Archive | March, 2015

Out of the Park Baseball is Back for 2015 – Will Review Soon

If you haven’t read about it, Out of the Park Baseball is back again. This is by far the best sim game on the market and there are so many new changes and upgrades to the game. You can read the press release here.

This year it is licensed by MLB, so you will see more stuff from the big leagues. But even better, in my opinion, is the expansion of the international leagues. You can play leagues in Cuba, Mexico, Italy, Taiwan, South Korea, and now even Australia.

I am going to have some of my own thoughts on the game coming up soon after I give it a go. I am going to be doing more with the international leagues than MLB, but will review a lot of it over the next few weeks. So stay tuned for that.

If you would like to purchase the game, we invite you to use our link below or on the home page. We are an affiliate and earn just a few dollars with each purchase. All the money we gain goes toward paying for hosting of the site. Don’t worry, it’s not much because I still have a full time job.

So stay tuned and we will bring you more information on the best sim game. I am excited to give it a try.

OOTP Baseball

Buy OOTP Baseball 16 PC & Mac

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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The Best Baseball Sim Game is Back for 2015 – Out Of The Park

Press Release from OOTP Developments

March 23, 2015

Out of the Park Baseball 16 Available Now on Steam and OOTP Developments Web Site

Official Licensee of MLB.com & MiLB.com, Featuring Opening Day Rosters, Revamped Systems, New Leagues, and More

Out of the Park Developments, an official licensee of MLB.com, today announced the worldwide release of Out of the Park Baseball 16 on its web site and Steam. The $39.99 baseball management game runs on PC/Mac/Linux and features a major milestone in its history: The inclusion of official MLB.com and MiLB.com licenses. OOTP 16 includes official league logos, team logos and jerseys for all 30 MLB teams, over 150 MiLB league and team logos, and historical MLB logos.

A bundle of four screenshots, along with the official OOTP 16 logo, can be downloaded here:

http://tinyurl.com/ootp16screens

The company’s mobile game, MLB Manager 2015 (formerly iOOTP Baseball), also will include an official MLB.com license, along with other new features. It will be available soon for Android and iOS.

“This promises to be the biggest year in the history of OOTP, thanks to our fruitful partnership with MLBAM,” said lead developer and lifelong baseball fan Markus Heinsohn. “OOTP 16 is the best version of the game yet, and we have more great features in the works. Stay tuned, baseball fans.”

For more comments from Markus about how the license came to be, please see this post on the OOTP Developments blog:

http://blog.ootpdevelopments.com/?p=523

“OOTP is an astonishing accomplishment,” Boston Red Sox principal owner John Henry told OOTP Developments during an interview conducted last month for the company blog:

http://blog.ootpdevelopments.com/red-sox-principal-owner-john-henry/

OOTP 16 can be found here:

Buy OOTP Baseball 16 PC & Mac

Steam link:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/333820/

New Features

OOTP 16’s full list of new and improved features include:

2015 Opening Day Rosters

The brand new 2015 roster sets includes all Opening Day MLB rosters, via a free update to be released shortly after Opening Day, as well as the complete minor league system down to the rookie leagues. All major league (and certain minor league) player ratings are based on Baseball Prospectus’ industry-leading player forecasting system, PECOTA. The thousands of remaining minor league players are rated manually by OOTP’s established research team.

New international and independent leagues added

Last year, OOTP 15 introduced seven international leagues in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Cuba, Italy and The Netherlands. This year, OOTP 16 adds the Australian Baseball League to that list, along with several independent leagues in the US and Japan. All of those leagues feature real rosters, with countless hours of work invested in researching realistic player biographical information, statistics, and ratings.

New team owner goals

Team owners now give short- and long-term goals, which may include: winning the World Series within X seasons; fixing a certain weakness on the roster; extending the contract of a star player; and much more. Players’ abilities to meet those goals not only decides if they’ll be fired but also determines if their contract will be extended at a higher salary, another new feature added this year. (The “cannot be fired” option still exists in OOTP 16.)

Improved team finances and reporting

The team finance system has been redesigned, including new season ticket sales, a team finances screen based on widgets, a new accounting screen, and much more. In addition, the finance-related AI was recoded, resulting in more realistic player contracts and negotiations, as well as more stable long-term team finances.

