Archive for May, 2020

Pennsylvania Dream Team

Friday, May 29th, 2020

This was a surprise Dream team filled with Hall of Famers. Many of the Hall of Famers played prior to 1920 and my world wanted to keep this team more in the modern era. This team is composed of players born in Pennsylvania who played in the major leagues with most of their playing time occurring after 1920.

Starting Lineup

Nellie Fox 2B
Ken Griffey Jr. CF
Stan Musial LF
Reggie Jackson RF
Mike Piazza C
Frank Thomas DH
Dick Allen 1B
Buddy Bell 3B
Dick Groat SS

Bench

Roy Campanella (c), Eddie Stanky (Util), Vic Wertz, Jack Clark, Gene Tenace, Hack Wilson

Starting Pitching

Mike Mussina, Herb Pennock, Sam McDowell, Jamie Moyer, Curt Simmons

Bullpen

Bruce Sutter, Sparky Lyle, Gene Garber, Bobby Shantz, Gary Lavelle, Bob Purkey

This team is loaded with catchers and first baseman. Tenace could do some catching and Lance Parrish was left off the team. Not a lot of depth in the infield. No real shortstop to cover for Groat. The bullpen has two good closers in Sutter and Lyle but after that it gets a little thin. That made room for two long men in Shantz and Purkey. This team will score a lot of runs with their power bats.

Canadian Dream Team

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

It was tough finding middle infielders for this Canadian Dream team. I would have liked to have included Stubby Clapp, but he only played one season in the major leagues. We could use him as a manager. Below would be the Canadian Dream team. These are players born in Canada who played in the major leagues.

Starting lineup

Matt Stairs LF
Larry Walker RF
Joey Votto 1B
Justin Morneau DH
Jason Bay CF
Vladimir Guerrero 3B
Russel Martin C
Pete Orr 2B
Dave McKay SS

Bench

George Kottaras (C), Brett Lawrie (Utl), Pete Ward (Utl), Corey Koskie (3B), George Selkirk (OF), Tyler O’Niel (OF)

Starting Pitchers

Ferguson Jenkins, Ryan Dempster, Kirk McCaskill, Mike Soroka, James Paxton

Bullpen

John Hiller, Eric Gagne, John Axford, Claude Raymond, Reggie Cleveland, Paul Quantrill

The team is really lacking up the middle, especially at short and second. Even behind the plate and in centerfield are players that play just barely above average, not really enough to establish a dream team. Fergie Jenkins is the only Hall of Famer in the rotation and the bullpen lacks a closer. This team would not win many games when placed against other Dream teams.

More Basebrawl in Taiwan

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

The main instigator again seems to be Henry Sosa, who started the first baseball brawl, but Ariel Miranda appears to have ended it. Two fans were also given permanent prohibitions to attend games for some expletives they hurled at a player heading back to the dugout. Ah. Baseball and the fans are back in Taiwan.

It all started after Chang Chih-Hao took Henry Sosa deep. The next time Sosa faced Chang he hit him in the leg. After the inning he did a “so sorry” hat tip to the bench. The first brawl in Taiwan baseball started in April after Henry Sosa hit a Rakuten Monkey player. This time it was a China Trust Brothers player. Next in line could be a Uni Lions player.

Ariel Miranda did not take too kindly to that hit by pitch. Especially after Lin Yi-Chaun hit his solo shot off him, the second homerun Miranda had given up in the inning. The next time Lin came to the plate a pitch went flying past his head. The umpire issued warnings to both benches. Miranda was not deterrred. His next pitch drilled Lin in the knee. The umpire ejected Miranda and benches cleared.

It did not seem as bad as the first benches clearing brawl between the Fubon Guardians and the Rakuten Monkeys. That stadium was empty when the April brawl occurred. This benches clearing incident had 2,000 fans in attendance. Two fans had some unsavory comments about the mother of Chen Hung-Wen as he was walking back to the dugout. Chen was not involved in the incident, but he was wearing a Fubon Guardians uniform. Teammates had to hold him back as he tried going after the fans.

The two fans comments forced the Brothers to prohibit them from attending any future games, the first time in the 31 year history that fans have been permanently prohibited from attending anymore CPBL games. It will be interesting to see how it is enforced, but when only 2,000 fans are in attendance it becomes much easier for their comments to be heard.

