Archive | March, 2011

South Korea: Daegu to Build New Stadium by 2014

SOUTH KOREA – This past February 1st, the city of Daegu announced they would be building a new baseball stadium at Daegu Grand Park Station. Construction will begin at the end of 2012 with the stadium being ready for play by 2014.

It will take the city some time to clear the land and finish fully purchasing the land. The cost is estimated at 150 billion won. The stadium will be 150,000 sq. ft. with 25,000 seats and a capacity around 30,000.

Currently the Samsung Lions play at Daegu Baseball Stadium built in 1982.

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France: News and Notes from Week 1

FRANCE – Boris Marche raced home on an error in the bottom of the ninth and the Rouen Huskies claimed a thrilling 8-7 comeback victory against the Savigny Lions last weekend to salvage a twinbill split on the opening weekend of the French League.

Marche, Luc Piquet and David Gauthier led the six-time reigning champion with two hits apiece while American David Washington reached base four times on a hit and three walks.

Savigny, which outhit Rouen 12-8, were led by a 4-for-4 effort by centerfielder Eric De Blanc. Florian Peyrichou added three hits while Yann Dal Zotto homered and joined Vincent Ferreira with two hits apiece.

Keino Perez (1-1) came out of the bullpen to tally the final two outs for the Huskies.

The Lions roared to a lopsided 12-4 triumph to open the new season on a winning note. Ferreira and Luis Aponte paced a 15-hit attack with a combined six hits, five runs and three RBIs.

American Clayton Cooper (1-0), who went 9-2 with a 2.04 ERA two years ago for the Brasschaat Braves (Belgian League), scattered a walk, three hits and seven strikeouts over five scoreless innings to notch the win.

Rouen centerfielder Kenji Hagiwara went 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs.

MONTPELLIER SPLITS WITH SENART
Mathieu Brelle-Andrade tossed a complete game shutout and Frederic Hanvi collected two hits and scored a run to help the Senart Templiers start the season with a 2-0 victory against the Montpellier Barracudas.

Brelle-Andrade (1-0) allowed a walk and six hits while racking up 12 strikeouts in the low-scoring affair to earn the win.

Montpellier starter Joris Navarro (0-1) was tagged with the setback despite limiting the Barracudas to a pair of runs on two hits and an equal number of walks. Reliever Thomas Meley worked four scoreless innings in a losing effort.

The Barracudas used a pair of seven-run frames to win a slugfest in the second game, 18-9, to salvage an Opening Day split.

Anthony Cros reached base six times on two hits and four walks to lead Montpellier, which capitalized on a whopping 16 walks by Senart hurlers. The Barracudas’ shortstop also scored a trio of runs and tallied three RBIs.

Laurent Andrades (1-0) scattered nine hits and three runs over five innings to get the win.

PARIS, PESSAC SETTLE FOR DRAW
American Will Munson fanned 13 and Fred Mouchet had three hits to lead Paris University Club (PUC) to a 11-1 victory over the Pessac Panthers.

Munson (1-0) allowed two hits, one run and a walk in eight strong innings to win his French League debut, while Mouchet reached base four times and tallied three RBIs for PUC.

The Panthers sprinted out to an early 5-0 lead and cruised to a 17-6 triumph in the twinbill finale. Reliever Guillaume Gisbert (1-0) allowed a lone hit in four scoreless frames to nab the win.

Alexandre Defontaine led Pessac with a 5-for-5 effort and teammate Aurélien Leroy collected four hits.

TOULOUSE WALLOPS MONTIGNY
Oakland A’s prospect Andy Paz drove in six runs and Stade Toulousain used a seven-run third to rout the Montigny Cougars, 18-2, in the first game of a doubleheader. The Cuban-born catcher had three hits, including a pair of triples, in a contest that saw United States Consulate David Brown toss out the ceremonial first pitch.

Frederic Rouge added four RBIs and Sebastien Morgavi chipped in three hits for skipper Gerardo LeRoux’s youthful squad.

Toulouse completed the sweep with a 10-5 victory in the second meeting. Reliever Euri Garcia-Martinez (0-1) worked three innings of one-run ball to earn the win.

FRENCH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
STB Toulouse 02 00 Won 2
Montpellier Barracudas 01 01 Won 1
Paris University Club 01 01 Lost 1
Pessac Panthers 01 01 Won 1
Rouen Huskies 01 01 Won 1
Savigny Lions 01 01 Lost 1
Senart Templiers 01 01 Lost 1
Montigny Cougars 00 02 Lost 2

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Spain: Week 5 Updates/Standings

SPAIN – Venezuelan slugger Richard Montiel drove in eight runs with a pair of home runs and the Tenerife Marlins salvaged a Spanish League doubleheader split with a 14-9 road victory last Saturday over the much-improved Valencia Astros.

Montiel, who has won five league batting titles in seven seasons, finished off a five-run second with a three-run shot off Pedro Luis Peraza (1-1)to give the Marlins a 7-0 lead. The first baseman added a grand slam in the eighth to put the game out of reach.

American Whitney Robinson went 2-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs for the Astros.

Tenerife starter Miguel Rizo (3-0) went the distance scattering nine runs and 12 hits in a sloppy contest that featured a whopping 11 errors.

Valencia (8-2) took the first game, 8-1, behind another strong outing by left-handed ace Trevor Caughey. The California native limited Tenerife’s potent lineup to a lone score on eight hits while tallying nine strikeouts to improve to 3-0 on the young season.

Sandel Cuevas paced the Astros with a pair of long balls and five RBIs while Alejandro Sanchez, who entered the game batting .235 (4-for-17), stroked a trio of hits in four at-bats for the Marlins (8-2).

FC BARCELONA SWEEPS SANT BOI
Jesus Golindano singled home the winning runs in walk-off fashion with two outs to lift FC Barcelona past Sant Boi, 6-5, Saturday. The talented third baseman finished the game 3-for-3 with two walks to raise his batting average to .393.

