Archive | November, 2009

Scam Nets Dominicans Seeking Dutch Baseball Jobs

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – A group of nearly 50 baseball players from the Dominican Republic have been swindled out of thousands of dollars in a scam that promised the players a job in the Dutch Major League in the Netherlands.

The group, which includes former Major Leaguers Felix Jose, Abraham Núñez (pictured), and Eddy Garabito, have filed a complaint with the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Santo Domingo.

BaseballdeWorld.com received an email this weekend seeking help for a group of Dominican players who were to travel to Holland for a mini-camp on Nov. 29. The players, who went through a three-week training period, paid 30,000-60,000 pesos apiece and were promised jobs in one of Europe’s top leagues that supposedly paid 25 to 130 thousand Euros.

Besides Dominican recruiter Amauri Beltre, whom the players have already filed a criminal complaint, a Dutch national who was anGARABITO-1_opt alleged team owner was also involved in the scam. The players are attempting to communicate with the alleged team owner who reportedly is a shareholder with the Dutch football club, Ajax.

The alleged team owner, who is described as a “short, bald, white man,” visited the players at their training camp.

Along with their fees, the players also had their passports stolen.

Other players victimized by the scam includes Israel Alcántara, Julio Ramirez, Alex Fernandez, Raul Valdez, Elpidio Guzmán and Richard Martinez.

Photos courtesy of Ferrini/FIBS

Posted in Latin, News0 Comments

2010 BaseballdeWorld Free Agent Directory: Part 1

An accomplished American import shortstop and a former Penn State University southpaw headline the first installment of the 2010 BaseballdeWorld Free Agent Directory for ballplayers seeking to play overseas in Europe next spring.

BaseballdeWorld, a one-stop website for the latest baseball news from around the globe, will spotlight several free agent players hoping to land a European baseball gig every two weeks until next spring.

FREE AGENT DIRECTORY POSTINGS:
Part 1: Nov. 29
Part 2: Dec. 13
Part 3: Dec. 27
Part 4: Jan. 10
Part 5: Jan. 24
Part 6: Feb. 07
Part 7: Feb. 21

Former Austin College shortstop and team captain Dennis Kelly has already showcased his skills in top leagues in Sweden, Australia and France. European clubs desiring a middle infielder or centerfielder with great leadership qualities and a strong bat should not wait too long before contacting this Lone Star State product.

Another top free agent, Michael Lorentson, is a former draft pick of the San Diego Padres who started 24 games with Division I Penn State University during his collegiate career. It’s a good bet that this southpaw could solidfy more than a few pitching rotations in Europe next season.

• DENNIS KELLY, USA

kelly-1

Dennis is a 5’10” shortstop who was a four-year varsity starter at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. The 25-year-old finished his collegiate career with 38 doubles, 13 home runs, and a .350 batting average. A team captain from 2004-2006 who set several school records , Dennis was a 1st team All-American (West Region) his senior season.

The Lewisville, Texas native has also enjoyed success playing overseas in recent years with the Karlskoga Bats (Swedish League), Sandringham Royals (Vodafone State League, Australia) and the Montpellier Barracudas (French League).

Visit Dennis Kelly’s Baseball Page

Contact this Free Agent: dennis.p.kelly@gmail.com

• MICHAEL LORENTSON, USA

Michael is a 6’4″ left-hander who posted an 8-15 record in three seasons at NCAA Division I Penn State University (2005-2009). The 23-year-old started 24 games during his final two years with the Nittany Lions and racked up 74 strikeouts in 128 innings with 52 walks.

The Springfield, Pennsylvania native was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2004 but did not sign. He also pitched 10 innings for the New Jersey Jackals of the Canadian American Baseball League.

Contact this Free Agent: lorentson.michael@gmail.com

• JOSE CASTILLO OJEDA, VENEZUELA

Jose is a former Boston Red Sox minor leaguer who has played in Colombia, Czech Republic, Switzerland (2004-2005), Belgium (2007) and Austria (2008-2009). The 32-year-old player/coach is a versatile performer who can play catcher, first base, and pitch.

Contact this Free Agent: jose_castillo27@hotmail.com

• JOHN WYBORNY, USA

John is a 6’2″ pitcher who compiled a 17-10 record with 190 strikeouts in 237 innings at Denison University (2004-08). The California native, who has a fastball that ranges from 84-86 mph, was selected as the Most Valuable Freshmen in 2005 and Most Valuable Pitcher in 2008. The 24-year-old former 2nd Team All-NCAC perfomer can also play third base.

Contact this Free Agent: wybornyjd@gmail.com

• HENRY EKPOTO, NIGERIA

Henry is a 6’3″ pitcher on the Nigerian national baseball team who describes himself as the “best pitcher in West Africa.” He reportedly possesses an 87 mph fastball with a good curveball.

Contact this Free Agent: henryekpoto8@gmail.com

• JASON SIERRA, USA

Jason is a 6’5″ right-hander who reportedly has been clocked at 88-91 mph. The 19-year-old California native who attends Monterey Peninsula College can also play third base.

Contact this Free Agent: quite-odd@hotmail.com

• GENE BOWLES, USA

Gene (pictured) is a 5’11” right-hander who attended the College of Southern Maryland (2005-2007). The 22-year-old Hollywood, Maryland native also plays second base.

Contact this Free Agent: gene.bowles@gmail.com

Photo courtesy of Gene Bowles/College of Southern Maryland

Posted in Europe, News0 Comments

Mexico: Diablos Sack Title-Winning Skipper

MEXICO – Winning a pennant in 2008 and turning in the Mexican League’s best record this year apparently wasn’t enough to save Daniel Fernandez’ job as manager of the Mexico City Diablos Rojos.

Fernandez has been let go after what ordinarily would be considered two extraordinarily good seasons as skipper of the team he starred on as a player for over 20 seasons.

As a rookie manager last year, Fernandez led the Red Devils to a 66-39 record and their first pennant in five years (the team’s 15th flag since 1956). In 2009, Mexico City came in with a Liga-best 70-35 regular season record, but stumbled in the first round of the playoffs by losing a seven-game shocker to the Laguna Vaqueros, who were in their first postseason since 2003.

The Veracruz native is said to be interested in managing the LMB Veracruz Aguilas, who finished the 2009 season with a 51-56 record and missed the playoffs. While Fernandez says he hasn’t spoken with Veracruz chairman Jose Antonio Mansur, he’d like to have a conversation about landing a job with the Red Eagles.

As a player, Fernandez spent 25 seasons in the Mexican League, 24 of them with the Diablos. He retired fourth on the all-time hits list with 2,648 safeties (batting .313 lifetime), and is third in career stolen bases with 478 swipes.

DESSENS GETTING READY FOR DEBUT WITH HERMOSILLO

Pitcher Elmer Dessens, who declared himself a free agent after getting into 28 games for the New York Mets last summer, is preparing to be added to his hometown Hermosillo Naranjeros roster for their series this weekend in Culiacan.

