Archive | October, 2009

Yomiuri Giants Win Japan Series Opener

JAPAN – Yoshitomo Tani had three hits and scored a trio of runs and the Yomiuri Giants edged the Nippon Ham Fighters 4-3 Saturday in Game 1 of the Japan Series at the Sapporo Dome.

Tani tagged Nippon Ham starter Masaru Takeda (0-1) with a solo homer in the second to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. But the Fighters pulled even in the bottom of the same frame on a solo shot by Terrmel Sledge.

Yomiuri went back on top in the fifth. Tani and Shinnosuke Abe opened the inning with base hits before Hayato Sakamoto delivered a clutch two-run double with two outs.

The Fighters closed the gap to 3-2 the following inning when former Giant Tomohiro Nioka collected a pinch-hit RBI single. But, Yomiuri’s Lee Seung Yeop added an insurance run on a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh.

Shinji Takahashi’s two-out RBI double off Yomiuri closer Marc Kroon made it a one-run game in the ninth. However, the reliever regrouped to strike out Eiichi Koyano to seal the win.

Puerto Rican right-hander Dicky Gonzalez (1-0) scattered two runs and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings to post the win.

Masaru Takeda (0-1) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings to get pinned with the loss.

Posted in Asia0 Comments

Peers Tab Albert Pujols As MLB Top Player

UNITED STATES – St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols captured his second Players Choice Awards in as many days on Friday when the first baseman was named Player of the Year in a vote by the MLB Players Association. Pujols was also honored a day earlier by his peers as the Outstanding Player in the National League.

Pujols, the favorite to be named the National League’s Most Valuable Player, led the big leagues with 47 home runs this past season. He batted .327 with 45 doubles, 135 RBIs, 124 runs scored and a .658 slugging percentages.

Players Choice Awards, voted on by all MLB players, annually recognize the best player, pitcher, rookie and comeback player in each league. The Player of the Year and Marvin Miller Man of the Year awards are awarded to one player.

The 2009 PLAYERS CHOICE AWARDS RECIPIENTS:

AMERICAN LEAGUE:
• Outstanding Rookie: Gordon Beckham (Chicago White Sox)
• Comeback Player: Aaron Hill (Toronto)
• Outstanding Pitcher: Zack Greinke (Kansas City)
• Outstanding Player: Joe Mauer (Minnesota)

NATIONAL LEAGUE:
• Outstanding Rookie: J.A. Happ (Philadelphia)
• Comeback Player: Chris Carpenter (St. Louis)
• Outstanding Pitcher: Adam Wainwright (St. Louis)
• Outstanding Player: Albert Pujols (St. Louis)

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL:
• Man of the Year: Curtis Granderson (Detroit)
• Player of Year: Albert Pujols (St. Louis)

Players Choice Awards winners will recommend the charities of their choice to receive grants from the Major League Baseball Players Trust totaling $260,000. Since 1992, the Players Trust has contributed more than $3.5 million to charities around the world in honor of Players Choice Award winners.

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

2009 Japan Series Preview

JAPAN – Two of the top teams in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) will tangle for the top prize when the Nippon Ham Fighters and the Yomiuri Giants kickoff the 2009 Japan Series on Saturday.

The Giants, who lost to the Seibu Lions in last year’s title series, are the Japanese version of the New York Yankees with a large and rabid fan base. The Fighters are playing in their third Japan Series in four years but will be missing the services on injured staff ace Yu Darvish.

The two teams were tied 2-2 in four interleague meetings this season, with the home team winning every game.

Masaru Takeda, the probable Game 1 starter for Nippon Ham, will try to erase the demons of a woeful start in the 2007 Japan Series. The left-hander gave up five runs on three hits with a walk and a hit batter before getting yanked after just 22 pitches.

Other starting pitching possibilites for the Fighters includes Keisaku Itokazu, Tomoya Yagi, Brian Sweeney and Shugo Fujii.

The middle relief corps of Naoki Miyanishi, Kazumasa Kikuchi and Takayuki Kanamori will try to bridge the gap between the starters and Pacific League saves leader Hisashi Takeda.

The Giants will give the starting nod to Dicky Gonzalez in the series opener. The Puerto Rican right-hander was shelled for five first-inning scores against the Chunichi Dragons in Game 1 of the Climax Series second stage.

Other starters for Yomiuri includes Tetsuya Utsumi, Wirfin Obispo and Hisanori Takahashi. Seth Greisinger, who has posted at least 13 wins in each of the past three seasons, is expected to miss the series with inflammation in his throwing elbow.

The Giants’ middle relievers Daisuke Ochi and Tetsuya Yamaguchi have enjoyed success all season long protecting a lead until closer Marc Kroon could seal the win.

Yomiuri, paced by Shinnosuke Abe’s 32 homers, led the Japanese League with 182 long balls this season. The No. 2 and 3 hitters – Alex Ramirez and Michihiro Ogasawara – smashed 31 and 25 home runs, respectively.

