Archive for September, 2005

Cuba Likely To Play

Looks like the last baseball powerhouse will join the World Baseball Classic next March.

Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the players association said, “They’re not formally in yet. There’s a process that you have to go through to play with the Cubans, through the United States government. The license has been applied for. We’re hopeful for a favorable response. I personally don’t believe that the participation of Cuba poses any problems.”

As a contingency, there are other countries will fill in just incase if Cuba can’t come. However, Orza mention “Bear in mind that America plays against Cuba in a host of international tournaments. I fully expect the Cubans to be in Puerto Rico in round one.”

Paul Archey, senior vice president of Major League Baseball International, also express same feeling, he said “We’re going through the processes we need to go through in this country and they’re going through the same processes. We’re going through communications with them that lead us to believe that they’ll play.”

Japan decided to participate in World Baseball Classic 2006 two weeks ago, which means among 16 countries who World Baseball Classic invites; Cuba is the only team not yet to decide.
The inaugural international tournament featuring with Major League Players is scheduled to begin on March 3, and the final championship will decide at San Diego’s PECTO Park on March 20.

Cuba may play in World Baseball Classic

Report: Cuba Likely To Play In World Baseball Classic

World organizers expect Cuba to play

San Diego to host WBC 2006 Final

PECTO Park, andrewphelps
PECTO Park (Thanks to andrewphelps.com)

More than five months from now, the first ever true Baseball World Championship will be decided at PETCO Park in San Diego.

World Baseball Classic Inc., a partnership between Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), announced that the semifinal and final rounds of the inaugural World Baseball Classic will take place March 18-20 at PETCO Park.

World Baseball Classic 2006 is the first international tournament to feature major-league players; the 16-nation will be divided into four pools and feature round-robin play in each of the first two rounds.

“I am thrilled that the semi-finals and final of this exciting new event will be held at such an outstanding location,” MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said. “San Diego is one of America’s most beautiful cities, and the Padres have one of baseball’s finest facilities in PETCO Park. Baseball fans all over the world will be treated to an ideal environment for the culmination of the World Baseball Classic.”

“We are delighted the Padres have agreed to make PETCO Park available to host the semi-finals and final of the first World Baseball Classic,” said MLBPA Executive Director Donald M. Fehr. “The Club’s interest in expanding the international reach of baseball has been a long-standing one, and its enthusiasm for the event will be a major factor in its success. And the Park itself will ensure a wonderful experience for everyone, players and fans alike.”

“We are very excited about bringing the greatest players in the world to San Diego to compete for their national teams,” Padres Chief Executive Officer Sandy Alderson said. “The city of San Diego has successfully hosted many world class sporting events. With the city’s unique location so close to Mexico, and with an enthusiastic baseball fan base on both sides of the border, San Diego and PETCO Park are a perfect site for this event.”

The reasons that PECTO Park been chosen include its near international border, club management’s demonstrated enthusiasm for global baseball, also the lobbying efforts of Padres owner John Moores and Chief Executive Officer Sandy Alderson on behalf of Olympic baseball.

Besides, Padres were the first team to host regular season games beyond the United States or Canada back to August 16, 1996 in Monterrey, Mexico. They also played the first regular season games ever in Hawaii in 1997 and host the season opening game in Monterrey, Mexico in 1999.

As for PETCO Park, which is San Diego’s first facility designed specifically for baseball, opened in 2004, located in the East Village of downtown San Diego and it has 42,500 fixed seats and standing room locations for approximately 1,500 spectators.

Right now everybody is waiting for announcement of participating players and some early-round sites, also the ticket plans. The good news is Japan already agreed to participate; left Cuba is the only unconfirmed team.

San Diego to host World Baseball Classic semi-finals and final

San Diego to host World Baseball Classic

World Baseball Classic final to be held in San Diego

World Baseball Classic final to be held in San Diego

San Diego to host World Baseball Classic finals

Carlos Silva not sure

Image hosted by Photobucket.com After arthroscopic surgery on right knee, Minnesota Twins reliever Carlos Silva expects a quick recovery, but not sure if he will join for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic next spring.

Silva’s torn meniscus cartilage was repaired last week and still on crutches, but he was able to do light exercises with the knee, and hopes to resume running within three to four weeks.

After that, Silva will continue rehabbing the injury after the season Twins’ complex at Fort Myers, Fla., before returning home to Venezuela on Oct. 20.

Silva said. “When I get to Venezuela, I’ll be working like an animal,” Silva said. “The only thing I want to do is be ready for the season. That’s the only thing I worry about.”

However, he wasn’t so sure about pitch in winter ball or represent Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic in March.