Dessens, who turned in a 3.31 ERA with no decisions for Mets manager Jerry Manuel in a relief role after spending part of the season with Class AAA Buffalo, tossed 40 pitches in a simulated game last week.

The 38-year-old righty has pitched for nine teams in his 13-year major league career, winning 21 games for Cincinnati between 2000 and 2001. Dessens, who has pitched for Mexico in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics, says he’d like to be a starter in Hermosillo. He was 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA in seven starts for the Naranjeros last winter.

CAMPILLO SIGNS WITH ROYALS, RETURNS TO MEX PAC

Right-hander Jorge Campillo has signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Royals and will spend the winter pitching for the Culiacan Tomateros. Campillo parlayed an outstanding 2004-05 Mex Pac season with the Tomateros into a deal with the Seattle Mariners in 2005. That winter, Campillo went 10-1 and led the LMP with a 2.05 ERA after a number of mostly average summers pitching for the Angelopolis Tigres of the Mexican League.

However, Campillo has been beset by arm injuries since being signed by the Mariners, who traded him to Atlanta in 2008. He was 8-7 with a 3.91 ERA for the Braves that year, but only pitched five games for Atlanta this year (1-0 and 4.15) before rotator cuff surgery ended his season early. The Braves offered the 31-year-old a contract for 2010, but Campillo turned it down and chose to sign with Kansas City, where he hopes to have a chance to start.

It’s likely that he’ll be in the starting rotation for Paquin Estrada’s Tomateros, who finished last in the recently-concluded first half.

This Week in the Mexican Pacific League:

1. HERMOSILLO NARANJEROS (5-1)
Hermosillo is off to a great start in the second half, winning 5 of 6 games. The Naranjeros opened by taking 2 of 3 in Mexicali. Nelson Teilon went 4-for-5 with a homer and 3 RBIs in an 8-3 win over the Aguilas Nov. 20, followed two days later by a 10-7, 10-inning win as Luis Alfonso Garcia and Geronimo Gil whacked homers.

The Orangemen then swept 3 at home against Mazatlan, outscoring the Venados by an aggregate 26-11 margin. Garcia hit two more homers in the opener, giving him an LMB-high 15 homers for the season.

2. CULIACAN TOMATEROS (4-2)
Culiacan is bouncing back from a last place finish in the first half, taking 2 0f 3 games against both Mazatlan and Mexicali. Mike Cervenak had a great series against the Venados, batting 6-for-11 with two doubles, 4 runs and 4 RBIs. Hector Rodriguez tossed 7 shutout innings in a Tomateros 4-1 win on Nov. 21.

Then Culiacan registered back-to-back shutouts over potent Mexicali. Andres Meza started in a 5-0 Nov. 25 victory, and Rodriguez pitched 7 more scoreless frames Nov. 26 in a 2-0 whitewashing of the Aguilas.

2. OBREGON YAQUIS (4-2)
Obregon put 25 runs on the board in sweeping a Nov. 22 doubleheader in Navojoa, then took two more games at home against Los Mochis to finish the week tied for second. Carlos Valencia had 2 doubles, a homer and 6 RBIs in the twinbill with the Mayos, while John Mayberry Jr. and Erubiel Durazo each homered.

Durazo then homered in the first 2 games against Mochis as the Yaquis won by 7-1 and 3-1 scores. Obregon stretched Game 3 to 12 innings before losing, 6-5, despite Agustin Murillo’s homer.

4. LOS MOCHIS CANEROS (3-3)
Los Mochis evened their second half record at 3-3 with a Nov. 26 win in Obregon. The Caneros won 2 of 3 over Guasave to start the week before dropping their first 2 to the Yaquis. Sandy Madera had a pair of 3-hit games against the Algodoneros, and still tops LMP batters with a .442 average, 72 points ahead of the rest of the pack.

Madera, Saul Soto and Sebastian Valle have combined for 34 homers, ranking 2-3-4 behind Hermosillo’s Garcia. Madera leads or is tied for the Mex Pac lead in seven offensive categories.

4. NAVOJOA MAYOS (3-3)
Navojoa rebounded from a 1-3 start by posting a pair of wins to end the week at .500. Javier Martinez threw 6 strong innings in a 2-0 shutout against Obregon before the Yaquis bombed the Mayos in a Nov. 22 doubleheader.

After losing a 7-4 contest in Guasave Nov. 24, the Mayos racked up 12-3 and 9-5 wins the next 2 nights. Reid Gorecki put on a show in those games, going 4-for-8 with 2 homers, 5 runs and 7 RBIs. Christian Zazueta had a 5-for-5 night Nov. 26 to crack the LMP’s Top Ten with a .326 average.

6. GUASAVE ALGODONEROS (2-4)
Guasave had their problems with Los Mochis and Obregon, losing 2 of 3 to both sides. The Algodoneros droped their first 2 in Mochis (despite a 4-for-9 showing with 2 doubles for Eduardo Arredondo) before pulling out a 4-3 win Nov. 22 as Benji Gil cracked a homer for the victors.

Guasave then won their opener with Navojoa, 7-4, on Nov. 24 as Francisco Mendez was 3-for-4 with a double, scoring 1 run and driving in 2. Mendez homered in the Cotton Pickers’ 9-5 loss to the Mayos on Nov. 26.

6. MEXICALI AGUILAS (2-4)
Mexicali rocked Hermosillo and Culiacan for 30 runs before being shut out by the Tomateros 2 nights in a row. Oswaldo Morejon went 3-for-4 with 2 runs and 3 RBIs in a Nov. 21 win over the Naranjeros, while Roman Pena and Adam Rosales combined for 5 RBIs in the Aguilas’ 11-7 win in Culiacan Nov. 24.

The Eagles have 4 of the Mex Pac’s top 10 hitters, so what’s the problem? How about a pitching staff that let in 32 runs in 6 games last week, including 20 by Hermosillo? Hardly fatal, but sometimes hitting won’t carry you.

8. MAZATLAN VENADOS (1-5)
After a tremendous first half, Mazatlan had a disastrous first week in the second half, losing 5 of 6 games. The Venados won their opener over Culiacan, 8-2, as Pablo Ortega went 8 innings en route to his league-leading 6th win. After that, it was 5 losses in a row (including a sweep in Hermosillo) by an average score of 8-4.

Ortega remains on top of the LMP tables with a 2.16 ERA to go with his 6-1 record, but the Venados now trail Hermosillo in team ERA by a 3.66 to 3.71 margin. No other Mex Pac pitching staff is below 4.39.

Bruce Baskin is Editor/Poducer of BASEBALL MEXICO.

Hear BASEBALL MEXICO Sundays at 10:30AM ET on Radio Miami Int’l (9955 kHz, www.wrmi.net). For a FREE subscription to BASEBALL MEXICO, send an email to BaseballMexico@live.com or visit the BASEBALL MEXICO blog at BaseballMexico.blogspot.com.