Nippon Ham led the entire league in hitting and features four starting players who batted .300 or higher during the regular season. Cleanup hitter Shinji Takahashi hit a team-high .309 and Yoshio Itoi batted .306 for a squad that hit a lofty .375 with the bases loaded.

Photo courtesy of Nippon Ham Fighters

Posted in Asia0 Comments

CPBL: Former MLB Pitcher Sacked

TAIWAN – Former major league pitcher Tsao Chin-hui will not have his contract extended with the Brother Elephants, general manager Hung Jui-ho said on Thursday night as more details of the most recent Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) game-fixing scandal comes to light.

Tsao (pictured), who pitched for both the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers, has repeatedly claimed he is innocent of working with Taiwan gangters to determine the outcome of games.

The CPBL – in the midst of its fifth game-fixing scandal in the last two decades, lost two franchises in 2008 after dmedia T-Rex and the Chinatrust Whales were disbanded due to their players throwing games for money.

In a separate annoucement, the team terminated the contracts of pitchers Wang Jin-li, Wu Pao-hsien, Chu Hung-sheng and Li Hao-ren on Friday for their alleged involvement in the gambling ring. The beleagured club will also not bring back team manager Nakagomi Shin.

Wang and Wu have reportedly confessed to fixing games and recruiting other team members to accept bribes to fix games. Sources confirmed that Wang and Wu visited the Banciao District Prosecutors’ Office on Friday to hand over more than NT$100,000 he allegedly received for fixing games.

La New Bears player Chang Chih-chia has allegedly admitted accepting a Mercedes-Benz vehicle and NT$1 million (US$30,800) from Tsai Cheng-yi, the alleged head of the “Windshield Wipers” gang and Tsai’s middlemen. However, prosecutors have yet to confirm the allegations.

The CPBL was founded in 1989 and now has four teams. In recent years, it has been mired in several match-fixing scandals, and has been hit by low stadium attendance and Taiwan’s poor performance in international games, especially the humiliating loss to China in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Posted in Asia0 Comments

Granderson Wins Man Of The Year Award

UNITED STATES – Detroit Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson was named the recipient of the 2009 Marvin Miller Man of the Year award.

Granderson started the Grand Kids Foundation in 2008 to provide more education and youth baseball opportunities to inner-city kids. He has also developed a children’s book and is a member of the Action Team national youth volunteer program.

Granderson – in his fourth full season in the majors – earned his first trip to the All-Star game in 2009. The 28-year-old set career-highs with 30 home runs and 71 RBIs in 160 games.

The award is named for the founding executive director of the MLB Players Association and is given to the player “whose on-field and off-field performance most inspires others to higher levels of achievement by displaying as much passion to give back to others as he shows between the lines on the baseball diamond.”

The 2009 PLAYERS CHOICE AWARDS RECIPIENTS:

AMERICAN LEAGUE:
• Outstanding Rookie: Gordon Beckham (Chicago White Sox)
• Comeback Player: Aaron Hill (Toronto)
• Outstanding Pitcher: Zack Greinke (Kansas City)
• Outstanding Player: Joe Mauer (Minnesota)

NATIONAL LEAGUE:
• Outstanding Rookie: J.A. Happ (Philadelphia)
• Comeback Player: Chris Carpenter (St. Louis)
• Outstanding Pitcher: Adam Wainwright (St. Louis)
• Outstanding Player: Albert Pujols (St. Louis)

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL:
• Man of the Year: Curtis Granderson (Detroit)
• Player of Year: Albert Pujols (St. Louis)

The Major League Baseball Players Trust will donate $50,000 to the charity of Granderson’s choice in his honor. The Players Choice Awards, which have been awarded annually since 1992, are unique because the electorate consists of the players themselves.

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

Habana, Villa Clara Meet In Cuban League Opener

CUBA – The 49th Cuban National Series will debut on Sunday, Nov. 1 with a rematch of last year’s championship clash between the Habana Province Cowboys and the Villa Clara Orangeman at San Jose’s Nelson Fernández Stadium.

Reigning league champion Habana Province headlines the Western contenders that also includes Pinar del Río and Sancti Spíritus. Cuba’s version of the New York Yankees – Santiago de Cuba – joins Villa Clara and Ciego de Avila as teams to watch in the East.

The past two Cuban National Series have featured record-setting performances from an array of talented sluggers. Santiago’s Alexei Bell became the first player to surpass the 30-homer mark in 2008 with 31 long balls, and Granma’s Alfredo Despaigne – who smashed 11 home runs at the 2009 IBAF World Cup – set a new mark last season with 32 round trippers.

Other young sluggers to watch this season includes 20-year-old Cienfuegos phenom José Ariel Abreu and Despaigne’s Granma teammate Yoennis Céspedes.

The legendary pitcher Pedro Luis Lazo will return for his 19th season and should add to his record of 249 career victories. Another veteran hurler Carlos Yanes of Isla de la Juventud, one of the few pitchers to both win and lose in excess of 200 games, will also return for another campaign.

