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WBSC Announces Groups for 2015 U18 Baseball World Cup

The World Baseball Softball Confederation recently announced the groups for the upcoming 2015 U18 Baseball World Cup. The tournament will take place in Osaka, Japan from August 28 to September 06.

Twelve teams will compete for the title. Each group will play a round robin with the top three from each group moving on to the second round. During that second round a super round robin will be played with the two teams with the best overall records competing for the championship.

The championship will be played in historic Koshien Stadium which was built in 1924. The USA heads into the tournament as the two-time defending champs.

Group A (with current world ranking):

No. 1 Japan
No. 2 USA
No. 12 Mexico
No. 14 Australia
No. 15 Brazil
No. 20 Czech Republic

Group B:
No. 3 Cuba
No. 4 Chinese Taipei
No. 7 Canada
No. 8 South Korea
No. 11 Italy
No. 29 South Africa

Posted in Asia, Europe, Latin, N. America, News, Oceania, Tournaments1 Comment

Korea: A Look at the Foreign Imports Part 2

A few days ago we looked at the foreign imports in the KBO for the Samsung Lions, Nexen Heroes, NC Dinos, LG Twins, and Lotte Giants. Today we will finish out the KBO by taking a look at the imports for the other five teams and where they have been previously.

So let’s get going. Here are the imports for the rest of the league and where they have been over the past few seasons either in the US or abroad.

KIA Tigers

Philip Humber – Humber might be one of the more recognizable names in the KBO, at least from a MLB stand point. He spent parts of eight seasons in the MLB with the Mets, Twins, Royals, White Sox, and Astros. He is remembered for a couple things. First, he was the third overall pick in the 2004 draft out of Rice University, where he pitched his team to the College World Series title in 2003, by the New York Mets. He made his MLB debut just two years later. However, perhaps what he is most remembered for is the fact he pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history in 2012 while with the White Sox. He spent 2014 pitching mostly out of the bullpen for Triple-A Sacramento.

Brett Pill – A former San Francisco Giant, Pill has appeared in over 100 MLB games. He put up nice numbers in 2014 as a member of the Tigers hitting .309 with 19 home runs and 66 RBI. Look for him to improve on these numbers in 2015. He has the power, some speed, and will hit for average.

Josh Stinson – A tall right handed pitcher, Stinson spent a brief time with the Baltimore Orioles the past four seasons. While his MLB numbers are unimpressive, mainly due to his lack of game time, he has at times impressed in the minors. He can struggle with the walk at times, but he has the ability to be a nice addition to KIA.

Hanwha Eagles

Shane Youman – Youman is no stranger to the KBO having spent the past three seasons with Lotte. While his numbers have gotten progressively worse in the KBO, his ERA has risen from 2.55 to 5.93 over the three seasons, look for him to rebound this season in Daejeon if he can get back to his career numbers. Despite his high ERA last season he still won 12 games.

Mitch Talbot – Talbot returns to the KBO after having pitched with Samsung in 2012. That year he went 12-3 before returning to the USA. Most of his time since leaving the KBO has been spent in AAA with two different organizations. However, he has only pitched in 13 games over the past two years.

Nyjer Morgan – Another name that many know from the MLB, Morgan spent parts of seven seasons with different MLB clubs. Morgan spent 2013 in Japan with the Yokohama DeNA Baystars where he hit .294 with 11 home runs and 50 RBI. In 2014 he returned to the MLB with the Cleveland Indians but only appeared in 15 games. He has stolen 120 bases in the Major Leagues and should provide speed and solid outfield glove.

KT Wiz

Phil Irwin – The tall right handed pitcher was one of many that got a start for the Texas Rangers in 2014. He spent most of his time in 2014 in Triple-A. He strikes out nearly one an inning and walks only half of what he strikes out. If he can find his control he could have a nice year for the Wiz.

