Archive | June, 2014

France: Montpellier Leads League Standings

In the French Division 1 Baseball League, the Montepellier Barracudas currently lead the league in a tense four-way battle for the lead. Montpellier has a slim lead over Senart. Both teams have the same number of loses, but Montpellier has two more wins. Not far behind are both Paris UC and Rouen. The rest of the league is under .500.

Montpellier is coming off a 10-inning 7-5 loss to the worst team in the league the Chartres French Cubs who only have three wins on the season. Meanwhile, Senart swept Rouen in a two game set to move into second place all by itself.

Montpellier is getting the job done on the mound leading the league with an ERA of just 2.04. Leading the way for the best pitching staff is ace William Musson who is 7-2 with an ERA of just 1.42. Thomas Langloys has also contributed a lot with an ERA of just 1.37 to lead the league and a record of 3-1.

The Barracudas are in the bottom half of the league in hitting with a team average of just .268.

Paris UC is dominating the hitting. They lead the league with a team average of .349. They lead the league in hits (279), doubles (47), triples (14), home runs (8), and stolen bases (58).

Cody Regis is dominating the league’s pitching. So far this season Regis is leading the league in average (.484), hits (44), runs scored (31), RBI (33), triples (7), home runs (3), and total bases (74). He is also second in stolen bases with sixteen.

French Division 1 Standings:

1. Montpellier Barracudas 16-6
2. Senart Templiers 14-6
3. Paris UC 15-7
4. Rouen Huskies 13-7
5. Stade Touluse 7-11
6. Beaucaire Chevaliers 7-11
7. Savigny Lions 3-13
8. Chartes French Cubs 3-17

Posted in Europe0 Comments

College: Tim Tadlock Wins Skip Bertman Award

Press Release College Baseball Hall of Fame

Texas Tech skipper named National Coach of the Year

LUBBOCK, Texas — The National College Baseball Hall of Fame is proud to announce Texas Tech coach Tim Tadlock as the 2014 Skip Bertman National Coach of the Year.

Tadlock will be honored at the Hall of Fame’s annual Night of Champions celebration on June 28 in Lubbock, Texas.

Picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 preseason poll, Tadlock has the Red Raiders in Omaha with a 45-19 record. In only his second year as head coach, he has led Texas Tech to wins at the Coral Gables NCAA regional and back-to-back 1-0 victories over College of Charleston in the Super Regional.

The 2014 Red Raiders finished the regular season with a record of 40-16, 14 wins better than their 2013 regular-season record of 26-30.

The award, sponsored by Easton-Bell Sports, is named for Bertman, who coached at LSU from 1984 to 2001. During his tenure, he won five national championships and was named National Coach of the Year six times. He coached 31 players who went on to play Major League Baseball and was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 2006. Since that time, three of his players have joined him in the Hall of Fame.

For more information on the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Night of Champions, contact the Hall of Fame at (806) 749-CBF3 or visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.

Coach of the Year Award

Posted in N. America, News, College0 Comments

Germany: Solingen and Heidenheim Continue To Lead Divisions

The Solingen Alligators and the Heidenheim Heidekopfe still lead their respective divisions in the German Bundesliga. The Alligators are dominating the North Division with a 19-1 record leading by a full five games over the two teams tied for second. Heidenheim’s lead is not quite as big as they lead the Regensburg Leagionaere by only two games. 

Solingen is on a seventeen game winning streak. Their last loss came in game three of the season to the Cologne Cardinals 12-10. With four games left in the season they finish with two games against fourth place HSV Stealers and then two games with current second place Paderborn Untouchables.

In the South, Heidenheim has four games left with the two teams currently in seventh and eighth place in the standings setting up what could be an easy road to the number one seed in the South.

