Archive | December, 2010

Southern Indiana Heads NCAA Div. II Pre-Season Poll

Defending Div. II Champion Southern Indiana leads the pre-season polls from Collegiate Baseball Newsletter. The runner-up from the 2010 season, UC-San Diego, starts the year off in the #2 slot. Central Missouri, Georgia College and St., and Tampa round out the pre-season top 5 from

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s
NCAA Div. II Pre-Season Poll (As of Dec. 20)
Rank    School Name ’10 Final Record Point Totals
1. Southern Indiana 52-14 640
2. U.C. San Diego 54-8 624
3. Central Missouri 52-11 608
4. Georgia College & St. 42-17 584
5. Tampa 46-11 576
6. Abilene Christian 50-15 550
7. Mount Olive 41-11 532
8. Florida Southern 41-16 516
9. Kutztown 42-15 508
10. Franklin Pierce 43-17-1 492
11. Columbus St. 44-12 482
12. Minnesota St.-Mankato 44-16 478
13. Emporia St. 43-16 472
14. Valdosta St. 41-17 422
15. Francis Marion 40-14 406
16. Southern Arkansas 47-10 386
17. Northern Kentucky 43-17 382
18. St. Mary’s 40-19 376
19. Mesa St. 37-20 360
20. South Carolina-Aiken 32-19 328
21. West Florida 36-20 294
22. Incarnate Word 42-18 272
23. Catawba 40-13 264
24. California, PA 34-18 262
25. Indianapolis 35-22 260
26. Grand Valley St. 37-16 234
27. Cal. St. Dominguez Hills 41-20 228
28. Erskine 41-17 204
29. Rollins 41-19 188
30. Southern Connecticut St. 38-13-1 178
31. Slippery Rock 27-23 166
32. Delta St. 34-16-1 112
33. Florida Tech. 39-16 104
34. Cal. St. San Bernardino 29-15 96
35. North Georgia 34-17 84
36. West Chester 39-14 80
37. Ashland 35-22 78
38. New Mexico Highlands 41-13 60
39. S.E. Oklahoma 32-21 58
40. St. Cloud St. 41-17 54
Winona St. 36-16 54
Cal. St. Chico 36-20 54
Also Receiving Votes: Wayne St. (MI) 24, N.C. Pembroke 24, Mercyhurst 20, Texas-Permian Basin 20, Hawaii Pacific 12, Cameron 10, Western Oregon 10, Seton Hill 10, Mansfield 6, New Haven 2, Tusculum 2, Wingate 2, Carson-Newman 2, Georgia S.W. 2, Bellarmine 2, St. Joseph’s (IN) 2, UMass-Lowell 2, Ft. Hays St. 2, Missouri Southern 2, Nebraska-Kearney 2, Wayne St. (NE) 2, Nova S.E. 2, Barry 2, North Alabama 2, Ouachita Baptist 2, Shepherd 2, Shippensburg 2.

Did Not Report In Time: West Virginia St., St. Edwards, Angelo St., Sonoma St., Central Oklahoma, Adelphi, Rockhurst, West Alabama, Cal. St. L.A., Nebraska-Omaha.

Source: NCAA Division II Poll Committee

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Mexico: Naranjeros Add Dessens, Castilla To Roster

By Bruce Baskin

In a final push to prepare for their title defense, the defending Mexican Pacific League champion Hermosillo Naranjeros have added pitcher Elmer Dessens and third baseman Vinny Castilla while reactivating shortstop Jose Luis Sandoval and outfielder Chris Roberson from the disabled list.

The 39-year-old Dessens  pitched six scoreless innings in three games for the Orangemen last winter and is 23-25 with a 3.41 ERA lifetime in the Mex Pac. The Hermosillo native is 52-64 in 14 major league seasons, including a 4-2 record with a 2.30 ERA in 53 appearances for the New York Mets in 2010.

Castilla, 43, retired from MLB in 2006 after 15 years in the majors, where he is the all-time leader among Mexican-born players with 320 homers and 1,105 RBIs along with a .276 batting average over 1,854 games. While working in the Colorado Rockies front office, he has remained active in winterball with the Naranjeros, for whom he batted .292 with 7 homers in 30 regular season games last season.

Roberson had been hitting .242 with 11 stolen bases in 55 games while the ageless Sandoval was at .236 in 46 contests for Hermosillo before going on the DL. First baseman Erubiel Durazo, who’s been batting .330 with 11 homers in 55 games, is listed as day-to-day with a groin injury.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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Japan: Seibu Lions Re-sign Two Former MLB Pitchers

JAPAN – The Seibu Lions have re-signed former Major League pitchers Brian Sikorski and Alex Graman for the 2011 season. The Lions (78-65-1) finished percentage points behind the Softbank Hawks (76-63-5) in the Pacific League before suffering a pair of one-run losses to the Yomiuri Giants in the opening round of the playoffs.

Sikorski went 2-5 with a 2.57 ERA and led the Pacific League with 33 saves in 58 appearances in 2010. The 36-year-old Michigan native, who made his MLB debut in 2000 with the Texas Rangers, will earn a salary of 90 million yen ($1,090,777) next year.

Graman, 33, will begin his fifth season with Seibu and agreed to a 50 million yen ($60,5987) deal. The left-handed reliever was limited by arm problems to just 9.2 innings the past two seasons, but posted a 3-3 record, 31 saves, and a 1.42 ERA in 2008 as he helped the Lions win the Pacific League championship and the Climax Series before saving Games 1 and 7 of the Japan Series to lead Seibu past the Yomiuri Giants, 4 games to 3.

The Chiba Lotte Marines have announced the signing of Baltimore Orioles farmhand Bob McCrory to helf offset the loss of closer Hiroyuki Kobayashi. The 28-year-old made his major league debut in 2008 against the Tampa Bay Rays. The right-hander posted a 3-4 mark with two saves and a 4.88 ERA with in Double-A action this past season.