Andy Marte – Marte was once thought of as a big prospect for the Atlanta Braves where he started his MLB career in 2005 before being shipped off to Cleveland for Edgar Renteria. He played in parts of five seasons for the Indians, but never lived up to expectations. He has showed power at almost every stop though. Look for him to provide some big power and possibly hit for a nice average. He is a career .282 hitter in the minors and last season in Triple-A hit 19 home runs.

Chris Oxspring – Chris has seen playing time all over the world. He spent time in the MLB, NPB, KBO, and the ABL. The last two seasons he has spent with the Lotte Giants where he want a combined 23-15. If he can stay healthy, he will be 38 this year, he will put up good numbers for the Wiz.

Andy Sisco – Sisco spent the 2014 season in the Futures League in Korea with the Wiz. He has MLB experience and has put up good numbers in the past in the minors. He is not an overpowering pitcher and will strike out less than one an inning. In order to be effective he needs to find his control.

SK Wyverns

Merrill Kelly – The 26-year old right handed pitcher has no MLB experience. He spent most of the past two seasons with the Durham Bulls in Triple-A. He posted an impressive 9-4 record with a 2.76 ERA in 2014 for Durham. Over 114 innings he struck out 108 and walked only 37 in 2014.

Travis Banwart – Travis spent some time last season with the Wyverns pitching in 11 games. He put up great numbers over that time going 9-1 with an ERA of just 3.10. He has impressive minor league numbers and is only 29 years old.

Andrew Brown – Brown has 144 games at the MLB level where he hit 14 home runs but struggled with the average hitting just .220. He has been much more impressive in the minors posting a lifetime .286 average where he has showed power. In 2014 in 103 games at Triple-A, he hit 21 home runs.

Doosan Bears

Yunesky Maya – The former Washington Nationals pitcher is back for his second year in the KBO. Pitching for the Bears last season, Maya went 2-4 in 11 starts. He has some good minor league numbers and could provide Doosan with a solid starter through the season if he can find his control.

Zach Lutz -Lutz has some time with the New York Mets at the MLB level, but most of his time has been spent at the Triple-A level. He spent a few games in 2014 with the Rakuten Eagles in Japan where he hit five home runs in just 15 games. Most of the past few seasons he has spent at Triple-A where he put up good numbers and has a lifetime .295 average.

Dustin Nippert – The former Texas Rangers pitcher has found a home in the KBO where he has thrived. He arrived in Korea in 2011 and has not looked back. Over his four seasons with Doosan he has gone 52-27 with an ERA of 3.25. Last season he went 14-7. Look for him to continue his dominance of the KBO hitters.

Again if you haven’t done so, head on over to MyKBO.net and check out the daily happenings of the KBO. There is a lot of information there, and it is easily the best site for the KBO in English.

Also if you want to play the KBO in a simulation game, check out the Out of the Park Baseball 16. It’s the best sim game on the market and now features international leagues like the KBO. You can purchase the game below and help out our site a little bit.
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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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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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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

Global Baseball Match: Europe Reveals Starting Lineup #EURvsJPN

TOKYO, Japan – The All-Euro team announced its starting lineup for the first game of the Global Baseball Match against Japan. The game will take place later today in the Tokyo Dome.

The starting ten (with DH) will feature players from only three countries: Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Europe manager Steve Janssen revealed the lineup via Twitter:

 

1. Juan Carlos Infante 3B (Italy)
2. Alessandro Vaglio 2B (Italy)
3. Curt Smith 1B (Netherlands)
4. Fernando Martinez RF (Spain)
5. Kaliam Sams LF (Netherlands)
6. Yurendell De Caster DH (Netherlands)
7. Oscar Angelo SS (Spain)
8. Ricardo Daschenko C (Netherlands)
9. Stefano Desimoni CF (Italy)
Rob Cordemans P (Netherlands)

Posted in Asia, Europe, News0 Comments

Global Baseball Match: Rob Cordemans Named Europe Starter for Game 1

TOKYO, Japan – It is only a few hours away from the big event of Europe versus Japan in the first ever Global Baseball Match.