Photo courtesy of www.diablos.com.mx

Posted in Latin, News0 Comments

BaseballdeWorld Debuts Free Agent Directory

The first installment of the BaseballdeWorld Free Agent Directory will be published on Sunday, Nov. 29. The one-stop source website for international baseball news will also spotlight players interested in playing ball in Europe next year every two weeks until next spring.

Due to interest from non-Americans, the upcoming Free Agent Directory will also include players from all across the globe.

“We have had inquiries from Africa, Asia and Latin America about playing baseball in Europe in 2010,” said BaseballdeWorld Managing Editor Marvin Moore.  “So it only makes since to include these players in the free agent directory.”

Unfortunately, Moore reported that the majority of aspiring candidates in November for baseball jobs in Europe did not make the cut.

“Too many applicants were just not qualified to go overseas. Semi-pro and adult league players with little or no collegiate experience in all likelihood would not succeed in most leagues in Europe.”

BaseballdeWorld will publish an updated Free Agent Directory with “new” candidates on the following dates:

Part 2: Dec. 13
Part 3: Dec. 27
Part 4: Jan. 10
Part 5: Jan. 24
Part 6: Feb. 07
Part 7: Feb. 21

“Finding the right import is tricky business for many clubs, but these players play a crucial role in the success of their teams,” added Moore who coached in Europe for six years. “It is my hope that this Free Agent Directory will help European clubs find an credible import player that meets their needs.”

American shortstop Seth La Fera plays in Italy. (Ferrini/FIBS)

Posted in News1 Comment

Yokohama BayStars Sign Taiwanese Hurlers

TAIWAN – The Nippon Professional Baseball club Yokohama BayStars have reportedly signed a pair of Taiwanese pitching prospects, LHP Yi-Cheng Wang and RHP Wen-Hao Cheng, according to the Taiwan Baseball website.

Wang (pictured), who recently took part in a charity auction that assisted in aiding the recovery from the August typhoon disaster, received a $138,000 signing bonus and an annual salary of $69,250.

Cheng will receive a reported $23,000 a year salary as part of his deal reported by the Liberty Times. However, the southpaw and his agent have denied that Cheng has signed with the Japanese franchise.

Photo courtesy of Taiwan Baseball

Posted in Asia0 Comments

Major Leaguers And Thanksgiving Day Blessings

UNITED STATES – The aromatic scents of Thanksgiving – turkeys, pies, buttered rolls – along with the National Football League is a holiday tradition in America. However, that does not mean that baseball has hibernated for the winter.

The 2009 season was filled with delightful performances from an array of superstars. A pair of familiar faces, Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer, took home the Most Valuable Player Awards in their respective leagues. Yet, many more MLB stars (and owners) have plentiful to be thankful for this time of the year.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are just a few of the personalities of the game who have reason to be thankful on this Turkey Day.

• TIM LINCECUM, GIANTS
The reigning two-time National League Cy Young Award winner should be thankful that U.S. drug laws are determined by size instead of potentcy. A Major Leaguer with West Coast connections most certainly toke some “killer” weed.

• AROLDIS CHAPMAN, FREE AGENT
The soon-to-be multi-millionaire should be thankful that MLB clubs value 100 mph fastballs more than loyalty. Dropping Athletes Premier International in favor of Hendricks Sports Management might turn out to be a good business decision, but would you really want this guy as a good friend?

• TOM HICKS, RANGERS
The “I love hockey more than baseball” owner of the cash-strapped Arlington franchise should be thankful for a loyal core of Texas baseball fans that suffered mightily the past decade. Now, that Nolan Ryan & Co. have the ship headed in the right direction, Hicks likes being a MLB owner, again. Boo!

• TONY LARUSSA, CARDINALS
Baseball’s best skipper should be thankful for one of the best gigs in all of MLB. With the ultra-talented Albert Pujols and a pair of Cy Young-caliber starting pitchers on board, did anyone actually believe Tony was leaving? I didn’t think so.

• C.C. SABATHIA, YANKEES
The biggie-sized southpaw should be really, really thankful that the Bronx Bombers reached the pinnacle of the Major Leagues this past season. The retirement package-like deal is his to keep, but history tells me that Yankee fans will be cursing their staff ace and his mega contract in the next 2-3 years.

• ANDRUW JONES, WHITE SOX
The former All-Star outfielder should be very thankful to still be wearing a big league uniform. All but forgotten after a horrible stint with the Dodgers, former Rangers hitting guru Rudy Jaramillo resurrected Jones’ swing and career last year. Wanna bet that Jones has Jaramillo’s mobile number?

• JOE MAUER, TWINS
The Twin Cities superstar should be thankful for the Twinkies new stadium, Target Field, that will debut next season. The revenue-generating outdoor ballpark will enable Minnesota to give the All-Star catcher a ferry load of cash while squashing the Yankees replacement plans for the aging Jorge Posada. Sweet!

• EDWIN JACKSON, TIGERS
The right-hander who contributed to the Tigers’ collapse by fading down the stretch should be thankful that Detroit will have to unload some salaries this winter. With so much “dead” money accumulated on non-productive players, leaving Motown before the ship sinks is a blessing.

• CHAD BILLINGSLEY, DODGERS
The former staff ace should be more than thankful that football – not baseball – is the top sport in the U.S. during the holiday season. How a healthy Major League pitcher can start the year with a 9-3 record and then fail to win a game after Aug. 18 remains a mystery to me.

• ADRIAN GONZALEZ, PADRES
The Mexican slugger should be thankful that new ownership will undoubtedly unload his contract during the impending rebuilding mode. If the sweet-swinging lefty can hit 40 dingers in San Diego’s spacious surroundings, imagine what he might do in a hitter friendly stadium? That’s scary.

Marvin Moore coached baseball in Europe for six years and is Managing Editor at BaseballdeWorld.

Photo courtesy of britannica.com

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

2009 Womens Baseball Pan American Championship

VENEZUELA – Daibelis Gimenez tossed 6 1/3 scoreless relief innings and Venezuela overcame an early six-run deficit to edge Puerto Rico, 8-7, last week in the championship game of the 1st Women´s Baseball Pan American Championship.

Venezuela (5-1) took a quick 1-0 lead in the opening frame before previously unbeaten Puerto Rico (5-1) pulled evened in the second, and erupted for six runs the following inning to go ahead, 7-1.

The tournament host answered back with a six-run fourth to knot the score at 7-all. Then, Gimenez and Puerto Rico’s 15-year-old pitching sensation Krizia Rivera took over.

The 20-year-old Venezuelan right-hander registered the final 19 outs while limiting Puerto Rican hitters to a pair of singles and four walks. Rivera (1-1) was equally impressive allowing Venezuela only three hits and striking out six over five frames before surrendering the winning score in the ninth.

FINAL STANDINGS
1. Venezuela
2. Puerto Rico
3. Cuba
4. Dominican Republic

Veteran infielder Lesly Gomez and Marianni Perez paced the championship squad with two hits apiece. The 23-year-old centerfielder also drove in a pair of scores while shortstop Leonela Reyes came off the bench to swipe three bases.

