscores from Day one and Day two of the 2012 Asian Baseball Championships I was able to locate them.

For day one the box scores can be found here   http://www.baseballjapan.org/common/news_doc/news_pdf_300.pdf

For day two the box scores can be found here: http://www.baseballjapan.org/common/news_doc/news_pdf_301.pdf

Day one saw the Philippines jump out to a 3-0 lead in their game against Korea.  Korea came back in the home half to tie the game 3-3.  The Philippines did committ three errors in the game, making all six runs in the two three run outbursts for Korea unearned.  Jasmin Romeo had an excellent outing for the Philippines pitching four shutout innings and giving up only one hit.

China got five shutout innings from T. Bu in their 7-0 win over Pakistan.  He gave up six hits but struck out nine in the six inning affair.  Leadoff hitter Sumair Zawar got two of the six hits for Pakistan in the loss.

In the big game Akira Matsumoto stroked two doubles driving in one of the two runs in Japan’s 2-1 win over host Taiwan.  Junichi Kataya worked five plus innings, giving up the only run but only allowing two hits to get the win.  S.W. Wang delivered two hits for Taiwan, one of them driving in the only run.

Day 2 saw Korea shutout China 4-0.  H.S. Jung drove in two runs with his one hit and P.H. Cho scored two.  In-Wook Jung worked six shutout innings, giving up only one hit and striking out eight for Korea.

Japan bashed Pakistan 13-0 with Daichi Osera striking out all nine Pakistan batters he faced in the first three innings.  The three Japanese pitchers only gave up one hit and struck out 16 in the seven inning game.  Takumi Horikosh had two triples to drive in six runs for Japan.

Leadoff hitter P.C. Chen smashed four of the 15 Taiwan hits against the Philippines and scored three of the 12 runs in Taiwan’s 12-1 win over the Philippines.  Taiwan scored seven runs in the first two innings, roughing up Philippine ace Charlie Labrador for five runs in his one inning plus of work.

Nationals Trade for Denard Span

Friday, November 30th, 2012

The Nationals were rumored to be after him in 2011.  At that time he was trying to recover from a concussion and the cost was high for a player that did not play much the rest of that year.  Another centerfielder the Nationals were rumored to be pursuing was B.J. Upton.  Once B.J. Upton signed with the Braves as a free agent the Nationals struck by trading one of their top pitching prospects Alex Meyer to acquire Span.

While Bryce Harper performed a credible job in centerfield, the acquisition of Span will enhance the Nationals defensive outfield play.  Watching Morse play left field was almost as agonizing as watching Adam Dunn play first base.  While Morse occupied a spot in left field, a number of singles turned into doubles as Morse lumbered after the ball.

Denard Span is only 29 and is signed for another three years, with the third year being an option year for the Nationals.  He may never duplicate the numbers he put up in 2010, but he will be playing in a friendlier hitters park.  This should spike up his offensive numbers.  The Nationals also address their lead off spot.  While Jayson Werth performed admirably hitting leadoff, he is better suited in the middle of the order where he can drive in runs.

The Twins meanwhile are deparate for pitching.  The last thing they want to become is a duplicate of the Kansas City Royals.  They have a super quartet of offensive players coming up in Miguel Sano, Bryan Buxton, Oswaldo Arcia and Eddie Rosario.  Aaron Hicks also has the potential to be a steady offensive player, but right now his strength is focused on defense.

The Twins need pitching.  Their top pitcher Kyle Gibson is coming off Tommy John surgery.  Scott Diamond showed some progress last year but Liam Hendricks took a step backward.  Other than first round supplemental pick J.O. Berrios there is not a lot to look forward to.  The hope is that Alex Meyer and J.O Berrios will be ready to supplement Gibson, Hendricks and Diamond when Sano, Buxton, Arcia and Rosario are driving in runs.

While Meyer throws a fastball in the mid-90s and has a wicked slider he also has problems with command.  Myworld saw him go toe to toe with Dylan Bundy last year in Low A.  Dylan looked like the more impressive pitcher and advanced all the way to the major leagues.  Dylan was 19.  Alex is already 22.

The worst that can happen for the Twins if Meyer does not harness his command is he can be a closer.  At 6′9″ with a fastball in the high 90s to triple digits working in shorter outings he could be pretty intimidating.  It was a risk the Twins were willing to take.

Sloppy Game of the Day

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Aguilas defeated Escogido on Wednesday 12-9 in a game in which 10 errors were committed.  Seven of those errors were committed by Escogido, but it surprisingly led to only four unearned runs to be scored.