Not long ago Europe manager Steven Janssen announced that his starting pitcher for Game 1 will be Dutch right-hander Rob Cordemans.

Rob has been a fixture on the Dutch National Team for years and has been a top European pitcher for the past ten years or more. He will be up against a stout Samurai Japan team.

The All-Euro team is behind the Japanese team in terms of training so far this year. Weather forced the European team’s warm up game. They have been forced to rely mainly on training indoors with a few outside practices. While Japan has already played a few spring games.

Posted in Asia, Europe, News0 Comments

Global Baseball Match: Japan Announces Starting Pitchers; Europe Announces Schedule

The Global Baseball Match between the Samurai Japan and the All-Euro team is approaching quickly. The two teams will meet next Tuesday and Wednesday in the Tokyo Dome for a pair of games.

Team Europe arrived in Japan yesterday and has announced its schedule. And there is news coming out now from the Japan squad as well as they have announced their starting pitchers for the two games.

Starting in Game 1 will be Daichi Osera of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Osera, a 23-year old right hander, won the 2014 Rookie of the Year Award this past season posting a 10-8 record with a 4.05 ERA.

Pitching Game 2 will be the Orix Buffaloes Takahiro Matsuba. He went 8-1 in 2014 in 21 starts. He posted an ERA of just 2.77 in his second year in the league.

Schedule courtesy IBAF.org

Friday, 6 March: Visit To Fukushima – Four Years Later

Following the team workout session Friday, members of Team Europe will visit the Fukushima region that was devastated on 11 March 2011. The area is still in the process of recovery from the disaster, and the visit is intended to pay tribute and raise awareness of the region’s ongoing recovery efforts.

Saturday, 7 March: Baseball Clinic with School Children

School children will join the team and have the opportunity to play ball and engage with the European players in a one-hour session after Europe’s official team practice.

Sunday, 8 March: Test match vs. Yomiuri Giants minor league team

On Sunday, Team Europe will play a friendly match versus the minor league affiliate of the Yomiuri Giants. Europe’s coaching staff will get its first opportunity to evaluate the team and get in some ‘live’ game experience.

Monday, 9 March: Practice Session And Press Conference

Team Europe’s final workout will take place at QVC Stadium.

Representatives from both Samurai Japan and Team Europe will attend a press conference at QVC Stadium. The time of the press conference is scheduled for 13:00 – 13:30local time. 

Tuesday, 10 March: Europe vs Japan Game 1 – 18:00

Europe will make its debut on the international stage as the visiting team, wearing their road grey jersey.

Photo shoots for both Europe and Japan will also be organized at the Tokyo Dome prior to pre-game batting practice.

Wednesday, 11 March: Europe vs Japan Game 2 – 18:00

Europe will play its first-ever game as the home team, sporting the white jersey. A special Opening Ceremony will be held prior to Game 2 at 17:25.

Broadcast Coverage

Both games of the historic Europe vs Japan Series will be broadcast ‘live’ in Europe via Eurosport 2, in addition to national coverage in Japan.

Posted in Asia, Europe, News0 Comments

Andruw Jones Withdraws from Europe vs. Japan Series

Team Europe lost a high profile player today as 10-time MLB Gold Glove winner Andruw Jones withdrew from the team for its upcoming trip to Japan.

Jones would have been a representative of the Netherlands for Team Europe in the Global Baseball Match coming up next week in Japan.

He released the following statement through the World Baseball Softball Confederation:

“It is with tremendous regret that I announce the difficult decision that I will not be able to represent Team Europe in its historic debut versus the Japanese National Baseball Team in front of passionate and familiar Japanese fans. While I had initially planned to be part of Europe’s roster, new duties may call upon me to be away from home for the next several months, so spending as much time as I can at home with my family and children who are in school is the number one priority for me right now. It remains a great honour to have been selected by Coach Janssen to wear the Europe jersey and I wish Team Europe and the Samurai Japan Global Baseball event nothing but success. I will be following the games and hope this great initiative can continue to further globalise our sport.”