Completely redesigned manager and coaches system

Managers and coaches have certain personalities and special skills or preferences, which will result in plenty of interesting choices. Managerial choices include easy-going stat-heads and hard-nosed veterans, while some pitching coaches excel at working with power pitchers and others are better suited at overseeing finesse pitchers.

Recoded team strategy system

Players can set their teams’ in-game strategies faster and easier than ever before, but if they play in GM-only mode, they may find that some managers won’t allow certain strategies to be dictated.

Better playoff coverage

A new Pennant Chase screen displays the strength of the remaining schedule and the chance for each team to make the playoffs. The related news coverage was also improved.

Improved 3D ball flight

OOTP 15 introduced support for 3D stadiums and realistic 3D ball flight, which was a big step-up for the series. OOTP 16 improves on that 3D presentation and includes great-looking 3D models of all 30 MLB ballparks.

Much more

  • New play modes (Manager only, GM only, and GM + Manager)
  • An improved simulation engine that incorporates the latest research and trends, such as infield shifts and pitcher usage
  • Rainouts with automatic rescheduling (including double-headers), adding the realism that comes with rain-shortened and cancelled games
  • Better in-game sound effects
  • An enhanced interface, such as a player info pop-up when resting the mouse pointer over a button which links to a player, or automatic syncing between lineups and depth charts when making changes to either of them.
  • Player profile icons that let the user easily see how many times he has won certain awards, been a World Series winner, and more
  • A new Find-A-Player feature: Define certain criteria (ratings, stats, salary etc.) and find the right player
  • Recoded All-Star Game features with real voting (including online league support)
  • Realistic OOTP Hall of Fame selection process, including simulated voting and new stats like JAWS, HoF Standards, Black & Grey Ink Tests
  • More player awards: for example, Most Valuable Player, Playoff Series MVPs, best hitters by position, and Reliever of the Year
  • Better playoff history tracking, including career playoff stats for all real players in the database and playoff leaderboards
  • Alternate currencies (Euro, Pounds Sterling, Yen, etc.)
  • The option to define background pictures for teams and leagues
  • And more

About Out of the Park Developments 

Out of the Park Developments is the developer of the award-winning OOTP and MLB Manager series of baseball management simulations, Franchise Hockey Manager, and Beyond the Sideline Football. German-based OOTP Developments was founded by Markus Heinsohn and Andreas Raht in 1999. OOTP Developments has consistently produced games that have met with critical acclaim, including winning Metacritic’s coveted “Game of the Year” for the 2007 edition of OOTP, which remains the second highest-rated PC game on Metacritic of all time. Further information on the company and its games is available from the OOTP Developments website, http://www.ootpdevelopments.com

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Minor League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with the permission of Minor League Baseball.  All rights reserved.

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France: Division 1 Scores and Standings After Week 1

The French Division I season kicked off for 2015 this weekend with the Senart Templiers entering as defending champions. But don’t look now the Rouen Huskies will look to reclaim the throne they have held the previous nine years.

Rouen started their claim for another title with a bang outscoring the Beaucaire Knights 19-1 over a two game sweep. The defending champion Senart started off with a two game series win as well, but they did not blow out the Savigny Lions in both games.

Paris UC made it to the finals in 2014 but were in the only split series of the weekend. Paris split with Stade after getting shutout 1-0 in game 2.

There will be one less undefeated team next weekend as Senart and Rouen will square off.

French Division 1 Scores:

Beaucaire Chevaliers 0, Rouen Huskies 11
Beaucaire Chevaliers 1, Rouen Huskies 8

Stade Toulousain 5, Paris UC 8
Stade Toulousain 1, Paris UC 0

Montpellier Barracudas 4, Chartres French Cubs 1
Montpellier Barracudas 4, Chartres French Cubs 3

Senart Templiers 12, Savigny Lions 2
Senart Templiers 9, Savigny Lions 8

French Division 1 Standings:

1. Senart Templiers 2-0
2. Rouen Huskies 2-0
3. Montpellier Barracudas 2-0
4. Stade Toulousain 1-1
5. Paris UC 1-1
6. Beaucaire Chevaliers 0-2
7. Chartres French Cubs 0-2
8. Savigny Lions 0-2

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Spain: 2015 Division de Honor Season Kicks Off

The Spanish Division de Honor kicked off the season this weekend with a full slate of games. The Tenerife Marlins are looking to repeat once again. The season will feature eight teams as El Llano is not back in the division this season. The season will consist of a 14-game round robin and the leader after the 28 game season will be the winner since there are no playoffs.