The seven errors by Escogido were spread around the team.  Fernando Martinez was the lead culprit making two boots from the outfield.  He made amends for those errors by hitting a 2-run homer in the fourth.  Daniel Cabrera also made an error in addition to walking four hitters in his four plus innings of work.  The other four errors were assessed against major leaguers Starling Marte, Justin Turner, Ryan Flaherty and Mauro Gomez.

The three errors committed by Aguilas were made by Hector Luna, Omar Luna and Miguel Tejeda.  They resulted in three unearned runs from being scored.

To add to the miserable play, both Wilin Rosario and Wilkin Castillo committed passed balls.  Leones manager Ken Oberfel was ejected in the seventh.  Perhaps he was fed up with the poor level of play.

2012 Asian Baseball Championships - Day 2

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Korea and Japan finished day two as the only undefeated teams.  Korea shutout China 4-0 while Japan defeated Pakistan 13-0.  Taiwan got on the winning track by defeating Philippines 12-1.

For those who want to read an interesting article on the Philippines team you can go here: http://www.rappler.com/sports/16907-ph-team-seeks-glory-in-2012-asian-baseball-championship.  There big hope for this series was to have their pitching do well and hope to get some offense to support their pitching.  In the first two days they have scored four runs but given up 18.

An article on Pakistan’s hopes in the Asian baseball championships is here: http://dawn.com/2012/09/04/pakistan-to-feature-in-asian-baseball-championship/.  They have no real history in baseball, but if they continue to progress they could become eligible as a WBC participant in the next qualifying round.

Myworld has not been able to find any writeup on the results or box scores.

The Chinese Investors (cont - 14) - end

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

In hindsight John probably had them sell the necklaces and bracelets because if they got caught there was not much the police could do to them. They were just kids. If John got caught he could be thrown in jail or forced to make a payment of some kind. He was always nearby watching them just to make sure they did not get themselves in trouble. When they ran out of stock they would go back to him for new supplies. In the four years she sold the necklaces and bracelets she did not get in trouble once.

Misty and Jason looked forward to those trips into the city. The big buildings, the hustling people, moving this way and that, the streets crowded with cars of all different shapes and sizes, the style and manner of dress was all so different, from commoner to aristocrat. Many a time she would sit to watch and wonder where all the people and cars were going. She would imagine herself in one of those cars traveling to an exotic place where everything would be bliss.

All the people and cars seemed to be in such a hurry going this way and that. Except the tourists, who always seemed lost, looking at their maps trying to find where they were and where they needed to be. They were easy to spot. If she helped them with directions they would be so grateful they were easy prey to buy a necklace. She learned a lot of strategies in her four years selling trinkets on the Square. She dare not put any of those skills on her resume.

After they sold enough handicrafts they would go to the market to load up on supplies such as bread, meats, fruits and cleaning supplies. Misty and Jason would spend all their time at the fish market where they would gaze at the different types of fish. She would wonder if they had personalities like people, or were they just animals without thought. There were a lot of dead fish perched upon tables, but there would be live ones too trying to swim inside tiny aquariums with no place for them to really swim, obstructed by one fish on top of it and more fish below it and to the left and right. All they could do was float. It was sad. She couldn’t imagine sharing a small box with other people and have to live her life like that, too paralyzed to move from the bodies surrounding her. As she thought about it more, life was not so bad living at the adoption center.

The other person she wanted to learn more about was Moogi, the cleaning lady at the adoption center. Two months after Jason was left at the facilities John hired her to be the cleaning lady. Before her hire they did not have one. Moogi was a shy woman who didn’t talk much, especially when Misty tried to get her to talk about her past. She was curious what her life was like before she became their cleaning woman. Try as she might she could never extract this information from her. As life would go on she would become her confidant. Her teacher. Moogi would always remain a mystery with secrets she yearned to unlock, but a wealth of information on other things in life she would be more than happy to share.

Moogi was much younger than the other women who worked at the facilities. The other women seemed ancient to her as she grew up. The older women had faces made of granite, always stern, never flashing a smile. They were responsible more for the administrative stuff and the two hour tutoring lessons her and Jason would be required to take each morning, afternoon and evening. One grandmotherly type would be responsible for history, another for math and another for English, etc. Only she and Jason got the tutoring lessons, since they were the oldest. Jason usually tagged along for the classes, rarely opening his mouth. He was there only because Misty was there and John wanted him to have some education.

Moogi was also older than the infant girls who were being adopted. It was rare for a girl to last past her first birthday, so there was really no one to grow up and play with. Moogi would always remain the only woman closest to her age, despite being twenty years older. John never registered her or Jason for formal school so there were no opportunities to meet other kids.

