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USA Baseball Unveils Midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List

Press Release USA Baseball

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball released its 50-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list on Thursday, bringing the organization one step closer to naming the top amateur baseball player in the country.

The watch list will continue to be a “rolling” list until May 27 — when the semifinalists for the award are announced — ensuring that athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live in Los Angeles on July 17.

Twenty-three new players were added to the list since its initial release on February 14, joining 27 others from the preseason watch list. The Southeastern Conference led all conferences in watch list players, placing nine on the midseason update, while 17 different NCAA conferences had at least one athlete on the list. The Atlantic Coast Conference had six athletes on the list.

Cal State Fullerton, Florida State, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Louisiana State, Oregon State, Pepperdine and Virginia each had two athletes on the midseason watch list. Vanderbilt junior right-handed pitcher, Tyler Beede, is featured on the 2014 Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list after being one of three finalist for the 2013 Golden Spikes Award.

In addition to Beede, Thomas Eshelman (Cal State Fullerton) and Aaron Nola (Louisiana State) were both semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award in 2013.

USA Baseball officials will announce the 30-man watch list for the 2014 Golden Spikes Award on Thursday, May 8. USA Baseball will then release the semifinalists on Tuesday, May 27. The list of athletes will then be sent to a voting body consisting of Golden Spikes Award winners, past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2014. Tuesday, May 27, marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. As part of this selection process all voters will be asked to choose three players from the list of names.

Last year, University of San Diego infielder, Kris Bryant, took home the prestigious award, joining a group of recent winners that includes Mike Zunino (2012), Trevor Bauer (2011), Bryce Harper (2010), Stephen Strasburg (2009) and Buster Posey (2008).

Other past winners of the Golden Spikes Award include Terry Francona (1980), Will Clark (1985), Robin Ventura (1988), Jason Varitek (1994), J.D. Drew (1997), Mark Prior (2001), Jered Weaver (2004), Tim Lincecum (2006) and David Price (2007).

Important 2014 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award dates include:

Friday, Feb. 14: 60-man preseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, April 10: 50-man midseason watch list released, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Thursday, May 8: 30-man watch list, shaped by USA Baseball officials and advisors
Tuesday, May 27: Semifinalists announced, selected by USA Baseball officials; semifinalist voting begins; voters to select three
Friday, May 30: Deadline to vote for finalists, 5 p.m. ET
Tuesday, June 3: Finalists announced; finalist voting begins; voters to select one
Friday, June 13: Deadline to vote for winner, 5 p.m. ET
Thursday, July 17: Golden Spikes Award presentation

The complete 2014 preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List is as follows:

Name, Position, Class, School (in order of last name, new players bolded)
Brady Aiken, LHP, Senior, Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) HS
Brian Anderson, IF, Junior, Arkansas
Brett Austin, C, Junior, NC State
Tyler Beede, RHP, Junior, Vanderbilt
Aaron Brown, OF/LHP, Junior, Pepperdine
Nick Burdi, RHP, Junior, Louisville
Michael Conforto, OF, Junior, Oregon State
Austin Cousino, OF, Junior, Kentucky
J.D. Davis, OF/RHP, Junior, Cal State Fullerton
Tyler Davis, RHP, Junior, Washington
Chris Ellis, RHP, Junior, Mississippi
Joey Epperson, OF/IF, RS-Senior, UC Santa Barbara

Thomas Eshelman, RHP, Sophomore, Cal State Fullerton
Erick Fedde, RHP, Junior, UNLV
Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Junior, TCU
Blake Fox, LHP, Sophomore, Rice
Kyle Freeland, LHP, Junior, Evansville
Clinton Freeman, OF, Senior, East Tennessee State
Jeff Gardner
, OF, Senior, Louisville
Aaron Garza, RHP, Junior, Houston

Casey Gillaspie, IF, Junior, Wichita State
Grayson Greiner, C, Junior, South Carolina
Chris Haddeland, RHP, Junior, Linfield
Ian Happ, IF, Sophomore, Cincinnati
Seth Harrison, OF, Senior, Louisiana Lafayette
Matt Imhof, LHP, Junior, Cal Poly
Michael Katz, IF, Junior, William & Mary
Nathan Kirby, LHP, Sophomore, Virginia

Ross Kivett, IF, Senior, Kansas State
Ryan McBroom, OF, Senior, West Virginia
Daniel Miles, IF, Junior, Tennessee Tech
DJ Miller, IF, Senior, Delaware State
Corey Miller, RHP, Senior, Pepperdine
Andrew Morales, RHP, Senior, UC Irvine
Michael Murray, RHP, Sophomore, Florida Gulf Coast

Aaron Nola, RHP, Junior, LSU
Mike Papi, OF, Junior, Virginia
Mark Payton, OF, Senior, Texas
Max Pentecost, C, Junior, Kennesaw State
A.J. Reed, LHP/IF, Junior, Kentucky
Kyle Schwarber, C, Junior, Indiana
Kade Scivicque, C, Junior, LSU
Austen Smith, IF, Senior, Alabama

DJ Stewart, OF, Sophomore, Florida State
Ryan Thompson, RHP, Senior, Campbell
Trent Thornton, RHP, Sophomore, North Carolina
Sam Travis, IF, Junior, Indiana
Luke Weaver, RHP, Junior, Florida State
Ben Wetzler, LHP, Senior, Oregon State
Bradley Zimmer, OF, Junior, San Francisco

Posted in College, N. America, News0 Comments

Kauffman Stadium to Host Game Benefiting College Baseball Hall of Fame

Wichita State, Missouri to play April 22 at home of Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals Press Release

Kauffman Stadium will soon be the site of a college baseball border clash.

The National College Baseball Hall of Fame “Classic at The K” will feature a matchup between the Wichita State Shockers and the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. Farmland Foods will be the presenting sponsor of the game, which will benefit the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Lubbock, Texas.

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“We are so honored that David and Dan Glass and the Royals organization have chosen to host this game,” said Hall of Fame Executive Vice President of Development Jana Howser, daughter of late Royals Hall of Fame Manager Dick Howser. “We look forward to a wonderful night of college baseball.”

Wichita State leads the all-time series, having won six of the 10 matchups between the teams. They last met in 2004 with the Shockers winning, 3-0.

Tickets in the BATS Crown Club, which will include a special menu offered at a reduced price, will be available for $25 for adults and $14 for youth ages 14 and under. Fans may also purchase tickets in the KIA Diamond Club for $15 for adults and $10 for youth. Please note that Royals Crown Club and Diamond Club seat holders will be given a special opportunity to purchase tickets in these two areas and will receive an email with information on how to purchase tickets within the next week. In addition, general admission seating in the lower seating bowl will be available for purchase at $10 for adults and $5 for youth.

Fans may purchase tickets online at www.royals.com/hofgame, by visiting the Kauffman Stadium Box Office or by calling 1-800-6-ROYALS.

Posted in College, N. America, News0 Comments

College: Virginia Stays Atop NCBWA Division I Poll

The Virginia Cavaliers are still holding strong at the top of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division I poll after going 3-1 this past week. Virginia squared off with then #13 Clemson over the weekend taking two of three in Charlottesville. This is the fourth straight week at the top of the poll and the sixth week total for Virginia.

Former #1 holder Florida State dropped from the second spot to #5 after dropping two of three to Georgia Tech over the weekend in Atlanta.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year so far has been a team from Louisiana, and no it is not LSU. It is Louisiana Lafayette who sits ranked #2 this week after going 4-1 this past week. The next biggest surprise is sitting right behind Louisiana in Cal Poly at #3. The Mustangs just went 4-0 this past week including a sweep of Hawaii over the weekend.

