Tag Archive | "Japan"

Groups Unveiled for the U12 Baseball World Cup


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

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

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

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

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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:

 

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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

 

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Premier 12: Japan Announces it will form Dream Team


With the Premier 12 making its debut this coming November in Japan and Taiwan, a few teams are not taking this for granted and going all out to make an impact.

Former big leaguer Carlos Guillen has been named the manager for the No. 10 ranked Venezuela club. His first big test at the helm will be the inaugural Premier 12 event.

Another big announcement came down today when Samurai Japan leader Hiroki Kokubo announced he will form a dream team with Japan’s biggest names to compete. The tournament will take place from November 8-21.

The even will be the first of its kind with the top 12 ranking international teams invited to the tournament. Competing will be: No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Cuba, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 5 Netherlands, No. 6 Dominican Republic, No. 7 Canada, No. 8 South Korea, No. 9 Puerto Rico, No. 10 Venezuela, No. 11 Italy, and No. 12 Mexico. The event will give away millions in US$ prize money and also the most world ranking points of any international event.

The semifinals and finals of the event will be hosted by Japan at the Tokyo Dome. Who will come out on top remains to be seen but it will definitely be worth watching.

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Japan Replaces USA in 2015 World Port Tournament


Team USA has pulled out of the biannual World Port Tournament for 2015. Due to a full schedule Team USA has decided it will not participate. Japan will replace them in Rotterdam for the biannual event.

The four other teams participating will be the host Netherlands, Curacao, Cuba, and Chinese Taipei. The 2015 tournament will take place in Rotterdam from June 18-26.

This will be only Japan’s third time in the tournament that has been dominated by Cuba over the years. However, the hosts have won two of the last three events including 2013.

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Looking Forward to 2015 at Baseball de World


With 2014 coming to a close, we thought this would be a good time to look back at the world of baseball and discuss some of the major events and championships that took place. Over the next week or two we will be recapping all of the major leagues from around the world. So in case you missed it, and we did as well for some because of how busy 2014 was, stay tuned and check out what happened around the world.

In 2015 we hope to bring a few more things to the site including more writing on independent baseball leagues throughout the USA. These leagues have garnered my attention more and more over the past few years. They not only interest me in the ways they handle themselves on the field (see article on Pecos League commissioner charging field with chair) but off the field and how the leagues actually survive is very interesting to say the least.

In addition to covering some of the independent leagues, we hope to bring you some new and interesting ideas like the top independent managing prospects. With managers being picked up from independent leagues into affiliated ball, we thought we would look at a few of the manager prospects in the game right now. So stay tuned for that and other new ideas on independent ball.

In addition we plan to bring you more reviews on books, documentaries, movies, and other sites as well. We are apart of a huge baseball blogosphere and we want to help spread some of the great writing that is going on. For one, Dan Glickman over at the Hall of Very Good wrote about the best baseball links of 2014. There is a lot of great writing here from some of the top writers in the sport. I have read many of the articles throughout the year but some of the I missed so I will be going back through them in the next week and I recommend you do the same.

I dropped the ball in 2014 due to my schedule becoming so crazy but most of that is behind me now and I hope to continue bringing you updates from around the world in 2015.

I would also like to have your opinions and ideas on what you would like to see. I have tossed around the idea of a podcast with others joining me to discuss baseball from around the world. I’ve also tossed around the idea of starting a vlog and doing some video. Those are on hold right now until I can get back into the swing of regular updates. I am putting together a schedule of when I will update what leagues in order to bring some regularity to the site and hopefully more interaction with you the readers.

With all of that being said, Happy New Year! Here is hoping your favorite teams continue, or start, a winning tradition in 2015!

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Final 2014 IBAF World Baseball Rankings: Japan Takes No. 1 Spot


With the conclusion of the 21U Baseball World Cup and the Central American and Caribbean Games, the final world standings have been released. There were only a few movers in the top 10 including Japan taking the No. 1 spot from the USA after making it to the finals of the 21 U BWC. The Netherlands also over took the Dominican Republic for No. 5 on the list.

The biggest mover in the top 30 was the Czech Republic moving up seven spots to No. 20. Argentina fell the furthest falling six spots to No. 28. The top 12 teams will be allowed to compete in the inaugural Premier 12 tournament to be held in Chinese Taipei in November 2015.

