Archive | April, 2012

2012 European Baseball Power Rankings – Week of April 28th

T&A San Marino remain the team to beat in Europe as the reigning Italian Baseball League champion has come out of the gate with 11 wins in 13 games. The Titans are joined by L&D Amsterdam, Corendon Kinheim, Telemarket Rimini and Unipol Bologna in the top five.

Below are this week’s picks for the top baseball teams in Europe.

2012 EUROPEAN BASEBALL POWER RANKINGS:

1. – T&A San Marino, Italy (11-2;Last Week-1)
Powerful lineup leads IBL in runs, hits, doubles, homers, RBIs…you get the idea.

2. – L&D Amsterdam Pirates, Netherlands (8-2;Last Week-5)
Reigning Dutch champion has scored nearly 11 runs a game in last four outings.

3. – Corendon Kinheim, Netherlands (8-2;Last Week-3)
Haarlem-based club has four of the league’s top five hitters.

4. – Telemarket Rimini, Italy (9-4;Last Week-4)
Southpawe reliever Carlos Pezzullo has thrown 12.1 scoreless innings.

5. – Unipol Bologna, Italy (8-3;Last Week-2)
Boasts the IBL’s top pitching staff with an impressive 1.97 ERA.

6. – DOOR Neptunus, Netherlands (6-3;Last Week-6)
Benjamin Dille paces Dutch heavyweight with .382 batting mark.

7. – C.B. Barcelona,Spain (13-1;Last Week-7)
Defending league champion is 46-4 in its last 50 games.

8. – Mainz Athletics, Germany (7-1;Last Week-8)
A’s roster has foreign flavor with two Americans, two Swedes and one Canadian.

9. – Rouen Huskies, France (10-0;Last Week-10)
The Huskies are rolling quietly towards an eighth straight French title.

10. – Regensburg Legionaere, Germany (5-1;Last Week-16)
German champs made loud statement with demolition of Mannheim.

11. – Vaessen Pioniers, Netherlands (6-3-1;Last Week-9)
Michael Duursma leads Hoofddorp-based club with .393 batting mark.

12. – Valencia Astros, Spain (11-1;Last Week-13)
Former league doormat has transformed into perennial title contender.

13. – AVG Draci Brno, Czech Republic (8-2;Last Week-15)
Former 16-time Czech champ seems primed to recapture league hardware.

14. – Solingen Alligators, Germany (7-1;Last Week-19)
Gators offense has caught fire early which bodes well for title hopes.

15. – Tenerife Marlins PC, Spain (9-5;Last Week-18)
Playing coach Nestor Perez is in the midst of an 8-for-43 slump.

16. – Paderborn Untouchables, Germany (5-1;Last Week-20)
U’s top the North Division in batting, fielding and pitching.

17. – Heidenheim Heidekoepfe, Germany (4-2;Last Week-NR)
If pitching wins championships, keep an eye on Begley, Dewald, Schattman, etc.

18. – Hoboken Pioneers, Belgium (3-0;Last Week-21)
American staff ace TJ Antonacci is a big reason the Pioneers could threepeat.

19. – Paris University Club, France (7-3;Last Week-17)
PUC stood toe-to-toe with top dog Rouen and remain a legit title contender.

20. – Bern Cardinals, Switzerland (2-0;Last Week-24)
Cards scored most points in a Swiss game since Therwil scored 30+ in Bern in 1993.

21. – Senart Templiers, France (8-2;Last Week-22)
Templiers has quietly won eight of 10 outings in quest of an elusive crown.

22. – Cardion Hrosi Brno, Czech Republic (7-2;Last Week-NR)
Jan Jablonka leads team with lofty .483 (14-for-29) batting average.

23. – Namur Angels, Belgium (4-0;Last Week-25)
American hurler Jake Hummel tossed complete game shutout last weekend.

24. – Eagles Prague, Czech Republic (7-3;Last Week-NR)
Matej Husek (3-0) has a 2.18 ERA with 27 strikeouts in just 20 1/3 frames.

25. – Mannheim Tornados, Germany (3-3;Last Week-12)
Can Tornados regroup after last week’s debacle quick enough to upset Mainz?

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

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Czech Republic: Three-Way Tie Atop Standings

CZECH REPUBLIC – AVG Draci Brno moved into a three-way tie for the top spot in the Czech Baseball League with a three-game sweep over Kotlarka Prague last weekend.

Draci is knotted with Eagles Prague and Hrosi Brno in first-place with identical 7-2 cards.

Tomas Polansky went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, and Thomas Brice tallied two RBIs on a pair of doubles to help Draci claim an 8-3 victory in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Martin Schneider (1-0) notched the relief win despite surrendering a run in just one frame of work.

The Czech powerhouse, which won an unprecedented 16 consecutive league titles until last year, nipped Kotlarka 7-6 in the second game. Michal Sobotka (1-1) scattered two scores over seven innings to get the decision.

Draci completed the sweep on Sunday with a 10-5 win as Petr Minarik (3-0) threw seven scoreless frames to remain perfect on the young season.

Hrosi Brno and Eagles Prague also bagged a trio of victories. Hrosi disposed of Skokani Olomouc (10-6, 10-5 and 3-0), while the Eagles manhandled Olympia Blansko, 7-1, 15-1, and 10-6.

Martin Drong (2-0) went the distance allowing just five hits to help Arrows Ostrava avoid a series sweep with an 8-2 triumph over Technika Brno in Sunday’s finale.

The reigning Czech titleholder took the first two games a day earlier, 16-5 and 3-1.

2012 CZECH BASEBALL LEAGUE:

AVG Draci Brno (7-2)
Eagles Prague (7-2)
Hrosi Brno (7-2)
Technika Brno (5-4)
Arrows Ostrava (5-4)
Skokani Olomouc (3-6)
kotlarka Prague (2-7)
Olympia Blansko (0-9)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Switzerland: Defending Champion Bern Opens Season with Sweep

SWITZERLAND – The Bern Cardinals opened defense of its Swiss Baseball League title with a pair of lopsided victories over the Zurich Lions last Saturday at the Herrenschurli Ballpark in Zurich.

National team right-hander Tobias Imboden (1-0) scattered two runs over five innings to help Bern tally a 14-2 win in the season opening contest.

The Cards took a quick lead in the first on a two-run single off the bat of Johnny Perigos, but Zurich answered back in the bottom of the frame to make it a one-run game. Both squads crossed the plate in the fourth before Bern scored 10 times in the seventh and eighth innings to seal the outcome.

The pitching tandem of Benji Waite (1-0) and John Baum combined on a no-hitter as the reigning Swiss champion rolled to a 37-0 win in the twinbill finale.

Baum paced a marathon 23-run sixth with a single, two doubles and six RBIs.

EMBRACH SWEEPS CHALLENGERS
The Embrach Mustangs picked up an Opening Day sweep against the Zurich Challengers on a wet and cold Swiss afternoon.