Ana Maldonado, 22, led Puerto Rico with three hits while teammates Krystle Valliere and Lisandra Berrios added two hits apiece.

16-year-old Venezuelan starter Diogcelis Guevara (3-0) was credited with the win despite an ugly 2 1/3 inning stint that included eight hits and six runs.

ALL-STAR TEAM:

C: Yariam Rivera, Puerto Rico
1B: Yuleidy Charon, Cuba
2B: Dayana Batista, Cuba
SS: Krystle Valliere, Puerto Rico
3B: Lisandra Berrios, Puerto Rico
OF: Yairis Diaz, Cuba
OF: Danna Cruz, Puerto Rico
OF: Marianni Perez, Venezuela
P: Diogcelis Guevara, Venezuela

Most Valuable Player: Daibelis Gimenez, Venezuela
Champion Manager: Luis Martinez, Venezuela

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS:

Leading Hitter – Sorianni Viez, Venezuela (.800)
Most Hits – Lisandra Berrios, Puerto Rico (8)
Most RBIs – Yinoska Claudio, Puerto Rico (9)
Most Runs Scored – Krystle Valliere, Puerto Rico (11)
Most Stolen Bases – Yalvanys Cervantes, Cuba (5)
Best Pitcher (ERA) – Diogcelis Guevara, Venezuela (0.00)
Best Pitcher (W-L Avg.) – Kryzia Rivera, Puerto Rico (1-0/6.1 IP)
Most Outstanding Player – Lisandra Berrios, Puerto Rico

Photo courtesy of www.escambray.cu

Posted in Latin, News, Tournaments, Women0 Comments

Germany To Host 2010 European Baseball Championship

GERMANY – The Dutch National Team will be the heavy favorites when the 2010 European Baseball Championship takes place next summer in three German cities. The competition, governed by the Confederation of European Baseball (CEB), is the main tournament between national baseball teams in Europe.

The Orange and Black, which have captured five consecutive European Championship titles, are in Group 1 with host Germany, France, Czech Republic, Belgium and Ukraine. The Dutch also boast a tournament-high 20 gold medals.

Italy and Spain headline the teams in Group 2. The Italians have won the tournament on eight occasions while the Spainards looked impressive at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup. Other squads includes Great Britain, Sweden, Croatia and Greece.

The Dutch went undefeated in the 2007 tournament and beat Great Britain in the title game, 6-1. Former skipper Robert Eenhorn blasted the tournament organizers after the championship game was played in the morning while a meaningless game between host Spain and Sweden was held later in the day.

2010 European Championship Schedule:

July 23rd:
Czech Republic vs Netherlands
Ukraine vs Germany
France vs Belgium
Croatia vs Great Britain
Italy vs Spain
Sweden vs Greece

July 24th:
Netherlands vs France
Germany vs Czech Republic
Belgium vs Ukraine
Great Britain vs Sweden
Spain vs Croatia
Greece vs Italy

July 25th:
Netherlands vs Ukraine
Germany vs Belgium
France vs Czech Republic
Great Britain vs Italy
Spain vs Greece
Sweden vs Croatia

July 26th:
Netherlands vs Germany
France vs Ukraine
Czech Republic vs Belgium
Great Britain vs Spain
Sweden vs Italy
Croatia vs Greece

July 27th:
Germany vs France
Belgium vs Netherlands
Ukraine vs Czech Republic
Spain vs Sweden
Greece vs Great Britain
Italy vs Croatia

July 28th:
Classification Games

July 29th – July 31st:
Final Round

August 1st:
Championship Game

Photo courtesy of Ratti/FIBS

Posted in Europe, News, Tournaments0 Comments

Australia: Perth Stifles Queensland

AUSTRALIA – The Perth HEAT rebounded from an 8-1 series opening loss to the Queensland Rams last Friday night with a pair of victories on Saturday to clinch the Round 3 series of the 2010 Dominos Claxton Shield at Brisbane’s Holloway Field.

Andy Utting popped a pair of long balls – including a fatal three-run shot in the eighth – to lead Queensland in Game 1. Brad Dutton also homered for the Rams as Simon Morriss (1-1) turned in an impressive outing on the hill to get the win.

Perth evened the series at a game apiece on Saturday afternoon with a 7-4 win. The HEAT scored two first-inning runs on RBI hits by Tim Kennelly and Chris House, and held a 4-1 lead in the third before Queensland tagged Perth starter Daniel Schmidt with three scores in the bottom of the third to knot the game.

Kennelly and House, who combined for five hits and five RBIs, put the HEAT back on top in the fifth with back-to-back home runs. Reliever TJ Wohlever (1-0) tossed 4 1/3 solid innings out of the bullpen to notch his first win in his debut outing.

Perth captured a hard-fought 4-3 win in the rubber match Saturday night. Utting gave Queensland an early lead with a long ball in the second, but Mitch Graham and Tim Kennelly hit homers in the third and fourth frames to give the Heat a 3-1 advantage.

An RBI bloop single off the bat of Nick Kimpton stretched the score to 4-1, but the Rams made it a one-run affair with a pair of scores in the eighth. However, Warwick Saupold came in from the bullpen to close the door with a four-out save.

Photo courtesy of the Australian Baseball Federation

Click here for more Diamond Claxton Shield news

Posted in News, Tournaments0 Comments

Top European Baseball Leagues

It’s no secret, anymore, that the Italian Baseball League (IBL) and the Dutch Major League are the top two leagues in Europe. But what about the other circuits dotting the old continent?

Unlike in Asia and Latin America – where the game has a storied past – most European baseball leagues struggle to attract even a paltry 100 spectators on any given weekend. However, in areas like youth player development and facilities, significant strides are evident.

Similar to the “big” boys of Major League Baseball (MLB), money seperates the have and have nots in Europe as well. The most successful clubs, more often than not, are the ones generating the most revenue.

Now, here’s a brief capsule of some European Leagues which recruits American ballplayers:

• ITALIAN LEAGUE: Complete with cozy fields and minor league-like salaries reaching US$2,000 monthly for certain foreign mercenaries, the IBL is a well-organized circuit with the most competitive brand of baseball on the continent.

• DUTCH LEAGUE: The Netherlands is arguably Europe’s epicenter for up and coming minor league prospects, and the Dutch League is the training ground for the hugely successful Dutch national team. Although the title race is usually a 3-4 team affair, these elite teams feature an abundance of talented ballplayers.

• SPANISH LEAGUE: Expect to see more standouts from the Spanish League inking contracts in Italy over the next few years. A pitching-rich circuit with a trio of elite teams in the Tenerife Marlins, FC Barcelona, and Sant Boi.

• GERMAN LEAGUE: Europe’s sleeping giant continues to underachieve while possessing the potential to be so much more. The sport would gain much more credibility in Germany if the eight best squads were battling every week. Instead, most weekends in the Bundesliga is filled with routs and predictable sweeps.