NCBWA DIVISION I POLL (APRIL 14)

Rk. School Conference Record Week Pvs.
1. Virginia Atlantic Coast 30-6 3-1 1
2. Louisiana Sun Belt 34-4 4-1 3
3. Cal Poly Big West 30-5 4-0 6
4. Oregon State Pacific-12 27-7 2-1 5
5. Florida State Atlantic Coast 27-8 1-3 2
6. South Carolina Southeastern 28-7 2-2 4
7. Texas Big 12 29-8 3-1 9
8. LSU Southeastern 27-9-1 3-1 8
9. Louisville American Athletic 27-8 4-0 10
10. Oregon Pacific-12 27-10 5-0 12
11. Vanderbilt Southeastern 27-10 2-2 7
12. Ole Miss Southeastern 29-9 4-1 14
13. Oklahoma State Big 12 26-10 4-0 18
14. Houston American Athletic 26-9 1-3 11
15. Washington Pacific-12 24-7-1 2-1 20
16. Rice Conference USA 26-12 4-0 21
17. Alabama Southeastern 24-11 2-2 16
18. Florida Southeastern 23-13 3-1 24
19. Cal State Fullerton Big West 18-13 2-2 15
20. Miami Atlantic Coast 25-12 4-0 23
21. Clemson Atlantic Coast 21-14 1-4 13
22. Mississippi State Southeastern 22-15 2-2 19
23. UC Santa Barbara Big West 22-8 2-1 26
24. Kentucky Southeastern 23-13 1-3 17
25. Texas Tech Big 12 28-11 4-0 30
26. Indiana Big Ten 21-11 4-1 -
27. UCLA Pacific-12 19-15 1-3 22
28. Pepperdine West Coast 27-8 3-1 -
29. Tennessee Southeastern 23-11 2-2 27
30. Liberty Big South 29-8 4-0 -
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically): Arizona (17-20), Arizona State (19-14), Arkansas (22-15), College of Charleston (24-11), Dallas Baptist (25-10), Georgia (21-14-1), Georgia Tech (23-14), Iowa (20-13), Lipscomb (24-13), N.C. State (20-15), New Mexico (27-11-1), North Carolina (21-15), Oklahoma (23-14), Sam Houston State (25-11), San Diego (25-10), San Diego State (25-11), Seton Hall (25-7), Southern Miss (21-16), TCU (22-13), Texas A&M (22-15), UAB (24-12), UC Irvine (24-11), UCF (22-15), UNLV (25-11), UTSA (24-12), VCU (25-8).
Dropped out: N.C. State (25), Oklahoma (28), North Carolina (29).
By conference: Southeastern 9, Atlantic Coast 4, Pacific-12 4, Big 12 3, Big West 3, American 2, Big South 1, Big Ten 1, Conference USA 1, Sun Belt 1, West Coast 1.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors Division I Players of the Week, the Stopper of the Year, and publication and writing contests.

Posted in College, N. America0 Comments

Pro Baseball Tryout April 28 in Riverside, California

Pro Baseball tryout April 28 10 am La Sierra University Riverside, CA

Their will be a professional baseball tryout on Monday April 28 at 10 am at La Sierra University in Riverside, CA. The address to the school is 4500 Riverwalk Pkwy, Riverside, CA 92505 and Regestraion will begin at 9am.

Tryout will be on the baseball field of LA Sierra U. Players will be expected to fill out a tryout waiver and questionnaire at the time of registration as well as a tryout fee of $60 which can be payed check or cash at the time of registration. This helps with the cost and field rental, league fees etc.

This tryout is for all players 18 and older that are looking to play professional baseball for the summer of 2014. The tryout is open to graduating seniors of the 2014 season. If you are worried about your schedule the reason we are hosting the tryout on a Monday morning is because that way we can have the seniors attend as nobody is playing that day.

The Players will be expected to bring their own equipment out to the tryout and dress accordingly in baseball attire. All college coaches are free to join and observe if they would like. Multiple professional Independent teams as well as MLB scouts and Mexico pro baseball scouts have been invited and are looking forward to attending the work out. The tryout will consist of 60yd dash, fielding and throwing from their positions, batting practice, and a live game.

For more information you can contact Chris Paterson at chrispaterson12@usa.com.

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

The IBL is the New Independent Baseball League in Town

There is a new league in town, independent league that is. The newly formed Independent Baseball League or IBL for short. Play starts this summer with teams located in Ohio and Michigan.

The IBL kicks off the 2014 season joining a laundry list of other independent leagues throughout the country. The IBL will start with four teams. The locations include Tiffin, Ohio; Marion, Ohio; Adrian, Michigan, and a traveling Ohio team. The league hopes to expand in 2015 into three divisions, but we will have to wait and see how successful it can be.

The area is no stranger to professional baseball. Marion, Ohio was once the home of the Marion Red Sox of the old Ohio-Indiana League in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Baseball extends back to the turn of the century with teams playing in the Ohio State League and other leagues dating back to 1900.

The innagural teams in the IBL will be the Tiffin Saints, Shovel City Crawlers (based in Marion), and two other teams to be named. The league will start play in June with each team playing a 36 game season.

It should be interesting to see if the league can survive like other recent start ups including the Pecos League, which is in its fourth season in the southeast.

For more information about the IBL or its teams, visit the league website at IBL-Baseball.com or check them out on Facebook.

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

Sonoma Stompers of Pacific Association Announce Manger for 2014 Season

Press Release Sonoma Stompers

SONOMA STOMPERS INTRODUCE 2014 MANAGER CASEY DILL

Stompers hire former Pecos League manager, Redding CA. native

Sonoma, Calif. April 9, 2014: The independent, minor league Sonoma Stompers Baseball Club formally introduced Casey Dill as the team’s field manager for its inaugural season. Stompers General Manager Theo Fightmaster made the announcement Wednesday.

“Casey is a proven game manager and has a keen eye for talent,” Fightmaster said. “We’re fortunate to have Casey as a part of our organization, and I think the baseball fans in Sonoma County will reap the benefits of his hard work in building a talented, professional club.”

Dill, 30, spent the previous two seasons managing in the Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs, with the Las Cruces Vaqueros (2012) and Las Vegas (New Mexico) Train Robbers in 2013. While with Las Cruces, Dill’s team set the all time league record for total offense. He led both teams to league championship series in consecutive seasons, capturing a Northern Division Championship in 2013 with the Train Robbers. The Train Robbers also set the all-time league record in ERA. In two seasons, Dill owns a career managerial record of 86-57.

“I am honored to be a part of the Sonoma Stompers in our inaugural season. It has already been a pleasure to work with a staff of people who are truly dedicated to the success of the team,” Dill said. “The opportunity to manage a minor league team in a place as beautiful and welcoming as Sonoma is a dream come true.”

During his time with the Pecos League, Dill has promoted 28 players to higher levels of professional baseball, more than any other manager in the league during that period.

Earlier in 2014, Dill managed in the California Winter League, an instructional showcase league for current professional and free agents, located in Palm Springs, Calif.

“I look forward to developing a team of young men who will not only be great on the field, but will also be respected members of the community,” Dill said.

“It’s not often you get the opportunity to create something new and develop it into something great. I look forward to working with our staff and the community as it becomes an integral part of Sonoma and minor league baseball.”

Casey Dill’s email is Casey@stompersbaseball.com.

Posted in Minors, N. America, News0 Comments

Fan Duel – A New Way to Play Fantasy Baseball

So I am hooked on something that isn’t necessarily new, but it is new to me – Fan Duel.

I used to play fantasy baseball every year. I even managed to win a few times (I have a banner from an ESPN league somewhere), but eventually I had to stop. I simply put in too much time and let it get in the way of other things.

These days I don’t change lineups every day depending on who is playing. I don’t even play every day. I only play when I have time and usually when I have some time to actually watch the games which for me these days is only a couple times a week. So I don’t feel the need to do it every day, and I am winning a few dollars.

FanDuel.com is a gambling site. So if you are not into gambling it might not be for you, but you can also play for free. There are multiple ways to play. I usually play head-to-head or in a 50/50 league and only for small stakes. But it is fun.

Each player is assigned a value and then you have $35,000 to purchase players ranging from $2,000 to nearly $10,000. You earn points for what they do on the field and the winners win actual money. You never get stuck with the guy who is on the DL because you pick your lineups daily.

I like it and even though it is not going to pay the rent, it might buy me an occasional beer or two. If you sign up through one of the links on our site, we get a small commission which helps keep our site up and running. You can even challenge your friends. I do it all the time. So if you sign up through us, send us an email and we can do a challenge together (low stakes of course – I’m not a high roller).

If you play, I’d like to hear what you think of it. Leave a comment below and let us know.

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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.”