The Chunichi Dragons have signed corner infielder/outfielder Joel Guzman to a $500K, one-yearcontract. The 26-year-old was named the Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year in 2004 and was elected to the Florida State League All-Star Game. In 2005, he was named a Southern League All-Star. Guzmán has also played in the All-Star Futures Game twice, in 2004 and 2006.

The Softbank Hawks have signed former Big League hurler Anthony Lerew to bolster its starting rotation. Lerew received a one-year deal worth 50 million yen ($60,5987). The 28-year-old, who earned his first career major league win on June 28 of this year, pitched the 16th no-hitter in the history of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League on Nov. 21, 2010.

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Taiwan: Uni-President Lions Acquire Home Run King from Sinon Bulls

TAIWAN – The Uni-President Lions have acquired the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) all-time home run leader Chang Tai-shan from the Sinon Bulls

for a fee of NT$2.5 million (US$83,333). The 34-year-old slugger has hit 241 long balls in a career that has spanned 15 seasons.

Chang, who is also the CPBL all-time leader with 1,030 RBIs and 1,622 hits, debuted in Taiwan’s professional league in 1996 at the age of 19 with the now
defunct Weichuan Dragons. Three years later, he transferred to the Sinon Bulls.

The Bulls had hoped the popular hitter would remain with the club as a coach or player/coach in 2011, but Chang wanted to continue as an everyday player. He
will earn a salary of NT$210,000 ($7,117) monthly with the Lions after earning NT$250,000 per month ($8,473) this past season.

The last major cash acquisition in the CPBL was in 2009 when the Uni-President franchise paid NT$3 million ($1,016) to the La New Bears for southpaw ace Hsu

In the latest effort to stop the rampant game-fixing problems that threaten the existence of professional baseball in Taiwan, a pair of Taiwan legislative committees passed an amendment recently that would dole out stricter penalties for people involved in match-fixing.

The proposed amendments would require jail terms ranging from three to 10 years, and fines of up to NT$50 million (US$1.66 million) for group game-fixing involving more than three people.

According to the bill jointly passed by the Education and Culture Committee and Finance Committee, any person onvicted of game-fixing could face up to seven years in jail and a fine of between NT$10 million and NT$30 million.

Game-fixing scandals have been consistent in the CPBL since 1996, and the rigging of games nearly caused the death of the league which currently has just four teams. The CPBL, which drew an average of more than 6,000 fans in the mid-90s, attracted between 1,000 and 2,000 spectators this past season.

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Korea: Korean Baseball Organization Expanding to Changwon-si

With the KBO coming off a 2nd straight record setting attendance record (5.928 million people attended games), it is time to talk expansion.

A few days ago NCsoft (a Korean online gaming company) announced it reached an agreement with the KBO to bring an expansion team to Changwon-si. It is rumored they will play at a stadium in Masan that is already undergoing renovation.

But expand to 9 teams? In all likelihood the league will expand to 10 with the new teams starting play in 2013. So where will the other team be if they come? That is still up in the air.

An American businessman, Kenneth Young, submitted an application for an expansion team to play in Ansan, Gyeonggi. It is rumored that he submitted the application stating that he would only invest if the team plays in a domed stadium. Ansan and Hyundai Engineering signed a contract, in 2007, to bring Kore’s first domed stadium to the city.

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Mexico: Mochis Clings To Top As LMP’S Final Week Begins

By Bruce Baskin

The Los Mochis Caneros parlayed a recent six-game win streak into a tenuous lead in the Mexican Pacific League second half standings as the final week of the regular season gets underway. The Caneros lost, 9-6, to Mazatlan Sunday to drop to a 19-10 record, just ahead of 19-11 Hermosillo and 18-11 Culiacan. Mochis finished next-to-last in the first half to gather just 3.5 points but their strong second half showing has assured them of a playoff berth.

Only hapless Navojoa is mathematically out of the six-team postseason picture while Mazatlan and Mexicali are fighting to keep from playoff elimination. Mazatlan wraps up their series in Mochis Monday before hosting Hermosillo in a three-game series while Mexicali ends a set with the Naranjeros Monday prior to a closing series at home against Guasave.

Mochis’ Sandy Madera has taken the lead in the hitting derby with a .360 average while Luis Alfonso Garcia has 21 homers and 60 RBIs to hold comfortable advantages in both categories. Among pitchers, the Caneros’ Alberto Castillo has 9 wins (two more than his closest competitors), Obregon’s Marco Quevedo has taken the ERA lead with a 2.63 figure in the wake of the departure of Hermosillo’s Travis Blackley, and Mexicali’s Andy Sisco is maintaining his season-long strikeouts lead with 80 whiffs.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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Cuba: Legendary Pitcher Pedro Luis Lazo Retires

CUBA – Legendary Cuban Pitcher Pedro Luis Lazo will officially hung up his cleats yesterday after a hugely successful 20-year career which saw the right-hander become the winningest pitcher in the Cuban National series with a whopping 257 victories.

The 37-year-old Lazo (pictured) also ranks among the all-time Cuban League leaders in strikeouts (2nd), complete games (5th), starts (6th), winning percentage (7th), and total innings pitched (2nd).

257 – Pedro Luis Lazo, Pinar Del Rio
234 – Jorge Luis Valdes, Matanzas
234 – Carlos Alberto Yanes, Isla de la Juventud
221 – Braudilio Vinent, Santiago de Cuba
208 – Lazaro De La Torre, Indistriales

Nicknamed the Cuban Skyscraper, the veteran Pinar Del Rio starter has collected four Olympic medals, two gold and a pair of silvers, and plans to work with underprivilege youth.