Only two teams swept this weekend as the Astros Valencia and Baseball Navarra both swept their series. Defending champion Tenerife split this weekend with CBS Sant Boi.

Leslie Nacar, who pitched for the All-Euro team in the Global Baseball Match, tossed a nice opening game for Tenerife but took the loss. Nacar tossed seven innings giving up just one run on four hits while striking out ten. However, Zael Honora tossed a complete game shutout for CBS Sant Boi to earn the first win of the season.

Valencia looks good this season after a few big additions. They added Trevor Caughey, who is back with the Astros after spending some time in Germany. They also added Oscar Angulo to go with Team Europe catcher Blake Ochoa.

Angulo made a huge impact in week 1 with his new club. In game 1, he went 4-for-6 scoring three times and driving in three more runs. In game 2 he scored three more times going 4-for-4.

Spanish Division de Honor Scores:

CD Pamplona 5, Astros Valencia 9
CD Pamplona 0, Astros Valencia 15

CB Barcelona 4, San Inazio Bilboa 0
CB Barcelona 7, San Inazio Bilboa 9

Tenerife Marlins 0, CBS Sant Boi 2
Tenerife Marlins 7, CBS Sant Boi 4

CB Viladecans 0, Baseball Navarra 15
CB Viladecans 0, Baseball Navarra 6

Spanish Division de Honor Standings:

1. Astros Valencia 2-0
2. Baseball Navarra 2-0
3. CB Barcelona 1-1
4. CBS Sant Boi 1-1
5. San Inazio Bilbao 1-1
6. Tenerife Marlins 1-1
7. CB Viladecans 0-2
8. CD Pamplona 0-2

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Korea: A Quick Look at the Foreign Imports in the KBO

The 2015 KBO season has kicked off in Korea. For the first time in the league’s history it features ten teams as the KT Wiz begin play this year. Once again the team to beat is four-time defending champion Samsung Lions.

As we kick off the season, we thought we would take a look at the foreign imports this year for each team. Many of the names you might recognize from the minors or MLB.

Samsung Lions

Alfredo Figaro – Figaro has had a cup of coffee with two MLB teams (DET/MIL) with most of his MLB experience coming in 2013 out of the bullpen pitching in 33 games. Overall he has put up solid numbers in the minors both as a starter and reliever.
Yamaico Navarro – Navarro had a big season last year with Samsung hitting .308 with 31 home runs, 96 RBI, and 25 stolen bases.
Tyler Cloyd – Cloyd pitched last season with Triple-A Columbus in the Cleveland minor leagues. He has a little bit of MLB experience, all with PHI in 2012 and 2013.

Nexen Heroes

Andy Van Hekken – Van Hekken had a great year last season with Nexen going 20-6. He is back for his fourth year with the Heroes.
Ryan Feierabend – A former 3rd round pick by Seattle, Ryan has a small bit of MLB experience. Most of it came early in his career with Seattle, but he was in six games last season with Texas. The left handed pitcher has over 230 minor league starts with success at different levels.
Brad Snyder – Another one that got in a few games for Texas in 2014, Snyder has very little MLB experience but he has put up good numbers at all levels of the minors and has a lot of AAA experience. He played in a few games last season with LG as well.

NC Dinos

Charles Shirek – This will be Charlie’s third year in the KBO, all with NC. He pitched well last year posting a 12-8 record.
Eric Thames – Eric had a huge year at the plate for NC last year hitting 37 home runs. It was easily his best season as a professional. He hit .343 with 121 RBI.
Eric Hacker – Hacker is back for his third straight year with NC. He improved last season to 8-8 after going 4-11 in his initial season although he posted a bit better ERA.