A pair of talented pitchers who enjoyed success as this year’s Baseball World Cup, Villa Clara’s Freddy Asiel Alvarez and Habana’s Miguel Angel González, are two of the top pitching prospects from the baseball-crazed island nation over the past decade.

The Cuban League features two divisions (Occidental League and Oriental League) with eight teams playing a 90-game schedule. The top four squads in each division advances to the playoffs.

For the most comprehensive coverage of the Cuban League and the Cuban National Team, visit Ray Otero’s new and improved website, www.baseballdecuba.com, for the latest team standings, statistics, photos, historical data and other Cuban baseball news.

Photo courtesy of BaseballdeCuba.com

Posted in Latin, News0 Comments

Derek Jeter Wins Roberto Clemente Award

UNITED STATES – New York Yankees captain and shortstop Derek Jeter has been named the recipient of the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to a major league player who combines community service with excellence on the field.

Jeter was presented the award by commissioner Bud Selig and Vera Clemente, Roberto’s widow, before the Yankees played the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night.

Jeter started his Turn 2 Foundation in 1996, the year he won Rookie of the Year honors. The foundation supports programs that help young people turn away from drugs and alcohol and choose a healthier lifestyle.

According to the foundation’s Web site, Turn 2 has given more than $10 million in grants to programs in New York City, West Michigan and Tampa, Fla.

The 35-year-old has also won a World Series MVP, All-Star Game MVP, is a 10-time All-Star and is playing for his fifth World Series title. This year he surged ahead of Lou Gehrig as the all-time hits leader for the Yankees, and needed prompting from his parents to enjoy the distinction.

“Obviously we’re very excited we’re in the World Series, but it’s nice to get an opportunity to focus on something that really has to do with something more than baseball. It has to do with community work and giving back to the community,” Jeter said. “People in our position, they should take advantage of it. They should try to give back as much as possible.”

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

2009 World Series A Star-Studded Affair

UNITED STATES – The 2009 MLB World Series kicked off on Wednesday with a star-studded cast of celebrities on and off the field at the Bronx Bombers $1.5 billion palace, Yankee Stadium.

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama teamed with Jill Biden, the wife of vice president Joe Biden, to participated in the pregame ceremonies to honor U.S. war veterans.

Fans entering the deluxe Legends Suite entrance found metal detectors awaiting them, while snipers were posted on top of the video board in center field and trench-coat clad Secret Service agents lined the front rows during warmups.

A bevy of Hollywood celebrities and other high-profile VIPs took the opening game of the fall classic to another level. Kate Hudson and Minka Kelly (pictured), girlfriends of Yankees’ infielders Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, added sparkle to the glitzy event.

Hudson, cheering on A-Rod, was sitting with her mother Goldie Hawn’s longtime companion Kurt Russell. Kelly, best known for her work in “Friday Night Lights,” was rooting for the Yankee captain in his private suite.

Other well-known celebrities in attendance included Alec Baldwin, Matthew McConaughey, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, former New York Rangers captain Mark Messier, ex-Homeland Security head Tom Ridge and movie directors Spike Lee and Steven Spielberg.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a fixture at Yankees games since the championship run during the 1990s, was in his front row seat next to the Yankees dugout along the first-base line.

Photo courtesy of brandnewcool.com

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

Greinke, Wainwright Win Players Choice Award

UNITED STATES – The Major League Baseball Players Association announced on ESPN radio earlier this week that Kansas City Royals staff ace Zack Greinke and Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals have been named the 2009 winners of the Players Choice Awards for Most Outstanding Pitcher.

Greinke (pictured) compiled a 16-8 record with 242 strikeouts (2nd) and a MLB-best 2.16 ERA. He also won 25 percent of the Royals 65 victories.

The 26-year-old, who tossed six complete games this season, has posted a 29-18 mark over the past two years.

Wainwright topped the National League with a 19-8 record wins while racking up 233 innings in 34 starts.

The 29-year-old also finished strong going 9-3 with a 2.10 ERA after the All-Star break.

Players Choice Awards are given annually to the best player, pitcher, rookie and comeback player in each league.

Each 2009 Players Choice Award winner will recommend the charity of his choice to receive a grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust. Since 1992, the Players Trust has contributed more than $3.5 million dollars to charities around the world in honor of Players Choice Award winners.

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

USA Baseball To Host European Showcase

UNITED STATES – Some of the top junior national team players from France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands will showcase their skills in front of college recruiters and professional scouts at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina on Nov. 8.

A total of 21 ballplayers will participate in the Scout Day activities directed by the MLB Scouting Bureau. The junior national team coaches for Holland and Italy, Brian Farley and Bill Holmberg, will also be at the event.

The Scout Day activities will begin at 11:30 AM and includes the following:

• 60 Yard Dash
• Defensive Groups (C, INF, OF)
• Batting Practice

A 12-inning exhibition showcase game between the European players and Pitt Community College (PCC) will start at approximately 1:15 PM. PCC is a very successful program from Greenville, North Carolina.

TOP EUROPEAN JR. BASEBALL PROSPECTS:

FRANCE:
Quentin Becquey, Maxime Charlot, Maxime Lefevre, and Joris Navarro.