The Mustangs tagged Zurich starter Andrea Girasole for three first inning scores and veteran righty Roger Savoldelli (1-0) went the distance in a 6-4 victory.

Embrach blanked Zurich 3-0 in the second game as American Tim Jones (1-0) struck out 11 over eight dominant frames. Reliever Korey Kovac collected the final three outs to earn a save.

2012 SWISS BASEBALL LEAGUE:

Bern Cardinals (2-0)
Embrach Mustangs (2-0)
Zurich Barracudas (2-0)
Therwil Flyers (0-0)
Wil Devils (0-0)
Luzern Eagles (0-2)
Zurich Challengers (0-2)
Zurich Lions (0-2)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Germany: Martin Kipphan Drives in Nine as Mainz Athletics Roll

GERMANY – The Regensburg Legionaere disposed of the Mannheim Tornados in a pair of surprisingly easy South Division victories last weekend in the German Baseball League.

Mike Bolsenbroek and Philipp Hoffschild combined on a four-hit masterpiece in a 10-0 win in Friday’s series opener. The defending German champion rolled to an 11-2 win the following day as Chris Howard drove in five runs for Regensburg (5-1).

The Mainz Athletics (7-1) continued its winning ways with two wins over the Bad Homburg Hornets (1-7). Manuel Moeller (2-1) fanned 10 to lead the A’s to a 14-1 victory in Friday’s opening contest. The division leader got a pair of long balls and nine RBIs from Martin Kipphan en route to a 24-1 beatdown a day later in the series finale.

The Heidenheim Heidekoepfe (4-2) got back on the winning track with two hotly-contested victories over the Haar Disciples.

Sean Begley and Martin Dewald combined on a one-hit shutout to help Heidenheim bag a 2-0 win in the first game. The Heidekoepfe finished off the sweep with a 4-2 triumph to move into third-place in Germany’s toughest division.

2012 GERMAN SOUTH DIVISION:

Mainz Athletics (7-1)
Regensburg Legionaere (5-1)
Heidenheim Heidekoepfe (4-2)
Mannheim Tornados(3-3)
Haar Disciples (3-5)
Stuttgart Reds (1-5)
Bad Homburg Hornets (1-7)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Germany: Paderborn Pitcher Brian Fields Tosses No-Hitter

GERMANY – The Solingen Alligators and the Paderborn Untouchables both captured doubleheader sweeps last Saturday to stay atop the North Division race in the German Baseball League.

Solingen (7-1) continued its torrid hitting with a pair of lopsided victories against the Berlin Sluggers. Patrick Kanthack drove in four runs as the Gators coasted to a 16-6 win in the first meeting, and American hurler Shelby Robertson paced a 12-1 victory in the second game with five scoreless innings.

Paderborn (5-1) picked up two wins against the Dohren Wild Farmers squad. The U’s took the opening contest, 7-2, behind three RBIs from both Matt Martin and Bjorn Schonlau. The reigning division champion completed the sweep with an 8-0 win as
American hurler Brian Fields tossed a complete game no-hitter with four walks and 12 strikeouts.

The Bonn Capitals (5-3) and the Dortmund Wanderers (4-4) battled to a draw. Dortmund plated eight late runs to claim a stunning 10-9 comeback win in the first encounter. However, Bonn salvaged a split as Charles Olson (3-0) struck out 10 in an 8-0 victory.

The HSV Stealers (2-6) notched its second win of the season with a split against the Cologne Cardinals (3-3). The Hamburg club scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to earn a 7-6 win in the series opener. But, Maurice Wilhelm homered and tallied four RBIs to help Cologne take a 10-5 decision in the finale.

2012 GERMAN NORTH DIVISION:

Solingen Alligators (7-1)
Paderborn Untouchables (5-1)
Bonn Capitals (5-3)
Dortmund Wanderers (4-4)
Cologne Cardinals (3-3)
Dohren Wild Farmers (2-6)
Berlin Sluggers (2-6)
HSV Stealers (2-6)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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France: Senart Templiers Move into Second Place Behind Rouen

FRANCE – Chris Mezguer outdueled fellow import pitcher James Murrey in a low-scoring matchup Sunday, and the Rouen Huskies claimed a narrow 1-0 victory over Paris University Club in the first part of a French Baseball League twinbill.

Mezguer (4-0) scattered a lone hit, three walks and struck out 13 to remain unbeaten in four starting assignments.

Murrey (1-1) was tagged with the setback despite a strong eight-inning stint that included one run and three hits with 12 strikeouts.

The Huskies scored the lone run of the game in the second. Mathew Smith reached on a one-out walk, stole second, moved up another base on a passed ball before scampering home on a wild pitch.

Rouen (10-0) completed the sweep with a 5-3 win in the second game. Kenji Hagiwara and Luis Aponte both drove in two runs, while Owen Ozanich (5-0) worked seven frames of one-run ball to earn the decision.

The Senart Templiers (8-2) moved into second-place with two not-so-easy wins (6-5 and 3-1) over the Savigny Lions, while the Beaucaire Chevaliers (2-7) split two games, 2-3 and 9-4, with the Montpellier Barracudas (3-7).

The Pessac Panthers (3-7) and Toulousain Baseball (4-6) also battled to a draw. Pessac tallied a shutout in the first game, 2-0, before Toulouse rebounded to win the twinbill finale, 9-6.

2012 FRENCH LEAGUE:

Rouen Huskies (10-0)
Senart Templiers (8-2)
Paris University Club (7-3)
Toulousain Baseball (4-6)
Montpellier Barracudas (3-7)
Pessac Panthers (3-7)
Beaucaire Chevaliers (2-7)
Savigny Lions (2-7)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Book Review: Have Glove Will Travel by Bill Lee

Originally posted on BaseballJourneyman.com

I have never seen former MLB pitcher Bill Lee play in person. I was too young to see him pitch during his prime, but I am a huge fan.

Bill Lee has played baseball for what I am guessing is 50+ years now. In his book Have Glove, Will Travel: Adventures of a Baseball Vagabond, Lee tells tales about his days after being blackballed from Major League Baseball.

This was one of the most interesting books I’ve read in a long time. Bill Lee is quite easily one of the most interesting players to come along in the last half century. He has openly talked about smoking pot, run for president, and even became friends with a guy who was notorious for hating pitchers in Ted Williams.

The stories Lee tells in this book give an interesting perspective on the game of baseball. He still plays to this day because of his love for the game. After his release from baseball for his outspoken comments regarding the Montreal Expos, he was never able to return to the elite league where he once dominated. Instead he took his show on the road, literally.

He tells of going to Russia during the Cold War to play baseball which is a good story but mostly for what happens off the field. Lee has never shied away from talking about his partying, and he didn’t disappoint when heading to Russia.