The Guardians won the game 7-3. If anyone was interested.

Jung Gets One Year Ban

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

The KBO has suspended Jung Ho-Kang for one year for his three DUI arrests in Korea. This suspension came after he was released by the Pirates and wanted to return to the KBO. The suspension does not begin until a team signs Jung, which could mean he could miss most of the 2021 season as well. At 33 years of age Kang does not have time on his side.

The KBO has also added another condition to his suspension. Kang must perform 300 hours of community service.

The Kiwoom Heroes have the rights to his contract. It is ironic that the player who replaced Jung, shortstop Kim Ha-Seong will be posted after this season to play in the major leagues. Jung probably no longer has the range to play shortstop anymore in the KBO, so if the Heroes sign him Jung will probably not be replacing Kim, who replaced him. Confused?

Myworld will be surprised if any KBO team signs Jung at this point. There would be a lot of backlash among KBO fans. And at 33 Jung may lack the impact bat to take the heat for his signing.

KBO News - Who Are These Guys That the Major Leagues Let Loose

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Roberto Ramos is a 6′3″ first baseman who was born in Mexico but drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 16th round of the 2014 draft. He played baseball at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, making him eligible for the draft. In the minor leagues he started to have his breakout power years in 2018 when he hit 32 homeruns at High A and AA and then hit 30 homeruns in AAA. But power hitting first baseman are a dime a dozen in the major leagues. So Roberto Ramos signed a contract with the LG Twins.

On Sunday Ramos hit a walk off grand slam homerun, his league leading 7th homerun of the season in one of the largest parks in Korea. Yesterday he mashed his 8th homerun as the LG Twins shut out the Hanwha Eagles 3-0. Ramos is now one of the top hitting sluggers in the KBO, destroying the league with a .350 batting average and 17 RBIs in 18 games. Who do the Rockies have at first base that can match that power?

And what about Cuban Jose Miguel Fernandez. He played in the Cuban League for a number of years until he was suspended in 2015 for trying to defect. He was not much of a power hitter in Cuba failing to reach double digits in homeruns in his eight seasons with the Cuban League. He finally did defect, played in the Dominican Winter League in 2016/2017 where he was finally signed by the Dodgers in 2017. In the Dodgers first year in the minors he only played 90 games but still slugged 16 homeruns. Despite that, the Dodgers released him and the Angels picked him up.

He played 91 games in the Angels AAA system in 2018 but not enough to please them, despite his 17 homeruns. They released him at the end of the season. The Doosan Bears signed Fernandez for the 2019 season where his .344 batting average was second in the league. This year he is hitting .500 and is considered the most fearsome hitter in the KBO. Some talk about whether a hitter will hit over .400. With Fernandez he seems to have skipped that .400 talk and some talk whether he will become the first professional player to hit over .500. It appears the Bears gain is the Dodgers and Angels loss. Fernandez plays multiple positions but his best position in the KBO is probably DH.

Finally, there is Mel Rojas Jr., whose father was born in the Dominican Republic and played professional baseball. Mel was drafted in the third round by the Pirates in 2010 but never got a major league opportunity. He signed with the KT Wiz to play in the second half of the 2017 season and is now in his fourth KBO season. In 2018 he hit 43 homeruns and last year when the offense overall dropped he slugged 24 homeruns. Rojas continues to hit, this year batting .423 with four homeruns for the Wiz. The Wiz are glad to have him. The Pirates and the Braves might wonder how he might look in their outfield this year, especially the Pirates.

Czech League Opens with No Hitter

Monday, May 25th, 2020

In Europe, the only baseball on the continent is in the Czech Republic. The Kotlarka Praha started things off in style against Tempo Praha, winning the game 3-0. Jan Novak, who played a little bit in the minor leagues with the Orioles a few years ago pitched seven innings of no hit ball, striking out 13 batters. Three relievers followed him by completing the no hitter, striking out another three, though Lukas Ercoli walked the bases loaded in the ninth and could only retire one batter. Scott Mulhearn (pitched in the Australian baseball league in 2015) retired the last two batters to earn the save and preserve the no hitter and shutout.