“My dream is to work with the children. My soul is that of a teacher, a coach who wants to train young champions,” Lazo told Prensa Latina during the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup in the Netherlands.

Isla de la Juventud reliever Carlos Yánes notched his 234th career on Dec. 19 as the Pine Cutters topped the Pinar del Río Tobacco Growers 7-4 in the last game of a three-game set at Capitán San Luis Park in Pinar.

Yánes worked 2 2/3 innings of perfect relief and fanned one to become only the third pitcher in Cuban National Series history to register 2,150 career strikeouts.

The 45-year-old hurler also became the third pitcher in Cuban League history to win 234 games and is playing his 28th consecutive season, a Cuban baseball record.



Team Won Lost
Cienfuegos 16 07
La Habana 15 08
Pinar del Rio 14 09
Industriales 13 11
Sancti Spiritus 11 12
Isla de la Juventud 10 13
Matanzas 09 14
Metropolitanos 04 19


Team Won Lost
Ciego de Avila 16 07
Granma 14 09
Villa Clara 14 10
Guantánamo 13 10
Las Tunas 11 12
Santiago de Cuba 11 12
Holguín 07 16
Camagüey 07 16

Photo courtesy of

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France: French Elite League News and Notes

FRANCE – Minnesota Twins prospect Frederic Hanvi will join the French League club Senart Templiers next fall after his minor league season ends. The Senlis native previously suited up for the Montigny Cougars.

The 21-year-old catcher/outfielder, who is currently the only U.S. minor leaguer who was born in France, batted .131 (8-for-61) with two doubles and five RBIs in 2010 with the GCL Twins (Rookie League).

The Savigny Lions have added three new players – Amin Touahri, Ilyas Touahri and Luis Aponte – to its roster for the 2011 campaign. The Lions finished atop the French regular season this year with a 20-4 record but lost to the Rouen Huskies in the French League championship series.

Amin batted .362 while posting a 2.07 ERA while Ilyas hit .375 and struck out 42 in 43 innings for the Nationale 1 club Thiais.

Aponte, who played for Senart this year, batted .306 in 14 games for the Templiers.

The Pessac Panthers have added a pair of talented hitters, Sebastien Boyer and Maxime Charlot, for the 2011 season. The Panthers competed in the second division this year.

Boyer hit .300 in 15 games with the Savigny Lions this past season while Charlot led STB Toulouse with a .304 batting mark in 22 games.


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Germany: Haar Disciples and Pulheim Gophers Resign Foreign Players

GERMANY – The German League club Haar Disciples have signed former Chicago White Sox prospect Ryan Lee for the 2011 season. The Disciples advanced to the playoffs this past season after finishing in fourth place in the South Division with a 15-13 record.

Lee, an outfielder, was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 41st round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft after attending Cal Poly University. The 24-year-old
hit a combined .287 with 21 extra base hits, 41 RBIs, 61 runs scored and 37 stolen bases in 119 minor league games.

The Pulheim Gophers have re-signed Dutch middle infielder Kevin Faries for the 2011 season. The surprising Gophers narrowly missed the postseason this year after placing fifth in the North Division with a 11-17 record.

The 29-year-old played in all 28 games in 2010 at shortstop (20) and second base (8). Faries, who debuted in the German League in 2005 with the Cologne Cardinals, hit .158 four doubles and twelve runs scored.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

No matter what team you root for, this is a time of peace and joy. We thank everyone for reading, contributing, and for just being a fan of the greatest game on Earth.

From everyone at Baseball de World, we would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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I-70 Baseball Announces First Writers Conference

I-70 Baseball Announces First Writers Conference

I-70 Baseball is proud to announce the organization of the first Midwest Baseball Writers Convention to be held on February 12, 2011 in Springfield, MO.

Baseball writers from around the country are being invited to attend the first ever conference, aimed at creating a networking opportunity for writers to exchange ideas and meet with industry professionals that can assist them in expanding their reach within their industry.

Attendees of the conference will be allowed full access for the day to the various displays inside of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. In addition, guest speakers will grace the auditorium stage at the venue to discuss various topics.

Confirmed Speakers at this time are:
– Representatives from the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) will be on hand to discuss their organization and offer the ability to setup membership that day.
– Rob Rains will be on hand with copies of his book “Cubs Win, Cubs Win, or do they?”
– Tim Danielson of will be on hand to discuss the collecting industry and the impact on
– A Sabermetric expert will be on hand to discuss statistics in today’s game and their place in journalism
– Experts on New Media and it’s reach into mainstream society

Other authors, professional athletes, and experts in their field have been contacted and we are finalizing the full list of guest speakers and celebrity guests.

In addition, I-70 has asked the United Cardinal Bloggers and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance for their involvement and we anticipate a large group of writers to attend the event, giving the unique opportunity for face-to-face interaction and relationship building going into the 2011 Major League Baseball season.

The conference will be an exciting time for writers to meet each other, learn more about their craft, and build their content to an all new level.

In addition, there will be a private dinner for guests and writers at Ebbet’s Field in Springfield, MO the night before the event on February 11.

Contact Bill Ivie, Founder of, at for more information or to reserve your spot today. Attendance will be limited.

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Philippines: Manila Sharks Win Philippines Series 7

By Reuben Terrado

The Manila Sharks completed their journey towards Baseball Philippines history with a masterful beating of the Batangas Bulls.

And it was pitcher Charlie Labrador who put on the finishing touches in the Sharks’ title romp as he shut down the Bulls for a 7-0 victory and rule the Dunkin’ Donuts Baseball Philippines Series 7 at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The right-handed Labrador was tasked on the mound in Manila’s first chance to win their second straight crown.

And Labrador, the 31-year old native of Sorsogon who has been with the Philippine national team for nine years, failed to disappoint his squad.