He has taken his game to Cuba several times, and has a love for the people of the island there that shows in his writing about his trips. They love the game in a similar way he does, for the joy of playing it. It seems Lee was born a few decades too late as he would have been a great fit in the era of the barnstorming teams of the 1920s.

Lee was a fabulous pitcher with the Red Sox, and he touches on the Curse of the Bambino giving his thoughts. He always has some interesting viewpoints and when you bring up exorcism it can be pretty entertaining.

Most of his stories are humorous but not all of them. He tells a touching tale of a poor woman in Cuba who is generous by giving him fruit from her tree when she has nothing else to give. All because he was kind enough to come in and say hello to her shy little boy. It’s a touching tale that is moving, especially the second time he returns a few years later.

Despite many people thinking he might be a little crazy or “off his rocker”, Bill Lee is a pretty down to Earth guy. He knows that athlete heroism is overblown, and he points out there hasn’t been a single athlete that kids should look up to except one, Jackie Robinson. He also points out that there are other true heroes out there, and he points to the men and women who stood tall and helped others on 9/11. Those are the real heroes that people should look up to, and I’d have to agree with him.

This is an easy read, and once you get into it you won’t want to put it down. I’d highly recommend it to any fan of the game, even Yankees fans. You can pick it up almost anywhere, including Amazon. So pick up a hard copy or the Kindle version and enjoy.

If you are interested in Bill Lee, you might also like Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey about one of his trips to Cuba.

Using the BaseballJourneyman rating system, I give this book 4 gloves:

 

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The Netherlands: Corendon Kinheim Atop Dutch Major League

THE NETHERLANDS – Corendon Kinheim netted a pair of wins against Mr. Cocker HCAW this past weekend to remain in the top spot in the Dutch Baseball League. The Haarlem club, which has won seven of eight games so far this season, boasts three of the circuit’s top six hitters.

Kinheim (7-1) followed Thursday’s 12-0 win in the series opener with another shutout, 8-0, on Saturday. American lefty Luke Sommer (2-0) tossed one-hit ball over six innings with 10 strikeouts to nab the win before Sunday’s finale was rained out.

The Vaessen Pioniers (6-2-1) swept all three contests against winless Sparta/Feyenoord. Mika de Lincel (1-0) worked seven shutout frames in a 6-4 win on Thursday, and Michael Duursma went 5-for-5 on Saturday with three doubles and six RBIs in a
15-3 blowout. The Hoofddorp club completed the sweep a day later with a 3-2 victory.

The L&D Amsterdam Pirates (6-2) bagged two victories over the ADO Lakers in a rain-shortened series. Percy Isenia and Bas Nooij both homered in Saturday’s 9-3 win, while Nooij and Bas de Jong went deep the following day as the Pirates stormed to a 17-7 victory.

DOOR Neptunus (5-2) used strong pitching to capture two wins against UVV. Diegomar Markwell (2-0) fanned eight over seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 triumph on Saturday, and Kevin Heijstek (2-1) threw one-run ball over seven frames the next day in a 4-1 victory.

2012 DUTCH MAJOR LEAGUE:

Corendon Kinheim (7-1)
Vaessen Pioniers (6-2-1)
L&D Amsterdam Pirates (6-2)
DOOR Neptunus (5-2)
ADO Lakers (4-4)
Mr. Cocker HCAW (2-5-1)
UVV (1-7)
Sparta/Feyenoord (0-8)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Italy: Danesi Nettuno Drops T&A San Marino

ITALY – The top two teams in the Italian Baseball League stumbled last weekend as both T&A San Marino and Unipol Bologna were knocked from the unbeaten ranks.

San Marino (9-2) lost two of three games against Danesi Nettuno (5-6). The Titans dropped Friday’s series opener, 9-1, before rallying for a 5-2 win in the front end of Saturday’s twinbill. However, Vinicio Sparagna capped a seven-run eighth with a bases-clearing triple as Nettuno claimed a 7-2 win in the rubber match.

Bologna (7-2) lost a hard-fought three-game set to Telemarket Rimini (8-4). Luca Panerati (2-0) and Matteo D’Angelo combined on a one-hit shutout to lead Bologna to a 3-0 win in the first game. But, former Big Leaguer Francisco Cruceta (2-1) fanned 11 over six frames as the Pirates took the second game, 2-0, before wrapping up the series with a 5-4 victory.

Cariparma Parma (6-5) took three games against Grosseto Baseball (2-10). Stefano Giannetti’s walk-off double lifted Parma to a 3-2 win in the first game, and Sebastiano Poma delivered the game-winning hit in an 8-7 win the next day. Parma finished off the sweep with a 10-0 triumph behind a strong outing by Nicolas Giovanelli (2-2).

The Godo Knights moved into sole possession of fourth-place with three wins over Novarra United. Juan Gonzalez singled home the winning score in the 11th as Godo won the series opener, 4-3. The Knights claimed a narrow 9-8 victory in the second game before riding a seven-run opening frame to a lopsided 18-5 win in the series finale.

2012 ITALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE:

T&A San Marino (9-2)
Unipol Bologna (7-2)
Telemarket Rimini (8-4)
Godo Knights (6-3)
Cariparma Parma (6-5)
Danesi Nettuno (5-6)
Grosseto Baseball (2-10)
Novara United (0-11)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Website of the Week: Baseball in Austria

Ryan Kroko is playing with the Wiener Neustadt Diving Ducks this season in the Austrian Baseball League. The Atlanta native who pitched collegiately at South Carolina Beaufort joins the Ducks who are back in the ABL after a short absence.

Ryan has decided to document his playing time in Austria through a blog at, Baseball in Austria. I think you would find it an interesting read as he tells tales of life as an import in the Austrian Baseball League.

You can also follow Ryan on Twitter, @rkroko

So head on over and check it out as the season is beginning.

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2012 European Baseball Power Rankings for Week of April 21

The Italian and Dutch squads continue to dominate the European baseball landscape as the 2012 season begins in earnest this weekend with action in more than a dozen countries. However, strong teams from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland are lurking around the corner.

Below are this week’s picks for the top baseball teams in Europe.

2012 EUROPEAN BASEBALL POWER RANKINGS:

1. – T&A San Marino, Italy (8-0)
The Texas Rangers of Europe. Daniel Bittar tops the IBL in batting (.526) and extra-base hits (8).

2. – Unipol Bologna, Italy (6-0)
Japanese slugger Takahiko Sato has come out the gate hitting .476 (8-for-21) with five RBIs in six games.

3. – Corendon Kinheim, Netherlands (6-1)
The human hitting machine Dirk van’t Klooster has cranked out 15 hits in 29 at-bats for a .517 batting mark.

4. – Telemarket Rimini, Italy (6-3)
Former big leaguer Francisco Crucetta is 2-1 with a 0.44 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 20.1 innings.

5. – L&D Amsterdam Pirates, Netherlands (4-2)
Californian Ben Grover has not allowed a run in 13 frames for the reigning Holland Series champion.