GERMANY:
Shawn Larry and Enzo Muschik.

ITALY:
Francesco Cozzolino, Stefano DeSimone, Erik Gelli, Elia Pasquali, Marco Sabbatini, Alex Sambucci and Valerio Simone.

NETHERLANDS:
Reggie Bomberg, Mourik Huijser, Kevin Weijgertse, Brian Eradus, Bjorn Hato, Aschwin Rokx, Michael Pluijmers and Lars Molenar.

Photo courtesy of FIBS

Posted in Europe, News2 Comments

Sharing Miracles To Spotlight Joe Torre

UNITED STATES – Two-time Major League Baseball (MLB) Manager of the Year Joe Torre, a cancer survivor, will be featured on this month’s episode of Sharing Miracles – a 30-minute public affairs television program that tells the compelling and inspirational stories of real patients. Sharing Miracles airs every Sunday morning on more than 300 television stations nationwide.

An iconic figure in baseball, Torre was a noted slugger for the Milwaukee (and later Atlanta) Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the New York Mets. He was voted to the All-Star Team nine times and was named National League Most Valuable Player in 1971.

Today, Torre is best known for his nearly unmatched success as a big league manager. In fact, he is currently ranked fifth in terms of all-time managerial wins. In his 12 seasons with the New York Yankees, he led the team to the post-season playoffs each year, winning six American League Pennants and four World Series titles. He is now the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had the best record in the National League this season before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

However, his baseball career was almost ended by a foe more formidable than any he faced on the field when a routine check-up led to a prostate cancer diagnosis in 1999.

“I was just devastated,” Torre said in this month’s episode. “It was like being in a black hole. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. My daughter was three at the time, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be there for her when she was growing up.”

However, after consulting a doctor and carefully choosing a course of treatment, he decided to take on cancer as aggressively as he had taken on so many opponents in baseball. The decision to treat his disease through surgery “really helped me get prepared mentally to fight the cancer. I said to myself, ‘Everything’s going to be okay. I’m going to be fine. My family needs me.'”

Torre’s battle with the disease was successful and he remains cancer-free today. His experience has taught him the importance of using his public persona to spread the word about the importance of being tested: “I’ve had so many people come to me and whisper in my ear, ‘Because of you, I’m getting checked for cancer.'”

He went on to say: “The New York Daily News would give daily screenings around Father’s Day, and eight- and nine-year-old boys would tell their fathers, ‘Joe Torre says you should get checked.'”

After all, he points out, “the important thing to realize about prostate cancer is that you can control it. If you can’t cure it, you can control it, and you can live with it. Here I am, still managing 10 years after the surgery and still having a lot of fun and living a normal life.”

Torre’s hope for an end to cancer is shared by people around the world. In fact, President Obama himself this year issued a challenge for a cure for cancer in our lifetime. America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies have taken up that challenge, with more than 800 medicines in development to treat cancer, including 103 intended for prostate cancer. In this month’s episode, Merck scientist Dr. Scot Ebbinghaus discusses current treatment methods available today and Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden appears on the episode to talk about medicines in development to treat breast cancer.

Also featured in this month’s episode is ESPN host Michael Wilbon and former baseball star Darryl Strawberry, who won three World Series rings playing for Torre.

Posted in MLB, News1 Comment

KBO: Lotte Re-Signs Skipper Jerry Royster

SOUTH KOREA – Former major leaguer Jerry Royster has agreed to a one-year deal to return as coach of the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization, the Busan-based club announced Thursday.

Royster enjoyed a 15-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career (1973-1988) and was the interim manager of the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2002 season. He later became manager and led the Brewers to a 53-94 record.

The 57-year-old, who became the first non-Korean skipper in the history of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), and led the cellar-dwelling Giants to back-to-back postseason appearances in two seasons, agreed to a one-year contract worth $600,000 (720 million won) ? a $300,000 signing fee and a $300,000 salary.

The Sacramento, Calif. native inked a a $750,000 two-year deal late in 2007.

Photo courtesy of us.asiancorrespondent.com

Posted in Asia0 Comments

2009 World Series Opens Tonight

UNITED STATES – The New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies will both be chasing history when Gane 1 of the 2009 Major League Baseball World Series gets underway Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Bronx Bombers will be seeking an unprecedented 27th World Series title and the “best team money can buy” will enter the Fall Classic as the favorites. However, the reigning MLB champion Phillies is also an impressive squad.

Philadelphia will try to become the first back-to-back champion from the National League since the Cincinnati Reds’ Big Red Machine teams in 1975-76. The Phillies also travelled to Yankee Stadium earlier this season and took two of three games against the American League powerhouse.