In a no-relief effort, the brawny hurler allowed just three hits and retired 17 of the final 18 batters, including the final out that saw second baseman Francis Candela catching a pop fly by Charles Catangui to start the celebration.

A follow-up to their Series 6 title last July, the Sharks became the first team in the three-year history of the league to win back-to-back championships while tying Batangas and the Cebu Dolphins for the most number of titles.

It will be a fitting Christmas present for the Sharks, which placed second in the elimination round with a 4-1 slate that saw them suffer a stinging setback to the Bulls. In that game, they lost a 3-1 lead in the eighth and lost 8-4.

“It’s perfect,” said coach Jhoel Palanog. “We entered the finals well prepared and we also focus on the little details. Right from day one of practice, the team really wanted to win.”

Labrador, who gave Batangas a preview of what’s in store in Game 2 with a 1-2-3 ninth inning that saw him strike out two batters, was simply unstoppable as the Bulls had no answer against him to earn the Finals Most Valuable Player award.

It was a redeeming victory for Labrador, who admitted in the previous tournament to have lost his edge and was coughed up with a number of runs in Game 2 of the Series 6 finals against Cebu.

“I really came in prepared for this game because in Series I felt that I didn’t play well,” Labrador said. “Before the game, I was a bit nervous but once I got the hold of the ball, my confidence slowly grew.”

One of the Bulls that was non-existent is Series 7 MVP Vio Roxas. After hitting a solo homer in Game 1, went hitless in four at-bats.

“Our rotation for this series was for Jonjon Robles pitch Game 1 and Charlie in Game 2. That was it,” said Palanog. “I’m glad he was able to step up.”
Robles was ineligible to pitch after exceeding the maximum amount of 50 pitches in Game 1. He struggled last week but the Sharks still won, 8-2.

Labrador also got support from the Manila offense.

The Sharks led 2-0 after five innings but erupted for five runs in the sixth frame that ultimately decided the outcome.

Highlighted that big run in that said inning were two errors from Bulls shortstop Justin Zialcita with two outs. He bobbled a bouncer of Francis Candela at second base that allowed Saxon Omandac and a sliding Nino Tator to extend the margin to 6-0.

On the next at-bat, Zialcita again made a defensive miscue when the ball hit by Christian Galedo sailed past his glove and Candela, who later advanced to second on a stolen base, scored to settle the final score.

Prior to that, Edward Landicho drilled a double to score Jonjon Robles then later touched home plate when a fielding error by pitcher Vladimir Eguia on a groundball by Omandac allowed him to score.

Marvin Malig, who co-shared the Home Run King award with Quezon City’s Ernesto Binarao, drove home Manila’s first run in the opening frame with a double to score Bambol Servo from first base.

Servo later hit his own RBI, a single that allowed Galedo to touch home plate in the bottom of the third inning.

It was a disappointing finish for the Bulls, who posted a five-game sweep of the single-round elims. They then disposed the Alabang Tigers in the semifinals to arrange a finals affair with Manila.

But what was expected to be a pitching duel between the duo of Robles and Labrador against the duo of Eguia and Romeo Jasmin didn’t materialized.

Eguia, who pitched just three innings in Game 1 after coughing up three runs, left the game in the sixth by allowing three runs anew and walked four.

Batangas also committed three errors in the match.

Photo courtesy of Baseball Philippines

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South Korea: Kia Tigers Sign Former MLB Pitcher Travis Blackley

SOUTH KOREA – The Kia Tigers have signed former big league pitcher Travis Blackley. The Australian national team hurler pitched in the farm systems of the New York Mets and Oakland A’s in 2010.

The 28-year-old left-hander was signed by the Seattle Mariners as an amateur free agent in 2000, and made his Mahor League debut on July 1, 2004. He made six starts and went 1-3 with a 10.04 ERA before missing the 2005 season due to injury.

Blackley made it back to “The Show” in 2007 with the San Francisco Giants (0-0, 7.27 ERA) before bouncing around the minor leagues and a short stint in the Mexican League.

The Lotte Giants have announced the acquisition of veteran right-handed reliever Bryan Corey for the 2011 KBO season. The 37-year-old Californian played in the Japanese League this year with the Chiba Lotte Marines.

Corey, who was converted from a position player to a pitcher by the Detroit Tigers in 1995, made his Major League Baseball debut with the Arizona D-Backs in 1998. In parts of five Major League seasons, he compiled a 4-4 mark with a 5.13 ERA in 98 1/3 innings.

The journeyman pitcher has also pitched in the minor league systems for the Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox.

The Nexen Heroes have dealt pitcher Goh Won-joon to the Lotte Giants for veteran reliever Lee Jeong-hoon and infielder Park Jeong-joon. Goh, just 20-years-old, chewed up 131 frames this past season while posting a 5-7 record with a 4.12 ERA.

The 33-year-old Lee, who racked up eight saves and nine holds with a 3.03 ERA in 57 games in 2009, is coming off a horrible season with the Giants.

Injuries kept Park on the sidelines for most of 2010 after establishing himself as a valuable bench player a year earlier.

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Taiwan: Chinese Professional Baseball League Draft

TAIWAN – The Uni-President Lions and the La New Bears selected a pair of former United States minor leaguers Chen Yung-chi and Kuo Yen-wen, with the top two picks Tuesday at the 2010 Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) draft.

Chen, who honed his skills with the the Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations, was the top overall pick by the Lions. The 27-year-old middle infielder with power will reportedly receive a three-year deal worth US$10,000 monthly plus bonus incentives.

Kuo, a versatile 22-year-old infielder capable of playing shortstop, second base and third base was tapped by the Bears with the second pick. The former Cincinnati Reds prospect is considered a stellar defensive player.