6. – DOOR Neptunus, Netherlands (4-2)
Strong batting lineup features a trio of .400 hitters and a pair of .300 hitters. Wow!

7. – C.B. Barcelona,Spain (13-1)
Reliever Jonathan Garcia has two wins, a save and a spotless 0.00 ERA in four games spanning 9.1 frames.

8. – Mainz Athletics, Germany (5-1)
Veteran hurler Manuel Moeller tossed six shutout innings for a fast-rising A’s squad.

9. – Vaessen Pioniers, Netherlands (4-2-1)
Promising young lefty Mika de Lincel (1-0) is sporting a 1.04 ERA over 17.1 innings ( 3 starts).

10. – Rouen Huskies, France (8-0)
French-American Owen Ozanich is 4-0 with 26 scoreless frames for seven-time defending champ.

11. – ADO Lakers, Netherlands (4-2)
Corner infielder Ludwin Obispo paces Dutch League with a .524 (11-for-21) batting mark.

12. – Mannheim Tornados, Germany (3-1)
Last week’s sweep over Heidenheim let the cat out of the bag. Mannheim is a legit title contender.

13. – Valencia Astros, Spain (11-1)
American southpaw Trevor Caughey is 5-0 with an 0.84 ERA and 44 K’s in 42.2 frames.

14. – Godo Knights, Italy (3-3)
The Knights showed progress in 2011. Staff ace Jose Pinango (2-0) makes Godo a dangerous foe.

15. – AVG Draci Brno, Czech Republic (4-2)
Shortstop Jakub Hajtmar is off to a .520 start (13-for-25) with nine RBIs for the Czech powerhouse.

16. – Regensburg Legionaere, Germany (3-1)
This weekend’s showdown with Mannheim is the first of many tests for the reigning German titleholder.

17. – Paris University Club, France (7-1)
Is Big masher Doug Rodriguez (.486/3 HR/19 RBI) and PUC ready for Rouen? Can you say parity?

18. – Tenerife Marlins PC, Spain (9-5)
A pair of .415 hitters (Jose M. Melendez and Dewis Navarro) pace a squad with eight .300-plus batsmen.

19. – Solingen Alligators, Germany (5-1)
Shelby Robertson (2-1) has pitched back-to-back complete game shutouts for Gators.

20. – Paderborn Untouchables, Germany (3-1)
Eugen Heilmann (2-0) and Brian Fields (1-0) will be the keys to the U’s championship hopes

21. – Hoboken Pioneers, Belgium (2-0)
Are the Pioneers still hungry after back-to-back league trophies?

22. – Senart Templiers, France (6-2)
Dual threat Mathieu Brelle Andrade is batting .375 and also boasts a 1.59 ERA in 17 innings.

23. – Bonn Capitals, Germany (4-2)
Slugger B.J. Roper-Hubber hit two homers in a rout over Hamburg last weekend.

24. – Bern Cardinals, Switzerland (0-0)
American John Baum and the Cards have been one of Europe’s most successful clubs in recent years.

25. – Namur Angels, Belgium (2-0)
The Angels knocked on the door to a title last year. Early clues has Namur knocking, again.

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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Germany: Regensburg Legionaere Blanks Mannheim Tornados

GERMANY – Mike Bolsenbroek and Philipp Hoffschild combined on a four-hit shutout and the Regensburg Legionaere blanked the Mannheim Tornados 10-0 Friday night in a German Baseball League matchup at Regensburg.

Bolsenbroek (2-0) fanned seven while limiting Mannheim to just four singles over seven stellar innings. The Dutch right-hander threw 60 of his 87 pitches for strikes and upped his season strikeouts to 26.

Nine different Legionaere hitters tallied at least one hit. Czech slugger Petr Cech joined Chris Howard and Christoph Zirzlmeier with two RBIs apiece.

MAINZ 14, BAD HOMBURG 1
Texas native Dennis Kelly drove in three runs and Manuel Moeller continued his resurgence with 10 strikeouts as the A’s rolled past the Hornets at Mainz. Kelly singled, doubled and drew three walks while scoring twice and racking up a steal. Moeller (2-1) threw five scoreless innings after allowing a solo homer to Jennell Hudson in the opening frame. Lennard Stoecklin added three RBIs for the South Division-leading A’s.

2012 GERMAN SOUTH DIVISION:

Mainz Athletics (6-1)
Regensburg Legionaere (4-1)
Mannheim Tornados(3-2)
Haar Disciples (3-3)
Heidenheim Heidekoepfe (2-2)
Bad Homburg Hornets (1-6)
Stuttgart Reds (1-5)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

Follow Baseball de World on Twitter or Facebook and don’t forget to join our Newsletter.

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The Netherlands: Corendon Kinheim Routs Mr. Cocker HCAW

THE NETHERLANDS – Bryan Engelhardt homered and drove in three runs to lead Corendon Kinheim to a 12-0 rout over Mr. Cocker HCAW in a wet Dutch Baseball League encounter at Bussum.

Engelhardt went 3-for-5 with an RBI single and a two-run dinger. The sweet-swinging designated hitter is batting .429 (12-for-28) with three home runs and 10 RBIs in seven games.

Kinheim leadoff man Rene Cremer (3-for-5) and teammates Dirk van’t Klooster (3-for-4) and Quintin de Cuba (3-for-3)
also collected three hits apiece as the visiting squad pounded out 17 hits.

HCAW right-fielder Jim Froberg tallied three of the four hits by the home side.

David Bergman (2-0) scattered four hits and 10 strikeouts over six shutout frames to lower his ERA to 0.47 in 19 innings this season.

VAESSEN 6, SPARTA/FEYENOORD 4
Mika de Lincel (1-0) threw seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball and the Pioniers used a five-run seventh to move into second-place. Jourick Blanco, De Flanegin and Mark-Jan Moorman paced Vaessen with two hits apiece. Jochem Pronk went 2-for-2 with a run scored, RBI and stolen base for Sparta/Feyenoord.

2012 DUTCH MAJOR LEAGUE:

Corendon Kinheim (7-1)
Vaessen Pioniers (5-2-1)
ADO Lakers (4-2)
DOOR Neptunus (4-2)
L&D Amsterdam Pirates (4-2)
Mr. Cocker HCAW (2-5-1)
UVV (1-5)
Sparta/Feyenoord (0-8)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

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Italy: Unipol Bologna Stays Unbeaten

ITALY – Luca Panerati and Matteo D’ Angelo combined on a one-hit shutout to lead Unipol Bologna to a 3-0 victory Thursday over Telemarket Rimini in the Italian Baseball League.

Panerati (2-0) limited the Pirates to a lone single in the opening frame en route to a strong six-inning outing that included three walks and seven strikeouts. D’Angelo retired all nine batters he faced to complete the pitching gem and earn the save.