Notes: Silva recuperating well

Twins notes: Mays gets one more try

Gagne wants to play for Canada

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
After he played catch this week, Eric Gagne, Closer of Los Angeles Dodgers is feeling good and plans to participate in the 2006 World Baseball Classic for Canada next March.

Due to elbow injury, Gagne who did not play since June 13 and original expected to require second Tommy John surgery, but gteam physicians Frank Jobe and Ralph Gambardella found that he only sprained the ulnar collateral ligament and Gagne recover quickly.

Gagne has begun a light tossing program, said “I haven’t felt this good in a long time,”

Gagne likes the idea of competing for Team Canada while preparing for the regular season. “We’re going to have a decent team,” Gagne said. “There are not a lot of big names, but there are a lot of good guys in the minor leagues.”

“It’s a chance for me to get healthy for the season, and it’s just great competition,” said Gagne. “I played three years with the national team, so it’s just special. It’s a different atmosphere. You don’t want to get hurt, but at the same time it’s a fun event and you have a chance to represent your country and beat up on everybody else’s country.”

However, for Dodgers General Manager Paul DePodesta and Manager Jim Tracy, they did not feel the same passion as Gagne.

“If it were up to me, rehab-wise and medically he’d have to be completely clean,” Tracy said. “I think we have a lot of other issues between now and then,” DePodesta said. “I certainly hope he will be (physically) ready for it, and we expect that he will be.”

For a team that could play an infield include South Korean first baseman, American second baseman, Mexican shortstop and Dominican third baseman, Dodgers definitely will been asked several representative in the WBC 2006.

Although MLB Team can not reject a player who wants to play in WBC, but each team can only eligible a maximum of nine players, and health issue could also concern.

“We don’t know who people are going to want from our club, and what that’s going to mean and what their status is going to be at that point in the year,” DePodesta said.

As the Dodgers Fade, Gagne Brightens Up

Notebook: Penny may pitch this year

Penny injuries are unrelated

Boss positive on Oh to manage Japan

Commissioner of Nippon Professional Baseball Yasuchika Negoro has filed a request to Softbank Hawks owner Masayoshi Son about Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh guiding Japan at the World Baseball Classic.

Son welcomed the invitation and responded favorably, describing it as an “honor” and said he wanted to discuss with Oh after end of the season.

“Of course, with the coach as the backbone, I would like the strongest players to give it their very best shot,” said Son. “If I only think about the club, then of course there are minuses but I would like to do my bit.”

NPB already submitted a written request asking Oh to manager the Japanese Team in WBC during mid-September, Oh responded positively.

For creating the best team to fight WBC, NPB also said it would abandon the regulation used at the Athens Olympic Games which stated no more than two players from each baseball club could represent Japan.

“Unless we can create the most powerful WBC team and win, there’s no point in it,” Negoro said. “The consensus of the 12 teams is that there is no other manager apart from Oh.”

Hawks manager Sadharu Oh eyed to lead Japan at World Baseball Classic

Hawks owner positive on Oh skippering Japan at WBC

Two Rangers want to play

Although there are months away, there are talks on 2006 World Baseball Classic in the Rangers’ clubhouse.

Catcher Rod Barajas hopes to be asked to play for the Mexican team, and he is willing to play the 16-team tournament next spring. As for All-Star shortstop Michael Young, who is under consideration by U.S., said he will play if asked. Young is interested in playing anywhere — even at his former position of second base.

Looks like World Baseball Classic is getting hot in Texas.

RANGERS NOTES

Ichiro will wait and see

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAfter Japan decided to participate 2006 World Baseball Classic, next big question is, “Will Ichiro Suzuki Play?

All Star Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki likes the idea of Japan competing in the World Baseball Classic next spring, but still doesn’t know if he would accept an invitation to play after NPB and NPBPA received invitation. Ichiro said through interpreter, “It’s a good opportunity for people to watch baseball from an international aspect, a chance for them to see different countries involved. We’ll have to see what happens.”

The Mariners right fielder mention he would wait and see how many Major League players from other countries, including Japan, would commit to the event before deciding whether to play. “Until now, I have not given it much thought. I will think more about it now and see what happens. A lot would depend on who would be on the teams.”

As for Seattle Mariners reliever Shigetoshi Hasegawa, who expected to become a free agent after World Series, also likes the thought of World Baseball Classic. He wants to play for the Japanese team, but isn’t sure he would be invited.

“I don’t think I am good enough,” Hasegawa said, “so I doubt that I would be asked to play. I would want to, but it’s not an easy answer right now. I don’t know if they would ask me.” “It’s a good thing for fans and I just hope they get to see the best players from all the countries. I would want to watch that.”

Ichiro will wait and see on WBC

Mariners Notebook: Ichiro waiting on World

Japan finally said yes

Image hosted by Photobucket.comFinally, after months of negotiations between the Nippon Professional Baseball Officials and the players’ association, they have conclusion on Friday.