• FRENCH LEAGUE: The Rouen Huskies continue to be one of the most successful clubs in Europe and the French League is reaping the benefits with a higher level of competition. If this circuit ever features five title-contending teams annually, the balance of power on the old continent will be altered permanently.

• BELGIAN LEAGUE: A solid league which has seen its top team compete well against the elite squads at the European Cup competitions. While immigration restrictions on foreign players and the high costs involved for youth players are serious concerns, this remains a circuit capable of being one of the top five leagues on the continent.

• CZECH LEAGUE: Sometimes mistakenly called the Draci Brno League (17 consecutive titles) and home to Europe’s longest dynasty. However, Draci’s reign has been challenged in recent years and the Czech Baseball Association has enjoyed success executing their youth development program which bodes well for exporting future talent to the U.S. minor leagues and top European circuits.

• BRITISH LEAGUE: A small but competitive league seems to be on the rise after an exciting post-season in 2009. Hopefully, British baseball can build on the momentum of this past campaign to expand the number of teams in the top league next year.

• SWISS LEAGUE: One of Europe’s best kept secrets, the top teams in Switzerland have consistently performed well against B-Pool level countries in recent years. While the league has serious depth issues with just three quality teams in 2009, the emergence of another two clubs could elevate Swiss baseball to an even higher level.

• AUSTRIAN LEAGUE: Three years ago it appeared the ABL was primed for unpecedented growth. While the top teams failed to reach the next level on the international stage, parity has come to Austria which has made for some exciting playoff baseball.

Wanna play baseball in Europe in 2010? Click here.

Photo courtesy of Henk Seppen/L&D Amsterdam Pirates

Marvin Moore coached baseball in Europe for six years and is Managing Editor at BaseballdeWorld.

Posted in Europe, News1 Comment

NPB: Japanese Southpaw Ready For MLB

JAPAN – Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) free agent Hisanori Takahashi is open to playing for any major league team, the left-handed Japanese hurler said this past weekend.

Takahashi, who is represented by Peter Greenberg, hopes to follow the course of former NPB pitchers Koji Uehara and Kenshin Kawakami who both signed contracts with the Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves, respectively, last off-season.

A 10-year veteran for the Yomiuri Giants, Takahashi has compiled a 79-66 career record with a 3.70 ERA. The southpaw, who has appeared in 245 games, also has recorded 15 saves.

Takahashi best season was in 2007 when he posted a 14-4 record and led the league with a 2.75 ERA. This past season, he 10-6 with a 2.94 ERA in 25 starts.

Photo courtesy of the Yomiuri Giants

Posted in Asia0 Comments

Taiwan Youth All-Stars Sweep Japanese

TAIWAN – A Taiwan Youth National Team swept a three-game series against a Japanese All-Star squad last week behind a pair of stellar pitching performances. The majority of the players are from Ping-Zhen Jr. High school in Taoyuan.

Taiwanese starter Chih-Wei Hu (pictured) and reliever Chun-Yen Wang combined on a four-hit shutout in the series opener on Nov. 19 as Taiwan prevailed 4-0.

Hu, a member of Taiwan’s 2009 World Youth Championships National Team, scattered three hits and four strikeouts over seven scoreless frames to notch the win.

Taiwan routed the Japanese a day later, 14-2, behind another strong pitching outing. Taiwan starter Keng-Sheng Lee allowed a lone run and two hits over five innings to pick up the win.

The series finale was a hotly-contested affair as the Taiwanese rallied for a 10-9 win to finish off the series sweep.

2009 TAIWANESE YOUTH NATIONAL TEAM:

CATCHERS:
Chin-Lung Chang (’09 WYC NT) and Kui-Hung Kao.

INFIELDERS:
Chi-Yang Peng, Yu-Hung Hsiao, Tsung-Hsien Lee, and Lu-An Chang.

OUTFIELDERS:
Shao-Wei Chen (09 JBL NT), Yu-Ping Sen (09 JBL NT), Chih-Feng Huang and Yen-Chang Lee.

PITCHERS:
RHP Keng-Sheng Lee (’09 WYC NT), RHP Chun-Yen Wang, LHP Jung-Hung Sen, RHP Chia-Ming Cheng, RHP Chih-Chieh Su, RHP Tsai-Chuan Hsu (09 JBL NT) and RHP Yu-Hsiang Keng (09 JBL NT).

Photo courtesy of Taiwan Baseball

Source: TaiwanBaseball.blogspot.com

Posted in Asia0 Comments

American Import Spotlight: Jerry Royster

Jerry Royster is a former Major League player and manager who is currently calling the shots for the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club Lotte Giants.

The Sacramento, California native was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers at the age of 17 in 1970. He arrived in the big leagues three years later and was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Roster in 1976.

The 57-year-old former third baseman played for five MLB teams (Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox, and the New York Yankees) in a 15-year career hat ended in 1988.

Royster led the Milwaukee Brewers to a 53-94 record in 2002 after being named manager during the early stages of the season. He also coached the Dodgers’ triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas for two years, compiling a 124-163 mark.

Late in 2007, Royster signed on to become the first ever non-Korean to take the helm of one of Korea’s professional baseball teams. He guided the perennial cellar-dwelling Lotte franchise to back-to-back playoff appearances, and recently signed a one-year contract to return to Busan for a third season in 2010.

Photo courtesy of True Stories Of Korean Baseball

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

AFL: Peoria Ends Phoenix Title Reign

UNITED STATES – Arizona native C.J. Retherford drilled a game-winning two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Peoria Javelinas ended the Phoenix Desert Dogs five-year title reign in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) with a 5-4 victory in the 2009 championship game Saturday in front of 3,521 in Scottsdale Stadium.

Phoenix struck early off Peoria starter Anthony Varvaro. Mark Angle tripled to leadoff the opening frame and sprinted home on Danny Espinosa’s infield grounder to give the Dogs a quick one-run advantage.

The Javelinas answered back with a pair of scores in the second on an RBI fielder’s choice and a run-scoring infield hit by Dustin Ackley to grab a 2-1 lead. But the five-time defending AFL title-holder came charging back in the fourth.

Oakland A’s prospect Grant Desme, who was named this year’s MVP, delivered a one-out homer to knot the score. Nevin Ashley wnr deep for Phoenix later in the same inning for a 3-2 lead.

A run-scoring force-play groundball off the bat of Jordan Danks tied the game in the bottom of the fourth for Peoria. But the Desert Dogs answered back on an RBI single by Tampa Bay prospect Shawn O’Malley.

Posted in Minors, News0 Comments

American Import Spotlight: Terrmel Sledge

Terrmel Sledge is a former outfielder in Major League Baseball, who currently plays for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan.

Sledge, a John F. Kennedy High School product in Granada Hills, California, graduated from Cal State Long Beach in 1999. He is half Korean and half African-American.

The 32-year-old began his big league career with the Montreal Expos and was traded to the Texas Rangers along with fellow outfielder Brad Wilkerson for second baseman Alfonso Soriano on December 7, 2005.

He was later traded to the San Diego Padres in a six-player deal on December 20, and had his best season in 2004, when he batted .269/.336/.462 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs.

