So much drama in the WBC

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 […]

Great Moments in International Travel

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 […]

Could be worse

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 […]

Baseball is not for everyone

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 […]

Power Cricket

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 […]

Cuba has a Bob Feller Too

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 […]

Bye-bye Wukesong

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 […]

Mike Scioscia Weeps

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 […]

WBC Dream Team

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 […]

More on the Astros leaving Venezuela

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 […]

Adios Venezuela

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 […]

Brazil

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] […]