Final 2014 IBAF World Baseball Rankings:

Rank Nation  Points
2013 Trending
1  Japan 785.18 2 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
2  USA 766.02 1 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
3  Cuba 662.98 3
4  Chinese Taipei 605.48 4
5  Netherlands 433.50 6 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
6  Dominican Republic 379.18 5 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
7  Canada 353.52 7  –
8  South Korea 340.90 8
9  Puerto Rico 291.50 9
10  Venezuela 269.00 10
11  Italy 196.18 11
12  Mexico 136.78 12
13  Panama 132.92 13  –
14  Australia 127.82 14
15  Brazil 116.61 15
16  Nicaragua 110.77 18 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized2
17  Spain 105.52 17
18  Germany 78.90 19 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
19  Colombia 69.00 16 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized3
20  Czech Republic 68.93 27 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized7
21  China 68.25 20 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
22  Israel 55.47 26 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized4
23  Philippines 52.40 23
24  Pakistan 51.00 21 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized3
25  Great Britain 50.56 24 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized1
26  New Zealand 50.00 28 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized2
27  France 46.75 32 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized5
28  Argentina 42.91 22 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized6
29  South Africa 33.00 31 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized2
30  Thailand 30.50 25 Year End Men’s Baseball World Ranking finalized5

Complete Rankings

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Japan: NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato Resigns


Japanese baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato has announced his resignation. The announcement came at an owner’s meeting and stems from the revelation that the league is using a livelier ball this season.

With that livelier ball, Wladimir Balentien has broken one of the most sacred records in Japan, Sadaharu Oh’s single season home run record.

Kato, who is a former ambassador to the United States, is in his third term as commissioner of Nippon Professional Baseball. He will resign his post at the end of the regular season which ends October 6.

There has been no announcement on who will replace Kato.

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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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Japan: Wladimir Balentien Breaks Home Run Record


There is a new home run king in Japan. Former Seattle Mariner and Cincinnati Red Wladimir Balentien, who now plays for Tokyo Yakult Swallows, has eclipsed the former single season home run record of 55.

The record, formally held by Sadaharu Oh, Tuffy Rhodes, and Alex Cabrera, now sits with the 29-year old native of Curacao.

In the first inning of the Swallows game on Sunday, Balentien broke the four-way tie with a his 56th home run. However, the new home run king decided that wasn’t enough. In his next at-bat, he hit No. 57.

Balentien received hugs from his teammates, a bouquet of flowers after touching home plate, and a standing ovation from fans in the stands. This is a far cry from the resistance that others felt when they were approaching the record as many in Japan did not want a foreigner to break the long standing record.

Oh, a legend in Japanese baseball, set the record in 1964.

In 1985, Randy Bass hit 54 with two games left in the season only to be pitched around by the Yomiuri Giants. He was intentionally walked four times in the final game. Ironically the Giants were managed by Oh.

Again in 2001, Rhodes tied the record and received similar treatment. He was pitched around by the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks who once again were managed by Oh. A year later the same thing happened to Cabrera when he tied the record.

Balentien has hit 31 home runs each of the previous two seasons for the Swallows. In 170 career MLB games, he hit 15 home runs for two different teams.

In addition to breaking the home run record in Japan, Balentien also set a record for home runs in Asia. Lee Seung-Yeop held the previous record with 56 home runs in 2003 while playing with the Samsung Lions in South Korea.

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Japan Releases 18U National Team Roster


16 of 20 players on roster played and famous Koshien High School Tournament

Japan has announced its roster for the 18U National Team that will compete in the 18U Baseball World Cup in Taichung. The tournament will take place from August 30 to September 8.

Sixteen of the twenty players on the roster competed in the 95th Japanese High School National Championship, better known as the Koshien, that just finished on August 22. The championship featured 49 regional winners from all over the country playing in a 14-day tournament which is the most famous high school baseball tournament in the world.

The team will begin practice on August 25 in Osada. It will play a couple exhibition games against college teams before leaving for Chinese Taipei.