Daniel Martinez reached base four times, scored two runs, collected an RBI and stole a pair of bases for Sant Boi.

Reliever Jorge Balboa (3-0) picked up the win despite facing just two batters.

Barcelona (9-1) finished off the sweep of the reigning Spanish champion with a 3-1 triumph the following day. Ricardo Hernandez (4-0) fanned seven while allowing one run on two hits and a pair of walks in a complete game effort.

SAN INAZIO TROUNCES SEVILLA
Jose Romero pitched one-run ball over six-plus frames to lead San Inazio Bilbao to a 9-1 victory against the Sevilla Red Sox. The 24-year-old righty racked up seven strikeouts and allowed just two hits and a pair of walks to improve his record to 3-2.

Javier Flores doubled and collected two RBIs for San Inazio which profited from 10 walks by Red Sox hurlers.

San Inazio (5-5) finished off the sweep a day later against Sevilla (0-8) with a convincing 14-2 win in a matchup stopped after seven frames due to the Mercy Rule. Ruben Cabrera broke out of a 3-for-24 slump with five hits and three RBIs, while Kelvin Marianucci went deep and drove in three scores.

Alberto Magallon (1-3) worked five solid innings to pick up his first win of the season.

VILADECANS REBOUNDS AGAINST NAVARRA
Light-hitting David Albado raced home on a throwing error in the 11th to help Viladecans edge Navarra, 2-1, Saturday. Marc Jodar (1-0) struck out eight over five scoreless relief frames to notch his first win of the year.

Viladecans (3-5), a much-improved squad which has lost four games by two runs or less, completed the two-game sweep on Sunday with a 9-3 victory. Gabriel Camino (1-1) fanned seven while tossing one-hit ball over five shutout innings to earn the win.

Navarra (4-6) was led by shortstop Adolfo Gonzalez who tallied two RBIs.

PAMPLONA, VIGO SPLIT DOUBLEHEADER
Gabriel Guerrero doubled, homered and drove in three runs to help CD Pamplona beat the Vigo Halcones, 5-2, Saturday to salvage a twinbill split. The 19-year-old shortstop went 3-for-4 to raise his batting average from .111 to .194.

Marco Marques connected for his second long ball of the day for the Halcones (3-7).

Alberto Casanellas (1-2) picked up the win despite surrendering 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings to help Pamplona claim its second victory in 10 games.

Vigo took the opening game 5-0 behind a gutsy effort by Jose Navas. The 19-year-old Navas (2-3), who tallied 10 strikeouts, overcame five hits and a whopping nine walks to earn the complete game shutout win.

SPANISH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
FC Barcelona 09 01 Won 8
Tenerife Marlins 08 02 Won 1
Valencia Astros 08 02 Lost 1
Sant Boi 06 04 Lost 4
San Inazio Bilbao 05 05 Won 2
Baseball Navarra 04 06 Lost 2
Viladecans 03 05 Won 3
Vigo Halcones 03 07 Lost 1
Pamplona 02 08 Won 1
Sevilla Red Sox 00 08 Lost 8

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Brazil: Outfielder Paulo Orlando Might Start Season in Triple A

OMAHA – Only two players from Brazil have made it to the Triple A level in baseball. A third might start the season there this year.

Paulo Orlando, an outfielder from Sao Paulo, was optioned to AAA Omaha recently. It looks as though Orlando might start the season with the Storm Chasers if either Gregor Blanco or Jarrod Dyson start the year with the Kansas City Royals.

Orlando spent last season in AA with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals where he hit .305 with 13 home runs, 65 RBI, and 25 stolen bases. This is his 6th year in the minor leagues having spent his first three with the Chicago White Sox organization before being traded late in 2008.

The previous two Brazilian players to reach AAA were Jo Matumoto with Syracuse in 2008 and Jose Pett with Syracuse and Calgary in 1996/1997. Both were pitchers.

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Italy: Reggio Emilia Sign American Thomas DiBenedetto Jr.

ITALY – Palfinger Reggio Emilio announced the signing of American Thomas DiBenedetto Jr. He recently received an Italian passport and will become the new shortstop.

DiBenedetto was drafted in 2008 by the Boston Red Sox and spent 2 seasons in their organization. Thomas spent last season bouncing around the independent leagues in the USA. In college Thomas helped lead his school, Trinity College, to the NCAA D3 title where he was a standout shortstop.

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France: Season Preview

FRANCE – A season-opening showdown between the six-time French champion Rouen Huskies and the Savigny Lions will headline the French Baseball League Opening Day matchups on Sunday, March 27. The Huskies stopped the Lions in last year’s championship series to capture their seventh national title in the last eight years.

Other Opening Day matchups has the Montpellier Barracudas hosting the Senart Templiers, the Montigny Cougars visiting Stade Toulousain Baseball, and the Pessac Panthèrs on the road against Paris University Club.

SUNDAY, MARCH 27
Savigny Lions at Rouen Huskies
Senart Templiers at Montpellier Barracudas
Montigny Cougars at Stade Toulousain Baseball
Pessac Panthèrs at Paris University Club

Below is a brief outlook of all eight French League teams.

1. ROUEN HUSKIES
The Huskies rebounded from an uncharacteristic third-place finish (17-7) during the regular season a year ago to beat Savigny in four games to claim their sixth consecutive league crown. American imports OF-C David Washington, LHP-INF Jordan Chrystal and RHP Owen Ozanich will join a strong nucleus of standouts that includes Keino Perez (5-4, 2.10 ERA), Kenji Hagiwara (11 SB), Luc Piquet (.280), David Gauthier (.286), Anthony Piquet(3-0, 1.77 ERA), Boris Marche (8 2B, 21 RBIs) and Joris Bert (.337, 27 SB).