Unbeaten Bologna (7-0) netted all the runs it would need in the second. Catcher Alberto Varin snapped a scoreless deadlock with a run-scoring single and Andrea D’Amico, who also singled home an insurance run in the fourth, pushed the lead to a pair of scores with an RBI sacrifice fly.

NETTUNO 9, SAN MARINO 1
Veteran righty Juan Figueroa (2-0) worked six strong innings and Danesi Caffe Nettuno knocked T&A San Marino from the unbeaten ranks with a convincing win in the opening game of a three-game set. Christophe Crescenzi’s two-run blast sparked a three-run fourth. Reliever Santo Hernandez collected the final six outs.

GODO 4, NOVARRA 3
Juan Gonzalez singled home Francesco Fuzzi with the game-winning run in the 11th to give the Godo Knights the narrow win against Novarra United. Conrado Silva Diago belted a two-run homer in the ninth for Novarra to send the game into extra innings. Reliever Jose Mejias (1-0) picked up the win.

PARMA 3, GROSSETO 2
Riccardo Bertagnon and Stefano Giannetti hit back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the ninth to lift Cariparma Parma past Grosseto Baseball. Jay Pecci and Rolexis Molina tallied the only hits for the guests. Adam Clerici (1-1) worked a trio of 1-2-3 frames to notch the win.

2012 ITALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE:

Unipol Bologna (7-0)
T&A San Marino (8-1)
Telemarket Rimini (6-4)
Godo Knights (4-3)
Cariparma Parma (4-5)
Danesi Nettuno (4-5)
Grosseto Baseball (2-8)
Novara United (0-9)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

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Korea: Standings and Foreign Player Notes

Through the first week and a half of the season the SK Wyverns are atop the standings. They stand a half game ahead of both the Lotte Giants and the Doosan Bears. Perhaps the most surprising is the returning champion Samsung Lions are languishing in 7th place after having lost 4 straight.

Chan-ho Park made his second appearance for the Hanwha Eagles this week. Park pitched 6.1 innings allowing 3 runs on 5 hits while throwing 93 pitches in the start. He took the loss as the Eagles lost 6-1 to the LG Twins.

On the foreign player side, a few have been great and some have been flat out horrible.

Mario Santiago, the former Kansas City farmhand, has been great so far for the SK Wyverns. Through 3 games, he is 1-0 with an ERA of 1.53. So far Santiago has averaged just under 6 innings per start. His teammate Aquilino Lopez has been equally as good in his 1 start. Lopez is 1-0 going 6.1 innings allowing only 1 run on 3 hits. Last season Lopez went 11-9 with a 3.98 ERA for the Kia Tigers.

Former Texas Ranger Dustin Nippert is off to a good start with the Doosan Bears. So far this year Nippert is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA.  He has averaged just over 7 innings in his 3 starts so far. Nippert is looking to repeat what he did in 2011 when he went 15-6 with a 2.55 ERA for the Bears. Teammate Scott Proctor, who pitched with both the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees in 2011, has been great out of the pen for Doosan. In 3 appearances, Proctor has 2 saves and has yet to allow a run.

Ben Jukich has been okay so far for the LG Twins. In 2 games he has gone 1-0 with an ERA of 4.26. He is averaging 6.1 innings so far. He will have his 3rd start of the year today against SK. Radhames Liz has entered the bullpen this year after starting some last season. So far through 5 games he is 0-1 with 4 saves but has posted an ERA of 10.38 so far. He has struggled with his control walking 6 in 4.1 innings.

The Samsung Lions have struggled so far this year. Brian Gordon, who has pitched for the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees, has 1 start so far and did very well going 6.1 scoreless innings. He goes for his 2nd win today against Hanwha. His teammate Mitch Talbot hasn’t done as well. Talbot is 1-1 through 2 games with an ERA of 7.00. He has averaged less than 5 innings a start so far.

Perhaps the one that has struggled the most so far is Brian Bass with the Hanwha Eagles. Bass so far is 0-1 in 2 games with an ERA of 48.60 and has been sent down to the 2nd division to try and get on track. In less than 2 innings of work he has given up 9 hits including 3 doubles and a home run. His teammate Denny Bautista has done quite a bit better. Last season Bautista posted 10 saves and an ERA of 2.02. So far in 2012, he has 1 loss, a save, and an ERA of 2.70.

The Kia Tigers haven’t gotten a lot of help from their foreign imports so far. Horacio Ramirez has been hurt and hasn’t pitched yet. Their other import, Anthony Lerew, hasn’t been great. In 2 games, he is 1-1 with a 6.55 ERA and is averaging less than 6 innings a start.

The Lotte Giants brought back Ryan Sadowski for a 3rd straight year. Last season Sadowski went 11-8 with a 3.91 ERA. So far in 2012, he has yet to register a decision and has posted an ERA of 5.00. Shane Youman, former Pittsburgh Pirate, has done very well so far in Korea. In 2 starts he is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.88, and he is averaging over 7 innings per start. Youman spent last season in Taiwan with the Lamigo Monkeys.

The Nexen Heroes have gotten some quality starts from its imports. Brandon Knight (7-15/4.73 in 2011) has started off great this season. In 3 starts, he is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA and he is averaging over 6 innings a start. Andy Van Hekken has been good as well. In 2 starts, Van Hekken is 0-1 with a 2.19 ERA.

KBO Standings :

Team Won Lost Tie
SK Wyverns 07 03 00
Lotte Giants 06 03 01
Doosan Bears 06 03 01
LG Twins 06 04 00
Kia Tigers 05 05 00
Nexen Heroes 04 06 00
Samsung Lions 03 07 00
Hanwha Eagles 02 08 00

 

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MLB Announces 2012 First-Year Player Draft Order

Press Release Major League Baseball

MLB Network to Host Day One Festivities on Monday, June 4th Live From Studio 42;

Astros Select First Overall; Cardinals, Blue Jays Each Hold Five of Top 60 Picks

Major League Baseball will hold day one of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft on Monday, June 4th at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey.  The Draft will begin live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 7:00 p.m. (ET).  Prior to the start of the Draft, MLB Network will air a Draft preview show, also simulcast on MLB.com, at 6:00 p.m. (ET).

The selection order of the First-Year Player Draft is determined by the reverse order of finish at the close of the previous championship season.  For the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, compensation picks have been assigned to Clubs whose Type A or Type B free agents signed with other Clubs and/or to Clubs that did not sign a player who was chosen in the first three rounds of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.  The Houston Astros will have the first overall selection of the 2012 Draft, marking the third time in Club history it has the top choice (previous: 1976, 1992).  Four Clubs have two first round picks: the Toronto Blue Jays (17th and 22nd), the St. Louis Cardinals (19th and 23rd), the Boston Red Sox (24th and 31st) and the Milwaukee Brewers (27th and 28th).  The Cardinals have five of the first 59 selections and the Blue Jays hold five of the first 60 picks.