The best thing about Moogi was her smile. Her face was like a plain yogurt until she smiled. The smile would fill her face with chunks of fruit. Since Moogi rarely smiled and both Misty and Jason liked to see her smile they would do their mischievous best to make her smile. Jason seemed to be the best at accomplishing that task, even if it meant sitting in front of a loud vacuum cleaner, always making it more difficult for Moogi to finish her chores.

When they talked Moogi seemed to speak in riddles, especially when Misty tried to yank some information from her past. Moogi would say things like, “Try to walk along roads with many paths you can enter and exit from. Always leave yourself choices and choose your paths carefully. Just because a road is filled with flowers does not mean it is the best path for you. Know what road best fits your life. A road filled with thorns will make your trip more painful if it does not have exits for you to escape from.”

“Sometimes the roads are chosen for you. You have no choice what road you take.”

“As you get older your time will come when you will be given an opportunity to choose. Just choose a road that is wise for you once you reach that time.”

“Are you happy with the road you are on?”

“The road I am on now is the best path for me.”

She missed Moogi and their talks. She wondered if she was still the cleaning woman at the facilities. She had arrived when Misty was four and in the eight years she was there Misty watched her turn from a young girl to a mature girl one year shy of her teenage years, never once talking about a man in her life and never even bringing up marriage. Misty always wondered why.

“Don’t you want to get married?”

“That is not the best path for me. Men look for certain qualities in women. Most men would not be fond of the qualities forced upon me by the paths I’ve travelled across in my earlier life. Besides, I enjoy being with you and Jason. There is no reason for me to leave this new path I have chosen for my life.”

She seemed like a smart woman. She could find a better job that paid more money than a cleaning woman. Yet, she preferred to mop the floors and clean the toilets at the adoption facility to be with her and Jason. Misty thought that was strange.

She lost Jason when he turned eight after he became obsessed with a sport called baseball. In order to continue to play with him she had to help retrieve baseballs for him while he tried to throw balls as far as he could in the field. She couldn’t see the point in all that effort, but she liked being around him. So she shagged while he threw.

It was four months after his obsession with baseball that a family adopted Misty. They saw her retrieving balls for Jason in the fields. They thought she looked cute with her basket clutched firmly in her hands while she chased after his thrown baseballs. They wanted to adopt both of them. At eight years old Jason had grown taller than Misty so they initially thought he was the older of the two. John would only allow them to adopt Misty. Four months later she would not see Jason or Moogi again. She cried a lot after she left, but soon got over it. The road John allowed her to take was a good one. Now she was choosing her own paths.

At least her days of wondering what happened to Jason Woo had ended. Jason had been found. She still could not find a lot of personal information on him using the internet search engines. Just a lot of baseball stuff. She had no interest in reading about the baseball stuff. It was too difficult for her to comprehend. She wanted to know more about his personal life. At least she knew where he was. Moogi would have to wait until another day to find out about her personal life.

“Misty. Senator Helms would like to talk to you about the meeting notes you prepared for him yesterday. He needs them for his meeting with the China Ambassador.” The voice snapped her back into reality and away from her memories of the adoption center.

End of Chapter 9

Venezuela Update - Zulia Rises to Top Spot

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Zulia Aguilas (22-16), 4-3

Adrian Sanchez (.375) has been a nice lift since he returned to the team.  He was 0 for 4 to begin the year and after a couple weeks off he is 6 for 12 with a four game hitting streak.  At 6′4″ the twenty two year old has pretty nice height for a second baseman, growing four inches since the beginning of the year and gaining 40 plus pounds (unless that is a misprint).  That height has yet to generate any power.  Ernesto Mejia put together a six game hitting streak of two or more hits to raise his average to .336.  He hit two homeruns during that streak to raise his total to 10.  Gerardo Parra (.321) showed a little power last week hitting his first three homeruns of the winter season.

Wilfredo Boscan (2-1,0.95) picked up his second victory in two starts last week.  He did give up four runs in 10 plus innings, but only two of those runs were earned.  The fact he had given up no runs in five of his first six starts make these two starts a bit disappointing.  Dwayne Pollock (3-1, 2.53) picked up his third victory then was horrid in his first loss.  He gave up nine unearned runs in three plus innings, getting rocked around for eight hits and three walks.  In his first seven starts he had only walked one.

Magallanes Navegantes (22-17), 2-6

Juan Rivera (.375) and Jose Altuve (.361) have been good recent additions to provide some offense.  It hasn’t helped in the win column yet.  Jose currently has a six game hitting and RBI streak going, 12 for 22 with 11 RBIs.  Darwin Perez (.291) has 143 at bats with 33 walks and 33 whiffs in 31 games.  That is a lot of non-contact.  He had two six at bat games last week in which he struck out seven times.