Posted in MLB, N. America, News0 Comments

2014 MLB Predictions

Every year people throw out predictions for the year. I love doing this as well even though I never come close to what actually happens. It is not an easy thing to do to predict how teams will perform over six months time. But alas it is still a fun thing to do. So here we go, the Baseball de World 2014 MLB Predictions.

* Wild Card Teams

AL East

1. Tampa Bay Rays (I still want to write Devil Rays)
2. *Boston Red Sox
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. New York Yankees
5. Toronto Blue Jays

This might be the most closely contested division in baseball. From one to four the separation won’t be that much. I like the Rays to win the division based on their good young pitching and hitting and their leader Joe Madden.

AL Central

1. Detroit Tigers
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Chicago White Sox
5. Minnesota Twins

The upper part of this division is good. I’m not sold completely on the Royals like some others I have seen. However, the last two teams are terrible. It is Detroit’s division to lose and the Indians will make it close most of the season but I see the Tigers claiming the Central crown again.

AL West

1. Texas Rangers
2. *Oakland A’s
3. Anaheim Angels
4. Seattle Mariners
5. Houston Astros

Okay, so this may be a bit of a homer pick. I kept going back and forth between the Rangers and A’s with the other team getting the wild card. I know the Rangers pitching is hurt but I think the guys filling in will do better than most expect. Plus everyone that is hurt will not be out too long aside from the Dutch Oven.

AL Wild Card Game – Boston over Oakland
AL Division Series – Detroit over Boston & Tampa Bay over Texas
AL Championship Series – Tampa Bay over Detroit

NL East

1. Atlanta Braves
2. *Washington Nationals
3. Miami Marlins
4. Philadelphia Phillies
5. New York Mets

Again this might be a bit of a homer call, but I think both the Braves and Nationals make the playoffs. I know the Braves have some issues with the rotation, but I think they have enough in some good young arms to keep in the race. Plus I think their offense will be better this year. I mean B.J. Upton can’t be as bad as last year can he? Braves fans better hope not.

NL Central

1. Pittsburgh Pirates
2. *St. Louis Cardinals
3. Cincinnati Reds
4. Milwaukee Brewers
5. Chicago Cubs

I really hate to give the Cards the Central crown even though they may be the best team. I think both the Pirates and Cards make the playoffs with the rest of the league battling for mediocrity. The Reds may be decent and surprise some people, but the Brewers and Cubs will be terrible.

NL West

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Francisco Giants
3. San Diego Padres
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
5. Colorado Rockies

Top to bottom I think the Dodgers are the best team in baseball. Will they beat themselves again this year? It remains to be seen but they will be in the playoffs.

AL Wild Card Game – St. Louis over Washington
AL Division Series – Los Angeles over St. Louis & Pittsburgh over Atlanta
AL Championship Series – Los Angeles over Pittsburgh

World Series – Los Angeles Dodgers over Tampa Bay Rays in six games.

Posted in MLB, N. America1 Comment

Hosts Announced for a few Upcoming Baseball World Cups

Hosting rights for some of the upcoming youth Baseball World Cups were announced recently. The WBSC’s International Baseball executives announced the hosts in Prague, Czech Republic.

The 21U Baseball World Cup will debut later this year and it will be hosted by Taichung, Chinese Taipei. Taichung was host to the 18U BWC in 2013. Twelve countries will participate in the inaugural event from November 7-16.

The executives also voted to include a limited number of 23U players for the initial tournament. Each national team will have the option to use up to three players in a game at a time.

Japan was chosen to host the next 18U Baseball World Cup to take place in 2015. Koshien Stadium, which is known was the “Mecca of Japanese Baseball”, will be the centerpiece for the tournament. Home of the Hanshin Tigers, Koshien Stadium is Japan’s oldest ballpark having been built in 1924.

The 2017 18U Baseball World Cup was granted to Canada. Canada hosted the event in 2010 in Thunder Bay, so it is not new to hosting these big international events.

Events to be held later in 2014 include the 21U Baseball World Cup in Taichung, 15U in La Paz, Mexico, and the Women’s Baseball World Cup to take place in Japan.

Posted in Asia, N. America, News, Tournaments1 Comment

Australia Releases Final Roster to Face Diamondbacks and Dodgers

Baseball Australia has announced the final roster for the team that will meet the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground on March 20 and March 21. The team, newly named Southern Thunder, is led by MLB pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith (Arizona Diamondbacks) and former MLB outfielder Trent Oeltjen (Sydney Blue Sox).

Joining Oeltjen in the lineup will be power hitting Stefan Welch (Boston Red Sox) and Mike Walker (Milwaukee Brewers). The team features several other players with MLB experience including Luke Hughes and Justin Huber.

The Southern Thunder will take on the Dodgers on Thursday March 20th before taking on the Diamondbacks on Friday March 21st.

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1-bottom-roster

Posted in MLB, N. America, News, Oceania0 Comments

College: Virginia Claims #1 Spot in NCBWA Poll for Second Straight Week

Press Release National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association

DALLAS (NCBWA) – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association continues its tradition of NCAA Division I polls for the 17th year with its 2014 weekly surveys. Polls will be circulated from Feb. 17-June 26 (weekly through June 10) following the 68th annual NCAA World Series in Omaha, Neb., at TD Ameritade Park.

Cal State Fullerton (preseason No. 1), Oregon State (Feb. 17) and Virginia (Feb. 24-March 3) have held down the No. 1 positions in the first four 2014 surveys. Last season only five teams were No. 1 during the entire January-June NCBWA surveys. The poll voters come from 44 college baseball writers and related media persons from throughout the nation.

The current survey has representation by 11 different conferences among the 302 baseball-playing schools in the 2014 NCAA Division I ranks, and 13 circuits have been rated this season. The rankings of 2012 had a NCBWA-poll record 22 different DI conferences and independents rated at least one week while 12 separate circuits had team rankings in ’13.

NCBWA DIVISION I POLL (MARCH 3)

Rk. School Conference Record Week Pvs.
1. Virginia Atlantic Coast 9-2 3-1 1
2. Florida State Atlantic Coast 8-1 2-1 2
3. South Carolina Southeastern 10-0 3-0 6
4. Cal State Fullerton Big West 7-3 3-0 9
5. Oregon State Pacific-12 9-3 4-1 7
6. Vanderbilt Southeastern 10-2 3-2 4
7. LSU Southeastern 9-2 2-2 3
8. N.C. State Atlantic Coast 9-2 3-1 8
9. UCLA Pacific-12 7-4 3-1 13
10. Louisville American Athletic 8-3 3-1 12
11. Oregon Pacific-12 8-3 1-3 5
12. Mississippi State Southeastern 10-4 6-0 15
13. Oklahoma State Big 12 10-2 2-1 14
14. Cal Poly Big West 8-2 2-1 17
15. Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt 10-2 3-1 20
16. North Carolina Atlantic Coast 7-3 4-0 21
17. Ole Miss Southeastern 11-1 5-0 24
18. Rice Conference USA 7-5 1-3 10
19. Clemson Atlantic Coast 6-4 1-3 11
20. Texas Big 12 9-3 4-0 27
21. TCU Big 12 7-4 1-3 16
22. Kentucky Southeastern 9-2 4-0 30
23. Miami Atlantic Coast 5-5 1-2 19
24. Arizona State Pacific-12 6-4 3-0 29
25. Texas A&M Southeastern 7-4 1-3 18
26. Indiana Big Ten 4-5 2-0 25
27. Arkansas Southeastern 7-2 1-2 22
28. Sam Houston State Southland 10-2 3-1 -
29. College of Charleston Colonial 10-1 4-0 -
30. Texas Tech Big 12 9-3 3-2 26
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically): Alabama (5-5), California (6-2), Dallas Baptist (9-2), Florida (6-6), Florida Atlantic (8-3), fiu (11-1), Fresno State (9-2), Georgia Southern (10-2), Houston (8-2), Illinois (6-4), Iowa (9-1), Kansas (11-1), Kansas State (4-7), Maryland (8-2), Memphis (10-1), New Mexico (8-3-1), Ohio State (7-3), Oklahoma (7-4), San Diego (8-1), Seton Hall (7-2), USC (8-2), Tennessee (10-0), Tennessee Tech (11-1), Tulane (8-2), UC Irvine (8-3), UC Santa Barbara (7-1), VCU (10-1), VMI (7-3), Western Carolina (7-2), Wichita State (7-3).
Dropped out: Florida (23), Alabama (28).
By conference: Southeastern 8, Atlantic Coast 6, Big 12 4, Pac-12 4, Big West 2, American 1, Big Ten 1, Colonial 1, Conference USA 1, Southland 1, Sun Belt 1.