Per the new Basic Agreement, the Draft will have 40 rounds, instead of 50.  A Club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds.

Like each of the previous three years, the 2012 Draft will span three days.  For day one on June 4th, MLB Network and MLB.com will provide live pick-by-pick coverage during the first round as well as the first compensation round.  The intervals between selections will last five minutes during the first round and one minute during the compensation round.  The Draft will resume at 12:00 p.m. (ET) on both Tuesday, June 5th and Wednesday, June 6th via conference call from MLB headquarters in New York City.  Tuesday, June 5th will cover rounds two through 15, and Wednesday, June 6th will cover rounds 16 through 40.  Rounds two through 10 will have one minute between selections, and the remainder of the selections will be made without delays.

Continuing coverage at the start of day two, MLB.com will deliver exclusive live programming of the Draft’s final two days, including a live pick-by-pick stream, draft and scouting expert commentary and DraftCaster, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every draft-eligible player supplemented by statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.

Each of the 30 Major League Clubs will be represented at the Draft by one of its former players and/or a member of its front office.  Last year’s representatives included Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar, Rod Carew, Tommy Lasorda, Gaylord Perry and Jim Rice, along with MLB Executive Vice President Joe Torre and San Diego Padres great Trevor Hoffman.  The Club representatives who will attend the 2012 Draft will be announced in the weeks ahead.

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Germany: Ticket Prices Announced for World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Regensburg

World Baseball Classic Qualifier with Canada, Germany, Great Britain and Czech Republic will be played from September 20 to 24, 2012

The organizers of the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Regensburg, Germany announced the ticket prices on Tuesday. There are five different categories for the five days of competition, ranging from 15 to 75 Euros. Tournament passes will be handed out for 60 to 220 Euros. The tickets will be on sale starting April 27. They will be available online through thewww.worldbaseballclassic.de website.

The World Baseball Classic Qualifier at the Armin-Wolf-Arena in Regensburg from September 20 to 24, 2012 features the teams from Canada, Great Britain, Czech Republic and Germany. The tournament will be played in a double elimination format with the winner qualifying for the 2013 World Baseball Classic main event.

There will be three other qualifiers in Jupiter (Florida, USA), Taipei (Chinese Taipei) and Panama City (Panama), which will be played in November of 2012. 

Ticket Prices World Baseball Classic Qualifier Regensburg:

Single Ticket Single Ticket Week Pass
 (One Game)  (Two Games)  (Six Games total)
Category Sept. 20/21/23/24 Sept. 22 Sept. 20 to 24
Homeplate Premium 50 Euros 75 Euros 220 Euros
Homeplate 40 Euros 60 Euros 175 Euros
Infield 30 Euros 45 Euros 130 Euros
Baseline 20 Euros 30 Euros 85 Euros
Outfield 15 Euros 20 Euros 60 Euros

 

Courtesy IBAF.org

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Great Britain: Harlow Nationals Sweep Essex Arrows

GREAT BRITAIN – The Harlow Nationals used a pair of pitching gems last weekend to sweep the Essex Arrows in a British National Baseball League doubleheader at Northbrooks Baseball Field in Harlow.

Harlow (5-1) took the first game, 5-2, as Jamie Ratcliff (2-0) followed his one-hitter a week earlier with a two-hit complete game.

The reigning British champion finished off the two-game set with a 7-0 shutout victory. Roberto Almanzar (2-0), who tossed a three-hitter a week ago, went the distance allowing the Arrows just two hits.

HERTS SPLITS WITH SOUTHAMPTON
The Herts Falcons and Southampton Mustangs split a twinbill. Alberto Rodriguez (2-0) notched the win as the Mustangs survived a late rally by the Falcons to claim a 7-5 decision. However, Mike Osborn (3-0) scattered two runs and eight hits in a complete game effort to lead Herts to a 7-3 victory.

LONDON CRUSHES CROYDON
The London Mets coasted to a pair of lopsided victories over the Croydon Pirates. Pietro Sollecito pitched a five-inning complete game and Alex Pike popped a two-run walk-off home run in a 13-2 win in the first game. The Mets used a five-run second highlighted by home runs by Pike, Grant del Zoppo and Erick Henson en route to a 16-6 drubbing in the second contest.

2012 NATIONAL BASEBALL LEAGUE:

Herts Falcons (5-1)
Harlow Nationals (5-1)
London Mets (3-1)
Southampton Mustangs (2-2)
Lakenheath Diamondbacks (1-1)
Essex Arrows (2-4)
Croydon Pirates (0-4)
Bracknell Blazers (0-4)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

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Czech Republic: Eagles Prague Sweep Technika Brno

CZECH REPUBLIC – Lukas Borecky worked six strong innings and Eagles Prague completed a three-game sweep over Technika Brno Sunday with a narrow 5-4 victory in the Czech Baseball League.

Borecky (1-1) allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and a strikeout en route to the win.

The Eagles (4-2), which are currently tied with AVG Draci Brno, Hrosi Brno and Arrows Ostrava for the league lead, rolled to a 9-2 triumph in the front end of Saturday’s doubleheader. Matej Husek (2-0) struck out seven and walked one over six innings of one-run ball to earn the decision.

The Prague-based club finished off the twinbill sweep with another 9-2 victory. Brad Merritt (1-0) scattered two runs and four hits over six frames to pick up the win.

Draci (4-2) swept two games (19-6 and 6-2) against Skokani Olomouc on Saturday before dropping the series finale the following day by a margin of 4-2.

Hrosi Brno (4-2) captured a pair of 3-2 wins against Kotlarka Prague before getting pounded 10-0 in Sunday’s series finale.

The Arrows Ostrava (4-2) won all three games against last-place Olympia Blansko. Ostrava bagged 11-0 and 5-2 victories on Saturday before finishing off the three-game set the next day with a 6-3 win.

2012 Czech Baseball League:

AVG Draci Brno (4-2)
Cardion Hrosi Brno (4-2)
Arrows Ostrava (4-2)
Eagles Prague (4-2)
Technika Brno (3-3)
Skokani Olomouc (3-3)
Kotlá?ka Prague (2-4)
Olympia Blansko (0-6)

Marvin Moore is a freelance writer and former int’l baseball coach. He currently teaches baseball to underpriviliged Filipino boys at the Future Stars Baseball School in Bohol, Philippines.

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Spain: Barcelona and Tenerife Split Weekend Series

SPAIN – The series between the current League’s leader CB Barcelona, that was hosting in Montjuic the recent King’s Cup champion Tenerife Marlins, left two intense games and a win for each one (0-5 and 5-4).

In the first match, Lowuin Sacramento (5-2) shutout the current leader allowing just four hits and strikes out seven rivals. The Marlins took advantage of a doubtful beginning of Jose L. Hernández (6-1) to score three careers inthe first inning and not lose advantage anymore.