Both teams feature star-studded lineups with the big-budget Yankees trotting out mega-stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia. The Phillies, with Ryan Howard (pictured), Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, are also not lacking in superstars.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS:

CATCHER:
Jorge Posada, Yankees
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies

FIRST BASEMAN:
Mark Teixeira, Yankees
Ryan Howard, Phillies

SECOND BASEMAN:
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Chase Utley, Phillies

SHORTSTOP:
Derek Jeter, Yankees
Jimmy Rollins, Phillies

THIRD BASE:
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
Pedro Feliz

LEFT-FIELDER:
Johnny Damon, Yankees
Raul Ibanez, Phillies

CENTER-FIELDER:
Melky Cabrera, Yankees
Shane Victorino, Phillies

RIGHT-FIELDER:
Nick Swisher, Yankees
Jayson Werth, Phillie

2009 WORLD SERIES SCHEDULE:

Game 1: Philadelphia at New York, Oct. 28
Game 2: Philadelphia at New York, Oct. 29
Game 3: New York at Philadelphia, Oct. 31
Game 4: New York at Philadelphia, Nov. 1
Game 5: New York at Philadelphia, Nov. 2*
Game 6: Philadelphia at New York, Nov. 4*
Game 7: Philadelphia at New York, Nov. 5*

* If necessary

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

Aaron Hill Named Comeback Player Of The Year

CANADA – Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill has been named the American League’s Comeback Player of the Year on Tuesday as part of the 2009 Players Choice Awards. Hill claimed the same honor in voting by MLB.com reporters earlier this month.

Hill, who was limited to only 55 games in 2008 after being sidelined with a serious concussion, was one of three finalists for the Players Choice honor, along with Scott Podsednik of the White Sox and Russell Branyan of the Mariners.

He rebounded this past season and finished with a .286 average, 36 home runs, 37 doubles and 108 RBIs in 158 games. Hill also had 195 hits, scored 103 runs and tallied 340 total bases along the way. Among Major League second basemen, he ranked first in home runs, RBIs, total bases and at-bats (682).

Players Choice Awards annually recognize the best player, pitcher, rookie and comeback player in each league. The Player of the Year and Marvin Miller Man of the Year awards bestow top honors without regard to league. Balloting of all Major League players for the Players Choice Awards was conducted in September.

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

Hanshin Tigers Sign Kenji Jojima

JAPAN – Former Seattle Mariners catcher Kenji Jojima signed a four-year deal worth an estimated 2 billion yen plus performance related bonuses with the Hanshin Tigers on Tuesday. He exercised an opt-out clause in his contract with the American League West club last week to return to Japan.

“Hanshin was the first team to come after me and the first to set up talks,” Jojima told Kyoda News. “It gives me confidence when I think about the support from the Hanshin fans at Koshien, which for me has been the opposition’s home ground until now.”

The 33-year-old, the only Japanese-born catcher who has played in the major leagues, hit .268 during his four seasons with the Mariners, popping 48 home runs and collecting 198 RBIs in 462 games.

Jojima, who was also pursued by his former club the Softbank Hawks, batted .299 with 211 home runs and 699 RBIs in 1,117 games during a 11-year career. He also won seven consecutive Gold Gloves and helped the Hawks win a pair of Japan Series in 1999 and 2003.

Posted in Asia0 Comments

KBO: Kim Sang-hyun Named MVP

SOUTH KOREA – Kim Sang-hyun of the Kia Tigers was named the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) 2009 Most Valuable Player. The slugging corner infielder received 79 votes out of 90 in the poll to easily beat Doosan’s Kim Hyun-soo, who garnered seven votes.

The 28-year-old, who toiled in the second-tier league for many years, produced career highs while topping the KBO with 36 home runs, 127 RBIs and a .632 slugging percentage.

Kim (pictured) heated up during the stretch drive and helped the Tigers capture the regular season crown for the first time in 12 years. The former LG Twins third baseman batted .403 with runners in scoring position and hit 15 homers in August

Doosan Bears closer Lee Yong-chan edged out Kia’s infielder Ahn Chi-hong to win Rookie of the Year honors.

Lee, who recorded a league-high 26 saves with a 4.20 ERA, became the fifth Doosan newcomer to win the rookie of the year award.

Photo courtesy of koreabaseball.blogspot.com

Posted in Asia0 Comments

Game-Fixing Allegations Surface In Taiwan

TAIWAN – The scandal-plagued Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) has become the focus once again of an alleged game-fixing scandal that includes Tsao Chin-hui, the first Taiwanese pitcher to ever compete in the U.S. Major Leagues.

The latest probe into match-fixing on the baseball-crazed island was revealed one day after the CPBL season ended with the Uni-President Lions topping the Brother Hotel club in Game 7 of the Taiwan Series.

Prosecutors reportedly first found evidence of the new game-fixing plot last year during their investigations into the scandal involving the dmedia T-Rex team, the Chinese-language United Evening News said yesterday.

Taiwanese media, citing unnamed investigators, said that starting pitchers could earn up to $90,000 per outing from high stakes gamblers for agreeing to throw games.

Taiwan Premier Wu Den-yih ordered an investigation on Tuesday into the alleged baseball match-fixing so that the island’s national sport can develop in a healthy way.