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors Division I Players of the Week, the Stopper of the Year, and publication and writing contests.

2014 NCBWA Polls (No. 1 Team):

  • Preseason (Cal State Fullerton)
  • Feb. 17 (Oregon State)
  • Feb. 24 (Virginia)
  • Mar. 3 (Virginia)

Posted in College, N. America0 Comments

College: NCBWA Announces 2014 Division I Preseason All-America Teams

Press Release National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association

FORT WORTH, Texas – With solid representation from defending baseball champion, UCLA,
and 2013 runner-up, Mississippi State, the 14th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers
Association preseason All-America team premiers the top student-athletes from NCAA Division
I, which opens the season in less than two months – on Feb. 14, 2014.

If the 155th season of intercollegiate baseball is anything like the previous campaign, the 2014
All-America units should shine for weeks leading up and into the NCAA DI World Series in
Omaha, Neb., on June 14-24/25 and with strong-armed pitching in every corner. The Bruins
and Bulldogs, in fact, have five players on all the first two squads, while 2013 NCAA World
Series participants Indiana, Louisville, LSU, North Carolina, NC State, and Oregon State are
represented by a total of 12 standouts on the three teams. In all, there are players from 17
conferences and 35 schools nationwide.

Returning first-team standouts from the post-2013 NCBWA All-America team are power-hitting
Indiana catcher Kyle Schwarber (18 home runs for second-most among the honorees) and
four pitchers (two starters, two relievers), who all held opposing hitters under .200 batting
averages.

UCLA righty, 2013 CWS Most Outstanding Player and Team USA standout David Berg leads
this pack with an NCAA-record 24 saves, 7-0 record and an 0.88 ERA. The other three
returning first unit pitchers – Vanderbilt’s Tyler Beede, Mississippi State’s Jonathan Holder and
LSU’s Aaron Nola – were a combined 28-2 on the hill with 315 strikeouts and 21 saves by
Holder.

Joining them on the elite first crew are starters Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza of Cal
State Fullerton, UC Irvine’s Andrew Morales, and NC State’s Carlos Rodon (A-A-leading 170
strikeouts in 118-plus innings pitched. 2013 postseason second team All-America relief man
Nick Burdi of Louisville brings back 16 saves and an 0.78 ERA to compliment the six first-team
rotation pitchers, who own a composite 69-7 record.

The first squad also has representation from three UC Irvine Anteaters – 1B Connor Spencer,
3B Taylor Sparks and Morales. They all come from the same California high school programs,
which produced 2013 consensus All-America and Dick Howser Trophy winner, Kris Bryant of
the University of San Diego.

The first team chosen by consultation with individual schools’ media relations offices and the
NCBWA All-America committee features returning post-2013 second team All-America
designated hitter Nick Backlund of Mercer and 2013 SEC Freshman of the Year and Brooks
Wallace Award winning SS Alex Bregman of LSU. Utility player Drew Reynolds of East
Carolina adds a .322 batting average and 14 saves in 28 relief appearances.

The pitching-rich second squad boasts another sterling group of moundmen such as Big 12
Conference Pitcher of the Year Harrison Musgrave of West Virginia, Pac-12 Conference
Freshman Pitcher of the Year and 14-game winner Andrew Moore of Oregon State, 12-1
starter Trent Thornton of UNC, and Mississippi State’s Ross Mitchell, who led relief pitchers on
all college levels with 13 wins as a sophomore.

These youngsters also are the core of nominees for the initial ballot for the 28th annual Dick
Howser Trophy, presented by the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Area Chamber of Commerce and voted
upon by the NCBWA membership. The Howser Trophy will be awarded in Omaha, Neb., June
13, 2014, prior to the opening of the 67th annual NCAA World Series.

2014 NCBWA Division I Preseason All-America Team

FIRST TEAM (Statistics Are From 2013 Season)
Pos. Name, School, Class Avg. G AB R H 2B-3B-HR RBIs BB SO SB/SBA
C Kyle Schwarber, Indiana, Jr. .376 58 221 63 83 10-1-18 54 42 30 4/7
1B Connor Spencer, UC Irvine, Sr. .373 55 212 42 79 19-3-0 35 21 21 3/5
2B Ross Kivett, Kansas State, Sr. .360 64 261 57 94 15-4-3 39 29 27 26/36
3B Taylor Sparks, UC Irvine, Jr. .360 55 222 38 80 11-4-10 50 6 40 7/10
SS Alex Bregman, LSU, So. .369 67 282 59 104 18-7-6 52 24 25 16/17
OF Mike Papi, Virginia, Jr. .381 55 176 57 67 15-3-7 57 45 25 6/8
OF Casey Roche, Pittsburgh, Sr. .339 58 233 53 79 12-2-9 65 27 41 10/13
OF DJ Stewart, Florida State, So. .364 60 225 50 82 25-2-5 59 38 40 8/12
DH Nick Backlund, Mercer, Sr. .326 61 242 45 79 22-0-13 68 35 50 0/0
UT Drew Reynolds, East Carolina, Sr. .322 54 211 30 68 13-0-0 22 11 22 5/6
3-0, 2.92 ERA, 28 App, 0 GS, 0 CG, 14 SV, 40.0IP, 35H, 19R, 13ER, 19BB, 36K

Pos. Name School W-L ERA APP GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER BB SO B/Avg.
SP Tyler Beede, Vanderbilt, Jr. 14-1 2.32 17 17 0 0/1 0 101 64 32 26 63 103 .187
SP Thomas Eshelman, Cal St.-Fullerton, So. 12-3 1.48 17 16 2 0 0 115.2 86 26 19 3 83 .204
^SP Justin Garza, Cal St.-Fullerton, So. 12-0 2.03 17 17 0 0 0 115 84 27 26 17 95 .205
^SP Aaron Nola, LSU, Jr. 12-1 1.57 17 17 5 3/2 0 126 83 30 22 18 122 .188
SP Andrew Morales, UC Irvine, Sr. 10-0 1.89 17 13 0 0/4 0 95.1 78 20 20 21 85 .227
SP Carlos Rodon, NC State, Jr. 9-2 3.19 17 17 2 1/1 0 118.1 85 47 42 42 170 .201
^RP David Berg, UCLA, So. 7-0 0.88 46 0 0 0/6 21 71.1 49 7 7 8 73 .194
RP Nick Burdi, Louisville, Jr. 3-3 0.78 28 0 0 0/1 16 34.2 25 4 3 13 61 .197
RP Jonathan Holder, Mississippi State, Jr. 2-0 1.65 34 0 0 0/3 21 54.2 33 15 10 17 90 .153

SECOND TEAM
Pos. Name, School, Class Avg. G AB R H 2B-3B-HR RBIs BB SO SB/SBA
C Mark Zagunis, Virginia Tech, Jr. .341 62 232 62 79 14-3-9 51 32 29 19/24
1B Zach Stephens, Tennessee Tech, Sr. .336 57 229 59 77 17-1-15 71 38 74 0/0
2B Oscar Sanay, CSU Bakersfield, Sr. .362 59 224 48 81 13-6-1 45 25 22 4/6
3B Joey Pankake, South Carolina, Jr. .311 62 238 40 74 9-1-11 42 29 29 7/11
SS Trea Turner, NC State, So. .368 56 228 66 84 13-4-7 42 38 31 30/36
OF Skye Bolt, North Carolina, So. .321 54 212 48 68 14-2-6 51 32 28 10/13
OF Dylan Davis, Oregon State, Jr. .335 63 257 45 86 22-3-5 61 19 35 9/12
OF Brandon Downes, Virginia, Jr. .315 61 253 67 80 20-7-10 59 27 60 6/7
DH Kurt Wertz, Towson, Sr. .338 57 222 43 75 14-7-13 65 31 36 8/13
UT Ashton Perritt, Liberty, Jr. .343 40 172 34 59 7-2-6 17 9 4 18/21
3-2, 2.09 ERA, 22 App, 1 GS, 0 CG, 10SV, 38.2IP, 27H, 11R, 9ER, 13 BB, 37K