Jones spent 17 years in the Major Leagues and the past two in Japan as part of the NPB. The rest of the team will arrive today in Japan and begin workouts for the games tomorrow.

Posted in Asia, Europe, News0 Comments

Europe Logo and Jersey Revealed for Global Baseball Match Against Japan

The All-Euro team for the upcoming Global Baseball Match versus Japan has revealed both its logo and jersey.

A team of Europeans will take on some of the best from Japan in a two game series in March at the Tokyo Dome. The games will be held March 10 and 11.

The jersey, pictured below, will feature the home flag of each player’s home country on the right shoulder. Seven flags will be featured between the players and coaches representing Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Asics is the official apparel sponsor for Team Europe.

Jpeg

Posted in Asia, Europe, News0 Comments

Pakistan Wins 12th West Asia Baseball Cup

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan recently wrapped up the 12th West Asia Baseball Cup with a perfect record and a title. It was Pakistan’s third straight title winning both the 10th and 11th edition of the biannual tournament.

Iran finished with the silver medal losing only to tournament champion Pakistan. Unranked India wound up with the bronze medal after defeating Iraq 20-0.

12th West Asia Baseball Cup Schedule:

Monday February 23rd
Pakistan 20, Iraq 0

Tuesday February 24th
Iran 15, India 0

Wednesday February 25th
India vs. Iraq - postponed due to rain

Thursday February 26th
India 20, Iraq 0
Pakistan 12, Iran 0

Friday February 27th
Iran 18, Iraq 4
Pakistan 11, India 0

12th West Asia Baseball Cup Standings:
1. Pakistan 3-0
1. Iran 2-1
3. India 1-2
3. Iraq 0-3

Photo Courtesy Baseball Federation of Asia

Posted in Asia, News, Tournaments0 Comments

All-Euro Team News and Notes for Global Baseball Match

In the past few days there has been a few notes about the first ever All-Euro team that will take on the Samurai Japan team in March.

First of all, the All-Euro team will play an exhibition game against the Yomiuri Giants.

The Global Baseball Match with Japan will take place on March 10 and 11 (10am CET, Eurosport 2). The team will travel to Japan on March 3, and after a few days of workouts will take on the Giants. The exhibition game will take place on March 8 at the Giants training complex in Kawasaki. The Giants will use minor league players and will be a good tune up for the All-Euro team.

In other news, Rick van den Hurk has been scratched due to an injury for the All-Euro team. In his place will be 27-year old right hander Mike Bolsenbroek. Bolsenbroek pitched three years in the Phillies minor league system. The Dutch native has pitched most recently for the German powerhouse Buchbinder Legionaere.

Posted in Asia, Europe, News0 Comments

Afghanistan Disqualified from 12th West Asia Baseball Cup

Originally it was announced that Afghanistan would compete in the 12th West Asia Baseball Cup held this week in Pakistan. However, the team is not participating.

We have received word from a member of the Pakistan Federation Baseball that the team did in fact show up to play but did not bring the required documentation for its players and thus was disqualified.

So the five team tournament has gone to four.

Keep checking back for more information on the tournament as it progresses this week.

Posted in Asia, News, Tournaments0 Comments

12th West Asia Baseball Cup Scores

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The 12th West Asia Baseball Cup is underway in Islamabad, Pakistan. The five team tournament is hosted by defending champion Pakistan with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and India also participating.

Day 1 opened up with a single match between host Pakistan taking on Iraq. It was not a close one as the defending champs took down Iraq 20-0.

Day 2 had new Iran National Team manager Toma Irokawa managing his first game against India. Iran, ranked No. 49 in the world rankings, demolished unranked India 15-0. A strong showing for Irokawa’s first game.