2. SAVIGNY LIONS
The Lions seemed poised to win their first title since 2004 after winning last year’s regular season crown with a 20-4 record. However, Rouen foiled Savigny’s championship hopes for the second straight year in the French finals. Top players Christophe Goniot (.410), Pierrick Lemestre (2.67 ERA) and Florian Peyrichou (.388) will be joined by newcomers OF Eric DeBlanc (USA), RHP Clayton Cooper (USA), Enrique Trinidad (Dominican Republic), Diasuke Ikenaga (Japan) and Luis Aponte (Venezuela).

3. MONTPELLIER BARRACUDAS
The surprising Barracudas finished in second-place during the regular season last year with an 18-6 record before going 2-5 in the playoffs. Anthony Cros returns after a one-year stint with the Québec Capitales (Can-Am League) and will be joined by Cuban corner infielder Alejandro Zuaznabar. Thomas Langloys (8-0, 1.83 ERA) and Joris Navarro (56 K’s in 61.1 innings) will anchor the pitching staff.

4. SENART TEMPLIERS
The Templiers suffered through a dismal 2010 campaign finishing 12-12 in the regular season before crashing out of the postseason with a 2-7 card. A pair of Canadians, Kevin Atkinson and Devon Franklin, will join newcomers Frederic Hanvi (Montigny) and Brice Lorienne (Clermont-Ferrand) to bolster the revamped roster of first-year manager Jamel Boutagra. Top hitter Ernesto Martinez batted .390 last year while Julien Brelle Andrade scored 31 runs and reliever Matthieu Brelle Andrade posted a 2.44 ERA. However, the fortunes of the Templiers may rest on the surgically-repaired hand of staff ace Samuel Meurant (4-4, 1.98 ERA).

5. STADE TOULOUSAIN BASEBALL
STB Toulouse finished in fifth-place last year with a 9-15 record and has a wealth of young prospects which bodes well for the future. 22-year-old righty Euri Garcia Martinez (5-1, 3.84 ERA) will be joined by 17-year-old Cuban starter Leonel Cespedes (6.88 ERA) and 20-year-old reliever Thomas Dourlens (32 strikeouts). Highly-touted teenage backstop Andy Paz (Oakland A’s signee) and 17-year-old southpaw David Van Heyningen (Saint-Martin) are the promising newcomers.

6. PARIS UNIVERSITY CLUB
New skipper Jeff Stoeckel will be calling the shots for a retooled PUC squad this season. American right-hander Will Musson was signed to upgrade a porous pitching unit. Former All-European hurler Nicolas Dubaut (.372) led the team with 16 RBIs a year ago while fanning 38 hitters in 39-plus frames. Talented slugger Douglas Rodriguez (.366) is another key piece of the offensive attack for the Paris club.

7. PESSAC PANTHERS
The promoted Panthers captured the second division crown last year and should matchup well with the bottom half of the league teams. Former STB Toulouse standout Maxime Charlot (.304) and Sebastien Boyer (Savigny) should provide a spark at the plate, while veteran hurlers Patrice Briones and Guillaume Gisbert will lead the pitching staff.

8. MONTIGNY COUGARS
The Cougars went 5-19 last year but ended the regular season with a two-game winning streak. Noel Ehrt led the team at the plate with a .328 batting mark. Sebastien Duchossoy paced Montigny with 18 RBIs while Arnaud Fau clubbed a pair of home runs. But a youth movement without any foreign mercenaries does not bode well for the 2011 Cougars.

RECENT FRENCH LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
2010 – Rouen Huskies
2009 – Rouen Huskies
2008 – Rouen Huskies
2007 – Rouen Huskies
2006 – Rouen Huskies
2005 – Rouen Huskies
2004 – Savigny Lions
2003 – Rouen Huskies
2002 – Savigny Lions
2001 – Savigny Lions
2000 – Paris Université Club

Marvin Moore is a freelancer writer at i-BaseballContent.com

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Player Profile – Bryan Marquez SS/2B

Bryan Marquez – SS/2B

Bryan spent the last year and a half in the Frontier League where he played middle infield and third base for Kalamazoo and Gateway. Prior to entering the world of professional baseball, Bryan was a standout at New Mexico State University. In his senior year playing shortstop, Marquez hit 22 home runs, drove in 85 runs, scored 83 runs, and hit at a .414 clip. In addition to his outstanding year at the plate, Bryan showed his range in the field by setting a school record for assists (213) and recorded 46 double plays on the season.

Some stats from his time in the New Mexico State University:

2009 stats: .414 avg/22 home runs/83 runs/.534 obp/.795 slg
2008 stats: .270 avg/6 home runs/46/runs/.413 obp/.443 slg

2009 Brooks Wallace Award Watch list (National Shortstop ofthe Year Award)
2009 Dick Howser Trophy Semi-finalist for National Player of the Year (1 of 16)
2009 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) 1st Team Shortstop
2009 NCAA Division 1 Louisville Slugger All-America 1st Team Shortstop
2009 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Semi-finalist (1 of 30)

Bryan also spent some time as captain at Green River Community College which plays in a wood bat league. As a freshman in 2006, Bryan earned first-team Western Region honors as a third baseman hitting .365 with 10 doubles and 15 RBI. In 2007, Bryan continued his hot bat hitting .340 with 4 home runs, 8 doubles, and 25 RBI and again garnered first-team Western Region honors.

Hometown: Bonney Lake, Washington
bmar4444@yahoo.com
Phone: 1-253-632-4993
Birthdate: 04/25/1987
Height/Weight: 6’0″/190 lbs

College: Green River Community College/New Mexico State University

References:

Matt Acker

Rich Heiten

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Japan: Central League Postpones Season Start Date

JAPAN – After an emergency board meeting, the Central League of Nippon Professional Baseball has pushed back the start of the 2011 season until April 12. This matches what the Pacific League had already decided.

The Central League had initially decided to move their season start date to March 29, but changed it once again after a lot of pressure from the government.