Pos. Name School W-L ERA APP GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER BB SO B/Avg.
SP Andrew Moore, Oregon State, So. 14-2 1.79 19 18 3 3/3 1 131 93 33 26 28 72 .207
^SP Harrison Musgrave, West Virginia, Jr. 9-1 2.17 14 14 3 3/2 0 95.1 65 24 23 29 81 .197
SP Bryan Radziewski, Miami, Fla., r-Jr. 9-3 1.78 15 14 2 2/3 0 91 53 24 18 30 109 .175
SP Trent Thornton, North Carolina, So. 12-1 1.37 29 6 0 0/3 8 91.2 69 22 14 19 81 .204
SP Grant Watson, UCLA, Jr. 9-3 3.01 18 17 0 0/2 0 92.2 93 36 31 16 55 .266
RP Trace Dempsey, Ohio State, Jr. 3-0 1.02 31 0 0 0/5 17 35.1 22 6 4 11 28 .180
RP Brian Miller, Vanderbilt, Jr. 5-2 1.58 32 0 0 0/1 16 57 37 13 10 11 48 .180
RP Ross Mitchell, Mississippi State, Jr. 13-0 1.53 34 0 0 0/1 2 94 72 22 16 29 44 .214

THIRD TEAM
Pos. Name, School, Class Avg. G AB R H 2B-3B-HR RBIs BB SO SB/SBA
C Tyler Baker, Wichita State, Jr. .328 65 238 41 78 15-3-4 46 26 39 1/1
1B Michael Katz, William & Mary, Sr. .358 55 212 49 76 23-1-5 47 31 32 3/4
2B Ryan Lindemuth, William & Mary, Sr. .351 63 251 61 88 14-2-4 49 17 20 3/7
3B Kevin Kramer, UCLA, Jr. .278 66 245 41 68 11-2-3 42 30 30 9/18
Chesny Young, Mercer, Jr. .401 61 262 56 105 18-3-4 65 28 25 9/12
SS Aaron Attaway, Western Carolina, Sr..363 59 267 68 97 15-5-12 54 16 34 12/15
OF Garrett Bayliff, Wichita State, Sr. .379 63 240 44 91 9-1-0 39 24 38 11/16
OF Mark Payton, Texas, Sr. .393 50 178 27 70 11-8-0 29 28 23 3/6
OF Chad Carroll. James Madison, Jr. .389 51 193 50 75 14-8-3 55 13 31 21/24
DH Chase Raffield, Georgia State, Sr. .382 52 186 42 71 19-0-19 51 21 23 4/5
UT Clinton Freeman East Tenn. State, Sr..335 60 239 39 80 18-4-10 57 27 36 2/5
7-1, 3.04 ERA, 25 App, 3GS, 0CG, 8SV, 56.1IP, 62H, 20R, 19ER, 15BB, 51K

Pos. Name School W-L ERA APP GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER BB SO B/Avg.
SP Daniel Gossett, Clemson, Jr. 10-4 2.56 16 16 1 1/4 0 98.1 78 40 28 38 91 .213
SP Cole Irvin, Oregon, So. 12-3 2.48 16 16 4 2/0 0 116 105 37 32 22 60 .248
SP Ryan Kellogg, Arizona State, So. 11-1 3.15 16 15 1 1/1 0 103 96 39 36 17 54 .246
SP Preston Morrison, TCU, Jr. 7-3 1.51 15 15 1 0/2 0 107 85 27 18 18 64 .217
SP Luke Weaver, Florida State, Jr. 7-2 2.29 17 15 0 0/1 0 98.1 78 26 25 19 119 .221
RP Zech Lemond, Rice, Jr. 7-2 2.02 32 1 0 0/7 14 75.2 56 19 17 21 71 .207
RP Sutter McLoughlin, Sacramento State, So. 1-3 2.11 28 0 0 0 17 38.1 27 13 9 9 26 .196
RP Ryan Thompson, Campbell, Sr. 9-1 0.88 31 0 0 0 10 71.2 51 9 7 15 57 .201
RP Josh Walker, New Mexico, Sr. 11-1 3.68 29 4 1 1/1 7 78.2 76 37 32 22 55 .258

*-Conference player of the year
^-Conference pitcher of the year

Posted in College, N. America, News0 Comments

College: NCBWA Announces Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List

Press Release National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NCBWA) — Fifty players have been named to the initial watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball, as announced by the association on Tuesday.

UCLA junior David Berg and Mississippi State junior Jonathan Holder headline this year’s list of preseason nominees. Berg was the recipient of the Stopper of the Year Award in 2013 after leading the nation with 24 saves, while guiding the Bruins to their first College World Series title. Berg made 51 appearances during his sophomore campaign, finishing the season with a 7-0 record and a 0.92 ERA with 78 strikeouts in 78.0 innings of work. Holder collected 21 saves and a 2-0 record with a 1.65 ERA in 34 games. The Gulfport, Miss., native finished his sophomore season with 90 strikeouts in 54.2 innings as the Bulldogs finished as the national runner-up.

A total of 17 student-athletes on the 2014 preseason watch list tallied at least 12 saves a season ago. Also joining Berg and Holder on the watch list is Louisville’s Nick Burdi, who concluded the 2013 season with 16 saves and a 3-3 record with a 0.76 ERA in 35.2 innings of work. Berg, Burdi and Holder were all named preseason first team All-Americans in 2014 by the NCBWA.

Other notable nominees are members of the NCBWA preseason All-American second and third teams, including Ohio State’s Trace Dempsey, Vanderbilt’s Brian Miller, Mississippi State’s Ross Mitchell, Rice’s Zech Lemond, Sacramento State’s Sutter McLoughlin and Campbell’s Ryan Thompson.

The Southeastern Conference led the way with six players named to this year’s watch list, while the Big 12 Conference, Big South Conference, Big Ten Conference, Conference USA and Pac 12 Conference all had four pitchers on the list.

Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. The initial list will be updated with a mid-season release the week of April 21, including the national saves leaders. At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other relief pitching standouts will be selected as finalists and released Wednesday, June 4, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition.

The NCBWA’s All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year’s recipient to be announced during the 2014 College World Series.

Texas hurler J. Brent Cox won the inaugural Stopper of the Year Award in 2005, with Don Czyz of Kansas claiming the honor in 2006 and Luke Prihoda of Sam Houston State winning it in 2007. Georgia’s Joshua Fields topped the field in 2008, San Diego State’s Addison Reed grabbed the honor in 2009 and Texas’ Chance Ruffin earned the honor in 2010. Knebel won in 2011 with Southeastern Louisiana’s Stefan Lopez picking up the honor in 2012. Berg of UCLA was crowned the winner in 2013.

The NCBWA, founded in 1962, presents the Dick Howser Trophy to the nation’s top player. It also selects All-America Teams for all Divisions, a Division I Freshman All-American team, Division I and III Players of the Week, Division I District Players of the Year and Division III Players of the Year.