The 28-year-old Tsao (pictured), who pitched for both the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers, returned to his native country this season to pitch for the Brother Elephants. He insisted in a statement that he was clean.

“After playing overseas for nine years, there were still some overseas teams that I could have joined, but I decided to come home, expecting to continue fighting and contributing in front of my family and friends,” Tsao said.

“Little did I expect that after my teammates and I played hard for a full season that I would be summoned for questioning about a controversy I know nothing about. I feel angry and disappointed.”

A game-fixing scandal last season resulted in two franchises, dmedia T-Rex and Chinatrust Whales, being disbanded and leaving the league with just four teams.

Posted in Asia, News0 Comments

Ryan Braun Tavern and Grill Set To Open

UNITED STATES – Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun recently finalized a licensing deal with a group of investors to lend his name to the Ryan Braun Tavern and Grill, an upscale restaurant set to open in Lake Geneva, Wis., before the end of the year.

With entrees ranging mostly from $8-20, plus a few higher-priced steaks, the Ryan Braun Tavern and Grill will boast an American grill concept with made-from-scratch choices with a focus on locally-grown and produced food.

Braun, who will emcee a charity golf outing in Lake Geneva next year, will make a number of appearances at the restaurant in 2010.

The Brewers drafted Braun in the first round in 2005 and the outfielder made his Major League debut in 2007. He captured the National League Rookie of the Year Award, and the next summer, he signed a new, eight-year contract that guarantees $45 million through 2015 and bought out the first two of Braun’s free agent seasons.

Photo courtesy of McCormack + Ellen/Architects

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

Von Hayes To Coach Camden Riversharks

UNITED STATES – The Camden Riversharks have announced that former Philadelphia Phillie Von Hayes has been named the team’s new manager. The former Major League All Star will be introduced to fans on Thursday, October 29th at 7:15 p.m., as part of a World Series Meet and Greet party at Campbell’s Field.

“We’re extremely excited to have Von as our new manager for the 2010 season,” said Riversharks General Manager Adam Lorber. “Not only is he a local hero in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area, but he’s an extremely accomplished baseball man. There is no doubt that he is going to be a great fit for the Riversharks,” he added.

Hayes brings an extensive resume as both a player and manager to his new role with the Riversharks. A twelve year veteran of the major leagues, he has experienced success at the highest levels of baseball.

Hayes was originally drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 7th round of the 1979 amateur draft. He debuted with the team two years later, on April 14th, 1981, and appeared in 43 games that season. The following year, Hayes became an everyday outfielder for the Indians, and compiled a .250 batting average, while hitting 14 homeruns and driving in 82 runs. The strong showing during the 1982 season saw Hayes come in 7th in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.

In December of 1982, Hayes was traded from the Indians to the Philadelphia Phillies in a controversial “five for one” deal. In exchange for Hayes, the Phillies sent Jay Baller, Julio Franco, Manny Trillo, George Vukovich and Jerry Willard to the Indians.

It was with the Phillies where Hayes spent the majority of his career and enjoyed the bulk of his success at the Major League level. From 1983 to 1991, he appeared in over one thousand games for the Phillies, amassing a .272 batting average, while hitting 124 homeruns and recording 568 RBIs. He finished eighth in the National League Most Valuable Player voting in 1986, and made the National League All Star team in 1989.

“I’m coming home,” said Hayes, when asked about being named the new manager of the Riversharks. “It’s great to be back in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area, and I’m extremely excited about managing the Riversharks this upcoming season. I’m sure we’re going to have a great year,” he added.

Leading the Riversharks will not be a completely new experience for Hayes, who has worked as a baseball manager before. Most recently, Hayes managed the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League during the 2008 season. He has also managed minor league teams in South Bend, Indiana; Modesto, California; and Midland, Texas. He was named the California League Manager of the Year in 2004 and the Texas League Manager of the Year in 2005.

Hayes will be introduced to fans on Thursday, October 29th at 7:15 p.m., as part of a World Series Meet and Greet party at Campbell’s Field. The event will be open to the public and there will be no admission cost. Reservations are suggested but not required. Please call 1-866-SHARKS-9 to reserve a seat.

Posted in Minors, News0 Comments

Desme Named AFL Player Of The Week

UNITED STATES – Phoenix Desert Dogs outfelder Grant Desme (OAK), who launched fIve home runs in five games last week, is the Arizona Fall League’s week two player-of-the-week.

He is joined by two co-pitchers-of-the-week, Surprise Rafters right-handed starter Danny Gutierrez (TEX) and Peoria Saguaros right-handed reliever Chia- Jen Lo (HOU).

Desme (pictured) – The 6-2, 205-pound Desme hit .478 (11-23) for the week with 8 runs, 9 runs batted in, and a 1.174 slugging percentage.

The 23-year-old Bakersfeld, California native leads the Fall League with seven home runs. He is on pace to threaten the league single-season home-run record of 14 (Brandon Wood, 2005).

He also paces the league in hits (17), total bases (40), and slugging percentage (1.026). He is tied for second in runs (11), tied for third in runs batted in (13), and ranks sixth in batting (.436).