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Japan: Central League to Hold Emergency Board Meeting

JAPAN – With the devastation from the Earthquake and Tsunami, baseball in Japan has had to make some changes especially to its original starting date of March 25.

Only 1 stadium was damaged in the tragic events. The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles are located in Sendai. They will play their early season games at a stadium in Kobe until repairs can be made.

The Pacific League, which the Golden Eagles play in, has pushed back the start of their season until April 12. Currently the Central League has stated that games will start on March 29, but the CL is having an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the schedule. The players union has been pushing the CL to push back their start date to match that of the Pacific League.

Some night games are also being moved to the day time in order to save on electricity. This will help with the electrical shortage that is plaguing the island.

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Taiwan: Lions Pound Elephants in Season Opener

TAIWAN – The Uni-President Lions pounded the defending champion Brother Elephants 9-0 to win their opening game of the 2011 Season. Yang Song-hsuen, Pan Wu-hsiung, Chen Yong-chi, and former Sinon Bull Chang Tai-shan all went deep in the victory.

New Lions Chen and Chang started off with a bang going a combined 7-for-9 with 4 RBIs.

Lions starter Pan “Du Du” Wei-luen pitched seven scoreless innings scattering 5 hits to pick up the victory.

Lamigo Monkeys 11, Sinon Bulls 4

In other action, the Lamigo Monkeys pounded the Sinon Bulls. Ken Ray pitched 6 strong innings to pick up the win.

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Spain: Valencia Astros Sweep Sant Boi

SPAIN – Americans Trevor Caughey and Bobby Carrington combined on an eight-hit shutout and the Valencia Astros stunned Sant Boi 11-0 Sunday in the first game of a Spanish League doubleheader. The former league cellar-dwellar finished off the improbable sweep with a 2-0 triumph in the twinbill finale.

Caughey (2-0), who suited up for Technika Brno (Czech Republic) last year, fanned seven while scattering six hits and no walks over seven innings to notch his second win of the young season. Carrington, who pitched in the Dutch League (Sparta/Feyenoord) a year ago, worked the final two frames to deal the reigning Spanish champion its first setback.

Sandel Cuevas reached base four times and tallied three RBIs, while Pedro Mendez and Canadian shortstop Aaron Hornostaj each added a pair of hits and drove in a combined three scores.

Eli Garcia (2-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs in just 2 2/3 innings.

Valencia (7-1) rode another solid outing by veteran right-hander Pedro Belmonte to surprise Sant Boi in their second encounter. Belmonte (4-0) went the distance allowing a walk and seven hits as the Astros handed the home team another shutout loss.

Previously unbeaten Sant Boi fell to 6-2 on the season.

BARCELONA WINS TWICE AGAINST HALCONES
Ricardo Hernandez worked five scoreless frames and Oscar Angulo drove in a pair of runs to help FC Barcelona subdue the Vigo Halcones, 4-1, Saturday. Angulo, who was hitting .667 (16-for-24) heading into Week 4, had two hits and a pair of steals.

Hernandez (3-0) limited opposing hitters to just three hits while tallying eight strikeouts in another strong showing. American Jason Friedman threw the final four innings to register his first save of the year.

Barcelona (7-1) finished off the series sweep with a 7-2 victory the following day. Jorge Balboa (2-0) tossed five hitless innings and Jose Luis Salazar paced the offense with two RBIs in a contest that featured a combined 17 walks and eight wild pitches by both squads.

Vigo (2-6) lost for the sixth time in eight games.

NAVARRA STOPS SEVILLA RED SOX
Juan Jose Lopez tossed five scoreless innings and Baseball Navarra capitalized on 12 walks to roll past the Sevilla Red Sox, 11-0, Saturday. Lopez (1-1) allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out eighth to claim his first win of the season.

Adolfo Gonzalez drove in three runs with a double and a trio of walks, and Lazaro Leyva recorded the final six outs to seal the win.

Navarra (4-4) completed the two-game sweep on Sunday with a 13-8 triumph. Gonzalez led the offensive attack with a 5-for-7 effort and two RBIs, and reliever Andres Casado (2-0) surrendered a run and a trio of hits with four strikeouts in three innings on the hill to earn the win.

Sevilla (0-6), which has been outscored 67-10, remained winless after six games.

VILADECANS SALVAGES SPLIT WITH PAMPLONA
Pol Llopis turned in a stellar outing on the mound and Viladecans trounced Pamplona 10-0 Sunday to gain a split in the two-game weekend series. Llopis (1-2) scattered three hits, five strikeouts and a trio of walks over eight shutout frames to earn his first win of the year.

Alex Tenllado and Aderly Grullon tallied three hits apiece, while Miguel Catalan added a pair of doubles for the winning side.

Pamplona took the series opener on Saturday, 2-1, as Alexis Fumero outdueled Carlos Amaro in a low-scoring affair. Fumero (1-3) struck out 10 while giving up a lone score and four hits in a complete game outing.

Amaro (1-2) also went the distance but was the tough-luck loser despite allowing just two runs and six hits in eight innings with no walks and 11 strikeouts.

Viladecans dropped to 1-5 on the season while Pamplona (1-7) has notched only one win in eight games.

TENERIFE HOLDS OFF STUBBORN SAN INAZIO
The Tenerife Marlins remained tied atop the league table with a pair of victories (4-3 and 11-1) against San Inazio Bilbao. With the wins, the Marlins improved to 7-1 while San Inazio (3-5) lost for the fifth time in eight outings.

SPANISH BASEBALL LEAGUE

Team Won Lost Streak
FC Barcelona 07 01 Won 6
Tenerife Marlins 07 01 Won 2
Valencia Astros 07 01 Won 7
Sant Boi 06 02 Lost 2
Baseball Navarra 04 04 Won 3
San Inazio Bilbao 03 05 Lost 5
Vigo Halcones 02 06 Lost 4
Viladecans 01 05 Won 1
Pamplona 01 07 Lost 1
Sevilla Red Sox 00 06 Lost 6

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Sweden: Goteborg Hajarna Sign American Duo

SWEDEN – The Swedish League club Goteborg Hajarna has added a pair of Americans, Brian Johnson and Evan Porter, for the upcoming 2011 season.