2014 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List

Pitcher School Yr.
Kevin Alexander Florida Atlantic Sr.
Brad Applin Rhode Island So.
David Berg UCLA Jr.
Nick Burdi Louisville Jr.
Ryan Burr Arizona State So.
Garrett Cleavinger Oregon So.
Dylan Cole Georgia Sr.
Jacob Cronenworth Michigan So.
Terrance Dedrick Auburn Sr.
Trace Dempsey Ohio State Jr.
Jacob Dorris Texas A&M-CC Jr.
Trevor Dunlap Washington Sr.
Eric Eck Wofford Sr.
Matt Eckelman Saint Louis So.
Taylor Edens VMI So.
Riley Ferrell TCU So.
Ian Gibaut Tulane So.
Joe Goodman High Point Jr.
Ryan Halstead Indiana Sr.
Dylan Hecht UCSB So.
Jonathan Holder Mississippi State Jr.
Jason Jester Texas A&M Sr.
Mason Klotz Southeastern Louisiana So.
Dimitri Kourtis Mercer Jr.
Karch Kowalczyk Valparaiso Sr.
Craig LeJeune George Washington Sr.
Zech Lemond Rice Jr.
Seth Lucio Tennessee Tech Jr.
David Mahoney Connecticut R-Jr.
Jake Matthys Kansas State So.
Chris McCue North Carolina Jr.
Brendan McCurry Oklahoma State Sr.
Sutter McLoughlin Sacramento State So.
Brian Miller Vanderbilt Jr.
Ross Mitchell Mississippi State R-Jr.
Kevin Mooney Maryland So.
J.D. Moore South Dakota State Jr.
Corbin Olmstead North Florida So.
Lawrence Pardo USF Sr.
Ashton Perritt Liberty Jr.
Jordan Piche Kansas Sr.
Tyler Powell Western Carolina Jr.
Reed Reilly Cal Poly Jr.
Drew Reynolds East Carolina Sr.
Josh Roeder Nebraska Jr. Jason Simms Sam Houston State Sr.
Travis Stout Jacksonville State Jr.
Ryan Thompson Campbell Sr.
Ian Tompkins Western Kentucky Jr.
Kevin Willman Northern Colorado Sr.

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New Baseball World Rankings – USA Ends Cuba’s Four Year Reign

USA Baseball has ended Cuba’s 4-year reign at the top of the World Baseball Rankings after a productive year in 2013.

The International Baseball Federation has used the World Baseball Ranking system since 2009, and each year Cuba has been at the top.

Team USA had a disappointing second round exit at the World Baseball Classic, but then picked up gold medals at the 12U Baseball World Cup and the 18U Baseball World Cup. Also giving Team USA points this summer was its “Friendship” series with Cuba where the USA’s National Collegiate Team won all five games.

Also jumping up in the standings was Japan who went from the third ranked country to the second also surpassing Cuba in the process. In the big tournaments of the year, Japan placed third at the World Baseball Classic, second at the 18U World Baseball Cup, and third again at the 12U Baseball World Cup.

The Dominican Republic made one of the bigger jumps in the standings after its win at the World Baseball Classic going from 13th a year ago to 5th.

The Netherlands remain the top European country in the standings as they swapped places with Canada moving up to 6th place.

The Americas continue to be the strongest in the polls collecting eleven of the top twenty spots. Asia and Europe combined take up 40% of the top twenty with both continents placing four teams. The last top twenty team comes from Oceania with Australia coming in at 14th.

Africa’s top representative is South Africa in at number 31.

Men’s Baseball World Rankings Top 10:

1. USA
2. Japan
3. Cuba
4. Chinese Taipei
5. Dominican Republic
6. Netherlands
7. Canada
8. South Korea
9. Puerto Rico
10. Venezuela

Complete World Rankings

Posted in Asia, Europe, Latin, N. America, News, Oceania0 Comments

Possible Changes in the Posting Process for Japanese Players

David Lennon of Newsday.com has reported that changes are apparent in the Japanese player posting system. They are reporting that the changes could come as early as November.

The new process will be more player-friendly and could greatly benefit Rakuten Golden Eagles ace Masahiro Tanaka.

The current process features a bidding process where the highest bidder from MLB has the right to negotiate with the player.  The winner of the sealed bidding process has a specific window to negotiate and sign the player. However, that all could change very soon.

One proposal has the player being allowed to choose three teams among the top bidders with the player then allowed to negotiate with the team he would like to play for.

You can read more from the Newsday.com article here.

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Texas Rangers to Hold Fundraiser for Christopher Lane Memorial Fund

Nearly a month has passed since the tragic death of Australian baseball player Christopher Lane was maliciously murdered by “bored” teens.

There have been numerous benefits set up to honor the teen who was playing college ball in Oklahoma. And now another is being set up by the Texas Rangers.

The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and the Wives Club are going to hold a special fundraiser during a game with the Angels on September 28th. Part of the proceeds will go toward the Christopher Lane Memorial Fund.

The fund was set up by friends and the Essendon Baseball Club of Australia to help pay for funeral and travel costs to repatriate Christopher. However, the fund raised over $150,000 and will now create an ongoing legacy using the raised funds.

During the Rangers fundraiser fans will be able to purchase grab bags for $50, $100, or $200 that will contain autographed items from Rangers players. In addition to the grab bags, a silent auction is being set up for autographed jerseys of Australian born players Travis Blackley and the A’s Grant Balfour.

For more information you can visit TexasRangers.com.

Posted in MLB, N. America, News, Oceania0 Comments

Nashville Mayor Proposes Plan to Build New Baseball Stadium at Historic Sulphur Dell

The Nashville Sounds could have a new home in 2015. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s administration has proposed a plan to build an $80 million development on the old Sulphur Dell site. Included in the project is $30 million for a new Sounds stadium.

The development would also include a parking garage and a residential development. However, the team is cautiously optimistic.

Plans in the past, including one in 2007 to build a ballpark on the river downtown, blew up. However, under new ownership and with a new mayor perhaps the plan to bring baseball back to the historic site will come through.

Sulphur Dell is the original home of baseball in Nashville. Baseball was played on the site shortly after the Civil War. A field, called Athletic Park, was built in 1870 and a grandstand added in 1885 when the Nashville Americans of the Southern League called it home.

It wasn’t until legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice referred to the park as Sulpher Spring Dell that the name began to change. Eventually it was shortened to just Sulpher Dell.

The field was known for its sloping outfield that had a steep incline all along the outfield wall.

Minor league teams played at Sulpher Dell for years through 1963. The last team to play were the Nashville Vols who played in the Atlantic League in 1963. However, due to poor attendance and financial problems the team was forced to leave.

The stadium sat vacant without a minor league team until it was torn down in 1969. And Nashville was without a team from 1964 to 1977 until the Nashville Sounds came to town.

The talks for the new ballpark are still in the early stages, but the Sounds are in dire need of an upgraded facility who play in the outdated Herschel Greer Stadium.

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Bill “Spaceman” Lee to Play All Nine Positions in Game with San Rafael Pacifics

Bill “Spaceman” Lee is back at it again. The former MLB pitcher with the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos who is known for being outspoken and at times with some “different” ideas will pitch once again for the San Rafael Pacifics.

Last season Lee broke his own record as the oldest man to win a professional game. He set the record in 2010 at the age of 63. Then last season at the age of 65 he threw a complete game win for San Rafael.

This year he is going to once again play nine innings, but in a different style. Lee will attempt to play all nine positions in Wednesday nights game finishing out on the mound.

Lee says it is a tribute to former Major Leaguers Bert Campaneris and Cesar Tovar. Campaneris did the feat in 1965 with the Athletics during the team’s 103-loss season. Tovar completed the feat two years late while playing with the Twins.

Lee was the designated hitter in last nights game going 2-for-4 with a RBI.

The Pacifics play in the Pacific Associaton, an independent baseball league.

Photo: San Rafael Pacifics

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MLB Says No to Cuba in Caribbean Series

In mid-June Cuba said it would rejoin the Caribbean Series after a 53-year absence. However, that may now be in jeopardy thanks to Major League Baseball.

A Major League Baseball official told the organizers of the Caribbean Series that it would not cooperate with the 2014 tournament if Cuba is allowed to play.

Consent from MLB is crucial since many of the players that play for the teams are under contract to MLB clubs. But the Baseball Confederation of the Caribbean is working on obtaining a license from the US Government to allow a Cuban team in the 2014 tournament scheduled for February 1-7 in Venezuela.

In the early years of the tournament, Cuba was dominant. It won seven titles from 1949-1960. Then Fidel Castro took over, and he dissolved professional baseball canceling the 1961 tournament. After a nine year absence, the tournament restarted in 1970 without Cuba. That is how it has been ever since.

So earlier this year when it was announced that Cuba would rejoin the Series, there were many people who were very excited. Now that all may be in jeopardy because of two governments that can’t get along.

