Archive for November, 2014

Major League Baseball to Open in Japan in 2016

Monday, November 24th, 2014

While the major leaguers were playing the NPB All Stars Rob Manfred answered a number of questions in interviews while in Japan. Below are some of his thoughts:

1) Major League baseball hopes to open in Japan again in 2016. Two teams have yet to be determined and details have not been finalized.

2) The WBC tournament may expand the number of teams to participate in the qualifying rounds. The main event will continue to be the 16 team format, which is scheduled for 2017.

3) MLB supports baseball returning to the Olympics. The concern is the level of commitment. Because the games are played in the summer, during the middle of the major league season it makes it difficult for major leaguers to participate.

The interview questions can be found here:

Interview

Highest Paid Athletes in Sports

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

They say baseball is a dying sport. I’d like to know who they is. This dying sport has six players (or five since one player is listed twice) named as having the richest annual contracts. Giancarlo Stanton broke the record for most expensive contract ever with his $325 million contract over 13 years and he plays baseball for the Miami Marlins, a team known for their frugalness. Giancarlo just missed this list of top 22 contracts, falling at number 23 with fellow baseball players Felix Hernandez (Seattle Mariners), Cliff Lee and Ryan Howard (Philadelphia Phillies), Josh Hamilton (Texas Rangers) and football players Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) and Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos). It is interesting to note that with the exception of Calvin Johnson, all the football players who made this list play the position of quarterback.

22. Alex Rodriguez ($25.2 million) 2001 - 2010 Texas Rangers (Baseball)
21. Justin Verlander ($25.7 million) 2013 - 2019 Detroit Tigers (Baseball)
20. Wayne Rooney ($26 million) 2014 - 2019 Manchester United (Soccer)
16. Tony Romo ($27.5 million) 2013 - 2018 Dallas Cowboys (Football)
16. Lewis Hamilton ($27.5 million) 2013 - 2015 Mercedes (Formulae One)
16. Fernando Alonso ($27.5 million) 2010 - 2014 Ferrari (Formulae One)
15. Zack Greinke ($28 million) 2012 - 2018 Los Angeles Dodgers (Baseball)
14. Miguel Cabrera ($29.2 million) 2014 - 2023 Detroit Tigers (Baseball)
12. Joe Flacco ($30 million) 2013 - 2018 Baltimore Ravens (Football)
12. Matt Ryan ($30 million) 2013 - 2017 Atlanta Falcons (Football)
11. Clayton Kershaw ($30.15 million) 2014 - 2020 Los Angeles Dodgers (Baseball)
10. Kobe Bryant ($30.5 million) 2013 - 2015 Los Angeles Lakers (Basketball)
8. Michael Schumaker ($31 million) 1996 - 1999 Ferrari (Formulae One)
8. Tom Brady ($31 million) 2013 - 2018 New England Patriots (Football)
7. Matthew Stafford ($31.5 million) 2013 - 2026 Detroit Lions (Football)
6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($35 million) 2012 - 2016 Paris Saint - German (Soccer)
5. Aaron Rodgers ($40 million) 2014 - 2021 Green Bay Packers (Football)
4. Lionel Messi ($50.1 million) 2014 - 2019 Barcelona (Soccer)
3. Christiano Ronaldo ($50.2 million) 2013 - 2018 Real Madrid (Soccer)
2. Kimi Raikkonen ($51 million) 2007 - 2009 Ferrari (Formulae One)
1. Floyd Mayweather ($73.5 million) 2013 - 2015 Individual (Boxing)

Twins Win Posting Amount for Yang

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

The Minnesota Twins have won the posting amount for the second lefthander in Korea wishing to bolt the KBO to try their luck in the major leagues. Hyeon-Jong Yang of the Kia Tigers, had pitching numbers comprable to a previously posted left handed pitcher Kwang-Hyun Kim. The Padres won the posting bid for Kim with an offer of $2 million and are currently negotiating with him for a contract.

Kim was 13-9 with a 3.42 ERA in 28 starts. He struck out 145 hitters in 173 innings. Yang was 16-8, 4.25 also in 28 starts. He struck out 165 hitters in 175 innings pitched. Neither pitcher led his team to the playoffs.

One player everyone is waiting for is shortstop Jung-Ho Kang of the Nexen Heroes. He led his team to the playoffs, hitting .356 with 40 homeruns and 117 RBIs. The KBO is an extremely high offensive league so the offensive numbers for the hitters are a bit inflated.

Cuba Wins Central American Championships

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Cuba went with their ace Freddy Alvarez. He gave them six innings as Cuba glided over Nicaragua 9-3 to win gold in the Central American championships. Cuba delayed their professional season for two weeks to participate in this event.