Both Johnson and Porter attended NCAA Division I Nebraska and helped the Cornhuskers advance to the 2007 College World Series in Omaha. Porter, who suited up in Germany last year with the Solingen Alligators, was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.

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Italy: North East Knights Ink American Shortstop

ITALY – The Italian Baseball League Club Godo-Verona North East Knights have added American shortstop Joey Schwartz to its second team roster. The Arizona native played in the Swedish League with Goteborg the past two seasons.

The 32-year-old batted .333 in 41 Swedish League contests with 14 RBIs and 39 runs scored.

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Germany: Dortmund Wanderers Sign Elliot Biddle

GERMANY – The Dortmund Wanderers of the German League have signed former minor leaguer Elliot Biddle for the 2011 season. The North Division club is also bringing back the American duo of Matt Kemp and Trevor Howell.

Biddle, a 22-year-old pitcher/outfielder, played affiliated ball with the Minnesota Twins in 2008. The Australian batted .313 with two homers, four doubles, nine RBIs and 16 runs scored in 17 Australian Baseball League with the Melbourne Aces.

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Stadiums: Mokdong Baseball Stadium – Seoul, South Korea

Today we bring you one of the newer stadiums in South Korea, Sajik Baseball Stadium home of the NEXEN Heroes. We always want to hear stories of your favorite or least favorite stadiums. Leave us a comment below or visit us on Facebook.

Mokdong Baseball Stadium, located in Seoul, is home to the NEXEN Heroes of the KBO.

In addition to being home to the NEXEN Heroes, the stadium also hosts several large high school tournaments each year. Since 2008, it has hosted the Golden Lion Flag National High School Baseball Tournament, President’s Cup National High School Baseball Championship, and the Blue Dragon Flag National High School Baseball Tournament.

Built in 1989, the stadium holds around 18,000 despite not having any seating beyond the outfield wall.

Stadium Dimensions:

  • Left Field 98 m (321 ft)
  • Center Filed 118 m (387 ft)
  • Right Field 98 m (321 ft)

Below are some photos I took on a trip to see a NEXEN Heroes game at Mokdong Baseball Stadium.

Mokdong Baseball Stadium

Outside of the stadium

Mokdong Baseball Stadium

From behind home plate

Mokdong Baseball Stadium

View from right field foul pole

Mokdong Baseball Stadium

View from the left field foul pole

Mokdong Baseball Stadium

Cheering on the Heroes

Mokdong Baseball Stadium

Game snack - dukbokki

Mokdong Baseball Stadium

Under the lights

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Stadiums: Jamsil Baseball Stadium – Seoul, South Korea

Today we bring you another stadium from South Korea, Jamsil Baseball Stadium home of the LG Twins and Doosan Bears. We always want to hear stories of your favorite or least favorite stadiums. Leave us a comment below or visit us on Facebook.

The stadium opened in 1982 and hosted the baseball events during the 1988 Olympics. This gives it the added attraction of being in Olympic park where you will find statues, art work, and the Olympic stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies were held nearby.

Jamsil Stadium is the biggest in the KBO holding just over 30,000 people. Like other KBO stadiums it has a symmetrical field, but it also has a bigger field than the rest of the league.

Stadium Dimensions:

  • Left Field 100 m (328 ft)
  • Center Field 121 m (397 ft)
  • Right Field 100 m (328 ft)

Below are pictures I took on a trip to a LG Twins game at Jamsil Stadium.

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

Home of the LG Twins (and Doosan Bears)

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

Next door is the Olympic Stadium used in 1988

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

View from the right field foul pole

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

Looking in from center field

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

Game Action

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

View down left field line

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

Cheering on the visiting Eagles

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

Lots of LG Twins fans

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

From high above home plate

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

The Jumbotron

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

Jamsil Baseball Stadium

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Interview: Author Nicholas R.W. Henning

One of the great things about baseball is the people who you come in contact with. Over the winter I have been able to talk baseball with Australian author Nicholas R.W. Henning who has written a couple baseball novels. Recently Mr. Henning was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about Australian baseball. Here is what he had to say:

Among other works you have published two baseball novels (Boomerang Baseball and The American Dream: From Perth to Sacramento). I read and enjoyed Boomerang Baseball. It seemed like it could have had a little autobiography in it.  Can you tell us a little about your baseball background?

Yes, Boomerang Baseball is very autobiographical. I saw the film Major League when I was 12-years old and became addicted to the game. From the age of 12 to 16 all I wanted to be was a professional baseball player. But my talent didn’t match my aspirations. It wasn’t until I was 25-years old that I tried my hand in the Sydney Major League competition. It’s probably a fair assessment to say that I over achieved by getting a lot of time in first grade. There I pitched to Australians who were playing in the U.S. Minor Leagues and College Baseball. There was also many former Australian Baseball League players, and plenty of young talent. I pitched to Glenn Williams and Trent Oeltjen who both went on to play U.S. Major League Baseball. Williams crushed me, but I had some luck against Oeltjen. The biggest thrill though was pitching to Brendan Kingman who is my all-time favourite player, and throwing with Brad Thomas. Kingman was once on the 40-man roster for the Mariners and won a silver medal at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Thomas is currently playing MLB with the Detroit Tigers. He also had some great years playing in Japan and Korea, and played baseball at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. As a baseball player I feel like I got to play beyond my actual ability, and this happened when I was just playing for fun.

Baseball is big business here in the United States and while it continues to grow in Australia, it still lags behind other sports. How has it changed over the past few decades, and do you feel it will continue to grow in popularity?