LG Twins

Lucas Harrell – Lucas pitched the past four season with the Houston Astros. He led the league in losses in 2013 with 17. His numbers in the minor leagues are much better but he is looking for a nice comeback year in 2015.
Henry Sosa – Sosa is not new to the KBO. He pitched for two season with Kia in 2012 and 2013. Then came back and pitched for awhile with Nexen in 2014.
Jack Hannahan – Jack has a lot of MLB experience with over 1800 plate appearances with Detroit, Oakland, Seattle, Cleveland, and most recently Cincinnati. He has never shown much pop in the bat (13 home runs in AAA is a high) and can struggle with the strike outs from time to time.

Lotte Giants

Jim Adduci – Jim had a few at bats with the Texas Rangers the last two seasons but has spent most of his career in the minor leagues. He has some speed (high of 35 stolen bases) and has shown some recent pop (16 home runs in 2013 with Triple-A Round Rock).
Brooks Raley – The big lefty hurler has a little time in the MLB with the Cubs, but little success. However, he doesn’t walk many batters and has posted 2+ SO/K ratios over several seasons.
Josh Lindblom – The former 2nd round pick has had some success in the MLB with Philadelphia and a few other teams. His best season in the MLB was 2012 when he pitched in 74 games for Philadelphia and the Dodgers posting a 3.55 ERA in relief. He has more relief experience and even some as a closer.

This is part one of two looking at the foreign imports for the KBO. Next time we will look at the players from KIA, Hanwha, KT, SK, and Doosan. Thanks to Dan over at MyKBO.net for the names of the players. If you haven’t done so, check out what he does over there for the most comprehensive coverage of the KBO in English anywhere.

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New Baseball Facility Coming to Austria

Press Release by WBSC

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Austria is the latest nation to invest in the future and growth of baseball worldwide, as ground has broken for the construction of an international standard baseball facility in Wels, northern Austria, neighboring the Czech Republic and Germany.

The planned baseball facility and training center is part of a new sports complex with an overall budget of €7 million (US $7.6 million), which will also see the creation of three new football (soccer)/multipurpose fields.

The new baseball stadium, projected to be completed by the end of the year, will be the home of the Jumpin’ Chickens Baseball Club that was founded in 1991.

The new venue that will serve Austria’s northern community can potentially play host to future international competitions, given its strategic Central European location and the plans of the facility to meet international standards.

Austria has made some of the biggest gains of WBSC’s 141 member states in terms of their status among baseball’s official world rankings, surging from being No. 55 in the world in 2012 to their current rank of No. 39.

Among WBSC’s nearly 40 member nations in Europe, the nation of approximately 8.5 million people is ranked No. 11 within Europe.

In late July, Austria will be hosting the six-nation 2015 CEB European Championship “B Pool” Qualifier in Vienna, where the host nation, No. 22 Israel, No. 53 Sweden, No. 57 Lithuania, No. 61 Poland and No. 62 Belarus will unite.

With baseball and softball’s steady rise in popularity around the globe, in addition to the planned ballpark in Austria, new baseball/softball facilities are being rolled out in such nations as the Bahamas, Brazil, China, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom.

In 2014,  there was historic growth for baseball and softball across Africa, with first-ever national stadiums erected in Ghana and Uganda.

Also new-builds are planned for established baseball territories like Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Venezuela – and in South Korea and Taiwan, where the first-ever domed baseball stadiums are currently taking shape in those countries.

Based on data compiled, the WBSC, the world governing body of baseball and softball, estimates that over 65 million athletes, from over 140 countries, practice either the sport of baseball or softball, with younger populations and females making up key segments of the participation-demographic.

Copyright © 2014 -2015 WBSC. All rights reserved.

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College: Vanderbilt back on top of Baseball America Top 25

Baseball America released its weekly College Baseball Top 25 Poll with Vanderbilt retaking the top spot after LSU stumbled a bit this week.

LSU dropped to No. 3 after losing a weekend series to Kentucky. Twice it lost in extra innings. Vanderbilt took over the No. 1 spot again after winning 2-of-3 in a weekend series against in state rival Tennessee. This weekend Vandy will travel to face Georgia.

Texas A&M moved up to No. 2 as the top three were rearranged. Those were the only changes in the Top 10 as the rest stayed in place. Three teams dropped out of the Top 25 (Texas, Oregon, and Indiana). While Nebraska, Coastal Carolina, and San Diego moved in.