The Sinon Bulls, who were projected to take a positional like Catcher Kun-Sheng Lin, stunned CPBL observers by making little-known amateur infielder Huang Chih-pei their top pick, while round, defending champion Brother Elephants picked 26-year-old Tseng Sung-wei with the final choice of the first round.


1 – Yung-Chi Chen, Uni-President Lions
2 – Yen-Wen Kuo, La New Bears
3 – Chih-Pei Huang, Sinon Bulls
4 – Sung-Wei Tseng, Brother Elephants

1 – Wen-Yang Liao, Uni-President Lions
2 – Cheng-Hao Tseng, La New Bears
3 – Hung-Cheng Lai, Sinon Bulls
4 – Chi-Hung Cheng, Brother Elephants

1 – Ying-Shan Wang, Uni-President Lions
2 – Te-Lung Yu, La New Bears
3 – Wen-Cheng Hsu, Sinon Bulls
4 – Chun-Wei Chiu, Brother Elephants

1 – Wan-Lin Tsai, Uni-President Lions
2 – Wei-Jen Wang, La New Bears
3 – Kun-Sheng Lin, Sinon Bulls
4 – Ta-Yuan Kuan, Brother Elephants

1 – En-Tse Huang, Uni-President Lions
2 – Yueh-Teng Hsu, La New Bears
3 – Kai-Lun Chen, Sinon Bulls
4 – Hsiao-Jung Shih, Brother Elephants

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USA: USAB announces ’10 award winners

16U’s Bregman first youth player to receive POY honors

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced its annual year-end award winners on Thursday, recognizing the organization’s Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year, SportsWoman of the Year, Team of the Year and International Performance of the Year. In conjunction with the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), the organization also named its National, Developmental and Volunteer Coach of the Year recipients.
The 16U National Team program received three awards. USA Baseball award winners from the team include second baseman Alex Bregman, receiving the Richard W. “Dick” Case Player of the Year Award, the 16U squad, winning the Team of the Year Award and manager Eric Kibler, receiving National Coach of the Year honors. Bregman and Kibler represent the first youth-level (18U, 16U and 14U National Team programs) player and coach, respectively, to receive player and coach of the year recognition.

Bregman took home Pan Am MVP and All-Tournament Team honors, finishing 22-for-39 (.564) with 17 runs scored, two homers and 17 RBIs over nine games. He also captured awards for scoring the most runs in the tournament and for recording the highest batting average. Seattle Mariners first baseman and 2009 World Cup Team member Justin Smoak was the recipient of the Dick Case Player of the Year Award last year, and other past winners include Stephen Strasburg (2008), Ryan Zimmerman (2004) and Ben Sheets (2000).

The 16U National Team continued its run of international success in 2010, winning its 40th straight game, dating back to 2005, with an 11-4 victory over host Mexico to win the COPABE “AA”/16U Pan American Baseball Championships in Lagos de Mareno. The team established new program records in hits with 143, besting the 122 the team scored in 1998. It also established a new record in runs scored (127), topping the previous high of 119 set in 2006. The World Cup Team (professional players) received the Team of the Year Award in 2009, and the 16U National Team was previously honored with the award in 2001 and 1998.

In addition to managing the 16U Team to gold, Kibler also led Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., to his sixth Arizona 5A state championship in 2010. He donned the red, white and blue in 2010 for the second time, having also served as an assistant coach on the world champion 2009 16U National Team. Kibler follows 2009 winner Eddie Rodriguez from the World Cup Team, and joins Davey Johnson (2005-07) and Tommy Lasorda (2000) as past winners.

“The level of parity within international baseball continues to rise each year, making what the 16U National Team has accomplished over the last several years that much more impressive,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “We are proud to honor Alex, Eric and the 16U Team, along with all of our other 2010 award winners for their accomplishments.”

Jenna Marston of the 2010 Women’s National Team was named USA Baseball’s SportsWoman of the Year. The University of Missouri sophomore — and current Tigers softball star – helped lead Team USA to a bronze-medal finish at the IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup in Maracay, Venezuela. The win marked the second straight World Cup bronze for the U.S. women, and it continued Team USA’s run of medaling in every World Cup since the event’s inception in 2004.

Marston was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the bronze medal game, and for the summer finished as the team leader in hits with 16, doubles with eight, and a .571 average (23-for-39). She anchored the U.S. defense at shortstop, where she was also recognized as a member of the All-Tournament Team. Marston contributed on the mound as well, hurling 14 innings while logging a 2-1 record and a 1.93 ERA. She joins Donna Mills (2004) as the only SportsWoman of the Year Award recipient for USA Baseball.

Chicago Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year Chris Archer was named the winner of the second annual International Performance of the Year which recognizes the athlete who authors the greatest single-game performance on an international stage while wearing the Team USA uniform in a given year. In 2010, Archer contributed such a performance on Oct. 11 for the Pan American Qualifying Team, earning a second-round win over world No. 1 Cuba behind six shutout innings. The right-hander allowed only two hits, while walking none and striking out 10. Pittsburgh Pirates top 2010 pick Jameson Taillon took home the inaugural award in 2009 following his own memorable start against Cuba in the 18U Pan American Baseball Championships.

Bregman, Marston and Archer will be honored with framed jersey presentations at to be determined locations and times.

In addition to Kibler’s recognition as USA Baseball’s National Coach of the Year, the organization also honored 2010 Collegiate National Team manager Bill Kinneberg with its Developmental Coach of the Year Award and Jim Comis with its Volunteer Coach of the Year Award.

Kinneberg has a long history with USA Baseball, first appearing in the red, white and blue as the pitching coach for the 1999 National Team, which ended the summer at 24-15. He worked for several years as the director of the organization’s Athlete Development Program, and was the pitching coach for the 2007 National Team. The 2007 club went 25-12, finishing with a stellar 1.93 team ERA. The 2010 team went 16-3 under Kinneberg, capping its season with a silver medal at the FISU World University Championship.