Nice way to get the season started.

Taiwan Balls Juiced

Monday, May 25th, 2020

The corona virus did not stop the CPBL from playing ball, but last week rains prevented the games from being played. Without baseball being played it allowed minds to wander. And just like the major leagues the experts began complaining about juiced baseballs. And just like the major leagues the CPBL has stated the balls provided by the manufacturer meet their specifications.

The CPBL has a coefficient of restitution (COR) range of between 0.540 to 0.580. Two tests have shown the 2020 balls had COR values of 0.574 to 0.571. In the past three seasons the balls measurements have been measured at 0.560 in 2017, 0.562 in 2018 and 0.563 in 2019. That appears to be a pretty significant up tick for those 2020 balls.

Currently the CPBL has averaged 2.75 homeruns per game. In 2017 the average was 2.14, in 2018 1.66 and in 2019 2.06. The CPBL has said they will let the juice out of the balls in the second half of the season and bring the COR down to 0.560.

Japan Baseball to Begin June 19

Monday, May 25th, 2020

The Japanese are ready to play ball on June 19. There will be no fans in attendance. The two conferences will play a 120 game season. Normally, the Japanese play 143 games. The Japan Series is set for November 21.

There will be no All Star game this year or Interleague matchups. In the past, rainouts have always been scheduled at the end of the calendar year. Because the Central League only has two domed stadiums there was some discussion that the Central League would have no Climax Series (a Conference playoff) and just the winner of the central would advance to the Japan Series. The Pacific League is considering shortening the regular season (not making up rainouts) in order to have a shortened Climax Series (two team wild card playoff and then the winner plays the Conference champion). Those have not been announced as official yet.

Exhibition games will begin June 2. There could be some problems with Cuban import players returning to Japan in time to play the regular season, since travel out of the country has been prohibited because of the corona virus.

The Young Guns in the KBO

Sunday, May 24th, 2020

The KBO used to be known as a hitter”s league. Since they have changed balls it has now transformed into less of a hitter’s league. This has allowed some young pitchers to come up and start making an impact in the KBO. In order to qualify for this list the pitcher has to be under 25, pitched at least 10 innings or used consistently as a reliever and have an ERA below 4.00. We may have some exceptions. Below is a list of those young pitchers.

NC Dinos (14-3)

The hottest team in the KBO have a trio of young pitchers who qualify for this list.

Koo Chang-Mo (2-0, 0.41) - At 23 he could be the best pitcher in the KBO. Last year was his breakout season when he went 10-7, 3.20. Despite lacking overpowering stuff, the lefthander strikeouts more than a batter per inning, something only foreign pitchers usually do. In his three starts covering 22 innings he has only given up one run.

Kim Young-Gyu (0-1, 3.94) - The young 20 year old lefthander made his debut last year (5-4, 5.29). He has only walked one hitter in his 16 innings of pitching, but his ERA is high because of the 6 homeruns he has given up. Last year, with his ERA at 5.29 he only gave up seven homeruns.

Bae Jae-Hwan (1-0, 2.25) - The 25 year old righthander has appeared in eight games. Usually, when Korea turns to the bullpen the runs start appearing on the scoreboard. Not so with Bae. The one down side is he has walked seven in his eight innings of work.

LG Twins (11-6)

The second place team also has a trio of young pitchers contributing to their early season success.

Lee Min-Ho (1-0, 0.00) - This is the first year for the 18 year old righthander, not to be confused with the Dinos 26 year old righthander of the same name. Lee pitched a couple early games of relief, not giving up a run, then got sent down. When recalled he got a start and pitched 5.1 innings of shutout one hit ball. In 9.1 innings he has yet to give up a run, though his 4/2 walk to whiff ratio is nothing to get excited about.

Lee Sang-Gyu (1-0, 1.93) - The 23 year old righthander only pitched to three hitters last year. This year in 8 appearances he has given up two runs. He has a win, hold and a save in those 8 appearances.

Jung Woo-Young (1-0, 1.17) - At 6′4″ the 24 year old righthander has a nice height for a Korean pitcher(most Korean pitchers stand 6′1″ to 6′2″). Last year was his rookie season when he pitched 56 games of relief. This year he has appeared in five games of relief, given up just three hits in 5.2 innings and already picked up a win, a save and two holds. He has struck out a batter in each of his appearances (six whiffs total).