Team W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. Vanderbilt
22-6 3-1 2
2. Texas A&M 27-2 3-1 3
3. LSU
23-5 2-2 1
4. Florida 23-6 3-1 4
5. Texas Christian
21-4 4-0 5
6. Central Florida
22-7 2-2 6
7. Louisville 21-7 3-1 7
8. Southern California 22-6 3-1 8
9. UCLA
21-5 4-0 9
10. Florida State 22-7 3-1 10
11. Arizona State 18-7 3-0 11
12. Miami
20-9 2-2 13
13. Dallas Baptist
22-3 4-0 15
14. Rice 19-11 3-2 14
15. UC Santa Barbara
19-7 3-1 16
16. Virginia 18-8 4-1 20
17. Oklahoma State
19-8 3-1 23
18. South Carolina
19-9 1-3 12
19. Texas Tech
18-10 2-2 18
20. Houston 19-9 2-2 17
21. California 20-7 2-2 21
22. Nebraska 21-7 4-1 NR
23. Coastal Carolina
20-7 3-1  NR
24. Illinois 19-6 2-1 25
25. San Diego 16-9 3-1 NR
Dropped Out: Texas (19), Oregon (22), Indiana (24)

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High School: San Clemente Wins NHSI

CARY, North Carolina – The National High School Invitational was this past week at the National Training Complex. The tournament, in its fourth year, featured some of the best high school teams from all over the country.

This year the tournament featured schools from Texas, Florida, California, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Washington, and North Carolina. The first three years of the tournament the title went to a California school twice (2013 and 2012 – Mater Dei) and a Florida school (2014 – Orlando’s First Academy).

After a one year hiatus, the championship is back in California.

San Clemente defeated College Park 8-3 in the championship game on Saturday bring the title back to the state where Mater Dei held it for two straight years.

The tournament featured some of the top ranked high school teams in the country by MaxPreps including No. 6 ranked San Clemente. Also ranked were No. 5 College Station (TX), No. 4 Mosley (FL), and No. 25 Puyallup (WA). These rankings were from 3/23 and are likely to change after the tournament.

For video recaps and other news and notes from the tournament, visit USABaseball.com.

Posted in N. America, Tournaments0 Comments

Today in Baseball History – March 24

March 24, 1911

Helene Hathaway Britton becomes the first woman to own a franchise when her uncle Matthew Stanley Robison dies unexpectedly. Robison lef the team, the St. Louis Cardinals, to his niece. She will go on to own the team from 1911 to 1916.

March 24, 1982

Fernando Valenzuela ends his holdout and reports to the Los Angeles Dodgers spring training.

Valenzuela was holding out for more money after making just $42,500 in 1981 when he won the Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young Award. He will make a reported $360,000 in 1982 after asking for $1 million.

He will end 1982 with a 19-13 record and an ERA of 2.87. He pitches 285.0 innings with 18 complete games and four shutouts. He will finish third in the Cy Young voting as well.

Born on this day:

1893 George Sisler

1942 Jesus Alou

1956 Garry Templeton

1958 Bruce Hurst

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Today in Baseball History – March 23

March 23, 1962

William DeWitt purchases the Reds for $4.625 million. DeWitt made a trade immortalized in the 1988 movie Bull Durham when Susan Sarandon’s character says, “Bad trades are a part of baseball; I mean who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake?” DeWitt traded Robinson to the Orioles claiming he was old at age 30. In his first year Robinson would win the Triple Crown and be named AL MVP.

Born on this day:

1979 Mark Buehrle

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Today in Baseball History – March 22

March 22, 1972

The New York Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Sparky Lyle.

The Yankees got the better end of this deal as Lyle went on to post a record of 57-40 and save 141 games over the next seven years with the Yankees. In addition, he won the 1972 Fireman of the Year Award and the 1977 Cy Young Award.

Cater played just three seasons for the Red Sox never playing more than 92 games in a season.

March 22, 1993

In a boating accident on Little Lake Nellie in Clermont, Florida, Cleveland Indians pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews die. Olin died instantly and Crews died of his injuries the next day. Also in the accident was teammate Bob Ojeda who was seriously injured but able to recover and return to the mound later that season.