2013 Japan 18U National Team:

Position, Name, High School (Prefecture)
RHP, Harumi Iida, Joso Gakuin (Ibaragi)
LHP, Yuki Matsui, Toko Gakuen (Kanagawa)
RHP, Taisuke Yamaoka, Setouchi (Hiroshima)
LHP, Kazuto Taguchi, Hiroshima Shinjo (Hiroshima)
RHP, Yuya Takahashi, Iwakuni Commercial (Yamaguchi)
RHP, Kona Takahashi, Maebashi Ikuei (Gunma)
RHP, Tomohiro Anraku, Saibi (Ehime)
Catcher, Yasuhito Uchida, Joso Gakuin (Ibaragi)
Catcher, Kenya Wakatsuki, Hanasaki Tokuharu (Saitama)
Catcher, Tomoya Mori, Osaka Toin (Osaka)
IF, Satoshi Sonobe, Seiko Gakuin (Fukushima)
IF, Yusei Itsuzaki, Meitoku Gijuku (Kochi)
IF, Nobuyuki Okumura, Nihon University Yamagata (Yamagata)
IF, Takahiro Kumagai, Sendai Ikuei (Sendai)
IF, Haruki Takemura, Urawa Gakuin (Saitama)
IF, Ryo Watanabe, Tokai University Kofu (Yamanashi)
OF, Ryuma Mori, 3rd Junior High of Nihon University (Tokyo)
OF, Yuto Yoshida, Hokusho (Hokkaido)
OF, Seiji Uebayashi, Sendai Ikuei (Sendai)
OF, Akihito Iwashige, Nobeoka Gakuen (Miyazaki)

Photo: National Champion Maebashi Ikuei and Runners Up Nobeoka Gakuen at Koshien on August 22, 2013 by The Mainichi

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Stadium Journey Ranks Japanese Baseball Stadiums


I love lists. I love to see people ranking things whether it’s movies, songs, or stadiums. And our friends over at StadiumJourney.com have released an interesting list Ranking the Stadiums of Japanese Baseball.

At the top of their list is Koshien Stadium the home of the Hanshin Tigers.

I have not visited any of the stadiums in Japan, but its very high on my list of baseball related things to do. I was still surprised to see that Koshien Stadium, which is the oldest stadium, at the top of the list.

But if  you read the full review, just click on each of the stadium names, you’ll see that the atmosphere and fans rank very high making the score of the stadium rise.

One thing I wasn’t surprised was that the Tokyo Dome ranked pretty low. Just from watching games on TV there, I’ve never thought much of it. It never really struck me as a must see place. Pretty much the only reason to go there, is to see the historic Yomiuri Giants.

I was also pleased to see that most of the domes ranked low. I’m not a huge fan of domed stadiums. I understand in some places its a must to have a dome, or at the very least a retractable roof. But domes are not as fun to watch games in. I’ve been to a few and I’d much rather see a game outside.

So head on over and check out the list. If you’ve been to a stadium or two, be sure to let us know if you agree with the rankings or not.

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Riseisha Rectovenus Won 9th Women’s Baseball Championship in Matsuyama City


By Baseball Federation of Japan

Riseisha Rectovenus of Osaka managed by Ms. Megumi Kitta (Photo), a member of Athletes Commission of IBAF, and in its second year since the start of the club, won close contest against Fukuchiyama Seibi High School team (Kyoto) by 2-1.

The record 36 teams throughout Japan, including 7 newcomers, played round robin in 12 groups of 3 teams each since August 3, and the 12 winners from each group competed in knockout competition.

Elsewhere, Yonan Gakudou Club (Tochigi) defeted Hasami Konosu Boys Baseball Club (Nagasaki) by 4-2 in the 12U Japanese Rubber Baseball National Championship at Jingu Stadium on August 7.  Pitcher Honma and Catcher Ikui of the winner are girls and it was the first time for the Championship to see girls’ battery play, let alone win a game.  They lost the second game on August 7.

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Pakistan 16U Youth Team Tours Japan


Press Release Baseball Federation of Japan

Combination of activities at grass roots level to promote baseball in West Asia brought a 16U baseball team from Pakistan to Japan for a friendly match with Junior High School players in Higashi Osaka on June 30.

Pakistan scored an only but valuable run in the 7th inning to the delight of all the 200 fans and supporters even though the game ended 18-1.

During their stay in Osaka, the Pakistani youth participated in cultural exchange programs and particularly enjoyed visiting Kyocera Dome to watch a professional ball game between Orix Buffaloes and Rakuten Eagles.

Among those who were instrumental in materializing the scheme were: Syed Khawar Shah, Executive Director West Asia Baseball Federation of Asia and Secretary General Pakistan Federation Baseball, Sujeewa Wijayanayake of Sri Lanka Baseball, and Yohei Kobayashi, President of Baseball in Nepal “Circle Laligurans”

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