Comis served as a volunteer instructor, task force member and coach for USA Baseball in 2010, working closely with the organization’s various youth teams and its Collegiate and Women’s Teams. He was most recently the head baseball coach at Needham Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., until his retirement in 2009. He finished his career with 522 wins in high school coaching.

The USOC annually honors one SportsMan, SportsWoman and Team of the year from nominations from its National Governing Bodies (NGB). USA Baseball’s nominations for the awards also serve as the organization’s selections for the Dick Case Player of the Year, SportsWoman of the Year and Team of the Year Awards.


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Japan: Chan Ho Park is Heading to the Orix Buffaloes

The all-time winningest Asian pitcher in MLB history is headed to Japan. Chan Ho Park has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal to pitch for the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball.

Las year, the 37-year-old reliever signed a one-year, $1.2 million deal with the New York Yankees. Park struggled through 27 appearances with the Yankees posting a 5.60 ERA and was designated for assignment on July 31.  He was quickly claimed off of waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Park became the winningest Asian pitcher in MLB history on October 1st of last year. The 2001 All-Star has posted a 124-98 record with a 4.36 ERA.

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Mexico: Oaxaca Names Vazquez Manager For 2011 Campaign

By Bruce Baskin

The Oaxaca Guerreros have appointed veteran manager Marco Antonio Vazquez as skipper for the Mexican League team in the 2011 season. He will replace BBM’s 2010 Manager of the Year, Eddy Diaz, who resigned his post in Oaxaca to become a full-time scout for the Tampa Bay Rays.

A native of Sonora, Vazquez pitched six years in the Liga for five teams in the early 1980’s, going 17-27 with a 4.27 ERA over 107 games. His first managerial job was with Union Laguna of Torreon and Gomez Palacios, turning in a 201-176 record in three seasons between 1989 and 1991 before being replaced in early 1992 by Dave Stockstill.

Vazquez has also spent two stints as manager of the Mexico City Diablos Rojos, who are owned by Alfredo Harp Helu, who also owns the Oaxaca team that just hired him (multiple team ownership is allowed in the LMB). His first go-round with the Red Devils included a Liga pennant in 1994 and berths in the title series in 1995 and 1996. More recently, he managed two years in Mexico City, going 122-91 over 2006 and 2007 and winning division titles both years before first round playoff exits.
Vazquez has also managed winterball teams in Culiacan.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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USA: TCU Ranked #1 in Preseason Poll by Collegiate Baseball

College Baseball Poll – Collegiate Baseball Newspaper


For Immediate Release: Monday, Dec. 20, 2010


TUCSON, Ariz. — Texas Christian University is ranked No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball newspaper’s NCAA Division I pre-season baseball poll.

The Horned Frogs finished third at the College World Series last season and return a deep and experienced ball club for 2011. Seven position player starters are back along with three Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-American starting pitchers in LHP Matt Purke (16-0, 3.02 ERA, 142 K, 34 BB), RHP Kyle Winkler (12-3, 3.39 ERA, 92 K, 36 BB), and RHP Steven Maxwell (11-2, 2.70 ERA, 93 K, 34 BB).

TCU is the only team in the nation with three pre-season All-American pitchers. Offensively, the team hit .334 last season with 178 doubles and 101 homers. The defense turned 71 double plays while pitchers and catchers picked off 15 runners.

TCU suffered two big losses in All-American catcher Bryan Holaday, Easton’s NCAA Division I Defensive Player of The Year last season (7 pickoffs, threw out 23 runners in 50 stolen base attempts over 68 games, .355 BA, 17 HR, 24 2B, 53 RBI) and 1B Matt Curry (.339, 18 HR, 26 2B, 65 RBI).

“I’m excited about our 2011 club,” said TCU Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle.

“We return our entire weekend rotation of pitchers and seven of eight position player starters who helped us go deep into the College World Series. Our starting pitching is superb with Matt Purke, Kyle Winkler and Steven Maxwell. If we can keep them healthy, it gives us a chance most weekends. We have other pitchers who are outstanding as well.”

Schlossnagle said that he has two quality catchers to fill in for the loss of Holaday in Jimmie Pharr and Josh Elander.

“Jimmie hit .363 in 39 games for us last season with 7 homers and 9 doubles. If you average that out over an entire season, those numbers would have been outstanding. Josh played outfield for us last year, but he was drafted as a catcher. So he is outstanding as well. Replacing a guy like Holaday is almost impossible. But if we can get 70 or 80 percent of what he did, then we have a great chance of success. Losing Curry also hurts because he was an exceptional hitter. Both Holaday and Curry were elite defensive players as well.”

One other loss is RHP Kaleb Merck (2-1, 1.47 ERA, 22 APP) who had a great summer in the Cape Cod League and was being looked at to be the closer. Unfortunately, he underwent Tommy John surgery and is out for the season.

As far as pro potential, three TCU players are expected to be picked in the first three rounds of next June’s Free Agent Draft in Purke (1st round), Winkler (2nd-3rd round) and OF Jason Coats (1st-3rd rounds).

Schlossnagle said that sometimes handling success is more difficult than failure.

“We have been having success for a long time at TCU. Being at the College World Series magnified that. Our motto last Fall was to keep the blinders on and try to stay focused every day.”

For a detailed rundown on the top 40 teams, see the Jan. 7, 2011 edition of Collegiate Baseball newspaper which also includes complete details of all top players in each NCAA Division I conference.

The “Collegiate Baseball” Newspaper poll is the oldest college baseball poll. Its birth took place during the 1958 college baseball season.