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Today in Baseball History – March 21

March 21, 1978

The San Diego Padres fire manager Al Dark. He becomes just the second manager (Phil Cavarretta – 1954 Cubs) to be fired during spring training. Dark took over the Padres midway through the 1977 season when they would finish fifth place. The team was 48-65 (.425) under Dark during 1977.

He would be replaced by pitching coach Roger Craig who would lead the Padres for the next two seasons.

Born on this day:

1939 Tommy Davis

1944 Manny Sanguillen

1963 Shawon Dunston

Died on this day:

1975 Joe Medwick

1988 Edd Roush

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Today in Baseball History – March 20

March 20, 1973

In a special election by the BBWAA, Roberto Clemente earns entry into the Hall of Fame. The Board of Directors at the Hall waive the five-year wait rule for Clemente who died in a plane crash bringing relief supplies to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua.

March 20, 1989

The commissioner’s office announces that Pete Rose is under investigation for serious charges.

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Today in Baseball History – March 19

March 19, 1960

Sammy White, catcher for the Boston Red Sox, announces he would rather retire than report to where he has been traded to, Cleveland.

March 19, 1984

Denny McLain is indicted on various charges including cocaine possession, extortion, racketeering, and loan-sharking.

Born on this day:

1871 Joe McGinnity

1927 Richie Ashburn

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Today in Baseball History – March 18

March 18, 1953

The Milwaukee Braves become the first team since 1903 (Baltimore to New York) to shift. The Braves make the move from Boston after being there for 77 years. The Braves move to the Western Division replacing the Pittsburgh Pirates for scheduling purposes.

The Braves would spend 13 seasons in Milwaukee before moving onto Atlanta.

Born on this day:

1916 Hi Bithorn

Died on this day:

1984 Charlie Lau

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College: Vanderbilt – Arkansas Game Provides Wild Play at the Plate

One of the best plays at the plate happened this past weekend when the Vanderbilt Commodores faced off with the Arkansas Razorbacks at home.

During the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday and the game tied at seven in the bottom of the tenth inning, Vanderbilt’s Ro Coleman was at third with one out. Zander Weil sent a fly ball down the right field line setting up the play at the plate that has everyone talking.

Take a look:

 

Vanderbilt would go on to win 8-7 in 12 innings.

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Groups Unveiled for the U12 Baseball World Cup

The World Baseball Softball Confederation announced the groups for the upcoming U12 Baseball World Cup to take place in Taiwan later this summer. Twelve teams will compete for the title that the US will defend after winning the 2013 edition of the tournament in Taiwan.

The top four nations will compete in the event with the top two, Japan and the USA, competing in the same group for the first stage.

Group A
1. Cuba (World No. 3)
2. Chinese Taipei (No. 4)
3. South Korea (No. 8)
4. Venezuela (No. 10)
5. Brazil (No. 15)
6. Russia (No. 32)

Group B
1. Japan (No. 1)
2. USA (No. 2; Defending U12 World Champions)
3. Mexico (No. 12)
4. Australia (No. 14)
5. Nicaragua (No. 16)
6. France (No. 27)

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Today in Baseball History – March 17

March 17, 1871

The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players is founding setting the stage for the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs or the National League.

Several of the NAPBBP teams would eventually make their way into the N.L. including the Boston Red Stockings which would eventually turn into the Atlanta Braves.

March 17, 1978

For the St. Patrick’s Day exhibition game, the Cincinnati Reds wear green uniforms rather than the traditional red. This starts an annual tradition and other teams soon follow suit.

Born on this day:

1944 Cito Gaston

1959 Danny Ainge

1965 John Smiley

1971 Bill Mueller

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USA wins Women’s Baseball Pan Am Qualifier

Press Release WBSC

SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic — World No. 2 USA won the first-ever Women’s Baseball Pan American Games Qualifier in the Dominican Republic, defeating Venezuela, 3-0, in the finale.

The 2015 Toronto Pan American Games will be the first-ever multi-sport “mega-event” to stage women’s baseball. In total, four baseball/softball disciplines will be featured at the 2015 Pan American Games: men’s baseball and men’s softball, and women’s baseball and women’s softball. Baseball and softball are two of the 36 sports on the Toronto 2015 program.