Caracas Leones (23-18), 5-3

Carlos Rivero showed some pop last week with two 3-run homers in one game.  He was 10 for 25 for the week with three homeruns and eight RBIs.  He also scored seven times.  Jesus Aguilar has started to hit after a slow start going 5 for 9 with two homeruns and two doubles in his last three games.  He shares first base and DH time with recent arrival Jesus Guzman (.286) who except for last year is an RBI machine in the winter league.  With Carlos swatting homeruns Josh Vitters only got to play two games in which he went 0 for 7 with two whiffs before he was given the boot.  You can’t have two players at third base.

Sean Gallagher picked up a victory with five innings of one hit shutout ball in his first winter start.  He had not given up a run in eight innings of work.

Anzoategui Caribes (20-17), 4-1

Gorkys Hernandez (.323) has a modest seven game hitting streak (8 for 27) going.  None of the seven hits went for extra bases.  He crossed the plate nine times during this streak.   Eduardo Escobar swatted two homeruns in one game, driving in six runs.  Unfortunately that 3 for 3 day was his only highlight of the week.  He went 1 for 11 in the other four games.

Jon MeLoan (1.45) saved three of the four wins for the Caribes. It upped his winter save total to seven.

Lara Cardenales (19-19), 5-3

The veteran Luis Jimenez (.319) had four two hit games last week.  He drove in six runs in his last two games, with three RBIs in each game.  That put his RBI total for the week at 10.  Luis Valbuena (.330) had a two homerun game in which he drove in five.  He also drew four walks in five at bats in another game.  He was 9 for 25 with seven RBIs and seven walks for the week.  Alcides Escobar (.278) has recently joined the team to fill the shortstop void.  Paulo Orlando (.379) is another recent addition to the team.  He has at least one hit in each of his seven games played.

Margarita Bravos (15-19), 3-3

In his last two games Cesar Hernandez (.259) raked three hits each.

Luis Chirinos (2-0, 2.87) had two starts in which he only gave up one run each, working a total of 11 plus innings.  He got the victory in one of those starts but his 8/9 walk to whiff ratio was not impressive.

La Guaria Tiburones (16-22), 1-4

C.J. Retherford (.324) smashed one homerun and drove in five in a game last week.  After that game his seven game hitting streak was broken with a 0 for 4.  He recently reupped with the Dodgers.  Salvador Perez (.372) has a hit in his first 10 games he has played.  He had a streak where he had five straight two hit games.

Enrique Gonzalez (4.32) has given up seven of his eight runs in his last three games.  He has taken two losses in those relief outings.  In his first 13 games he had only given up one run.  J.C. Ramirez (201, 7.94) picked up the only win last week, tossing two plus innings in the three relief outings.

Aragua Tigres (14-23), 3-4

Luis Hernandez (.378) had a six game hitting streak, going 11 for 26.

Carlos Hernandez (2.21) had picked up a victory and thrown nine plus shutout innings.  Francisco Butto (3.75) picked up two saves last week, then couldn’t get any of the four hitters out in his last appearance.

Asian Baseball Championships - first day

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

No details can be found but Korea downed the Philippines 6-3 and China shutout Pakistan 7-0 in the opener of the Asian Baseball Championships.

After the opening ceremonies the two favorites, Taiwan and Japan battled with Japan coming out on top 2-1.

When myworld finds details on the games we will pass them along.  Information taken from a schedule provided by yakubaka.

Canada WBC Coaching Staff

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Canada has named their coaching staff for the WBC.  The team appears to lack a shortstop and catcher Russell Martin has volunteered to play the position.  In my opinion, coach Stubby Clapp would be a better choice.  Stubby would probably be the fielding coach as well.

Manager - Ernie Whitt (ex-major league catchers always make good managers)

Hitting Coach - Larry Walker (one of the best clutch hitters in baseball)

Pitching Coach - Dennis Boucher (not much of a major league career but soft tossers know how to pitch)

Third Base Coach - Tim Leiper (myworld doesn’t know too much about him)

Bench Coach - Stubby Clapp (if he can’t fire you up then you are dead)

Bullpen Coach - Paul Quantril (a solid reliever with the Royals so he fits well in the bullpen)

Coach and Director - Greg Hamilton ( he’s doing something right.  Put together first Canadian gold medal team)

Asian Baseball Championships Begin Tomorrow

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

China, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Pakistan are the six teams that will compete in the Asian Baseball championships in Taiwan.  The first tournament was held in 1954 and the winner of that event was the Philippines, with the strong Asian powers of Japan finishing second and Korea and Taiwan sharing third.  Things have not gone well for the Philippines since that time, getting third or fourth place finishes in the next nine tournaments before falling off the medal rounds entirely until 2001 and 2007 when they had two other fourth place finishes.