The lone game today has both winless teams facing off with one another in India versus Iraq. However, heavy rain has postponed the game.

12th West Asia Baseball Cup Schedule:

Monday February 23rd
Pakistan 20, Iraq 0

Tuesday February 24th
Iran 15, India 0

Wednesday February 25th
India vs. Iraq - postponed due to rain

Thursday February 26th
India vs. Iraq
Pakistan vs. Iran

Friday February 27th
Iran vs. Iraq
Pakistan vs. India

12th West Asia Baseball Cup Standings:
1. Pakistan 1-0
1. Iran 1-0
3. India 0-1
3. Iraq 0-1
Photo courtesy Pakistan Federation Baseball

Posted in Asia, Tournaments0 Comments

BaseballUnited.net Interviews Secretary General of Pakistan Baseball Federation

John Fitzgerald over at BaseballUnited.net is at it again. In the audio below he sits down to talk with Syed Khawar Shah who is the Secretary General of the Pakistan Baseball Federation and also the Executive Director of the West Asia Baseball Federation.

John and Syed talk about baseball in Pakistan who is set to host the West Asia Baseball Cup opening up today. Syed mentions how many players play the sport in Pakistan and it might surprise you.

The last part of the audio, John talks once again to Toma Irokawa, the manager of the Iran National Team. He will be taking his club to Pakistan to compete in the West Asia Baseball Cup.

It is a short but interesting look inside baseball in countries we normally do not talk about. So give it a listen.

Posted in Asia, News0 Comments

Asia: 12th West Asia Baseball Cup Starts Today

The 12th West Asia Baseball Cup is set to start today in Islamabad, Pakistan. Put on by the Baseball Federation of Asia, five teams will compete for the title.

Pakistan, No. 24 in the world rankings, is the defending champion having won the 2013 edition of the tournament.

Also competing will be Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and India. Afghanistan ranks No. 35 in the world rankings while Iran is No. 49. Both Iraq and India are both unranked.

2015 West Asia Baseball Cup Schedule:

2015 West Asia Baseball Cup

Posted in Asia, Tournaments0 Comments

Eurosport 2 to Broadcast Global Baseball Match between Japan and All-Euro Team

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced earlier today that the upcoming Global Baseball Match between the No. 1 world ranked Japan versus an All-Euro team to take place in Tokyo on March 10 and 11 will be televised in Europe by Eurosport 2.

Eurosport 2 broadcasts to over 73 million homes across 51 counties and in 18 different languages. It has obtained the broadcasting rights for the inaugural event including online and mobile devices in all languages.

This is a big step for European baseball in opening up the door for many to view via television and online to some of the best baseball players on the continent and in Japan.

This could help spur more interest in the upcoming Premier 12 tournament that will take place in November featuring the world’s top 12 ranked teams. In the world top 12 there are two European nations that will compete in No. 5 Netherlands and No. 11 Italy. Both countries will have a strong presence on the All-Euro team.

Posted in Asia, Europe, News0 Comments

All-Euro Team Announces Roster for Global Baseball Match Versus Japan

Recently Japan released its roster for the 2015 Global Baseball Match versus the All-Euro team. And now the All-Euro team roster has been announced.

It is comprised of players from five different European countries and led by a manager from a sixth. The Netherlands, 2011 World Champions, have the most players represented with fifteen. Included is 10-time Major League Baseball Gold Glove winner Andruw Jones.

Jones joins fellow NPB player Alessandro Maestri on the roster. Maestri was the first European raised player to make it to the NPB. He currently pitches for the Oriz Buffaloes where he had a solid season last year.