A second-round (74th overall) draft choice of Oakland in 2007 out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Desme is a .286 hitter in three minor-league seasons with 33 home runs an 97 RBI in 145 games. He split his 2009 campaign between Class-A Kane County (.274, 11 home runs, 38 RBI in 69 games) and High-A Stockton (.304, 20 home runs, 51 RBI).

Gutierrez – One of fve Fall League pitchers who enter week three with two victories, the 22-year-old Los Angeles product also sports a 0.00 earned-run average in his two appearances, both starts. He has allowed 0 runs, 2 hits, and 4 walks with three strikeouts in 6.2 innings.

A four-year professional, the 6-1, 180-pound Gutierrez was drafted in the 33rd round (982nd overall) in 2005 out of Rubidoux (CA) High School. He split 2009 between High-A Wilmington (1-0, 1.65 ERA in eight games), and Double- AA (0-0, 3.60 ERA in one game). His 6-10 career record includes a 3.80 earned- run average in 50 games. He has struck out 198 batters in 206 innings.

Lo – A native of Taiwan, Lo, 23, posted three consecutive scoreless two- inning stints in the frst two weeks of the Fall League season. The reliever owns a 1-0 record and 2.45 earned-run average in 7.1 innings, allowing 2 earned runs, 3 hits, and 1 walk with nine strikeouts in four appearances.

The 5-11, 181-pound Lo, who attended Chinese Culture University in Taiwan, split 2009, his frst season of professional baseball in the United States, between High-A Lancaster (1-0, 1.78 ERA in 12 games) and Double-A Corpus Christi (0-2, 2.31 ERA in 30 games).

Other Nominees – Other hitters receiving player-of-the-week consideration were Peoria Javelinas’ outfelder Jordan Danks (CWS) and Phoenix Desert Dogs OF Matt Angle (BAL). Scottsdale Scorpions RHP Joe Martinez (SF) also received consideration for pitcher-of-the-week.

Posted in Minors, News0 Comments

2009 Dutch League All-Star Team

THE NETHERLANDS – The Dutch baseball website, Honkbalsite, has announced its annual 2009 Dutch League All-Star Team as voted on by the visitors of the Dutch language site. L&D Amsterdam Pirates and Dutch National Team catcher Sidney de Jong was voted the Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year.

Interestingly, the top hitter and pitcher in the Dutch League this past season failed to make the squad. Amsterdam’s Kenny Berkenbosch hit .402 (43-for-107) to win the batting title, while Konica Minolta’s Ryan Murphy topped the league in wins (10),  ERA (0.89) and strikeouts (104).

2009 Dutch League champion DOOR Neptunus placed five players on the All-Star squad while L&D Amsterdam had three players, and Corendon Kinheim, Konica Minolta and Sparta/Feyenoord were represented by one player each.

2009 HONKBLSITE DUTCH LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM:

CATCHER: Sidney de Jong, L&D Amsterdam
Batted .333 (49-for-147) with 30 walks, 31 runs scored and 21 RBIs.

FIRST BASEMAN: Jeffrey Arends, DOOR Neptunus
Batted .353 (55-for-156) with two homers, 48 RBIs and 26 runs scored.

SECOND BASEMAN: Benjamin Dille, DOOR Neptunus
Batted .326 (47-for-144) with 19 RBIs and 28 runs scored.

SHORTSTOP: Michael Duursma, Konica Minolta Pioniers
Batted .260 (34-for-131) with 15 RBIs and 34 runs scored.

THIRD BASEMAN: Raily Legito, DOOR Neptunus
Batted .363 (58-for-160) with 32 RBIs, 18 stolen bases and 29 runs scored.

LEFT-FIELDER: Eugène Kingsale, DOOR Neptunus
Batted .364 (55-for-151) with 31 walks, three homers, 24 RBIs and 37 runs scored.

CENTER-FIELDER: Danny Rombley, Corendon Kinheim
Batted .396 (57-for-144) with five homers, 24 RBIs and 33 runs scored.

RIGHT-FIELDER: Bas de Jong, L&D Amsterdam
Batted .377 (40-for-106) with two homers, 29 RBIs and 21 runs scored.

DESIGNATED HITTER: Fausto Alvarez, L&D Amsterdam
Batted .350 (48-for-137) with four homers, 43 RBIs and 24 runs scored.

LEFT-HANDED PITCHER: Diegomar Markwell, DOOR Neptunus
Was 10-2 with a 1.82 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 99 innings pitched.

RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER: Rob Cordemans , Sparta/Feyenoord
Was 6-2 with a 0.91 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 98 2/3 innings pitched.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Sidney de Jong, L&D Amsterdam
Batted .333 (49-for-147) with 30 walks, 31 runs scored and 21 RBIs.

Photo: Rob Cordemans, courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

Source: Honkbalsite.com (Dutch Language)

Posted in Europe, News0 Comments

Jose Cruz To Remain With Houston Astros

UNITED STATES – The Houston Astros announced recently that Jose Cruz has accepted a job as special assistant to General Manager Ed Wade. Cruz has been a member of the Astros organization as both a player and coach for 26 seasons, 13 as a player (1975-87) and 13 as a coach (1997-2009).