Japan has won the tournament for the last four years.  Taiwan has finished in second place in three of those years with Korea finishing second the other year.  Korea and Taiwan are the only other two countries to have won the tournament.  China has had one third place finish plus a few fourth place and Guam was a surprising fourth place in 1987.  Australia has also had a number of third place finish in 1975 and a few fourth place finishes.

Except for the Philippines first place finish in 1954 only Japan, Korea and Taiwan have finished in the top two.

You can see a schedule of the games at http://yakyubaka.com/2012/11/28/2012-26th-bfa-asian-baseball-championship-schedule/

The Chinese Investors (cont - 13)

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

This was the first piece of information Misty had dug up on Jason in her two year search for him. He had fallen in her lap like the silent drip of ice cream from a cone, so totally unexpected. John had given him the English name Jason when he was six years old after they had watched the movie Jason and the Argonauts. Misty did not like the name because she was more familiar with the movie Friday the 13th, where a villain named Jason carved up young kids in their sleep like watermelon. This movie forced her to sleep with a light on in her room even to this day. She always referred to Jason as Woo. John always called him Jason. That name gave her shivers every time she heard it spoke. The memory of the person gave her smiles every time she thought of his innocent face.

Misty kept in touch with many of the women John had sent out for adoption. She kept a list of the names of the parents who adopted kids from the center before she herself finally had to leave the facilities, even getting a list from the caretakers for the names she didn’t have early in her stay. She followed up with those names a few years after she was adopted, canvassing social networking sights on the internet to find many of these women. In total there were 197 women she had come in contact with. Most of them were living in the United States now, some were in Europe with a small percentage located in Canada. Jason was the only male in the group. He was one of two people she most wanted to find out about.

She could have returned to Beijing to visit the facilities to see how Jason had grown up, but she didn’t. Or couldn’t. When she was younger she remembered a few of the other women who returned after being adopted. There was a lot of hugging and kissing when they met their caretakers. The women were dressed very nicely. They smelled nice and looked like success had followed them. Misty promised she would do the same once she got the chance. College and now work had prevented her from doing that. Now, through an act of chance she had found a nugget of news on Jason. Misty couldn’t believe her luck.

In hindsight, the days at the adoption center were good years, the memories now a broad landscape, with each day, month and year that passed forcing more of the details to disappear. While growing up at the adoption center she felt disappointment as the years passed like a slow moving tortoise across the sidewalk, with no family expressing any interest in adopting her. She felt unwanted. Alone. Now the years seemed to pass too quickly.

She had been brought to the center when she was four years old. John tried to explain to her it wasn’t because she was not wanted that families did not adopt her. It was because most families preferred to adopt infants so they could shape them as they grew older. John rarely accepted anyone past two years of age because of the difficulty in getting a family to adopt them. He made an exception for Misty because her parents had given him enough money to raise her until she turned eighteen. Her mother also seemed desperate and was crying hysterically, torn about giving away her child but knowing she couldn’t keep her. Her new husband was someone you didn’t say no to. John felt Misty would be scorned and abused if she stayed with him.

Misty never asked John to track where her real mother and step father now lived. The fact they abandoned her made her not care.

When she turned six John had her help out with some of the chores around the adoption center, especially keeping care of the few animals roaming around the facilities. There were the two cows at the center John used for milk, a couple chickens they used for eggs and a pig who Misty couldn’t quite figure out what he was good for except eating a lot of slop. John kept telling her he would make a nice meal some day. He urged her to keep feeding him, but Misty grew to like Mr. Pig. After awhile she could never see eating him.

She also helped John put together handicrafts they would sell to tourists in Tiananmen Square one day each month when they went into the big city. The handicrafts were mostly bracelets and necklaces claimed to be bricks obtained from the Great Wall. They were not really from the Great Wall. John would collect broken down bricks from the neighborhood and put them together to craft into a bracelet or necklace. Misty, with Jason by her side when he got old enough would help sell these necklaces to tourists. John had always told her to be careful of the men in uniform. If they saw her selling these items claiming to be from the Great Wall they could get in trouble.

After awhile she didn’t tell the tourists the necklaces were from the Great Wall. The tourists bought them anyway. They were cheap and they were nice. She thought that by not telling them they were from the Great Wall there was less chance of getting in trouble. Since they sold as many necklaces and bracelets not from the Great Wall as necklaces and bracelets claiming to be from the Great Wall, John never knew the difference.