One of the main professional league, Japan decides to play in the 2006 World Baseball Classic next March, and they delivered an acceptance four-paragraph letter to Major League Baseball’s Tokyo office, “We are pleased to tell you that we accept your invitation to the 2006 World Baseball Classic,” to confirm they will join the first-ever, truly world champion, 16-nation tournament.

“I am pleased that Nippon Professional Baseball and its Players Association have agreed to participate in the first ever World Baseball Classic,” said Commissioner Bud Selig. “Japanese players are among the best in the world and their participation in this event is important to the global growth of the sport. All of us in baseball are looking forward to this extraordinary tournament. It is great for the game of baseball.”

“All of us in baseball here in America are gratified that Nippon Professional Baseball and the Japanese Professional Baseball Players Association have agreed to participate in the Classic,” said Donald Fehr, Executive Director of the MLBPA. “I’m sure all the other participants feel the same way, for a Classic without Japan would be missing a country where baseball is played at the highest level of talent and expertise.”

“This is the first step toward playing in a truly international tournament, something our association has been longing for,” said Yakult Swallows catcher Atsuya Furuta, head of Japan’s players’ association.

Because Japan’s season start earlier then MLB, and the WBC are being organized by MLB but not by IBAF or third party, both NPB and NPBPA originally had objected to participate.

Besides, the tournament time of 2006 World Baseball Classic and wanted to have more input into future editions of the event, set to return in 2009 and every four years thereafter is also reason to cause Japan said no until now.

However, after several negotiations, including face-to-face meetings last month in New York between officials from MLB and MLBPA with NPB and NPBPA, Japanese players finally approved to join the inaugural baseball tournament which including the best players.

Manager of Softbank Hawks, Homerun King Sadaharu Oh, has been asked to manage the Japan Team. Although Oh did not officially agree, he has responded positively about this job.

So the First Qualifying Round of Pool A (include Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China) will play in the Tokyo Dome from March 3-6. The other three Pools will begin on March 8 in Phoenix, Florida and Puerto Rico.

As far as venues for the games go, MLB has been listening to bids from franchises in Southern California, Arizona and Texas to host the semifinals and finals in Major League stadiums. An announcement on that is expected shortly.

After Japan’s decision, international baseball giant Cuba is the only nation yet to accept an invitation to appear in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

Due to political differences, Communist nation Cuba needs U.S. State Department clearance to allow Cuba team to play on United States. And Cuba also worries about their players might seek political asylum in the U.S. during the tournament.

Besides, despite 270 MLB players will be eligible to play in WBC 2006, none will be eligible for the Cuban team since all Major League players who are native Cubans have already been given asylum elsewhere

Hope politics won’t influence the Cuba to join the history event.

Japan to participate in World Baseball Classic

Japan agrees to play in WBC

Japan on board for World Baseball Classic

Japan to play in World Baseball Classic

Japanese baseball officials agree to play in World Baseball Classic

Girardi won’t manage Italian Team

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Joe Girardi, bench coach of New York Yankees, has declined to manage the Italian team in the World Baseball Classic next spring.

Due to Girardi’s parents have Italian heritage, he has been considered to manage or play by Italian Team, but he decided to give up the first chance to manage and he has no desire to play again.

“It would have been a great opportunity,” said Girardi. “I just wish the timing was different. I don’t think major league coaches can be part of this tournament because it could last the whole month of March, when we’re in spring training.”

Based on coach and recruiter of Italian team, Jim Mansilla, original the Italian team want Tommy Lasorda, the former Los Angeles Dodgers and USA 2000 Olympics Team manager, but Lasorda mentioned that he was waiting to see if he could become the United States’ coach again.

Besides, the Italian team also wants the Yankees right-hander Carl Pavano, who would have to secure an Italian passport to be eligible because neither of his parents was born in Italy,

Pavano has been in disabled list since June 28 with shoulder problem, he said, “It would be a great honor pitching in something like that. But all my thoughts right now are on getting healthy and being able to help the Yankees.”

Girardi Declines a Chance to Manage Italian Team

NPBPA will have conclusion on Friday

Long waiting response from Nippon Professional Baseball Player Association could come soon.

Finally, after numerous talks between Nippon Professional Baseball and their player association, NPBPA is expected to finalize their decision on inaugural World Baseball Classic.

Based on the sources familiar with the talks, two sites meet Wednesday but did not reach any agreement. However, player association are close to reaching a conclusion and are likely to notify NPB by Friday, which means that we will soon know the decision from most powerful professional baseball league outside America.

Hope Japan will join the first-ever tournament featuring major league players representing their countries.

Players association set to finalize WBC issue


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