Sledge holds the distinction of hitting the first home run for the Nationals, in an April 2005 game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Terrmel was granted permission from the Padres in 2007 to sign with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of the Nippon Professional League. He signed a two-year, $2.85 million contract and helped lead the Fighters to the 2009 Japan Series.

Photo courtesy of the Nippon Ham Fighters

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

MLB Trade Rumors: Big Names On The Move

UNITED STATES – With the economy still in bad shape and attendance down 6.7% throughout the Majors, the free agent market will most likely not be active as it has been in years past. It is more likely that teams will fill holes in their rosters by trades. These big names are among those who may be on the move.

• Roy Halladay SP (Toronto)
He seems almost certain to be dealt by new Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos as it is almost certain Halladay will opt for free agency after this season, when his contract is up. He will be a hot commodity this offseason, posting at least 16 wins in the last 4 seasons, including 20 wins in 2008.

• Detroit pitching staff
Several players on the Tigers pitching staff will be guaranteed to be in a Tiger uniform by the time spring training rolls around next March after the Tigers collapsed in September and eventually lost to Minnesota in a one-game playoff. Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis, and Jeremy Bonderman are all due at least $10 million apiece over the next year. All three were injured last season and have not been very effective in recent years. Left-handed reliever Bobby Seay is another pitcher who may be on the block this offseason

• Joe Nathan RP (Minnesota)
With many good, experienced closers on the market this winter, there should not be too much trade action involving ninth-inning men. However Nathan, who has averaged 41 saves over the past 6 seasons, may be dealt. He is due $24.5 million through 2011, and the Twins have shown in the past that they are willing to deal cornerstone pitchers at their peak (ex: Johan Santana).

• Milton Bradley OF (Chicago (NL)
Bradley’s 09 campaign with the Cubs was a downright catastrophe. Not only did he fail to produce at the plate, he committed a few embarrassing errors and eventually blamed the fans for the poor performance of the team and himself. There is no way he will be back at Wrigley in 2010.

• Juan Pierre OF (Los Angeles (NL)
Perhaps the best 4th outfielder in all of baseball, Pierre may be dealt to a place where he will start. A great year in ‘09 backing up Manny Ramirez, the speedy outfielder is owed around $18 million over the next 2 years.

• Dan Uggla 2B (Florida)
Due somewhere above the $5.35 million he earned last year, the 29 year-old second baseman’s career with the Marlins may be in jeopardy for that reason alone. The Marlins are known to be “fiscal” at best, and may dump the 2-time NL All-Star. He has 30 homeruns the last 4 years.

• Adrian Gonzalez 1B (San Diego)
The speculation surrounding Gonzalez is simply that: speculation. New Padres GM Jed Hoyer says he plans to tie up Gonzalez long-term. However, former GM Ken Towers believes it is only a matter of time until Gonzalez is dealt.

Trent Rehusch is a MLB contributor for BaseballdeWorld.com.

Posted in MLB, News0 Comments

Seibu Lions Sign Japanese Pitching Prospect

JAPAN – Highly-touted Hanamaki Higashi High School left-hander Yusei Kikuchi has agreed to terms with the Japanese baseball club Seibu Lions.

Kikuchi, who received a signing bonus of 100 million yen, will earn an annual salary of 15 million yen during the first year of his contract. The top prospect can also earn an additional 50 million yen in performance bonuses.

The 18-year-old southpaw, whom analysts estimate will lose at least 850 million yen before becoming eligible to sign with a MLB club, said that “Playing professional baseball has been my dream and goal sinceI started to play baseball 10 years ago. I look forward to being on that stage.”

Posted in Asia0 Comments

Mexico: Mazatlan Clinch First-Half Title

MEXICO – The Mazatlan Venados reeled off a seven-game winning streak to clinch the first-half title in the Mexican Pacific League, putting an exclamation point on what has been a dominant season thus far for the defending Mex Pac champions.

Mazatlan finished with a 25-10 record to outdistance second-place Mexicali, who ended the primera vuelta four games back at 20-14.

The Venados’ strength lies in their pitching, as their 3.24 team ERA ranks first in the league. Mazatlan pitchers have allowed the fewest runs, hits and walks among the eight Mex Pac teams.

Although the Deer batters started off slowly and ranked near the bottom of the LMP for much of the first half, the team has surged to second with a .275 average, thanks in no small part to Jon Weber’s phenomenal .432 mark since joining the club ten games ago.

The second half, as always, could be an entirely different story as teams load up their rosters for the playoff drive. Hermosillo has activated all-time Mexican great Vinny Castilla, former big leaguer Benji Gil began playing with Guasave last week, and Australian National Team star Chris Snelling (another ex-MLBer) made his debut with Obregon Tuesday.

This Week in the Mexican Pacific League

1. MAZATLAN VENADOS (25-10/.714/0.0GB/8.0PTS)
Mazatlan cruised to the Mex Pac’s first half title on the strength of their pitching, but their offense hasn’t been bad, either. Jon Weber is crushing the ball at a .469 clip in 10 games while Rogelios Noris is batting .369 in 15 games, giving the Venados a great tandem in left field. Ruben Rivera has 8 homers and an LMP-best 34 RBIs.

Pablo Ortega is 5-1 and leads the Mex Pac with a 2.09 ERA. When former 20-game winner Esteban Loaiza is your least effective starter at 2-1 and 4.35, you’ve got a good staff. Gabe DeHoyos has 11 saves in 15 outings.

2. MEXICALI AGUILAS (21-14/.600/4.0GB/7.0PTS)
While Mazatlan has won with pitching, Mexicali has done it with hitting. The Aguilas lead the LMP with a .305 team batting average. Roman Pena is second in the league with a .393 mark, and regulars Brad Snyder (.354), Oswaldo Morejon (.333), Matt Camp (.329), Emmanuel Valdez (328) and Adam Morales (.321) are all above .320.

The Aguilas pitching has been mediocre at best. Newcomer Thomas Diamond is 2-0 with an 0.64 ERA after three starts, and although veteran Oscar Rivera is just 2-3, he does have a 3.69 ERA after six starts.

3. HERMOSILLO NARANJEROS (18-16/.529/6.5GB/6.0PTS)
Hermosillo has added former MLB All-Star Vinny Castilla, who hit .467 with 2 homers and 4 RBIs in his first 4 games. Geronimo Gil is hitting .327 while Luis Alfonso Garcia is tied for the LMP lead with 11 homers and ranks second with 31 RBIs, but Australian Trent Oeltgen’s.348 average is parked on the disabled list.

The Naranjeros are second in the LMP with a 3.50 ERA. Starter Juan Delgadillo is 3-2 and has allowed 3 runs in 21.2 innings in his last 4 starts. Closer Dennis Sarfate has 7 saves with no walks in his last 8 appearances.