Their three stars who had played in Japan during the summer, Frederich Cepeda, Alfredo Despaigne and Yulieski Gourriel were in the 3-4-5 spots in the lineup. Each of them contributed two hits and one RBI. The big run producer was Yadiel Hernandez, who drove in three runs. The defense for Nicaragua committed four errors to invite five unearned runs to score in the game.

A sellout crowd of 6,937 was at the Belo Avila Stadium in Vera Cruz, Mexico to witness the match. The Dominican Republic finished third with their 8-1 win over Puerto Rico earlier in the day. The boxscore for the Cuba/Nicaragua game can be found here:

boxscore

Venezuelan Winter Update

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

It has been a long time since we have done a winter update. Myworld takes a look at the hot, or not so hot players in the Venezuelan winter league. It appears to be a two team race for the top spot between Caribes and Aguilas, but more than one team qualifies for the round robin playoff that qualifies you for an appearance in the Series del Caribe.

Caribes de Anzo√°tegui (25-10)

Oswaldo Arcia (.340, 4, 9) is their top hitter, the only player to have an OPS over 1.000 (1,113). He is a recent arrival who has only played 14 games. Niuman Romero (.330) leads the team in doubles (10) and is second to Arcia in average, but he has also played in 27 games. Orlando Arcia (.289, 7, 25) leads the team in homeruns, RBIs and runs scored (23). Independent league player of the year Balbino Fuenmayor (.328, 4, 15) has also carried a hot stick. He has only walked once in over 60 at bats so when he is at the plate Balbino is swinging.

Jose Alvarez (4-0, 1.03) leads the team in wins despite starting only one game. Opponents are hitting the lefthander for a .169 average and the 16 leafthanders who have faced him have yet to get a hit, with seven whiffs. Paolo Espino (3-0, 3.68) is the top starter. His 31 whiffs lead the team. Cody Hall has picked up 10 saves and has given up just one unearned run in his 15 innings of work. Pedro Rodriguez (0.48) is the top set up man, but has still picked up four saves. It is a mystery how Francisco Butto (4-2, 11.32) has picked up four wins with that ERA.

Aguilas del Zulia (24-10)

Giovanny Urshela (.398, 3, 22) may be done for the winter after hurting his knee. The Indians want him to rehab in a couple weeks at their spring training camp. The big RBI man on the team is Aaron Altherr (.286, 4, 27). He has also struck out 35 times in 31 games. Ali Castillo (.317, 1, 13) leads the team in runs scored with 24, leading the team in stolen bases with 11. Mark Minicozzi (.358, 3, 15) has an impressive 29/22 walk to whiff ratio. His .988 OPS leads the team. An Asian team might be wise to sign him.

Tim Dillard (4-1, 1.47) is picking off the vulture wins in his 16 relief appearances. He has picked up one save while the opposition hits him at a .138 clip. Yeiper Castillo (1-1, 1.50) only averages just over five innings per start, which could be a reason for all the Dillard victories. Eric Marzec (2-1, 2.57) has shown phenomenal control in his six starts with just two walks in 35 innings. Diego Moreno (3-0, 3.38) also takes advantage of vulture wins, but he also has picked up five saves.

Tigres de Aragua (19-14)

A poor 7-11 record on the road is a big reason for their third place standing. Ramon Flores (.390, 2, 9) and Teodoro Martinez (.360, 4, 19) are raking. Teodoro his three of his four homeruns in one game and Ramon upped his average with a six hit game. Renato Nunez (.281, 4, 22) is the top RBI bat on the team. Jose Martinez (.287, 2, 12) leads the team in runs scored (21) and doubles (10). Avisail Garcia (.250, 3, 11) is a recent addition to establish some power lost by the departure of Mike Hessman (.227, 1, 4).

Manny Correa (4-1, 4.92) has won mover than half his starts (7) but his other numbers are less than impressive (12/16 walk to whiff ratio in 38 innings). Chris Smith (2-2, 3.76) leads the team in K’s with 32 in 38 innings. Ronald Belsario (2-0, 1.32) has been designated for assignment despite his good winter. A 4/7 walk to whiff ratio in 13 plus innings seems to indicate he is getting hitters out without his usual heat. Jon Hunton (0-1, 3.21) has picked up five saves in his 15 appearances. The 38 year old ex-outfielder Jason Lane (1-2, 4.82) is trying to resurrect his career as a pitcher. He does throw lefthanded, but righthanded hitters feast off him (.326).

Navegantes del Magallanes (15-17)

Adonis Garcia (.317, 3, 15) has played the most games (29) which has given him the most RBIs. His three homeruns also lead the team. Lew Ford (.330, 1, 8) and Ronny Cedeno (.269, 0, 6) are tied for the lead in runs scored (15). Roughned Odor (.222) is a recent addition who should provide some offensive production. He has only played two games.