All-Euro Roster:

Pitchers:
Luke Sommer – Germany
Diegomar Markwell – Netherlands
Jose Escalona – Italy
Rob Cordemans – Netherlands
Owen Ozanich – France
Alessandro Maestri – Italy
Tom Stuiffbergen – Netherlands
Shairon Martis – Netherlands
Loek van Mil – Netherlands
Rick van den Hurk – Netherlands
Leslie Nacar – Spain
Jan-Niclas Stoecklin – Germany
Orlando Yntema – Netherlands
Kevin Heijstek – Netherlands

Catchers:
Blake Ochoa – Spain
Richard Daschenko – Netherlands
Gianison Boekhoudt – Netherlands

Infielders:
Curt Smith – Netherlands
Alessandro Vaglio – Italy
Oscar Angulo – Spain
Juan Carlos Infante – Italy
Michael Duursma – Netherlands

Outfielders:
Stefano Desimoni – Italy
Fernando Martinez – Spain
Kaliam Sams – Netherlands
Mario Chiarini – Italy
Yurendell De Caster (Utility) – Netherlands
Andruw Jones (DH) – Netherlands

Coaching Staff:
Steve Janssen Manager – Belgium
Marco Mazzieri Assistant Manager – Italy
Wim Martinus Assistant Coach – Netherlands
Sidney De Jongh Hitting Coach – Netherlands
Martin Brunner Pitching Coach – Austria
Ben Thijssen 3rd Base Coach – Netherlands
Augusto Medina 1st Base Coach – Italy

Posted in Asia, Europe, News0 Comments

John Fitzgerald at BaseballUnited.net Talks with Iran National Team Manager Toma Irokawa

A little over a month ago we wrote about Toma Irokawa taking over the reigns of the Iran National Baseball Team and a couple of days ago John Fitzgerald from Baseball United was able to get Irokawa on the phone for a short interview.

In the interview Irokawa talks about baseball in Iran, how he communicates with the players, and even mentions how many baseball fields there are in Iran (it was more than I expected although not many). He also touches on the youth of the country and a little bit about the West Asia Baseball Cup.

It is only six and a half minutes but well worth the listen.

Thanks to John for pointing this out to us.

Be sure to check out BaseballUnited.net as well.

Posted in Asia, Interviews/Reviews0 Comments

Japan Releases Roster for Global Baseball Match Versus All-Euro Team

The Samurai Japan roster has been announced for the upcoming Global Baseball Match between Japan and an All-Euro team. The two game series will take place at the Tokyo Dome on March 10-11. The world ranked #1 Japan will be led by Hiroki Kokubo and will feature 26 players.

All twelve NPB teams are represented on the roster with four players coming from both the defending 2014 champion Softbank Hawks and the Hiroshima Carp. Japan will head into the series as a heavy favorite despite missing some of its marque players.

Some of the bigger names from the NPB that will be participating include Yoshihiro Maru (.310/19/67), Tetsuto Yamada (.324/29/89), Yuhei Takai (.316/23/90), and Yuki Yanagita (.317/15/70).

Not to mention some of the great arms that are in Japan including 2014 Rookie of the Year Daichi Ohsera (10-8/4.05) and Shintaro Fujinami (11-8/3.53). While some of the bigger name pitchers will not participate, Japan will still have a fine staff for the two game series.

Samurai Japan Roster:
Pitchers:
Daichi Ohsera (Hiroshima Carp)
Hirokazu Sawamura (Yomiuri Giants)
Shota Takeda (Softbank Hawks)
Shintaro Fujinami (Hanshin Tigers)
Kazuhisa Makita (Seibu Lions)
Katsuki Matayoshi (Chunichi Dragons)
Takahiro Matsuba (Orix Buffaloes)
Yuki Matsui (Rakuten Eagles)
Yuji Nishino (Chiba Lotte Mariners)
Shoichi Ino (Yokohama Bay Stars)

Catchers:
Tsubasa Aizawa (Hiroshima Carp)
Hikaru Ito (Orix Buffaloes)
Seiji Kobayashi (Yomiuri Giants)
Motohiro Shima (Rakuten Eagles)