Well, baseball was actually more popular in Australia in the mid-1990’s. Since 1999, which was the year the previous Australian Baseball League folded the sport has declined in Australia, in terms of fans and participation. The 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympic Games helped the sport stay on the peripheral of Aussie baseball fans, and the Australian sports public, but the last five years have been hard times. Yet, even though the sport has suffered a decline, the Major League Baseball Academy on the Queensland Gold Coast has provided a wonderful service. More Australians have signed professional contracts between 2000 and 2010 than from between 1989 to 1999. I actually believe that the MLB Academy was the unofficial life support for professional baseball in Australia, as it gave aspiring players a target, as we didn’t have a professional league from 1999 to 2009.

The ABL returned this season with some very exciting baseball. What was your take on the league this year, and where do you see it headed in the future?

The re-born Australian Baseball League has helped the sports popularity, but it’s going to take quite a few years for the sport to built itself up again. The level of playing talent is an all-time high and this is baseball’s trump card in Australia. Essentially baseball needs to survive professionally in Australia for it to really become popular. I believe for this to happen the ABL needs to establish itself as a highly desired winter (your winter) baseball league, with continued investment from MLB and new investment from baseball powerhouses such as leagues from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The sports market in Australia is stretched, and professional baseball’s long-term survival here will always require overseas investment.

Many people may not be aware of the fact there are many Australians playing professional baseball abroad. I have noticed in other countries that fans don’t follow them unless they reach the Major Leagues. What is the overall situation in Australia? Will the Australian media follow players in the minors, or someone like Travis Blackley playing in Korea?

The Australian media infrequently follows local or overseas (Australian) baseball stories. However, in the 1990’s baseball did get some coverage in terms of highest paid Australian athletes, and quite a few stories were done on Dave Nilsson. Also, Graeme Lloyd participating in the 1996 and 1998 World Series was a good news item, as was Grant Balfour playing in the 2008 World Series. In recent times what has made the news is guys like Balfour signing an $8,000,000 multi-year contract. U.S. sports in Australia capture attention because the player salaries are much higher than what we pay professional rugby league or Australian Rules Football players. The Australian players in the U.S. are the ones that infrequently make the news here, and usually in print media. Players like Jeff Williams in Japan, and Travis Blackley in Korea have a much harder time getting Australian media coverage. Most fans of baseball rely on Internet sources to keep up to date with Australians playing overseas.

How has the media dealt with Major League Baseball in the past? Are there more games being shown on television now with the likes of Grant Balfour, Peter Moylan, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Trent Oeltjen, and more playing?

In the 1990’s MLB games used to get free to air coverage, but Australian Cable Television changed that, which was a real shame because in Australia cable television is second to free to air. The Australian Government has passed legislation to keep certain sports and certain sporting events on free to air. Unfortunately baseball was not on the list, which means that to watch MLB games you must have cable television. Cable television does provide quite a few games a week, and if we’re lucky we get to see a game featuring an Australian. As Fox (Foxtel) is the number one cable provider in Australia we get games that are part of their programming. Cable television has certainly increased the number of MLB games available for Australian viewers, but the free to air market is very thin in terms of coverage. Digital television networks in Australia are also planning to provide some baseball coverage too.

What about the media coverage for the ABL? I was able to watch many games online through a few different webcasts. Did the league receive a lot of TV coverage?

The ABL Grand Final Series was covered by Foxtel, which I felt was to a decent standard. The ABL is hoping to gain a television deal with Foxtel for the entire 2011 / 2012 season. This would be a huge breakthrough for baseball in Australia to have games televised during the whole season. Highlights of ABL games did get featured on some television news networks throughout the 2010 / 2011 season, and the ABL had a catchy television advertisement going into the season, which helped generate talk.

The ABL reformed with 6 teams. To an outsider like me that seemed like a great place to start. Do you see any potential expansion in the coming years if the league can become or stay (I don’t know the financials) profitable? If so, where might they expand?

The only expansion I am in favour of is bringing in some teams from Asia and elsewhere from abroad. It would be a perfect opportunity for clubs from Japan and Korea to assess player resources going into their seasons. Ideally, I would like to see a team from Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. If the ABL can establish itself as a highly desired winter baseball league, then the opportunity to field teams from all over the world is a possibility. The ABL needs a global vision to grow and to be financially viable indefinitely.

Once again I would like to thank Mr. Henning for taking the time out of his schedule to answer some questions. Australia is an intreguing place where baseball could potentially grow quite big. It’s not going to happen overnight but if the ABL can survive and flourish, look for more players from Australia to land in the Major Leagues.

You can also find Mr. Henning’s books on Amazon. Check out Boomerang Baseball and The American Dream: From Perth to Sacramento. You can also check out our review of Boomerang Baseball here.

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Panama: Sotolongo’s CG helps Panama Metro past Herrera

By Jose Jerez

The Copa Atlas Majors National Championship continued on Friday. Panama Metro defeated Herrera 2 – 1 at Rico Cedeño Stadium thanks to an excellent complete game performance by Roberto Sotolongo; he allowed three hits and no walks. In the fourth inning Alberto Aviles broke 1-1 tie with an RBI single. It was Metro’s was ninth victory in 13 games, which placed tied for third with Chiriqui. Herrera, meanwhile, lost for the eighth time in 11 games and is in eighth place. In the other games, Coclé beat Colon 4-1 and West Panama won 2 – 1 over Darien, thanks to a Carlos Alvarez complete game.