4. OBREGON YAQUIS (18-17/.514/7.0GB/5.0PTS)
After a slow start for Obregon, John Mayberry Jr. has gone 10-for-21 over his last 5 games to bring his average to an even .300. He’s hit 3 homers in that span. MLB vets Chris Snelling and Erubiel Durazo have joined the Yaquis, but defending Mex Pac MVP Agustin Murillo is hitting just .242 with 2 homers and 8 RBIs in 16 games.

Luis Mendoza is 4-1 with a 3.32 ERA and 40 strikeouts, but has been inconsistent. Bryan Corey’s return this week from a tryout in Japan would help. Closer Mario Mendoza Jr. has 2 wins and 4 saves in his last 10 games.

5. NAVOJOA MAYOS (17-18-0/.486/8.0GB/4.5PTS)
Navojoa is last in the LMP with 21 homers and a .255 batting average, but the Mayos are far from helpless. Matt Young is batting .306 and is second in the league with 13 steals, and Francisco Arias has hit a productive .293. Longtime Mexican infielder Abel Martinez (.226) and Javier Robles (.194) need to pick up the pace, though.

Mayos starters Orlando Lara, Tim Gustafson and Brian Adams have combined for a 7-2 record and each has a sub-4.00 ERA, but the bullpen has struggled. Brett Butts has 5 saves, but his ERA is a toxic 5.40.

6. LOS MOCHIS CANEROS (14-20/.412/10.5GB/4.0PTS)
Sandy Madera of Los Mochis continues to lead the LMP with a .442 batting average and is tied for the top with 11 homers. Saul Soto and Sebastian Valle have alternated catching and DH duties, combining for 19 homers, 42 RBIs and a .305 average. Beyond them, though, the Caneros offense is a mess. Expect lots of walks for the Big 3.

The Mochis pitching is little better. Closer Jorge Vasquez has been rock solid, with 6 saves and a .171 ERA in 19 trips from the pen. Ex-Red Sox pitcher Juan Pena was just brought in, but the Caneros will need more help.

7. GUASAVE ALGODONEROS (13-20/.394/11.0GB/3.5PTS)
Like Mochis, Gusave is an “offensively challenged” team. Unlike the Caneros, the Algodoneros don’t have a Madera, Soto or Valle in the middle of the order. Marshall McDougall has hit .311 with 3 homers and 12 RBIs in 16 games and MLB vet Benji Gil arrived last week. Japhet Amador is batting .364, but rarely seems to get into a game.

The Cotton Pickers pitching isn’t as dire. Robert Coello is 2-0 after 6 starts and his 2.70 ERA is fourth in the LMP while 4-1 Jim McGrane’s 3.20 ERA ranks sixth. Closer Tim Lavigne is 0-2, but has 4 saves and a 2.63 ERA.

8. CULIACAN TOMATEROS (11-22/.333/13.0GB/3.0PTS)
Paquin Estrada’s return as manager has not helped Culiacan, who went 5-9 after Estrada replaced Nick Leyva to finish last in the first half standings. Mike Cervenak is hitting .348 and has combined with Refugio Cervantes for 16 homers and 51 RBIs, while Mike McCoy has a .327 average and leads the LMP with 15 steals.

Chris Waters has gone 3-1 with a 3.98 ERA, and Hector Rodriguez is 1-0 and 2.05 after 4 starts. The Tomateros bullpen isn’t bad, and Jose Silva is now the closer with 2 saves and no runs allowed in 3 appearances.

Bruce Baskin is Editor/Producer of BASEBALL MEXICO

Hear BASEBALL MEXICO Sundays at 10:30AM ET on Radio Miami Int’l (9955 kHz, www.wrmi.net). You can also follow BASEBALL MEXICO online at www.OurSportsCentral.com and www.BaseballGuru.com. For a FREE subscription to BASEBALL MEXICO, send an email to BaseballMexico@live.com or Visit the BASEBALL MEXICO blog at www.BaseballMexico.blogspot.com.

Photo courtesy of mediotiempo.com

Posted in Latin, News0 Comments

Florida Winter Baseball League Folds

UNITED STATES – The Florida Winter Baseball League has folded after just 15 games, the fledling circuit announced on Wednesday.

“The Florida Winter Baseball League (FWBL) is suspending play for the remainder of the 2009-10 season. Although the inaugural season was shortened, the FWBL will continue on with its mission to provide the only US-based winter baseball alternative for professional baseball players,” said President and CEO Mickey Filippucci in a press release.

The four team league, which played its games at the baseball diamond at the Cocoa Expo, was tagged as the circuit “Where tomorrow’s stars play today!” by the organizers. However, nearlya hundred ballplayers are headed back to their hometowns still dreaming of playing professional baseball.

“That’s the really sad part about this, these are kids who gave up their off-season to chase the dream of one day playing minor league ball,” a spokesman for the Space Coast Surge told a local TV station. “They (players) come down here on their own money and now have to find a way home on their own money too.”

Photo courtesy of miamidiamantes.com

Posted in Minors, News0 Comments

Top 10 International Baseball Websites

The days of scouring search engines and non-english websites for international baseball news has become a distant memory. And even though the majority of American baseball fanatics have yet to take notice, the game is growing at unprecedented levels all across the globe.

Baseball continues to flourish in Asia where the sport enjoys a rich history. The Korean League has developed into a top circuit capable of standing toe-to-toe with the best teams in Japan. And, while gangs make a mockery of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, the game remains the most popular sport on the island.

Although the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup was never expected to jumpstart the sport in Europe, new facilities and increased media exposure will undoubtedly help the game continue its growth on the old continent.

BaseballdeWorld.com has been on a mission to promote the international baseball scene to Major League Baseball (MLB) fans in the United States, while at the same time promoting some of the best baseball blogs with a global flavor on the internet. Below are some of my favorite international baseball websites:

INTERNATIONAL BASEBALL FEDERATION (IBAF)
The source for international baseball news.

BASEBALLDECUBA
Ray Otero & Co. opens the doors to the Cuban League.

JAPAN BALL
Bob Bavasi’s website has all the latest baseball news from Japan.

TAIWAN BASEBALL
The best source for Taiwan baseball news at all levels.

TRUE STORIES OF KOREAN BASEBALL
Matt has all the bases covered in the Korea Baseball Organization.

MY WORLD OF BASEBALL
Bob has an informative and entertaining site with an int’l flavor.

• GRAND SLAM STATS AND NEWS
Marco Stoovelar’s Dutch baseball blog remains a classic.

FEDERATION OF ITALIAN BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL
A first-class website that is easy to navigate with loads of data.

BASEBALL MEXICO
Bruce Baskin covers baseball South of the Border like no one else.

HONKBALSITE (NON-ENGLISH)
A top-of-the-line Dutch baseball news website.

Photo courtesy of Nippon Ham Fighters

Marvin Moore is a former int’l baseball coach and Managing Editor at BaseballdeWorld.com.

Posted in News0 Comments

Yomiuri Giants Ink Taiwanese Prospect

JAPAN – The Yomiuri Giants announced on Friday that they signed 20-year-old Taiwanese pitcher Chih-Lung Huang to an Ikusei contract. Huang possesses a fastball in the low 90s range and reportedly turned down an offer of $125K from the Texas Rangers last year.