Infielders:
Ginji Akaminai (Rakuten Eagles)
Kenta Imamiya (Softbank Hawks)
Ryosuke Kikuchi (Hiroshima Carp)
Nobuhiro Matsuda (Softbank Hawks)
Sho Nakata (Nippon Ham Fighters)
Hayato Sakamoto (Yomiuri Giants)
Tetsuto Yamada (Yakult Swallows)

Outfielders:
Yoshihiro Maru (Hiroshima Carp)
Yohei Oshima (Chunichi Dragons)
Yuhei Takai (Yakult Swallows)
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (Yokohama Bay Stars)
Yuki Yanagita (Softbank Hawks)

Coaching Staff:
Hiroki Kokubo (manager)
Toshihisa Nishi
Arihito Muramatsu
Kenichi Wakatabe
Atsunori Inaba
Akihiro Yano

The roster for the Euro team is expected to be release tomorrow.

Posted in Asia, Europe, News0 Comments

College: Cal State Fullerton to Represent USA at 2015 World University Games in Korea

This summer in Gwangju, South Korea the 2015 World University Games will take place from July 3-14. Representing the USA at the games will be the Cal State Fullerton Titans.

The four-time national champion Titans are ranked No. 23 in the Baseball America preseason rankings. The team is coming off its 40th consecutive 30 win season.

Originally USA Baseball was going to send an All-Star team to the World University Games. However, eleven teams showed interest before Fullerton was chosen.

A pair of Titan players, pitchers Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza, competed with the USA Collegiate National team a year ago finishing with an 18-8-2 record competing both in Cuba and the Netherlands.

The games are held every two years in different cities around the world. Internationally it is known as Universiade. In 2013, they were held in Kazan, Russia where the US finished in 6th place with 40 medals. This year will be the US’s largest participation ever with 550 athletes competing in 21 sports.

Posted in Asia, College, N. America, News, Tournaments0 Comments

Italian Baseball Federation Releases Banner for Upcoming Euro vs. Japan Series

A global baseball match between the Samurai Japan team and an all Euro team will take place this coming March in Tokyo. The two teams will meet for a pair of games, and the Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (FIBS) just released the banner for the event via Twitter.

The game will take place on March 10 and 11 hosted by Japan at the Tokyo Dome. The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) will be certifying the event.

via @FIBSpress on Twitter:

 

Posted in Asia, Europe, News0 Comments

Japan: Yulieski Gourriel will return to Yokohama in 2015

Ben Badler of Baseball America has announced that Cuban star Yulieski Gourriel will return to Japan to play for the 2015 season. He will return to the Yokohama DeNA BayStars where he will play along side his younger brother Lourdes Gourriel.

Yulieski Gourriel is currently playing for the Vegueros de Pinar del Rio in the 2014 Caribbean Series. Gourriel and Pinar del Rio lost today in the first game of the tournament 2-1 to Mexico.

Gourriel joined the BayStars in the middle of last season in Japan and put up great numbers. In just 62 games he hit .305 with 11 home runs and 73 hits including 22 doubles.

You can read the full BA article here:

Yulieski, Lourdes Gourriel To Play In Japan

 

Posted in Asia0 Comments

China: Two Players Selected for MLB Development Academy

One of the hardest places to find information on baseball has been China. I wanted to share this story from William Chu over at his blog Chinese Baseball.

It is about two futures prospects selected for the MLB Development Academy.

He also links to a story (great photos) of a coach training players with very little resources. Check them both out here at Chinese Baseball blog.

I look forward to seeing what else William can unearth about Chinese baseball.

Posted in Asia, News0 Comments

Korea: Why Do Koreans Call Baseball Yagu?

Ever wonder how to say baseball in other languages and how it came about? Well the Korea chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) recently released an article on why Koreans call baseball yagu.

It is an interesting read into the history of the game in Korea and why the sport became called yagu.

You can read the article online from the Korea Times by Patrick Bourgo through the link below.

Full Korea Times Article Here

Posted in Asia, News0 Comments

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