Saturday’s Games:

Coclé @ West Panama 19:00
Panamá Metro @ Los Santos 19:30
Darién @ Veraguas 19:30

Current Standings:

Team Won Lost
BOCAS DEL TORO 09 03
LOS SANTOS 09 03
CHIRIQUI 09 04
PANAMA METRO 09 04
COCLE 06 04
WEST PANAMA 07 05
VERAGUAS 06 05
HERRERA 04 08
COLON 04 09
DARIEN 03 09
CHIRIQUI OCCIDENTE 00 012

Jose Jerez is a BaseballdeWorld Latin Correspondent

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Stadiums: Sajik Baseball Stadium – Busan, South Korea

Today we bring you the “Mecca for Baseball” in South Korea, Sajik Baseball Stadium home of the Lotte Giants. We always want to hear stories of your favorite or least favorite stadiums. Leave us a comment below or visit us on Facebook.

The Giants have won the title 2 tiems but not since 1992.  They are one of the more popular teams in Korea and dominated the 2010 All-Star team by placing 8 on the starting team for the East.

Built in 1985, Sajik holds 28,500 people and is a nice stadium by KBO standards.

The stadium is very nice for Korean standards, but lacking by western standards.  The best part of watching games in Busan is the cool nights.  With it being on the coast, it is usually cooler than other parts of the country.

I highly recommend anyone in Busan to take in a game.  The excitement of the stadium is electrifying and Giants fans never stop cheering on their team.

Stadium Dimensions:

  • Left Field 95 m (312 ft)
  • Center Field 118 m (387 ft)
  • Right Field 95 m (312 ft)

Below are some photos I took at Sajik Baseball Stadium.

Sajik Baseball Stadium Busan, South Korea

Me and the Lotte Giants Mascot

Sajik Baseball Stadium Busan, South Korea

Rally Bags?

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Korea: Foreign Player List for 2011

With the start of the season just a few short weeks away, the teams in the KBO have signed their foreign players for the 2011 season. These are the players who will suit up in the KBO, but don’t count on all of them finishing the season here. Stay tuned for a short write up of the players to see where they played in the past.

Doosan Bears : Ramon Ramirez, Dustin Nippert

KIA Tigers : Travis Blackley, Aquilino Lopez

Hanhwa Eagles : Oneli Perez, Julio DePaula

LG Twins : Radhames Liz, Ben Jukich

Samsung Lions : Ryan Garko, Ken Kadokura

Lotte Giants : Bryan Corey, Ryan Sadowski

SK Wyverns : Gary Glover, Jim Magrane

Nexen Heroes : Brandon Knight, Cory Aldridge

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Great Britain: Baseball/Softball Participation on the Rise in England

Sport England survey confirms rise in baseball and softball participation

The latest Active People Survey released by Sport England on March 17 confirms that adult participation in baseball and softball is continuing to rise.

The survey, run on a rolling basis across nearly 200,000 people a year, shows an average over-the-year participation rate of 9,500 adults playing baseball or softball weekly. But the real figures are almost certainly higher because the sports are mainly played seasonally.

Compared to the last set of results, released in October 2010, there has been an increase of 400 participants, from 9,100 to 9,500. But compared to Active People Survey results published in January 2010, the figures have increased by well over 3,000 and this marks a substantial rise in the numbers of people playing.

These figures mean that there are 1,200 more people playing according to Active People criteria than the target of 8,300 for this year, and participation is just 400 shy of BSUK’s Year 3 targets.
The figures correspond with BSUK data showing a similar increase in the number of teams now playing the sports regularly.

Good News

John Boyd, BSUK’s Joint CEO and Head of Development, said: “It’s encouraging to see the latest survey results — they represent good news. Sport England uses this data as the primary assessment of how well sports are performing against their agreed targets, and we’ve seen an increase in line with our planned targets. The number of adult teams playing baseball and softball has increased from 493 two years ago to 681 and the number of youth teams from 85 to 190.

“That means that we are on target, halfway through our current four-year plan, to deliver planned growth in the sports.

“Much work has gone into achieving this from our staff and volunteers,” John continued. “The achievement so far has only been possible due to the continued hard work and support of those who volunteer their time to organise the sports on the ground. These figures are a testament to the buy-in and efforts of the whole baseball and softball community.”

Courtesy BaseballSoftballUK.com

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Interview: Raul Gonzalez – Assistant GM of the Estrellas Orientales

By Keith Winters

The Dominican Baseball Guy recently had the chance to interview Raul Gonzalez, assistant general manager of the Estrellas Orientales in the Dominican Winter Baseball League.  The Estrellas had a great year this year, making it to the final series of the Dominican Winter Baseball League (LIDOM) before being eliminated.

The Estrellas are located in San Pedro de Macoris, the town that many consider to have the best baseball talent in the world.  It has been called the Mecca of Baseball and the Craddle of shortstops, due to all the shortstops that come from the city.  Alfredo Griffin, Alfonso Soriano, and Robinson Cano are some of the most famous players to come out of the city recently.

Raul is a great addition to the Estrellas staff.  He is highly knowledgeable and has experience working in the Major League Baseball office in the Dominican Republic, as well as in the Nationals organization in Washington D.C.   Raul has also worked with Licey Baseball Club in Santo Domingo.  Here is the transcript:

Assistant General Manager is an important position.  How did you get involved with the Estrellas at such a young age?  Are you a former baseball player?

  • Well it’s an interesting story: I started playing baseball when I was 7 years old.  After a long time playing and acquiring knowledge of the game I decided to stop playing at the age of 19.  My dream at that time was to get a full scholarship to play baseball in the states and receive a good education along with playing baseball.  It didn’t happen, but I got into law school in the Dominican Republic and things started happening.  I met Mr. Juan Puello Herrera who is the commissioner for Caribbean baseball and he valued the persistence that I had in entering the baseball world.  He recommended me for an internship in the Major League Baseball office in Dominican Republic.  After I did my internship, he recommended me for a baseball operations internship with Licey Baseball Club of the Dominican Winter Baseball League (LIDOM).  I learned a lot from different baseball people, but I also discovered Dominican baseball is not as easy as people think.  I had the honor of traveling to the states, specifically to Washington DC, and did a summer internship in baseball operations with the Washington Nationals organization.  I had a real learning process of how the big league world works, and I also matured a lot in the aspect of scouting, player development, stats, draft preparation, and creation of projects.  After that I came back to the Dominican Republic, and due to inconvenient circumstances I stoped working with Licey.  A couple of months later I joined Estrellas Baseball Club under the recommendation of Mr. Jose Mallen who is the team president.  He decided to give me an opportunity to be a member of his baseball operations staff.  The years have passed quickly, and I’m in my third season with Estrellas (first as a full time assistant general manager).  The success of the club has been something special due to all the hard work made by Mr. Eddy Toledo, general manager for the Estrellas, and the opportunity he has given me to be by his side learning in day-to-day operations.