In the second match the home team won in the tie-break (10 inn.) and in a polemic rain-check decision in sixth inning. In the game’s resumption Jonathan García (3-0) was a winner reliever, batted-in tie run in ninth inning and scored the win one in tenth thanks to single-hit off from José L. Riera. Miguel Rizo (1-1) also in relief work lostthe game.

In Burlada the local team, Pamplona, and El Llano won a game each one (4-8 and 8-3). Wilquin Escanio (1-6) relieved four innings to win the game thanks to terrific ambush in ninth inning where all visitor line-up have at bat chance to score five runs. Jose A. Fumero (2-3) worked eigth innings but lost the game.

The home team recovered in the second game thanks to Eneko del Burgo (4-2) 8.1 innings winning effort and one great batting performance action of third base I. J. Díaz, which batted-in five runs and homer once. Ernesto I. Pino (0-1) only was possible to support the first inning on the mound and was the defeated pitcher.

CB Viladecans gave two KO to Halcones de Vigo in his visit to Bembrive. In first game, 1-13 (7 inn.), Juan C. Campos (4-1) only allowed four hits to the Galicians bats and had an offensive support from the same first inning, in which Viladecans had a six-run offensive. The right fielder Félix Cano Jr hit two doubles, drive-in four and scored three runs. Ronny Materano (0-3) was the defeated.

The second game, 1-16 (7 inn.), also it was solved by a combination of a good performance pitching of Miquel Luengo (2-3) and a on-fire line-up, specially from the center fielder A. Tenllado, who batted in five runs with three singles hits. The loss was for Jose D. Cabral (0-4).

One win for each one was the result of the Béisbol Navarra visit to CBS Sant Boi. 6-5 won the local team a very disputed first match and where both teams had options to take the final victory. Rubén D. Fente (4-2) won and Dani Matías saved to Sant Boi. The game was solved in the seventh inning when Xavier Civit hit RBI single. Harold Y. Rumión (2-4) worked complete but was defeated.

In the second game, Andrés Casado (3-1) didn’t give options to Sant Boi and the visitors imposed themselves 1-8. Matías, who had saved before , started the game and was the loser.

The San Inazio Bilbao Bizkaia and Astros de Valencia series that was to be disputed in Bilbao was rained out.

2012 SPANISH LEAGUE:

C.B. Barcelona (13-1)
Valencia Astros (11-1)
Marlins Puerto Cruz (9-5)
C.B. Sant Boi (7-7)
C.B. Viladecans (7-7)
C.D. Pamplona (7-7)
Baseball Navarra (6-8)
San Inazio Bilbao (5-7)
El Llano (3-11)
Vigo Falcons (0-14)

Press Release: Spanish Baseball and Softball Federation

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Movie Review – Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey

Originally posted on BaseballJourneyman.com

Bill Lee may be known as the Spaceman, but you could very easily call him Mr. Baseball. Lee has a passion for the game that really comes out in the film Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey. Bill Lee joins a team from San Diego on a trip to Cuba for a little barnstorming trip.

It’s an interesting ride in that you not only get to see a different side of Bill Lee from what you might see on TV in interviews, but you get to see a small insight on baseball in Cuba.

Nobody on the trip to Cuba from the US was ever paid to play baseball with the exception of Bill Lee. This is a group of adults who love the game. Traveling to a game on a bus and getting off together as a team is their major leagues. To do that in another country  has to be an absolute thrill. Throw in that you are doing it on an island that is baseball crazy and it has to be a trip of a lifetime.

All of the Cuban players are older adults who have played their entire lives, and it shows. They play good baseball and put the American team to the test in each game. Not only do the players show a love of the game, but you see people showing up to games as fans to watch that love it. Some show up to practice their English, some show up to see the former major leaguer play, and others simply want to watch baseball.

Everywhere the players go they are greeted by friendly people and most are fans of the game. It’s an amazing insight, albeit small, into a culture that has almost been closed off completely to Americans. The opposing teams and people on the streets are interested in talking about the old guys who played with Lee, and they know them. They remember Fred Lynn, Luis Tiant, Fisk, and others.  It’s amazing how much the casual fan knows there.

Another aspect of the movie that is interesting is seeing the fields they play at. Of course, they are all older but the field itself always looks like its in pretty good shape. You see some nice fields with makeshift fences at times or old concrete stands that were erected in the 50?s or earlier.

A lot of the movie is about Bill Lee and his history which is pretty interesting. I enjoyed it especially since I only know Lee from what I have read because he was out of baseball before I can remember watching. He had a lot of interesting things to say and was quite a character. I can easily see how he got the nickname Spaceman, but don’t get fooled into thinking he isn’t an intelligent man. He reminds me of a baseball version of Dennis Miller. He uses a lot of references that most people won’t understand which to me makes him even more interesting. In the day of internet and Google, you can actually search some of the references with the click of a mouse.

He’s also part Satchel Paige in that he is still playing into his 60?s (I believe he was 58 at the time of the film). He talks about Paige in the film as well saying he is his idol for having played so long at such a high level. The both have some interesting quotes as well.

You get some insight on Bill from some of his contemporaries and others that he was around in the game of baseball. Fred Lynn, Dick Williams, Luis Tiant, and others are interviewed about Bill Lee. They all have something interesting to say and when you combine that with some old interview footage it makes for an interesting look at the man himself.

This film has made me more of a fan of Bill Lee and has made me want to read some of the books he wrote. You can also catch Bill on another trip to Cuba in the Film Gift of the Game

I highly recommend watching this film. It’s only just over an hour long so its not a huge time commitment, but it’s extremely interesting. Take an inside look at baseball in Cuba, if only for a minute. And get a look at Bill Lee and you can’t help but love his love of the game whether you are a Red Sox fan or Yankees fan or anyone in between. I give it a rating of 4 gloves.

 

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Book Review: Deadball by David B. Stinson

Originally posted on BaseballJourneyman.com

Nostalgia is a part of baseball that stays with us as we get older. I can remember watching games as a kid at old Arlington Stadium that is now a parking lot. When I go back to Arlington and visit The Ballpark, I think back to when I was a kid watching games with my dad and brothers. But what if I could get back to Arlington Stadium just once more to sit in the bleachers like I did when I was a kid. This is the thought and feeling I got when reading David Stinson’s Deadball: A Metaphysical Baseball Novel.

In this novel, Stinson tells of a former minor leaguer, Byron “Bitty” Bennett, who’s love of the game extends past the history of his beloved Baltimore Orioles, but to the old parks that once served as the stage for some of the greatest players and teams to have ever played the game. However, his connection to the game is more than that of just a former player. It’s more spiritual than that.

Bennett does his best to study the history of the game in Baltimore, but he does more than just read. He uses his knowledge and old photos to try and visualize the places where the game he loves so much was once played. Visiting these ballparks he is introduced to and slowly incorporated into a society of believers that resembles something out of Field of Dreams.