The 5’9″, 165 pound right-hander is a former top prospect who enjoyed a storied career as a member of Taiwan’s junior national team. He touched 94 mph a few years ago and was clocked around 86-90 mph in a recent college tournament.

Huang, who had been training with the Giants since the end of October, also throws a slider and a forkball. He was 1-2 with a 4.81 ERA in four appearances at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup for the Chinese Taipei National Team.

Photo courtesy of Taiwan Baseball

Posted in Asia0 Comments

Cuba: Maikel Folch Blanks Sancti Spíritus

CUBA – Lefty Maikel Folch became the first Ciego de Avila pitcher with a complete game shutout in the 49 National Series. He went the distance in a 10-0 victory Wednesday in a shortened eight innings game, allowing only five hits and beating the Sancti Spíritus Roosters.

The Tigers starter was brilliant as he threw a five hit shutout against Sancti Spíritus earning him his third win on the season. Folch (3-0) put on quite a performance showing complete command of his pitches as he dominated the Roosters lineup.

The win gave Folch his 54th career win and 15th career complete game. He threw only 94 pitches in the shutout and routinely threw his fastball right by the Sancti Spíritus hitters and looked as sharp as he ever has in his great career.

In his last three decisions, Folch has all wins and an ERA of 0.39 (1-23.0).

Folch is undefeated this year with a perfect 3-0 record (at home 2-0). The win makes Folch and four other pitchers – starters Ciro Silvino Licea of Granma, Odrisamer Despaigne and Arley Sánchez of Industriales, and closer Yolexis Ulacia of Villa Clara – the only three-game winners this year in the 49 National Series.

The win gave Folch his first complete game shutout of the season while the Tigers are now two games below .500 with a 6-8 record. They remain three games behind the second-place Granma Stallions in the Eastern League of the 2009-2010 National Series.

The best team in the East is the Guantánamo Indians who are at 11-2. Ciego has been playing well after the second week of the tournament and head into the third weekend of the tourney with four wins in their last seven games.

Having a staff ace pitching so well will make the Tigers a tough team to beat in the following series. Folch has been so dominant pitching during the first month of the season that many believe he will have his best season ever.

The left-hander was part of the Cuban National team at the 2009 Baseball World Cup in Europe and ended the tournament with a 0-1 record and a 2.25 ERA.

The Roosters dropped to 9-3 and are now 0.5 games back of the first place Pinar del Río Tobacco Growers in the Western League.

OTHER GAMES:

• CALIXTO GARCIA PARK: Pinar Del Rio 4, Holguin 2
• CRISTOBAL LABRA PARK: Santiago de Cuba 15, Isla de Juventud 3 (7 INN)
• SANTIAGO MEDEROS PARK: Guantanamo 14, Metropolitan 3 (8 INN)
• 5 DE SEPTIEMBRE PARK: Villa Clara 10, Cienfuegos 5
• MARTIRES DE BARBADOS PARK: La Habana 1, Granma 10
• JULIO A. MELLA PARK: Industriales 4, Las Tunas 3

Ray Otero can be reached at: elistas@baseballdecuba.com

Visit BaseballdeCuba for Cuban League news, stats, photos and videos.

Photo courtesy of BaseballdeCuba.com

Posted in Latin, News0 Comments

Venezuela: Magallanes Dumps Caracas

VENEZUELA – Luis Landaeta (pictured) stroked a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh and the Magallanes Navegantes topped the first-place Caracas Leones 6-3 Tuesday in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Jose Sanchez (New York Mets) scattered a lone run and one hit over five impressive frames, while San Francisco Giants prospect Jesus Guzman drilled a three-run shot for the Leones.

ARAGUA 2, LA GUAIRA 1

Minnesota Twins prospects Dustin Martin and Wilson Ramos rapped a pair of hits apiece, and Aragua edged La Guaira to move into fifth-place.

Veteran Major League hurler Wil Ledezma and minor leaguer Jose Rada (St. Louis Cardinals) combined to toss 5 1/3 hitless innings.

Cincinnati Reds farmhand Miguel Rojas accounted for La Guaira’s only score.

MARGARITA 15, LARA 5

Brett Pill (San Francisco Giants) homered and drove in five runs to help the Margarita Bravos end a two-game losing skid with a lopsided 15-5 win against the Lara Cardenales.

Los Angeles Dodgers minor leaguer Alberto Bastardo threw five solid innings to claim the win, and Neil Walker (Pittsburgh Pirates) scored two runs and tallied a pair of RBIs with two hits for the Bravos.

New York Yankees farmhand Edwar Gonzalez collected two RBIs for Lara.

ZULIA 4, CARIBES 1

Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies) snapped a 1-for-21 slump with a two-run homer and the Zulia Aguilas extended their winning streak to three games with a 4-1 win over the Caribes.

Zulia starter Heath Totten surrendered a run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings to notch the win.

Alexis Espinoza (Detroit Tigers) tallied a pair of hits and crossed the plate for the Caribes.

Photo courtesy of Gustavo Briceño

Posted in Latin, News0 Comments

Tim Lincecum Wins 2009 Cy Young Award

UNITED STATES – Former Fresno Grizzlies ace Tim Lincecum has won the National League Cy Young Award for the second year in a row, Major League Baseball announced this afternoon. The Giants right-hander earned the honor, representative of the league’s best pitcher, in a close vote conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

In just his second full Major League season, Lincecum added to his already impressive pitching legend despite winning fewer games this year than in 2008. The 25 year old notched a 15-7 record for the Grizzlies’ parent club, posting a 2.48 ERA and leading the league with 261 strikeouts. He became the first Giant to lead the league in strikeouts for consecutive seasons since Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson (1907-1908).

Lincecum is regarded as the greatest talent in Fresno Grizzlies franchise history. In 2007- his first full season of professional baseball- the right-hander opened the year in Fresno and lasted just five outings in the Pacific Coast League. In those five trips to the mound, he allowed only one run on 12 hits in 31.0 innings, striking out a remarkable 46 batters. In the only outing in which he allowed a run, Lincecum held the Tucson Sidewinders hitless for 6.1 innings at Chukchansi Park.

The Bellevue, WA native becomes only the 8th pitcher in history to capture consecutive Cy Young awards, joining Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Jim Palmer, Denny McClain, and Sandy Koufax. Lincecum’s second Cy Young is the San Francisco Giants’ third as an organization, as Mike McCormick claimed the honor in 1967.

The Fresno Grizzlies return to Chukchansi Park on Friday, April 16 for their home opener of the 2010 season. For information regarding 2010 season ticket, mini plan, and group packages, or the popular internet mini-series “I Hate The OffSeason”, visit FresnoGrizzlies.com , or follow the team at Twitter.com/FresnoGrizzlies and Facebook.com/FresnoGrizzlies.

Source: Fresno Grizzlies

Posted in MLB, News0 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.