On March 5, 2009 the second World Baseball Classic kicked off as Japan shut out China. The clear favorites in this year’s pool are Japan and Korea, two countries with well-known baseball histories, but today Richard looks at less baseball-oriented Asian countries.
The WBC has begun, with Japan beating China 4-0 in the opener. For those of you who shut down the computer at 5 yesterday and didn’t see my last post of the day, here are the reasons why this is about as expansive as I’m likely to get with respect to the World Baseball Classic […]
I’ve taken many jabs at the WBC lately. Well, maybe not jabs, because I don’t actually hate it or anything. But I certainly have made a point of saying how little I care about it. A reader asked me what gives in the comments to the People in My Neighborhood post this afternoon: Craig, I […]
The Nats’ owners could, you know, fire Jim Bowden, but instead they are standing pat and waiting for him to get arrested or something: Washington Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden said on Monday that he has done nothing wrong. The federal investigators looking into Bowden still aren’t so sure, a source familiar with the investigation […]
Seems like everyone is speculating that Jim Bowden is about to be fired, but maybe they’re just not aiming high enough. How does prison suit you? A federal investigation into the skimming of signing bonuses given to baseball prospects from Latin America is looking at Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden as far back as […]
Yesterday Neyer noted that big heads should roll in Washington as a result of the Esmailyn González fiasco. Today Tom Boswell amps up the pressure on the biggest of the heads: Bleak humor about the Nats now bounces all around baseball. But this case, as Kasten says ominously, “will have big repercussions.” At one level, […]
Joel Pinero is not happy: Starting pitcher Joel Piñeiro convened a news conference Wednesday morning to announce he was “heartbroken” and would not play for Team Puerto Rico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic after Puerto Rico’s manager, Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo, informed him he was not in the projected three-man rotation. “I was […]
Spanning a vast Southwest landscape, it was vibrantly colorful, fleeting but amazing.
I’m no fan of the WBC, but I could become one if this sort of thing happens more often: Kim Byung-hyun’s nine-year career in Major League Baseball (MLB) is full of dumbfounding affairs ― allowing a game-tying homer in the ninth inning for the second-straight game of the World Series, a middle-finger gesture to home […]
Baseball has its share of reactionary anti-stathead writers, but we certainly don’t have the market cornered. This from an article in The Times entitled “The 50 worst things about modern football”: 43. Statistics American obsession that is gradually weaving itself into the fabric of our national game. Do you care how many assists Wayne Rooney […]
I’m kind of a sucker for Bill Bryson, who initially made his name writing columns in the U.K. as the fish-out-of-water American. In large part Bryson went native, however, now makes his permanent home in the U.K., holds positions with British universities and, depending on what he’s writing, often comes off more British than he […]
While we’re of a mindset these days that all of the power hitting since 1993 or so is a function of PEDs, hitting for power can be, to some extent, a choice. Sure, PEDs happened (and are happening) and small ballparks and other things have contributed greatly to increased power numbers, but players making a […]
I don’t know that much about Cuban baseball, but given the decline Cuba’s economy and quality of life since the collapse of the Soviet Union — not to mention the defections — it would certainly not surprise me if the quality and vibrancy of the game had declined as well. Strong social forces are at […]
There was talk last summer that the baseball facility built for the Olympics would help spur development of baseball in China, maybe even one day helping to make the land of billions a real source of talent for the bigs. Now it seems like the only development it will spur is that of an Orange […]
ShysterBall’s International Correspondent, Ron Rollins, alerts us to this interesting development in the final and deciding game of the Philippines World Series (or whatever it is they call it): Joseph Orillana made Game 2 of Baseball Philippines Series 4 finals a one-man show. The 28-year old national team member performed an all-around effort to lead […]
I find it insanely difficult to pretend to care — let alone genuinely care — about the WBC. Thankfully, there are guys like FanHouse’s Matt Snyder around who do. Matt has put together a Team USA roster which, at first blush, looks pretty darn good. My only quibble is a political one: I’d have Youkilis […]
I got a pretty informed and insightful comment regarding the Astros bugging out of Venezuela and I thought I’d share it with the rest of the class. It’s from reader James Van Awesome (pretty sure that’s German), who is writing his undergraduate thesis on baseball in Venezuela. James writes: In my opinion, the Astros’ operations […]
The Astros are closing their Venezuelan training academy: Twenty years ago, the Astros were the first team to start a baseball academy in Venezuela, and since then, dozens of products from that grassroots undertaking have gone on to enjoy successful and lucrative Major League careers, including outfielder Bobby Abreu and ace left-hander Johan Santana. But […]
The Rays are expanding to Brazil: On Thursday, the Rays announced they have built a partnership with the city of Marilia, Brazil, that will include construction of a training facility beginning in the first quarter of 2009, which will be the first baseball academy in Brazil run by a Major League organization. “It’s [a project] […]
When baseball almost matched table tennis in diplomatic impact.