South Division League Leaders

Batting Average
1. Joseph Dyche (Haar) .488
2. Justin Kuehn (Regensburg) .462
3. Marcel Jiminez (Regensburg) .444

On-Base + Slugging
1. Thomas De Wolf (Stuttgart) 1.344
2. Christopher Howard (Regensburg) 1.312
3. Joseph Dyche (Haar) 1.248

Home Runs
1. Thomas De Wolf (Stuttgart) 7
2. James McOwen (Heidenheim) 6
3. Several tied with 5

Wins
1. Tyler Lockwood (Heidenheim) 7
2. Luke Sommer (Heidenheim) 5
3. Several tied with 4

Saves
1. Andres Perez (Stuttgart) 4
2. Several tied with 2

North Division League Leaders

Batting Average
1. Tanner Leighton (Solingen) .456
2. Dallas Burke (Cologne) .439
3. Daniel Sanchez (Solingen) .432

On-Base + Slugging
1. Tucker White (Paderborn) 1.376
2. Tanner Leighton (Solingen) 1.367
3. Dallas Burke (Cologne) 1.185

Home Runs
1. Tucker White (Paderborn) 6
2. Tanner Leighton (Solingen) 5
3. Several tied with 3

Wins
1. Christopher Mezger (Solingen) 9
2. Harry Glynne (Solingen) 7
3. Several tied with 4

Saves
1. Nobody with more than 2

South Division Standings:

1. Heidemheim Heidekopfe 19-3
2. Buchbinder Legionaere 19-5
3. Stuttgart Reds 12-8
4. Mainz Athletics 10-12
5. Mannheim Tornados 9-11
6. Haar Disciples 9-11
7. Tubingen Hawks 3-17
8. Bad Homburg Hornets 3-17

North Division Standings:

1. Solingen Alligators 19-1
2. Paderborn Untouchables 12-4
3. Bonn Capitals 13-5
4. HSV Stealers 10-8
5. Dohren Wild Farmers 5-17
6. Cologne Cardinals 4-16
7. Dortmund Wanderers 3-15

Posted in Europe0 Comments

Independent Baseball: Niagara New Team for Can-Am League in 2015

The Niagara Professional Baseball Group has been given provisional approval to field a team in the Can-Am League for the 2015 season. They will join the current four team league giving them another Canadian team to go with Quebec and Trois-Rivieres. The league will be six teams as Niagara and Ottawa will both be joining the league next season. Niagara has announced they are also looking for a team name and are looking for help from the public. A name the team contest has been announced via the club’s website. If you have an idea on what the team could be called for its inaugural season you can email or tweet your ideas to the team. The winner will receive some great prizes including a pair of season tickets. Contest ends August 1st. The club has also announced tryouts for September 20th. The tryout is open to anyone interested. It will take place from 2-6pm with pitchers and catchers reporting from 2-4pm and positional players from 4-6pm. Cost of the tryout is $60 per player. You can find the player tryout form and a link for payment here on their website. The club will play its home games at Welland Sports Complex which was built in 1989. The Welland Pirates played there from 1989 to 1994 as apart of the New York-Penn League. For more information on the tryout you can contact Colin at 647-608-8163 or via email at ccumminsATniagaraprobaseball.com

Posted in N. America, News, Minors0 Comments

A Few Thoughts on the Great Tony Gwynn

For the past few days we have all seen some great tributes to the great Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn. He will definitely be missed but I feel a lot of the tributes are overlooking one thing. His impact at the amateur level.

As we all know now, and many may not have known before, Gwynn was the head coach of the San Diego State University Aztecs. It was here that he made a profound impact on, not only the game, but on the lives of young men. SDSU may not have reached the powerhouse status of some other California schools, but it made great strides while he was at the helm. He led them to the NCAA tournament three times (2009, 2013, 2014). It was the first time they reached the postseason since 1991.

Gwynn’s love of baseball was something that was simply fun to watch. As a guy who grew up not watching much Padre baseball, he was always one I loved, but disliked seeing because he was so good, watching play my favorite team the Atlanta Braves.