What are your duties as Assistant GM?

  • The position consists of assisting the general manager in day-to-day baseball operations including the following: structure of the club, salary negotiations, hiring and releasing import players, evaluation of the whole staff and the club’s native players, preparation for the rookie draft, and the creation of a baseball project for every year.

In my opinion, and many others, San Pedro de Macoris has the most baseball talent in the world.  What is it like living and working with baseball in a city that people call the best baseball city in the world?

  • It’s a special feeling to wake up every day having a job like this one.  You see all the people in the streets asking you questions about the team, players and everything related with the structure of the organization. The fans are unique because they spend the whole year waiting for the season to start, talking about the history of the club, and hoping for a championship every day.  It’s a tough task to talk about breaking 43 years tradition of no championships, but it’s not impossible, and this season we have showed that we can do it when hard work is done.

Do people from the city follow players from San Pedro de Macoris more closely than other Dominican players?  Does everyone know which players are from San Pedro de Macoris?  Who are the most popular players from the city?

  • Yes everybody in the city follows the performance of the native players.  San Pedro De Macoris has a longtime tradition of producing big league shortstops (Alfredo Griffin, Manny Lee, Tony Fernandez, Manny Alexander).
  • Past players: Ricardo Carty, Alfredo Griffin, Rafael Ramirez, Rafael Batista, Tetelo Vargas, Silvano Quezada, Bell Arias.
  • Present players: Alfonso Soriano, Robinson Cano, Fernando Tatis, Johnny Cueto.

Is it important for the Estrellas to have players from San Pedro de Macoris?

  • It’s part of a longtime tradition that the team’s in the league have players from their respective regions, but the league has changed so much in the last few years that the rookie draft is a pool where you pick what we call the future of your franchise, and in some cases players that have the ability to make an instant impact on your club’s success.  Every year the rookie draft is held with the new Dominican players available from Mid Class A or higher with the condition of not being picked by another team before.

How does the city change during the baseball season?

  • It changes dramatically.  The streets change colors from everybody wearing different clothes, you start seeing the green shirts, hats and flags of the club, players posters, fans talking about the names of the imports that are coming and the dates in the season where the different players will start seeing action with the team. The people in the streets start talking about the team and they analyze the team with the others.

And how does it change when the Estrellas are in the playoffs and finals?

  • The whole town goes crazy, party every night, the stadium is sold out early in the morning, the fans and the press feel identified with their club, and they glorify and criticize the moves, players, games and staff every day.  There is an old phrase in San Pedro De Macoris that says, “Everybody has a PhD in baseball down here.”

The Estrellas have not won LIDOM since 1968.  Why?

  • Good question.  If you ask the town and the people that live here they will mention everything from curses to bad luck, but the reality is that the team has not established a front office and permanent coaching staff until now.  The results have been probed and now we can say that Estrellas has become a contender in the Dominican winter League.

What will it mean to the city if they can win the LIDOM title?  The champion teams are remembered forever right?

  • Yes they are, especially if they have so much time waiting for this opportunity.  This is maybe the most important moment in the fan’s life because of the time that has passed since going to a final series and having a contending team to a championship like they have now. This season will be remembered always because of the results and the comeback the team made during all year.

Keith Winters, also known as the Dominican Baseball Guy, is a Latin contributor to BaseballdeWorld. You can find more of his work on his blog The Dominican Baseball Guy. Be sure to  follow him on Twitter, and visit his Facebook page for more information.

Posted in Interviews/Reviews, Latin0 Comments

Stadiums: Munhak Baseball Stadium – Incheon, South Korea

Today we bring you easily the best and newest stadium in South Korea, Munhak Baseball Stadium home of the SK Wyverns. We always want to hear stories of your favorite or least favorite stadiums. Leave us a comment below or visit us on Facebook.

The stadium was built in 2001 and holds 28,500 people.  Maybe a little small for MLB standards, but this one is nice no matter what league you play in.  The stadium has all the amenities you would normally find in a professional stadium, plus a few extras.  Above the left field stands is a small grassy area where families can spread a blanket and have picnics. In the right field stands there is an area where you can have BBQs.   Two large video boards sit in above the outfield seats and bring you all the information and highlights you need.  The hitters background in center field is a tree lined area where a fountain will go off when a Wyverns player hits a home run.

Stadium Dimensions:

  • Left Field 95 m (312 ft)
  • Center Field 120 m (394 ft)
  • Right Field 95 m (312 ft)

Below are some photos I took during games at Munhak Baseball Stadium:

Munhak Baseball Stadium

View from CF Munhak Baseball Stadium

With the SK Wyverns Mascot

SK Wyverns #1 Fan

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Italy: Unipol Fortitudo Bologna Signs Former Big Leaguer

ITALY – The Italian Baseball League club Unipol Fortitudo Bologna has signed former big league slugger Julio Ramirez for the upcoming 2011 season. Bologna finished 25-17 last year and lost to Cariparma Parma in a seven-game Italian Series thriller.

Ramirez, 33, suited up for the Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants in 84 Major League games. The veteran minor leaguer batted .167 in 84 Major League games.
The Dominican native, who has also played on the U.S. independent league circuit, donned the colors of the Calgary Vipers (Golden League) in 2010.

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