Another hitch in the plan is the plan for the Caribbean Series to return to the United States in another four years or so. The Series has been in talks with the Miami Marlins about the possibility of using their stadium to return to the area where the tournament was played as recent as 1991.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that Cuba participates in the World Baseball Classic, which partly takes place in the USA. So many are asking why MLB would try to ban a team from Cuba from playing in the Caribbean Series when it is allowed in the WBC.

It was announced on MLB’s official website on June 11 that Cuba would be joining the Series. Just over a month later, MLB sent out an ultimatum to the Confederation.

According to Diario Libre, which obtained a copy of the letter dated July 15, MLB Vice President of Operations Kim Ng wrote to Puello that MLB would grant the Confederation 24 hours to retract its agreement with Cuba. Otherwise, MLB will decline to sign its annual Caribbean Series agreement with the Confederation. U.S. sanctions, Ng said in the letter, require MLB to apply for licenses, and there is not enough time to do so before the tournament.¹

It appears that the Confederation has until August 15 to rescind the invitation to Cuba. If they fail to do so by that day, MLB will be unable to sign the annual agreement for the 2014 tournament.

¹ Cuba Standard (2013-08-07) “MLB threatens to pull plug on Caribbean Series over Cuba

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USA Collegiate National Team Completes Sweep of Cuba

The USA Collegiate National Team finished up its summer schedule with a 5-3 win over Cuba. The win gave the USA a historic sweep and helped it finish with a 20-3 record.

Carlos Rodon (North Carolina State) got the start and was virtually untouchable. He tossed 6.2 innings of scoreless ball giving up just two hits. He struck out eleven en route to his third win of the summer.

The middle relief struggled a bit for Team USA giving up three runs in the eighth inning, but Ryan Burr (Arizona State) was able to come in an shut down the Cuban bats in the ninth to pick up his sixth save.

The big blow for Cuba to get back in the game came off the bat of Lazaro Herrera who came on to hit a pinch-hit three-run home run off of Chris Diaz (Miami, Fla.).

Team USA got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. After working a walk and then stealing second, Kyle Schwarber (Indiana) scored on a Michael Conforto (Oregon State) double.

Trea Turner (North Carolina State) got the offense going again in the fifth inning. After working a walk and quickly stealing second, he moved to third base on a wild pitch. Alex Bregman (LSU) wasted no time in bringing him in by hitting a sacrifice fly to center field to give Team USA a 2-0 lead.

Errors would be Cuba’s downfall as the game progressed. They gave up three unearned runs over the sixth and seventh innings.

Team USA finished the summer going 13-0 in exhibition games and 7-3 in international play.

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College: Kris Bryant Named 2013 Golden Spikes Award Winner

San Diego slugger honored as nation’s top amateur, edging Tyler Beede and Colin Moran

By USA Baseball

LOS ANGELES — USA Baseball announced Friday the selection of San Diego’s Kris Bryant as the recipient of the 2013 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. The prestigious award recognizing the nation’s top amateur baseball player, now in its 36th year, was presented by Bob Horner, the first-ever Golden Spikes Award winner, live on MLB Network.

In partnership with Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and MLB Network, USA Baseball announced the Golden Spikes Award winner live on The Rundown, and the presentation was simulcast on GoldenSpikesAward.comUSABaseball.com and MLB.com.

Tyler Beede (RHP, Vanderbilt) and Colin Moran (INF, North Carolina) were the other finalists for the award. Bryant was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, while Moran was selected No. 6 by the Miami Marlins. Beede recently completed his sophomore season for the Commodores and is currently a member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

“USA Baseball was delighted with the play across all levels of amateur baseball this year and could not be more proud of the three Golden Spikes Award finalists, Kris Bryant, Tyler Beede and Colin Moran,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball executive director/CEO. “Each of the three finalists we celebrate today represented the game of baseball with class both on and off the field this season. In the end, Kris’ season highlighted a fantastic year of amateur baseball, and we are honored to present him with this most prestigious honor.”

Bryant is the first Golden Spikes Award winner and the highest draft pick in San Diego’s history. The Las Vegas native was a consensus first-team All-American, the first Dick Howser Trophy recipient from San Diego and Baseball America’s 2013 College Player of the Year. Bryant crushed a nation’s best 31 home runs, a record in the BBCOR bat era of college baseball. Bryant also led the nation in runs (80), bases on balls (66), total bases (187) and slugging percentage (.820).

Bryant becomes the first infielder to win the Golden Spikes Award since Nebraska’s Alex Gordon won the award in 2005. Bryant is also the first player from the West Coast Conference to win the award.

Following the presentation live on MLB Network, the three finalists will be honored at the Rod Dedeaux Foundation Dinner, hosted at the Jonathan Club. Along with the Golden Spikes Award, Scott Brosius will be honored with the Rod Dedeaux USA Baseball Coach of the Year Award, and Jackie Robinson will be celebrated with the Rod Dedeaux Award.

For the sixth year in a row, fans were able to stay up to date on the award by visiting GoldenSpikesAward.com. The website features content devoted exclusively to the GSA, including news, voting history, past-winner photo galleries and photographs and video highlights of the 2013 finalists.

Since 1978, USA Baseball has honored the top amateur baseball player in the country with the GSA. Following the first-ever presentation of the trophy to Horner of Arizona State, the GSA has been awarded each year to the player who exhibits exceptional athletic ability and exemplary sportsmanship.

The 2012 GSA winner was Mike Zunino of Florida. Past winners of the award include current Major Leaguers such as Bryce Harper (’10), Stephen Strasburg (’09), Buster Posey (’08), David Price (’07), Tim Lincecum (’06), Gordon (’05), Jered Weaver (’04), Rickie Weeks (’03) and Mark Kotsay (’95). Former big league stars that have captured the award include Pat Burrell (’98), Jason Varitek (’94), Robin Ventura (’88), Jim Abbott (’87), Will Clark (’85), Dave Magadan (’83), Terry Francona (’80), Tim Wallach (’79) and Horner (’78).

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Team USA Looks for Sweep of Cuba to Finish Off Summer Schedule

The United States Collegiate National Team has been busy over the past few weeks. In early July the team took a trip to Japan to play its Collegiate National Team in a five game set after playing a warm up game with the Shikoku College Baseball League All-Stars.

Team USA took that game against the Shikoku All-Stars 11-0, but then proceeded to down Japan in Game 1 of the series 6-3. But their winning streak wouldn’t last long as they dropped Game 2 4-0.

The USA would wind up dropping the series 3-games-to-2 after losing the final game in Tokyo 7-4.

Some of the highlights for the USA were Carlos Rodon. The left-handed starter pitched five shutout innings in his start against Japan. He had a great sophomore season with the NC State Wolfpack last season going 10-3 with a 2.99 ERA.

Another pitcher that did well was Matt Imhof. The lefty from Cal Poly came on in relief of a struggling Tyler Beede to pitch 6.2 innings. He gave up only one run and struck out six in his only appearance against Japan.

At the plate most of the hitters struggled a bit. As a team the USA hit just .234 over the five games. Tyler Sparks was one that stood out in the Japan series. The UC Irvine shortstop garnered two starts and three appearances over the series picking up six hits in eleven at-bats. Over those three games he drove in five runs which led the team in the series.

Currently the team is finishing up their summer schedule with a five game series with Cuba. So far the two teams have played four games with the USA winning all four. The final game will come tonight in Durham as Team USA looks to sweep the series.

Game 1,  Cuba 1, USA 2 (11)

In the first game last Thursday, Cuba tied the game in the top of the ninth inning to force extra frames. Carlos Rodon started and went 3.1 innings of scoreless ball. Cuba got a RBI single from Jose Fernandez (1-for-4) in the ninth to send it to extra innings.

With the tiebreaker rules putting runners at first and second to start each half inning, the USA finally took advantage in the eleventh. After failing to move the runners over with a sacrifice bunt, Matt Chapman, Cal State Fulleton, singled home the winning run with two outs. David Berg, UCLA, picked up the win with an inning of relief.

Game 2, USA 3, Cuba 2 (10)

After the first game went extra innings, the two teams decided to play another extra frame in Game 2. This time it was Team USA tying the game up late with a run in the seventh inning.

The USA took the lead for good in the top of the tenth. Trea Turner, North Carolina State, led off the inning by working a walk to load up the bases. After a strikeout, Kyle Schwarber , Indiana, drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly. Schwarber finished the game 2-for-3. He and Turner (2-for-4) were the only two hitters on either team with more than one hit.