When I picture Gwynn I see two things. First of all, I see him lining a baseball into the left-centerfield gap for a stand up double. He was such a great hitter and used all the field so well. I always wondered how many home runs he would have hit if he just decided to load up and pull the ball more. But that wasn’t him. Secondly, I remember well him with Ted Williams at the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston. That was one of the great moments in baseball history during my lifetime and probably will never be matched.

I do not want to get into an argument about how great a hitter Tony Gwynn was. He was great. Or if he was better than this player or that player. Gwynn had one of the best swings I’ve ever seen and was simply an amazing hitter for anyone’s generation. His numbers speak for themselves. That is where I will leave that.

If you have a few minutes I highly recommend you checking out the MLB video of the Padres tribute. It was a touching moment and I loved that they included the Aztecs in the tribute, even his Aztec jersey in the dugout. You can watch it here.

Over at Friarhood.com you can purchase a t-shirt in honor of Tony Gwynn. They have two very cool shirts with proceeds going to a charity. They do great work over there covering the Padres. Below is the graphic on one of the shirts.

BqXu7TyCMAAmVd8

Posted in N. America, News, MLB0 Comments

Is the IBL Shutting Down the Season Already?

It is not an easy task to run a start up business. We see it everyday when different businesses in every town in America go under. It’s even harder to start a professional baseball league. Without the backing of Major League Baseball teams fight for fans on budgets that are razor thin. There have been more unsuccessful leagues over the years than successful ones. However, that doesn’t mean it is not possible to build a product that the fans will enjoy and keep coming back to. There are a few leagues that do just that and this year there was one more taking the plunge to try and add their name to that list, the Independent Baseball League. The IBL is a bit different in many regards. First of all, they play in small towns in Ohio and Michigan. We wrote about it kicking off its inaugural season just two months ago with this post. Secondly, the league does not play every day like many others. Instead the league, of only four teams, plays weekend games similar to how the leagues are set up in many places in Europe. The teams typically play single games Friday, a double header on Saturday, and a single game Sunday. That is all. However, today there was some news that the IBL would be closing up shop after just 12 games for each team. Then the post was removed from the league’s Facebook feed shortly after. You can see a screenshot below. IBL Post

I contacted someone within the IBL but was given no indication of the league shutting its doors or continuing to play. So this may be something that they are teetering on the edge with and have not fully decided. Most of the team websites are fairly up to date. However, the league website itself is not and appears to have some sort of error on it, although that has been there for as long as I can remember.

(H/T to Dan Malley for the screenshot)

Posted in N. America, News, Minors0 Comments

MLB Draft: Should the Astros Draft Rendon or Aiken #1 Overall?

The Houston Astros aren’t the doormat of the American League anymore. Okay let’s not get carried away, because they still aren’t very good. They still might be one of the worst teams in baseball, but don’t count them out forever. They are putting together a lot of good young talent which comes when you have the first pick in the draft year after year.

The past two years the Astros have had the first pick in the draft. In 2012 they drafted Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa who is currently tearing it up at the high Single-A level for the Lancaster Jethawks. In 2013, the Astros drafted highly regarded Stanford pitcher Mark Appel. Appel struggled to start the 2014 season but pitched well after being drafted last summer. He has a lot of upside and might be in the big leagues before too long.

Three years ago the Astros only had the #11 pick, but they made the most of it drafting George Springer. Springer would be the Astros #1 prospect had he not been called up to the big leagues earlier this year. So far in 2014 he is tearing it up for a rookie already with 10 home runs in just under 200 at bats.

This year I think tells a lot with where the Astros feel they are at at the big league level. The top two picks in most mock drafts are both left handed starting pitchers. One is a high school phenom in Brady Aiken, and the other is college standout Carlon Rondon from North Carolina State University.

Aiken is highly thought of and has a huge upside. However, Rondon may be closer to the big leagues. This is where I feel the Astros have to make a big decision. Do they choose Rondon in hopes that he could join Appel and the other rising stars in the Astros farm system in just a few years in Houston? Or do they choose Aiken and let him get some seasoning in the minors.