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s
NCAA Div. I Pre-Season Poll (As of Dec. 20, 2010)
Rank School (’10 Final Record) Points
1. Texas Christian (54-14) 495
2. Florida (47-17) 494
3. UCLA (51-17) 493
4. Clemson (45-25) 489
5. Vanderbilt (46-20) 486
6. Oklahoma (50-18) 483
7. Texas (50-13) 481
8. Texas A&M (43-21-1) 480
9. Oregon (40-24) 479
10. Stanford (31-25) 474
11. Arizona St. (52-10) 473
12. Cal. St. Fullerton (46-18) 470
13. Florida St. (48-20) 469
14. South Carolina (54-16) 467
15. Louisiana St. (41-22) 465
16. Connecticut (48-16) 462
17. Virginia (51-14) 457
18. Miami, Fla. (43-20) 455
19. Georgia Tech. (47-15) 454
20. Louisville (50-14) 451
21. Rice (40-23) 450
22. Arizona (34-24) 445
23. Wichita St. (41-19) 443
24. Coastal Carolina (55-10) 440
25. Auburn (43-21) 437
26. St. John’s (43-20) 435
27. North Carolina (38-32) 434
28. San Diego (37-22) 427
29. Fresno St. (38-25) 426
30. Pittsburgh (38-18) 425
31. Washington St. (37-22) 422
32. Arkansas (43-21) 418
33. California (29-25) 417
34. U.C. Irvine (39-21) 414
35. College of Charleston (44-19) 412
36. Florida Atlantic (37-24) 409
37. Kansas St. (37-22) 407
38. Hawaii (35-28) 402
39. Baylor (36-24) 401
40. Kent St. (39-25) 398
Other Teams Receiving Votes: Florida International, U.C. Riverside, N.C. State, Oregon St., Mississippi, Kentucky, Southern California, Washington, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi St., Oklahoma St., Missouri, South Florida, Nebraska, Cal Poly, Long Beach St., U.C. Santa Barbara, Florida Gulf Coast, Liberty, Minnesota, Michigan, James Madison, Southern Mississippi, East Carolina, Central Florida, Central Michigan, Bethune-Cookman, Illinois St., San Diego St., Tennessee Tech., The Citadel, Texas St., Northwestern St., Oral Roberts, Louisiana Lafayette, Western Kentucky, Lamar, Portland, Pepperdine, Gonzaga, Nevada, New Mexico St., San Jose St., Charlotte, Mercer, East Tennessee St., Jacksonville, Georgia St., Tulane, Utah Valley St., New Mexico, Stony Brook, Iowa, Wisc.-Milwaukee, Canisius, Bryant, Jacksonville St., Dallas Baptist, Le Moyne.Source: Collegiate Baseball Newspaper

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Mexico: Six Players Suspended After Brawl in Mexicali

By Bruce Baskin

A bench-clearing brawl between the Mexicali Aguilas and visiting Obregon Yaquis on December 16 resulted in a Yaquis baserunner being flattened, two ejections (including said flattened baserunner) and a total of six suspensions with fines from Mexican Pacific League president Omar Canizales.

With two out in the top of the sixth inning and Obregon leading, 6-1, Yaquis left fielder Jeff Salazar drew a walk and subsequently stole second. After a pickoff attempt by Mexicali pitcher Alejandro Martinez bounced off Salazar into left field, the former Arizona Diamondbacks player exchanged words and then fists with Aguilas second baseman second Oswaldo Morejon, precipitating the brawl. While squaring off with Morejon, Salazar was flattened by a blindside football-style hit from Martinez and lay motionless near second base while bedlam ensued around him. Amazingly, only Salazar and Morejon were ejected from the game.

Canizales took action one day later, suspending Mexicali’s Morejon and Martinez four games each and Moe Munoz for a single game, while dishing out two-game suspensions to Obregon’s Emil Brown and Agustin Murillo plus a one-night sitdown for Salazar. “I feel sad and distressed by the events that occurred,” Canizales said. “We offer our apologies to fans present at the stadium and those following action on TV.”

A video of the brawl can be seen at

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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Mexico: Monterrey-Chihuahua Wins Academy Rookie League Crown

By Bruce Baskin

A combined team of prospects for the Monterrey Sultanes and Chihuahua Dorados have won the 2010 Academy Rookie League pennant with a 44-17 record, beating out Mexico City-Oaxaca by one game. Mexico City-Oaxaca finished their schedule at 43-18 as both teams finished above the .700 mark while the LAR’s other three teams had winning percentages of .400 or less.

Monterrey-Chihuahua topped Mexico City-Oaxaca, 5-3, last Saturday behind Jose Colorado’s three-run homer in the eighth inning to clinch the title at the Monterrey-area academy, where ten Mexican League teams house their young players for training. Five combined teams comprise the on-site league.

Jose Figueroa of Mexico City-Oaxaca led the LAR in four offensive categories: Batting (.363), hits (86), runs scored (60) and triples (8). Monterrey-Chihuahua’s Jaciel Ramos topped the circuit with 5 homers while teammate Jean Rubalcava, who was second with a .359 batting average, led with 48 RBIs.

Among pitchers, Ruben Farias of Monterrey-Chihuahua’s nine wins were best in the LAR, while moundmate Jose Garcia had a league-leading 0.87 ERA. Mexico City-Oaxaca’s Aldo Flores and David Reyes each had 89 strikeouts, while MXC-OAX closer Ivan Cota was tops with 8 saves.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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Mexico: Blackley Signs With Korean Team, Done With Hermosillo

By Bruce Baskin

The Mexican Pacific League’s ERA leader is finished for the winter. Former major leaguer Travis Blackley (pictured), who was 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA for the Hermosillo Naranjeros, is back home in his native Australia and through pitching for the defending champion after signing a 2011 contract with a team in the Korea Baseball Organization. His new team has ordered him to stop pitching in Mexico despite a Naranjeros website claim that Blackley “did his utmost to get permission” to return to Hermosillo for the rest of the winter.