The 2015 Pan American Women’s Baseball Championship/Pan Am Games qualifier ran from 8-12 March and featured the Women’s National Teams of USA, No. 5 Venezuela, No. 8 Cuba, No. 10 Puerto Rico and unranked host Dominican Republic.

In additional to USA, Venezuela, Cuba, and Puerto Rico all made the cut to be at the historic debut of Women’s Baseball at the Pan Am Games, while hosts Dominican Republic were eliminated.

No. 4 Canada automatically secures a place in the 2015 Pan Am Games, which will be staged in July at the new baseball/softball complex just outside Toronto.

USA was the only country from the Americas region to medal at last year’s WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup VI, taking the silver medal in Miyazaki, Japan.

The 2015 Pan American Women’s Baseball Championship is being organised by the Dominican Baseball Federation (FEDOBE), in conjunction with the Pan American Baseball Confederation (COPABE) — the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s baseball arm for the Americas.

Copyright © 2015 WBSC. All rights reserved.

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Europe gets historic victory, defeats No. 1 Japan 6-2 in global baseball showing in Tokyo

Press Release WBSC

TOKYO – Debuting in a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome against the top-ranked nation in the world, Europe recorded its historic first victory for the continent, defeating Japan 6-2 to split the two-game series.

Like in Game 1, Europe managed to get out of the gates early, tagging Samurai starter Takahiro Matsuba for back-to-back doubles in the second inning, authored by Italy’s Mario Chiarini and Spain’s Blake Ochoa, which put Europe up 2-0.

A towering three-run home run by the Netherlands’ Yurendell Decaster in the bottom of the third gave Europe a 5-0 lead. (VIDEO: Decaster HR)

With the cushion, Europe starter Diegomar Marwell (Netherlands) kept Japan’s bats quiet through three innings, only allowing three hits.

In the 5th, Tetsuto Yamada launched a solo home run and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s RBI single cut Europe’s lead to 5-2.

Europe manager Steve Janssen handed the ball to Germany’s Luke Sommer, who pitched a clean 6th to 8th innings.

Dutch flamethrower Tom Stuifbergen pitched the final inning, using a 95 mph/153 kmh fastball close out the game and register the save for Europe.

Sommer was credited with the win. Japan starter Matsuba took the loss.

The historic win for Europe follows the announcement by baseball’s world governing body, WBSC, to establish Team Europe. Europe was immediately pitted against the world No. 1 Japanese National Team, “Samurai Japan”, made up of top stars from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). The majority of players on Japan’s current roster were part of the Samurai selection that faced Team MLB in a best-of-five series, won by hosts Japan, last November.

Both WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari and NPB Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki went down on the field Wednesday night to congratulate the European team, following their 6-2 win and two exciting contests in as many nights.

“These two highly competitive games send another message to the world that Europe can compete with anyone and that our sport is more global than ever,” President Fraccari said.

Two European countries, No. 5 Netherlands and No. 11 Italy, are among the elite field heading to the inaugural Premier 12™ that will unite baseball’s top twelve countries.

Samurai Japan manager Hiroki Kokubo said, “We have to give them credit. They’ve come a long way and played the game at a high level.”

“The victory was a historic one, as it was the debut of the multinational Team Europe,” The Japan Times reported.

Head coach Janssen (Netherlands National Team manager) and bench coach Marco Mazzieri (Italy National Team manager) compiled a roster of 28 European players from six countries: (by world rank) Netherlands, Italy, No. 17 Spain, No. 18 Germany, No. 20 Czech Republic and No. 27 France.

No. 36 Belgium and No. 39 Austria were also represented as part of Europe’s coaching staff.

Yokohama BayStars rising star Tsutsugo, 23, was one of the bright spots for the Samurai in the series, collecting a pair of hits and RBIs. “I would like come up with positive results during the [NPB] season [that are] worthy of a Samurai Japan member,” he said.

Over 44,000 people attended the historic matches, with an increase in attendance of approximately 2,000 more fans for Game 2, following Samurai Japan’s thrilling 4-3 come-from-behind victory in Game 1 Tuesday night.