Aiken may take longer to get to the big leagues, but he might have a higher ceiling. Whereas Rondon might still become a quality front of the rotation starter and might do it a bit quicker than the high school pitcher.

The history of high school left handed pitchers going #1 overall has seen some bumps in the road. See David Clyde and Brien Taylor. However, this shouldn’t be taken into much consideration for Houston.

I think the Astros should take Rondon simply because he is further along in his development. Then again I am more of a proponent of taking college pitchers over high schoolers in the first few rounds, especially if you have the first pick. I think the pick will give a slight insight into where the Astros see themselves. Are they still 5+ years away from contending? Then perhaps they should stick with Aiken and go with the younger pitcher. If they feel they are five or less years away from contending, then I would go with Rondon. He gives you the better option to help out a team at the big league level in under five years. That doesn’t mean he will be the ace of the staff in three years. He still needs some polishing, but he is closer than Aiken even if Aiken has a higher upside as many people feel.

No matter who they take, it should be an interesting draft. There are some others I am anxious to see where they wind up like the hard throwing high schooler out of Texas Tyler Kolek. Or who ever drafts Alex Jackson, do they see him as a catcher or an outfielder? There is a lot of talent in the draft this year.

Who do you think the Astros should draft #1 overall?

Posted in N. America, News, MLB0 Comments

Independent Baseball League Teams with the Most Titles

In my continuing infatuation with independent baseball, I decided to take a look at the most successful teams in independent baseball. There are many ways in which you can determine success, but here I am looking at success in terms of championships.

Now you can argue that some championships are bigger than others, but a championship is a championship. All of these teams won their league title and a few even won in several different leagues over the years. There have been so many different leagues over the years and teams come and go. With that in mind I am only looking at teams that won more than two titles. There are quite a few with a single title, including many teams that no longer exist. There are even many teams with two titles, but over two really seems to limit the teams almost to a top 10.

So let’s take a look at the teams with three titles.

Teams with Three Titles

Fort Worth Cats – The Cats have a long history of baseball in Fort Worth dating back to the first half of the 20th century. The team was revived in 2001 in the independent All-American Association. The league folded after a year and the Cat joined the Central Baseball League winning their first championship in 2005. A year later the team joined the American Association where it would continue its dominance winning the title in its first two years in the league, 2006 and 2007. The Cats have not won a title since, but did reach the championship series of the United League Baseball, their current league, in 2013.

Gary SouthShore RailCats – The RailCats started play in the Northern League in 2002. The RailCats quickly built themselves into a powerhouse reaching the Northern League championship five straight seasons (2005-2009). They would win only two of those five (2005, 2007). After the Northern League folded after the 2010 season, the RailCats joined the American Association where they continue to play today. The RailCats are the current defending American Association champions after having defeated the Wichita Wingnuts in four games in 2013.

Long Island Ducks – The Ducks are one of independent baseball’s most famous teams and with it they have three titles. They are the two-time defending champions of the Atlantic League after defeating the Somerset Patriots in five games in 2013. Added to their titles in 2012 and 2013, the Ducks won their first title in 2004.

Windy City Thunderbolts – The Thunderbolts have played in the Frontier League since 1999. The team won back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008 in the Frontier League. The first title in franchise history came under another name, the Cook County Cheetahs. The Cheetahs played in the Heartland League where they defeated the Tennessee Tomahawks in the championship.

Teams with Four Titles

St. Paul Saints – Arguably the most popular independent baseball team of all-time, the Saints helped build the Northern League. The Saints won the first Northern League title in 1993 and then came back in 1995 and 1996 to claim two more titles. The team didn’t win another one until 2004 just a couple of years before they would jump ship to the American Association where they continue playing today.