David Berg picked up the win again in relief, but starter Luke Weaver, Florida State, pitched well going six innings giving up just two unearned runs.

Game 3, Cuba 0, USA 1

The third game in the series was another pitching duel. Brandon Finnegan, TCU, pitched seven shutout innings getting the start for Team USA. He gave up only three hits and struck out seven picking up the win.

For Cuba, Norge Ruiz pitched very well but in the end came out with the loss. He went 7.1 innings giving up just one run on three hits. He struck out eleven.

The only run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth for Team USA. Trea Turner (2-for-4) started the inning off with a single. Alex Bregman (1-for-3/LSU) followed him up with a single of his own to set up runners at first and second with no outs. After Schwarber hit into a fielder’s choice forcing Bregman out at second, Michael Conforto (0-for-1/Oregon State) came through with a sacrifice fly to left to score Turner.

Ryan Burr, Arizona State, picked up the save, his fifth of the summer, with a scoreless ninth inning.

Game 4, USA 3, Cuba 2

The fourth straight one run game went to Team USA once again. Both teams only scored in one inning as Cuba scored two in the third and the USA came back with three runs in the fifth inning.

Matt Imhof, Cal Poly, earned the win in relief of starter Erick Fedde, UNLV. Imhof pitched 1.1 scoreless innings giving up three hits.

The big hit for Team USA came off the bat of LSU shortstop Alex Bregman who had a two-run triple in the fifth. Those two runs tied the game. Bregman would score the winning run on a wild pitch by Cuba reliever Ismel Jimenez who took the loss.

Cuba stater Joel Suarez went four innings not allowing a single hit, but he gave up two runs after he walked two batters who came in to score on the Bregman triple off of Jimenez.

Team USA only picked up three hits in the game, but they worked seven walks.

Game 5, Cuba vs USA 7:05 EST from Durham Bulls Athletic Park

Posted in N. America, News0 Comments

How Big is the Home Field Advantage in the World Series?

Since the 7-7 tie at the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee, the winner of the Summer Classic has been awarded home field advantage for the World Series. So the fans decide the players of the teams that play for the advantage in the biggest series of the year. But how big of an advantage is it?

Let’s take a look at how the home and visiting teams have done over the course of time.

The current format of 2-3-2 started in 1924, with the exception of three years. In 1943 and 1944, the World Series used a 3-4 format due to World War II travel restrictions. And in 1994, there was no World Series due to the strike. Over those 85 World Series the team with the home field advantage have won 50 times. That is just 58.8% of the time. That may not seem like a huge advantage, and mathematically this might be a small sample size, but if I’m in the series I’ll take any advantage I can get.

However, if we look at more recent trends, the team with home field advantage has won 24 times since 1981. That is 31 World Series and a rate of 77.4%. Perhaps when MLB decided to give the winner the home field, they were looking at recent trends.

You might be thinking, well it only matters if they go to a Game 7. While I would disagree that it is more than that, let’s take a look at how teams have done in Game 7′s.

Since 1924 the World Series has gone to a Game 7 a total of 24 times. The team with the home field advantage has a record of 18-16. There was a huge shift in this trend since 1980. Prior to that year, the home team went 9-16 in Game 7′s. Since, they have gone 9-0.

While trends will change from time to time, the current trend leans heavily on the home team.

But what has happened since the change after the 2002 All-Star Game? The home team has gone 7-3 and won the only Game 7 that has been played since then.

So does having home field really give a team the advantage? I’ll leave that for you to decide. It may not be as big as people think, but I do think there is something to it in the end. There are so many outside factors that go into each series that will determine the winner. The home field is just one of those many factors.

Should the fans vote in the All-Star players to determine who gets home field advantage? That’s another story for another day that we will look at soon, but I’d love to hear what you think.

Posted in MLB, N. America0 Comments

MLB All-Star Futures Game Rosters Announced

Press Release Major League Baseball
Rosters Feature 11 Former First Round Picks; World Team Includes Players from 10 Different Countries and Territories Outside the United States
Rosters for the 15th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game were announced today by Major League Baseball.The SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which is now in its 15th year, features the top Minor League prospects competing in a nine-inning contest as part of Taco Bell All-Star Sunday. The U.S. Team leads the all-time series, 8-6. The game will begin at 2:00 p.m. (EDT) and can be viewed live on ESPN2, ESPN2 HD and MLB.com.SiriusXM, the Official Satellite Radio Partner of Major League Baseball, will provide live play-by-play coverage of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on MLB Network Radio (XM channel 89; Sirius channel 209) in addition to SiriusXM’s other comprehensive live coverage from New York. The game will also be available to SiriusXM subscribers on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smart phones and mobile devices and online at SiriusXM.com. Taco Bell All-Star Sunday is the first of three days of All-Star events at Citi Field, culminating with the 84th All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 16th.

Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League Clubs, selected the 25 players currently on each team. Each Major League organization is represented and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate.

The teams feature 11 former first round draft picks (U.S. – 10; World – 1), eight players picked in Compensation Round A (all U.S.) and four second round picks (all U.S.). Among the 11 first round picks, six were selected in the 2011 Draft, three in the 2010 Draft and two in the 2012 Draft. The World Team features players from 10 different countries and territories outside the 50 United States. The Dominican Republic is represented by 13 players, followed by Colombia (2), Cuba (2) and Puerto Rico (2). Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Panama, Taiwan and Venezuela are each represented by one player on the World Team.

For the first time, fans will determine the final player on both the U.S. and World Team rosters by casting their votes in the All-Star Sunday Futures Finalists (#FuturesFinalists) ballot, available exclusively on MLB.com/futuresfinalists and the Club sites. Fans may begin voting immediately and cast their ballots until Sunday, June 30th at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

The five candidates for the U.S. are: OF Tyler Austin (Trenton/NYY; #VoteAustin); OF Nick Castellanos (Toledo/DET; #VoteCastellanos); 3B Garin Cecchini (Portland/BOS; #VoteCecchini); OF Courtney Hawkins (Winston-Salem/CWS; #VoteHawkins); and OF Brandon Nimmo (Savannah/NYM; #VoteNimmo). The players vying for the final roster spot on the World Team are: SS Javier Baez (Dayton/CHI; Puerto Rico; #VoteBaez); 1B Ji-Man Choi (Jackson/SEA; South Korea; #VoteChoi); SS Carlos Correa (Quad Cities/HOU; Puerto Rico; #VoteCorrea); 3B Renato Nunez (Beloit/OAK; Venezuela; #VoteNunez); and 2B Rougned Odor (Myrtle Beach/TEX; Venezuela; #VoteOdor).

In addition to voting on the web, fans also may use their mobile phones to cast votes via text message. To receive the All-Star Sunday Futures Finalists ballot, text the word “VOTE” to 89269. Individual player votes may be cast directly via text by sending a player’s code to 89269. For example, Text “U3″ to vote for U.S. Team Player 3. Player codes are as follows: Austin (U1), Cecchini (U2), Castellanos (U3), Hawkins (U4), Nimmo (U5), Baez (W1), Choi (W2), Correa (W3), Nunez (W4) and Odor (W5). All votes are final. Standard rate text messaging fees apply (check with mobile carriers for details).

The SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game will last nine innings, and in the event of a tie, a 10th inning will be played. The game will not go longer than 10 innings, regardless of the score. Players and coaches will be outfitted in special SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game jerseys and will wear caps of their Major League organization with a SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game logo embroidered on the side.

The Minor League Baseball Umpires who will work the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game are Pat Hoberg (home plate) of the Pacific Coast League, Gabe Morales (first base) of the International League, Ryan Goodman (second base) of the Southern League and Nic Lentz (third base) of the Eastern League.

Ninety-nine players have competed in both the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In 2012, 30 Major League All-Stars were alumni of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Nine players – Jose Altuve, Adam Dunn, Neftali Feliz, Jason Heyward, Bryce Harper, Francisco Liriano, Evan Longoria, Ben Sheets and Geovany Soto – appeared in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and were named to the All-Star Game in the following season.

Posted in MLB, N. America, News0 Comments

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