To replace Blackley on the roster, the Naranjeros picked up another ex-MLB lefty, Randy Keisler, off the Obregon Yaquis roster. Keisler, who went 4-4 in parts of three seasons with the Reds, Athletics and Cardinals between 2005 and 2007, was signed by Obregon in early December after a 3-3 summer with the Mexican League’s Laguna Vaqueros in 2010, but never pitched an inning for the Yaquis.

To replace Blackley on the roster, the Naranjeros picked up another ex-MLB lefty, Randy Keisler, off the Obregon Yaquis roster. Keisler, who went 4-4 in parts of three seasons with the Reds, Athletics and Cardinals between 2005 and 2007, was signed by Obregon in early December after a 3-3 summer with the Mexican League’s Laguna Vaqueros in 2010, but never pitched an inning for the Yaquis.

Bruce Baskin is the Editor/Producer at the BASEBALL MEXICO website.

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Italy: T&A San Marino Signs Two Foreign Players

ITALY – The Italian Baseball League club T&A San Marino have come to terms with former New York Yankees farmhand Wuillians Vasquez and American pitcher Pete Avvento for the 2011 season.

The 27-year-old switch hitter, who suited up for the Titans in 2008 and 2009, batted .229 with 18 home runs and 117 RBIs in four minor league seasons.

The Acarigua, Venezuela native played in the Dutch League with Mr. Cocker HCAW in 2010 and hit .376 to finish second in the batting race.

Avvento, a 5-foot-7-inch, 160-pound southpaw, completed his second season with the Federal Serie A club Rebecchi Piacenza and led the Wolves in ERA (2.25) and strikeouts (53), and finished in the top 10 in 15 pitching categories.

The 21-year-old also made a successful transition switch from the team’s closer to starting pitcher in midseason, and went 5-1 down the stretch.

Montepaschi Grosseto has hired Enrico Vecchi to replace manager Ruggero Bagialemani for the 2011 IBL season. Bagialemani declined options for 2011 and 2012 last month and has left the Orioles club.

Vecchi is a 40-year-old former outfielder who played in Italy’s top league from 1988-98. He played 354 games with Grosseto as a player and helped the club capture the IBL crown in 1989.

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Taiwan: CPBL Draft Preview

TAIWAN – A quartet of former United States minor leaguers – Chen Yung-Chi, Tseng Sung-Wei, Kuo Yen-Wen, and Cheng Chi-Hung – headline a large cast of 88 players that will be available in this year’s Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), according to a league press release.

The Uni-President Lions will have the top overall pick in the Dec. 21 draft, followed by the La New Bears, Sinon Bulls and Brother Elephants.

The 27-year-old Chen is a power-hitting middle infielder who has spent time in the farm systems of the Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tseng, 26, is a hard-throwing righty who pitched in the Cleveland Indians organization the last three years.

The 22-year-old Kuo, who played in the Cincinnati Reds farm system for three years, is a versatile infielder with superior defensive skills.

The Elephants selected right-hander Lin En-yu with the No. 1 pick in last year’s CPBL draft, while Sinon plucked 18-year-old Chang Keng-hao of Nan Ying Vocational High School. Two more hurlers, Lee Chu-kwan and Tsai Ching-hao, were chosen third and fourth, respectively, by the Bears and Lions.

The four league clubs selected a total of 51 players in the 2009 draft. This year’s draft will end after all the teams have renounced their rights to make picks.

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Cuba: 50th Cuban National Series Standings

CUBA – Yasel Puig connected for a pair of home runs and Yunier Leyva tossed eight strong innings to help the Cienfuegos Elefantes stomp the Matanzas Cocodrilos, 8-1, Wednesday in action from the 50th Cuban National Series. Cienfuegos holds a slim one-game lead over the second place La Habana Vaqueros.

Puig, a centerfielder who is hitting .377, went 4-for-5 with three RBIs to lead a 17-hit barrage. Third baseman Darian Gonzalez and leftfielder Lazaro Rodrigues collected three hits apiece as the top of the lineup for the Elefantes combined to go 10-for-15 with three long balls, five RBIs and seven runs scored.

Leyva opened the contest with seven shutout frames before losing the shutout bid in the eighth. He allowed five hits, three walks and a strikeout to earn the win.

In other West League encounters, cellar-dwelling Isla de la Juventud knocked off La Habana, 5-2; Industriales pounded Sancti Spiritus, 9-4; and Pinar del Rio tripped Metropolitanos, 6-4.


Team Won Lost
Cienfuegos 10 04
La Habana 09 05
Sancti Spíritus 08 06
Industriales 08 07
Pinar del Río 07 07
Matanzas 06 08
Metropolitanos 04 10
Isla de la Juventud 04 10

In the East League, Ciego de Avila (9-5) sits atop a crowded field of contenders. The Tigres were slated to battle Las Tunas in Wednesday’s primetime televised matchup.

Villa Clara, just percentage points behind Ciego de Avila, dropped a 6-5 decision to last-place Camaguey. Guantanamo spanked Granma, 12-7, and Holguin stopped Santiago de Cuba, 8-5.


Team Won Lost
Ciego de Avila 09 05
Villa Clara 09 06
Granma 08 06
Santiago de Cuba 08 06
Las Tunas 08 06
Guantánamo 07 07
Holguín 04 10
Camagüey 17 16

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Who will win the 2017 World Baseball Classic?

  • Puerto Rico (31%, 27 Votes)
  • Dominican Republic (13%, 11 Votes)
  • USA (13%, 11 Votes)
  • Mexico (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Cuba (8%, 7 Votes)
  • Venezuela (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Netherlands (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Japan (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Chinese Taipei (1%, 1 Votes)
  • South Korea (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Canada (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 88

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