New Jersey Jackals – The Jackals began play in 1998 and quickly won the Northeast League title. The following season the Northeast League and the Northern League combined. The Jackals claimed their second title in 2001 defeating the Winnipeg Goldeyes to win their first Northern League title. They would repeat again defeating Winnipeg in 2002. The Northeast League decided to split from the Northern League in 2003. The following year the Jackals would win their fourth and final title claiming the 2004 Northeast League title. Today the Jackals play in the Can-Am League.

Amarillo Dillas – The Dillas existed as a team from 1994 to 2010 playing in different leagues. In 1999 as a part of the defunct Texas-Louisiana League, the Dillas win their first title. After a few league changes the Dillas would put together a powerhouse in the United League Baseball winning three titles in a row from 2008-2010. The team, due to financial difficulties, would disband after the 2010 season.

Teams with Five Titles

Somerset Patriots – Arguably the most successful team due to the league they play in, the Patriots are the five-time champions of the Atlantic League. The Patriots started play in 1998 winning their first title in the leagues fourth years of existence in 2001. This was after losing in the championship the previous two seasons. The Patriots would win again in 2003, 2005, and back-to-back titles in 2008-2009. The team has made the championship nine times, including 2013.

Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks – The Redhawks could also be argued as the most successful team having won five Northern League titles. Their first title came in 1998 just a few years after the Northern League began. A few years later they would pick up their second title in 2003, then again in 2006. The Redhawks would finish out the Northern League (folded after 2010) strong winning the last two titles in 2009 and 2010. They have won 13 division titles including the last two in the American Association where they play today. In their 18 years of existence, the Redhawks have failed to make the playoffs only two times.

Alexandria Aces – The Aces are the franchise with the most titles that no longer exists. The Aces played from 1994-2013. In that span they played in five different leagues including a few seasons in a collegiate league. Their first title came in 1997 in the Texas-Louisiana League. They would win again in 1998 and then turned their sites to the United League Baseball. They would win two straight ULB titles in 2006 and 2007. The final franchise title came in 2009 as a member of the Continental Baseball League.

Teams with Six Titles

Quebec Capitales – The Capitales play in the Canadian-American League where they have dominated. The Northeast League was renamed in 2004 creating the Can-Am League where the Capitales have won six titles since. The team began play in 1999 as a part of the Northern League. Since 2000 the Capitales have made the playoffs 12 times winning 6 titles. They are the five-time defending Can-Am League champions having defeated the New Jersey Jackals in the last three Can-Am League championships.

Perhaps these numbers will change after the 2014 season with nine of the eleven teams still playing.

Posted in N. America, Minors0 Comments

Switzerland: Zurich Barracudas Tame the Zurich Lions

By Christopher Byrnes

The Zurich Barracudas have won 10 in a row and moved to 10-1 on the season sweeping the Zurich Lions 16-7 and 13-1. The Barracudas lead the second place Therwil Flyers by 3.5 games in the standings.

The Barracudas once again played solid defense and delivered timely hitting to support the pitching efforts of Roger Savoldelli. Savoldeli  took over the bus for the Barracudas as he pitched a complete game to earn his first win as a Zurich Barracuda. The Barracudas were led offensively by Strahil Georgiev who had four hits and four RBIs. Nelson Santana went 3-5 and added 2 RBIs.

In the nightcap it was the strong pitching of Bert Marsnik and Josh Crouse who combined on a one hitter and allowed the Barracudas to cruise to a 13-1 victory. It was the man from the Twin Cities Bert Marsnik who took over the bus for the Barracudas in game two. Marsnik pitched five strong innings on the mound and produced three hits and six rbi’s. Josh Crouse closed out the win with two perfect innings in relief.

The Barracudas are scheduled to play night games versus the Zurich Challengers on June 11 and June 13.

Swiss NLA Regular Season Standings:

Team Won Lost GB
Zurich Barracudas 10 01
Therwil Flyers 07 05  3.5
Luzern Eagles 05 04   4
Bern Cardinals 07 06   4
Zurich Challengers 04 05   5
Zurich Lions 00 12  10.5

Posted in Europe0 Comments


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