The two-game series was broadcast free-to-air nationally across Japan by the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), while Eurosport 2 transmitted the games live to potentially 73 million households across more than 50 European nations.

Prior to the start of Game 2 there was a moment of silence to honor the victims and raise awareness of ongoing recovery efforts four years after the 11 March 2011 Tsunami devastated the Fukushima region.

NPB — the second highest-attended major sports league in the world in 2014 (approx. 23 million) and WBSC Associate Member — hosted the Europe versus Japan two-game series.

Umpires from the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL; WBSC Associate Member) officiated the two games.

Leading sports performance brand Asics backed Europe as the official kit sponsor.

The game ball that marked Europe’s first-ever pitch in Game 1 Tuesday night will be going to Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, along with Team Europe’s official game jersey.

In the two-game series, Japan outhit Europe 16 to 13. Japan played spotless defense with the glove, committing no errors on defense. Europe also flashed the leather, executing a pickoff and making only one error on defense.

Copyright © 2015 WBSC. All rights reserved.

Posted in Asia, Europe0 Comments

College: LSU Still on Top of Baseball America Top 25 Poll

This week’s Baseball America Top 25 poll is out. LSU still ranks atop the nation after going 3-1 this weekend. They are joined by four other SEC teams in the top 10 alone. Florida comes in right behind LSU at No. 2 followed by No. 4 Vanderbilt, No. 5 Texas A&M, and No. 6 South Carolina.

Texas A&M has run their unbeaten streak to 21 games after going 5-0 this weekend. This weekend they will head to Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide. The Tide is coming off a series win over then No. 15 Mississippi State in Starkville so A&M will have their hands full.

Falling hard this week was Virginia who dropped from No. 3 to No. 14 after a winless week. The Cavaliers were swept by in state rival Virginia Tech over the weekend.

Team W-L Last Week
Previous Rank
1. LSU 18-2 3-1 1
2. Florida 18-3 4-1 2
3. TCU 14-2 4-0 4
4. Vanderbilt 16-4 5-0 5
5. Texas A&M
21-0 5-0 10
6. South Carolina
17-3 5-0 7
7. Central Florida
17-4 3-2 6
8. Southern California 17-3 2-2 9
9. UCLA
14-5 3-1 11
10. Rice 15-6 4-0 12
11. Louisville 14-6 4-1 13
12. Texas Tech 14-5 4-1 14
13. Florida State 17-4 4-1 18
14. Virginia 12-5 0-4 3
15. Oregon 14-6 1-4 8
16. Arizona State 12-6 3-1 16
17. Miami 15-6 5-0 19
18. Dallas Baptist 15-2 5-0 20
19. UC Santa Barbara 13-5 2-1 21
20. Mississippi State 16-6 2-3 15
21. Texas 13-7 3-1 22
22. Houston 13-7 4-0 24
23. Georgia Tech
14-5 3-1 NR
24. Indiana 13-4 5-0 NR
25. Illinois 14-4 3-1 25
Dropped Out: North Carolina (17), Cal State Fullerton (23)

Posted in N. America, College0 Comments

Today in Baseball History – March 16

March 16, 1994

Former San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Show is found dead of an overdose at age 37.

Show won 100 games with San Diego but might be better known for giving up Pete Rose‘s record-breaking 4,192nd hit.

Born on this day:

1906 Lloyd Waner

Posted in News, Today in Baseball History0 Comments

Today in Baseball History – March 15

March 15, 1978

The Oakland A’s trade 1971 Cy Young Award winner Vida Blue to the San Francisco Giants. In return the A’s receive seven players in return along with $300,000.

Blue would go on to win 54 games for the Giants over the next four seasons including 18 in 1978. The A’s got nobody back in return that turned out to be a long term contributor to the club.

Born on this day:

1946 Bobby Bonds

1955 Mickey Hatcher

1959 Harold Baines

1974 Robert Fick

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Today in Baseball History – March 14

March 14, 1956

Satchel Paige signs with the Birmingham Black Barons to both play and coach. He is 50 years old.

Born on this day:

1961 Kirby Puckett

1965 Kevin Brown

Posted in News, Today in Baseball History0 Comments

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