Pitching has been the strength of the Navegantes with ironically Orangel Arenas (4-0, 2.22) leading the way. Dustin Richardson (2-2, 3.15) and Bobbie Blevins (1-2, 2.97) have also been providing solid starts. Hassan Pena (1.76, 9 saves) has been their closer.

Leones del Caracas (17-20)

Alex Gonzalez (.382, 4, 18) had a big 8 RBI game to vault him into the top spot for the team in RBIs. He also has a 1.119 OPS but has only played 15 games. Felix Perez (.333, 3, 12) is the team leader in runs scored (22) and doubles (10). L.J. Hoes (.327, 1, 10) has been a recent offensive addition with a line drive bat. Danny Vazquez (.321, 2, 15) has collected five triples, which is equal to his doubles and homeruns combined. The team would like to see more production in the bat of Jesus Aguliar (.264, 4, 15).

Boone Whiting (0-4, 5.41) has canceled out the wins picked up by Jarrett Grube (2-0, 4.55) and Buddy Boshers (2-0, 3.25). Boone has an ugly 22/21 walk to whiff ratio. Jesus Pirela (0.60) has been the closer with 6 saves.

Cardenales de Lara (15-21)

The Brazilian Paulo Orlando (.315, 4, 23) has been showing some pop, leading the team in RBIs and runs scored (20). The leading hitter is Gabriel Noriega (.338, 1, 15) but that goes with an unimpressive 4/27 walk to whiff ratio in 36 games. Maikol Gonzalez (.240, 0, 8) has the team lead in stolen bases (6), but his 13/11 walk to whiff ratio has not led to a good average. Carlos Rivero (.281, 7, 19) has bashed a league leading seven homeruns. Cesar Izturis (.333, 0, 11) is still playing and showing how easy it is to hit Venezuelan pitching.

Nestor Molina (3-2, 3.48) and Cesar Jimeniz (2-3, 3.55) have been providing the Cardenales the most consistent starts. Erasmo Ramirez has recently arrived to give the team three six inning starts without allowing any earned runs. In one start he did not allow a hit. The opposition is hitting only .150 against him with righthanders flailing at .129. He did allow two unearned runs in his first start. Tim Gustafson (1-2, 4.58) and his 20 appearances lead the league. Luis Vizcaino (2.30) and his six saves gives him the closer role. Terry Doyle (2-3, 4,43) is second in the league with his 40 KO’s.

Tiburones de La Guair√° (12-22)

Alex Cabrera (.265, 5, 11) continues to sail balls over the fence at 43 years of age. Rene Reyes (.298, 3, 16) has been another ageless wonder at 36, leading the team in RBIs. The only player with significant playing time hitting over .300 is Odubel Herrera (.360, 3, 10). Carlos Sanchez (.103, 1, 2) has been a real drag on the offense but got two of his three hits yesterday.

Junior Guerra (2-2, 4.05) leads the circuit with his 41 whiffs. Edgmer Escalona (2-2, 2.95) has deserved a better fate, but the bats make contact with the ball (43 hits in 36 innings with only 17 whiffs). Buddy Baumann (1.86) has only given up one run in each of his three starts and one run in his five relief appearances. He walked seven in his first two appearances, but followed up with only three in his next six appearances. Gregory Infante (0-1, 2.20) has been asked to be the closer, saving half of their 12 wins. Enrique Gonzalez (3-1, 1.93) has salvaged some vulture wins in his 17 relief appearances.

Bravos de Margarita (11-25)

This team is always consistently in last place. Eliezer Alfonzo (.254, 5, 23) and Taylor Motter (.250, 5, 12) share the homerun lead. Alfonzo leads the team in RBIs while Motter leads the team with 20 runs scored from the lead off spot. The top hitter is Alberto Gonzalez (.338, 0 10). After a strong start Aaron Hicks (.220, 1, 4) stumbled and was released, despite a strong 13/11 walk to whiff ratio that put his OBA at .381, 80 points higher than the Bravos leadoff hitter Motter.

Eric Berger (3-2, 2.61) is the only starter with a winning record. Forrest Snow (0-1, 1.00) has been a recent addition to the starting rotation. In his last start he gave up his only run, but it was enough for him to pick up the loss. Not an impressive group.

Nicaragua downs Puerto Rico in Central American Championships

Friday, November 21st, 2014

In the Central American championships Nicaragua beat Puerto Rico 2-1 to earn the right to face Cuba in the championship game. It took them 10 innings with Dwight Britton driving in both runs, including the walkoff single in the tenth to give Nicaragua the win.