One of the Astros’ most popular players in the 1970s and ‘80s, Cruz will provide input during the season on the team’s Latin American operations. The 62-year-old will also assist Rosi Hernandez, vice president of market development, in outreach to develop the team’s following among Hispanic fans and the Latino business community.

“I’m happy that everything is set,” Cruz said. “I’m an Astro all the way, so I’m very happy. It’s a new role for me and I’m looking forward to it.“

Cruz joins other former Houston baseball icons Larry Dierker and Jimmy Wynn as part of the team’s community outreach efforts.

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

Arizona Winter League Set For January

UNITED STATES – The Arizona Winter League (AWL), the premier instructional showcase league for professional level baseball players in the U.S. has announced the 8 team slate for the upcoming season which begins with players reporting on January 24, 2010. Also as part of the announcement is the list of managers and instructors and pro leagues that are sending coaches and scouts.

For 2010 the returning list of teams includes the champion Yuma Scorpions, Blythe Heat, San Diego Surf Dawgs, and San Luis Atleticos in the U.S. Division and the Western Canada Miners, Team Canada, and Saskatchewan Silver Sox in the Canadian Division.

The Palm Springs Chill have been dropped from the league and replaced with 2009 Golden Baseball League Champion Calgary Vipers who will round out the Canadian Division and be managed by former Montreal Expo legend Boots Day.

Managers and Instructors for the 2010 Arizona Winter League include the following (more may be added as the season approaches):

Garry Templeton (pictured), former major league all-star and currently manager of the Long Beach Armada in the independent Golden Baseball League.

Brent Bowers, former major leaguer with Baltimore and currently manager of the Edmonton Capitals of the independent Golden Baseball League

Boots Day, former major leaguer and currently bench coach with the Calgary Vipers of the independent Golden Baseball League.

Cory Snyder, former major leaguer and currently manager of the St. George Roadrunners of the independent Golden Baseball League

Tim Johnson, former major league player and major league manager and currently manager of the Tucson Toros of the independent Golden Baseball League

Mike Marshall, former major league all-star and currently manager of the Yuma Scorpions of the independent Golden Baseball League

Les Lancaster, former major leaguer with the Cubs and currently manager of the Sioux City Explorers of the independent American Association

Brooks Carey, former major leaguer and currently pitching coach with the Sussex Skyhawks of the independent Can-Am League and manager of the San Luis Algodoneros of the Liga Del Norte in Mexico.

James Frisbie, currently pitching coach with the Fort Worth Cats of the American Association

Toby Rumfield, 13-year minor leaguer and currently manager of the Florence Freedom of the independent Frontier League

Nick Belmonte, legendary independent leagues scout and currently scout for the Boston Red Sox.

Dave Marcon, award winning minor league playing career and currently instructor for the Detroit Tigers

Major league organizations that have confirmed that they are sending scouts include the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, and Colorado Rockies so far.

“It’s great to see the Arizona Winter League continue to grow and be recognized by players as the best showcase and development opportunity available in the winter in the U.S. and this list of managers and instructors is incredible,” said Arizona Winter League Commissioner Kevin Outcalt.

“In three years there have been over 100 AWL players signed and playing in professional leagues in the U.S. and abroad. Two have already made the major leagues and I’m looking forward to seeing the extraordinary players that arrive this year, as are the many teams and leagues that are sending instructors, managers, and scouts.”

Photo courtesy of Long Beach Armada

Posted in Minors, News2 Comments

KBO, NPB Champions Set November Showdown

SOUTH KOREA – The newly-crowned Korean Series champion Kia Tigers will be looking for another title when the Korea Baseball Organization’s (KBO) top team collide with the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) champion in the Korea-Japan Club Championship on Nov. 14 at Big N Stadium in Nagasaki, Japan.

The 2009 Japan Series, slated to get underway on Oct. 31, pits the Yomiuri Giants against the Nippon Ham Fighters.

The inaugural Korea-Japan Club Championship replaces the financially-strapped Asia Series, which started in 2005 with the four league champions from Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan.

The winner of this year’s event will receive 20 million yen ($218,000), while the losing team will receive 5 million yen ($54,500).

The Tigers, who will begin training for the Club Championship on Oct. 28, will be missing several key players. Foreign starters Aquilino Lopez and Rick Guttormson, who notched a combined 27 wins this past season, have both returned to the United States.

Also, right-hander Yoon Suk-min and speedy outfielder Lee Yong-kyu both must report to a four-week-long military boot camp on Nov. 5.

Photo courtesy of koreabaseball.blogspot.com

Posted in Asia0 Comments

FanDuel

Member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance

OOTP Baseball '14 Buy OOTP Baseball 14 PC & Mac

Share Us on Google+

Have a Baseball Story?

Whether its a press release, tips, information, or just a good story, feel free to Contact Us with any story baseball related.