Doosan Bears (10-7)

The Doosan Bears have no pitcher meeting our category.

Kiwoom Heroes (10-8)

Choi Won-Tae (0-2, 3.86) - The 23 year old righthander has given up three unearned runs, but in his last outing he limited the Lotte Giants to one run in six innings. He has been a work horse for the Heroes, making four starts and pitching 21 innings. He has yet to give up a homerun during that time.

Kia Tigers (10-8)

Matt Williams is not a manager that is comfortable with rookies, but the Tigers have one young pitcher he has confidence in.

Jean Sang-Hyun (1-0, 0.00) - The 24 year old has pitched in seven games of relief and has yet to give up a run. He has picked up two holds and given up just four hits in his 8 innings of work.

Lotte Giants (9-8)

This 19 year old was struggling until his last outing.

Seo Jun-Won (2-1, 4.98) - He has now made two good starts and two non-quality starts. His last start he did not give up a run in 6.2 innings, limiting the Kiwoom Heroes to just three hits. There will be some ups and downs as the youngster tries to stitch his way through the KBO.

KT Wiz (7-10)

Bae-Je-Seong (1-0, 0.89) - This is the fourth year for the 23 year old righthander. His last two starts he did not give up a run, pitching seven innings in each start.

Hanwha Eagles (7-11)

They have a duo of youngsters to help their rotation.

Kim Min-Woo (0-1, 2.25) - The 23 year old righthander is now in his sixth KBO season. He has only given up 13 hits in his 24 innings, striking out 25. This is his first year he has struck out more than one hitter per inning pitched. He has also never had an ERA less than 5.14. This could be a break out season for Kim.

Kim Ee-Whan (1-0, 3.14) - This is his second season in the KBO. The numbers are not great but at 19 years of age the righthander needs some time to adjust.

Samsung Lions (6-12)

The Lions have a trio of youngsters on the pitching staff.

Won Tae-In (1-1, 4.50) - This is the second season in the starting rotation for the 20 year old righthander. He had one bad start in his three starts where he gave up five runs in five innings. The numbers are weak, but he has time.

Choi Chae-Heung (3-0, 2.65) - The 25 year old lefthander has won all three of his starts in his third season. In two starts he gave up a total of just one run in 11 innings. He has only given up 11 hits in 17 innings.

Choi Ji-Gwang (0-0, 0.00) - At 5′8″ the 22 year old righthander would not be attractive to major league scouts. This is his fourth season. Last year he appeared in 63 games. A 5/7 walk to whiff ration in just seven innings is a cause of concern.

SK Wyverns (3-14)

They have no one, which is a cause for concern for a team at the bottom of the standings. They have pitchers at 25 and under, but all have ugly numbers.

Illinois Dream Team

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020

The state of Illinois has an impressive Dream team. Below is the roster that could be created for those players born in Illinois who played in the major leagues.

Starting Lineup

Rickey Henderson LF
Kirby Puckett CF
Fred Lynn RF
Jim Thome 1B
Greg Luzinski DH
Robin Yount SS
Gary Gaetti 3B
Jim Sundberg C
Red Schoendienst 2B

Bench

Tom Haller (C), Lou Boudreau (Utl), Ben Zobrist (Utl), Ted Kluszewski (1B), Shawn Green (OF), Wally Berger (OF)

Starting Pitcher

Robin Roberts, Red Ruffing, Bret Saberhagen, Denny McClain, Rick Reuschel

Bullpen

Jason Isringhausen, Scott Garrelts, Jason Frasor, John Wyatt, Dan Stanhouse, Dutch Leonard

Ben Zobrist would probably start at second base for the most part, but we put him at utility to add flexibility to the lineup. Phil Masi seemed to have better numbers as a catcher, but we were more comfortable with Tom Haller for the bench role. The starting staff is strong though it really lacks an ace from a dream team perspective. Denny McClain had two amazing years, which was enough to get him in the rotation. The bullpen really lacks a shutdown closer. This might be a middle of the pack kind of dream team if it had to play games with the other dream teams.