It was a pitcher’s duel to begin the game with both Luis Cintron and Aristedes Sevilla hooked up in a 0-0 match up through the first six innings. Puerto Rico notched the first run in the top of the seventh on an RBI double from Aldo Mendez. Britton got the first of his two RBIs with a single in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game.

Cintron left the game before the seventh inning had ended. Sevilla was cooked after seven. Carlos Ramirez came on to pitch the last three innings for Nicaragua to pick up the victory, allowing only one hit and striking out five.

Nicaragua will now play Cuba for the gold medal while Puerto Rico will have to settle for a bronze medal match against Dominican Republic.


boxscore

End of Season Japanese All Stars

Friday, November 21st, 2014

At the end of the year the NPB announce a Japanese Nine, which are composed of the top players from each postion in the two leagues. Below is the Japanese Nine:

Central League

Pitcher - Tomoyuki Sugano (Yomiuri Giants)
Catcher - Shinnosuke Abe (Yomuiri Giants)
First Base - Mauro Gomez (Hanshin Tigers)
Second Base - Tetsuto Yamada (Yakult Swallows)
Third Base - Hector Luna (Chunichi Dragons)
Shortstop - Takashi Toritani (Hanshin Tigers)
Outfield - Matt Murton (Hanshin Tigers)
Outfield - Yoshihiro Maru (Hiroshima Carp)
Outfield - Yuhei Taku (Yakult Swallows)

Pacific League

Pitcher - Chihiro Kaneko (Orix Buffaloes)
Catcher - Hakaru Ito (Orix Buffaloes)
First Base - Ernesto Meija (Seibu Lions)
Second Base - Kazuya Fujita (Rakuten Golden Eagles)
Third Base - Ginji Akaminai (Rakuten Golden Eagles)
Shortstop - Kenta Imamiya (Softbank Hawks)
Outfield - Yoshio Itoi (Orix Buffaloes)
Outfield - Yuki Yanagita (Softbank Hawks)
Outfield - Sho Nakata (Nippon Ham Fighters)
Designated Hitter - Takeya Nakamura (Seibu Lions)

Two of the players, shortstop Toritani and pitcher Kaneko have expressed an interest in playing in the major leagues. The complete voting list for the players can be found here:

Best of Nines

Mexico Overtakes Panama on the Premier 12

Friday, November 21st, 2014

In the Central and Caribbean Games Mexico defeated Panama 3-1 which will vault them over Panama and into 12th place in the Premier 12. The game was a consolation game.

The final four saw Cuba beat the Dominican Republic 6-3 to advance to the finals. Yosvany Alarcon and Alex Malleta each hit two run homeruns for Cuba. Norge Luis Ruiz pitched 8 plus innings to get his second win of the tournament. In the first three games the Cuban pitching staff had only given up one run. Cuba will play the winner of the Puerto Rico versus Nicaragua match.

Nicaragua was rated number 18 entering this tournament. They had too far to rise to reach the number 12 spot, despite their high finish in this tournament and their fourth place finish in the 21 and under tournament. Mexico finished in last place in the 21 and under tournament but still earned some points for competing. Dominican Republic (7) and Puerto Rico (9) have already qualified for the Premier 12.

Samurai Close out Series with 6-4 Win

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

The Samurai Japan team won their series against the major leaguers with their 6-4 win yesterday. Yuki Yanagita stroked a 2-run single in the eighth to put the game away and Ryosuke Kikuchi and Kenta Imamiya each collected three hits in the 11 hit attack. Evan Longoria went deep for the major league side and Lucas Duda bunched together three hits in the loss.

It is the first win for a Japanese All Star team in these exhibition series since 1990. It was the first time ever in these series the Japanese team has outscored the major league team. Japan was recently rated as the number one baseball country according to the IBAF poll after their second place performance in the under 21 tournament held in Taiwan in November. The United States dropped to number 2.

Seo Surprise MVP in Korea

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

The first Korean player to reach 200 hits in a season, the Nexon Heroes Geon-Chang Seo was voted the MVP of the Korean League. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2012 becoming only the second player in the KBO to win both the rookie of the year and MVP. The other player to achieve that feat is the Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Two homerun hitting teammates, two time MVP winner Byung-Ho Park received 13 votes and possible future major leaguer Jung-Ho Kang received seven votes. The three players finished 1-2-3 in the MVP voting. Another teammate who was nominated but did not receive any votes was 20 game winner Andy Van Hekken.

Another player receiving votes was ERA (3.18) and strikeout leader (180) Rick Vandenhurk of the Samsung Lions who got two votes.

The NC Dinos outfielder Min-Woo Park was earlier voted the rookie of the year. He ranked second in the league in stolen bases with 50, batting .298 in 118 games.