As he ventures around to various old stadiums in Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore, he slowly sees more and more of something he can’t quite explain. Slowly he sees more at each stop. He starts by having conversations with players that he thinks are either ghosts or someone playing a practical joke. He isn’t quite sure.

Slowly he sees more and more as he continues his journey. He begins to see the stadiums as they were during their hay day. But it is more than the stadium. He begins to see the ticket takers, fans, and vendors even conversing with a few over time. He struggles with what he sees and the conversations he begins to have with people. He isn’t quite sure if what he is seeing is real or just a dream.

The few people he tells of these visions don’t believe him only furthering his frustration and struggles with reality. However, Byron continues looking for answers from the present and the past.

This book did a great job weaving the present with the past. It’s entertaining, and keeps the reader guessing what will happen in the end. I was actually surprised in the end in a good way.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It has increased my interest in the parks that have long disappeared, and took me back to my childhood to the park where I grew up watching games that is long gone.  It’s a journey to the past that engages the reader opening your mind to possibilities that are often overlooked.

I would highly recommend this to anyone. Baseball fans will love the history that is incorporated into the story, but I think anyone would enjoy the book for the story of Byron and his struggles with reality. I can only hope Mr. Stinson decides to write another book.

In the Baseball Journeyman rating system, I give this book a full 5 gloves. Pick it up and I think you’ll find yourself rooting for Byron “Bitty” Bennett like I did.

 

*In full disclosure, I was given this book by the author to read, but all my opinions about the book are mine and mine alone. Any items given to me for review purposes are always fully disclosed, but in no way does that mean a positive review will be given. As well, my reviews contain affiliate links. If you click and then purchase an item I will receive a small commission. Thanks for your understanding.

 

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Great Britain: Team GB Shakes up its Staffing Structure

GB Baseball has announced changes to its structure ahead of the team’s European Championship and World Baseball Classic Qualifier appearances in September, including a new General Manager.

The Great Britain Baseball staff has announced changes to its structure ahead of the team’s European Championship and World Baseball Classic Qualifier appearances in September. New volunteer roles have been added to the GB Operations team while other jobs are being reshaped to better cope with the 2012 workload and make best use of staff skills.

 

NEW GENERAL MANAGER

The biggest change will see the current GB Cadet Coach, Brendan Cunliffe, also assume the responsibilities of Senior Team General Manager, replacing Jason Greenberg.

Greenberg served as Senior GM for the past two years as well as Great Britain Baseball’s Director of Operations. Going forward, Cunliffe will assume charge of the programme’s top team and Greenberg will focus more broadly on the operational structure and logistical processes of all four GB squads.

“This is the most challenging summer of Great Britain Baseball to date,” said Greenberg. “We have four teams heading in separate directions around the globe, more rostered players than ever before in the history of our national teams, and of course, with our appearance in the World Baseball Classic qualifier, the eyes of the world will be upon us. We felt it was imperative to get more volunteers involved and shake up our management system from the top down to ensure we’re fully equipped for the work ahead.”

Brendan Cunliffe
Brendan Cunliffe is the new Team GB General Manager

Brendan Cunliffe, who comes from Ontario, Canada and is currently living and working in London as a Senior Development Manager at BaseballSoftballUK, will take over as Senior General Manager with immediate effect. Brendan was part of the Team GB pitching staff the last two seasons for European tournaments in Stuttgart, Germany and Tel Aviv, Israel. He played baseball for four years at Montreat College in North Carolina and won national championships in Britain with the Bracknell Blazers (2009) and Southern Nationals (2011). He is the current Head Coach of the GB Cadet National Team and will continue to fulfil that role this July when he leads the Cadets to a challenging series of games across eastern Canada.

“Brendan [Cunliffe] will be a terrific General Manager,” Jason Greenberg said. “He is stepping up in a big way, giving even more time and energy to the programme and assuming a critical role in a relentless summer of GB competition.”

ADDITIONAL CHANGES

Supporting Brendan Cunliffe as Assistant General Manager and new Media Director for the GB Senior Team will be Trevor Clissold.

Clissold was born and raised in London and studied in Edinburgh and Nottingham before attending the University of Exeter, where he focused on Politics and International Relations. He began his career working at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before moving into the area of Human Resources, specialising in Employee Relations, and he now works full time for BaseballSoftballUK.

Clissold was a part of the youth programme for the world’s oldest rugby club, Blackheath RFC, and from 2008-2010 was the club secretary for one of the South East’s longest-running Sunday football clubs. He is now a member of the Kent Mariners Baseball Club.

BBF National Teams Programme Director Marty Cullen said: “It is high time we carved up our growing responsibilities as a national teams programme and got more hands on deck. As with any volunteer organisation, we need a lot of good people working hard to get the job done and I believe all of these revised roles and new faces will help us move forward in 2012 and beyond.”

The GB programme is still looking for additional volunteers, including a Treasurer and Finance Director, an Equipment and Merchandising Coordinator, individual facilitators for GB Baseball fundraisers, and further Assistant General Managers to oversee finite areas of operational work. Some staff will have the opportunity to join the national teams on trips abroad, including at the European Championships and at the World Baseball Classic qualifier.

Interested volunteers should contact GB Baseball Director of Operations Jason Greenberg.

Courtesy BritishBaseball.org

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Belgium: Namur Angels Add Pair of Americans

BELGIUM – The Namur Angels have add American collegiate players Greg Van Sickler and Jake Hummel for the 2012 Belgian League season.

Namur, which reached the Belgian Series in 2011, appear primed for another strong season by adding the pair of NCAA standouts.

Van Sickler is a four-year starter out of Shenandoah University (Virginia) which made back-to-back D3 World Series appearances.

A two-way player, he appeared in the individual categories rankings of NCAA in both pitching and hitting. On the mound he sported a 3.15 career ERA with a career-best 1.81 and a 8.3 strikeout to walk ratio in his senior year. Offensively, Van Sickler is a .411 career hitter, with 22 homeruns and 190 RBIs in 177 at bats. His stellar senior campaign earned him a All American 1st team selection, an elite group of the very best NCAA D3 players.

Hummel hails from Peoria (Arizona) and started his college career as a two-way player (P/OF) at Scottsdale Community College. He was also a part of the team that finished second at the NJCAA World Series.

The right-hander transferred to the University of the Pacific where he focused on pitching. Used as a starter as well as a reliever, he posted an overall 12-9 record with 3 saves and a 4.65 ERA. In 2 years in the Big West Conference, he struck out 127 batters walking only 53 over 191 innings.

Both players have been recruited for their baseball abilities but also fit very well the “Namur Angels profile” that aims to recruit good role models and teachers. Greg will be in charge of the U15 team while Jake will coach the junior team. Both players have coaching experience with youth players back home in the United States.

Source: Namur Angels

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