Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Several Mariners to play in WBC

No matter which position they are, Seattle Mariners has lots of players who want to join the World Baseball Classic next March.

Include Starter Felix Hernandez, who was asked not to participate for Venezuela in 2006, is likely to want to pitch for his country. So does third baseman Adrian Beltre is likely to be on the roster for the Dominican Republic, as he was three years ago. Second baseman Jose Lopez could also play for Team Venezuela.

As for Catcher Kenji Johjima, who elected to work out with the Mariners in 2006, his first spring, rather than play for Japan, is likely to want to play for his country this time around.

The other possibility include Lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith would be a candidate for Team Australia. And outfielder Wladimir Balentien could be included on the roster of The Netherlands because his home of Curacao is part of the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean.

Due to Team rosters won’t be settled on in a couple of months, so other players could also be involved, it could be more interested to see player face their teammates during WBC.

2009 World Baseball Classic to feature same 16 teams

After further discussion, the 16-team field is set for the second World Baseball Classic, which is scheduled for March of next year. Though it is exactly the same as the inaugural edition in 2006, it may be the last time the governing bodies of the tournament restrict the competition to that few teams.

Under consideration for 2013 is an expansion of the field to 24 countries and territories with qualifying rounds as a preface to reach the main competition.

“As the level of baseball continues to rise worldwide, it is essential that the World Baseball Classic expand its field to give the growing number of formidable teams the opportunity to participate,” said Paul Archey, Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of international business operations. “In accordance with the tournament’s goal of growing and enhancing interest in the game, the Steering Committee has strongly endorsed the expansion of the competition for the 2013 event.”

But that’s down the road. Next year’s field will again feature defending title winner Japan, runner-up Cuba, the U.S., Dominican Republic, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela — all teams that qualified for the second round last time and thus received automatic berths for ’09. It was announced on Feb. 20th that Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Italy, Netherlands, Panama, and South Africa were sent invitations.

Similar to the last time selection process, the Steering Committee determined the 16 teams for the 2009 World Baseball Classic based on criteria established to create the most highly-competitive international baseball event in the world. Some of the key factors involved in team evaluation and selection included: strength of native player base, number of professional players, international rankings, viability of domestic baseball programs, participant’s impact on baseball development in country/territory and diverse global representation.

“There has been significant improvement in the level of play internationally and indeed, Major League ranks include even more players from across the world,” said Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the Players’ Association. “The 16 teams selected best represent the breadth of quality play around the globe, which meets a key tournament objective, showing the world how far baseball has come internationally. If you liked the tournament last time around, wait ’til you see her this time.”

The venues are expected to be announced next month with all four first-round competitions being played outside the U.S., which will host Round 2, the semi-finals and finals, as it did in 2006.

Toronto remains a “very strong candidate” to host one of the four groups in first-round play, a source with knowledge of the event’s planning told The Canadian Press. Canada is likely to be joined by the United States, a Latin American country and a non-traditional baseball country in the first round, with the games being held at the Rogers Centre, home of the Major League Team Toronto Blue Jays.

Attendance for the ’06 tournament at its seven venues was 737,112 tickets sold. The semi-finals and finals were sold out at San Diego’s 45,000-seat PETCO Park, undoubtedly a front-runner to host the Classic’s finale again in 2009.

It was the first time that all Major League players were allowed to represent their native lands in an international baseball tournament. The baseball competition in the Summer Olympics, which is slated for Beijing in August, includes non-25-man roster MLB players only.

“The intensity in the stands as well as the intensity on the playing field was absolutely remarkable, and I’m not sure that going into it you could have felt that,” Commissioner Bud Selig said at the time regarding the legacy of the Classic. “I’m very confident that this will be the platform we use to take this sport internationally to the dimension that I want to take it and believe that we will.”

About the World Baseball Classic Steering Committee
The World Baseball Classic Steering Committee consists of 12 members representing professional baseball leagues, Club owners, players, international baseball federations and other international organizations affiliated with the game of baseball (for a complete list of members, see below). The Steering Committee provides ongoing guidance regarding the development of the premier international baseball tournament, the World Baseball Classic. The focus of the committee is to ensure that the tournament continues to maximize its potential to develop the game of baseball worldwide.

Steering Committee Members
Major League Baseball (2)

Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business
Rob Manfred, Executive Vice President, Labor Relations

MLB Players Association (2)
Gene Orza, Chief Operating Officer
Michael Weiner, General Counsel

International BAseball Federation (2)
Harvey Schiller, President
Eduardo de Bello, Panama

Nippon Professional Baseball (1)
Kazuo Hasegawa, Executive Secretary

Japan Professional Baseball Players Association (1)
Toru Matsubara, Executive Director

Korean Baseball Organization (1)
Il-Sung Ha, Secretary General

Korean Professional Baseball Players Association (1)
Jin-kyun Na, Secretary General

Members-at-large (2)
Gyo Ishiguro, Chief Officer, Culture & Sports Projects, Yomiuri Shimbun
Roland Betts, President & Founder, Chelsea Piers, L.P.

About World Baseball Classic, Inc.
World Baseball Classic, Inc. is a company created at the direction of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), is supported by MLB, the MLBPA, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other leagues and players from around the world.

About the World Baseball Classic
The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament and features the best players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. In March 2006, 16 teams from across the globe competed in the inaugural event, which was sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF). More than 740,000 fans from 48 states and 15 countries attended games and millions more watched on TV as Team Japan was crowned the first-ever World Baseball Classic Champion. The next tournament is scheduled for March 2009 and will be held every four years thereafter.

USA in! USA in!

Finally, USA got the final second-round of World Baseball Classic.

Pool B:
United States 17, South Africa 0

USA             - 466 10  --  17
SOUTH AFRICA    - 000 00  --   0

It took a wakeup call from Team Canada and an offensive explosion by Mexico. But on Friday, Team USA finally helped itself. Ripping off four runs against South Africa before fans settled in their seats at Scottsdale Stadium, the U.S. secured the final second-round berth of the eight available in the inaugural World Baseball Classic with a 17-0, five-inning victory that was stopped because of the tournament’s mercy rule.

South Africa didn’t come away from its World Baseball Classic appearance with a win. But the overmatched squad, which includes several 17-year-olds, did gain the other nation’s respect as well as memories that will last a lifetime. “I’m proud of those guys. I’m proud of that country for coming over and competing and trying to get better at baseball.” Team USA’s Johnny Damon said.

Pool C:
Netherlands 10, Panama 0

NETHERLANDS     - 501 130 0  --  10
PANAMA          - 000 000 0  --   0

The Netherlands saved the best for last, closing out its World Baseball Classic experience on the highest of high notes. Shairon Martis threw a seven-inning no-hitter in the 65-pitch effort, while the Dutch offense exploded for 10 runs on 17 hits, as the Netherlands rolled to a 10-0 mercy-rule victory. The no-hitter was the first of the World Baseball Classic, as the 18-year-old right-hander stamped his name in the record books.

Panama came this close to victories against Puerto Rico and Cuba in its first two games of Pool C action in the World Baseball Classic. But Friday’s 10-0, seven-inning loss to the Netherlands just might show how far away the club really is from capturing the top prize in an international baseball competition. Martis, the Giants prospect made his professional debut for the Rookie League Arizona Giants in 2005, but looked like a seasoned veteran against Panama.

Puerto Rico 12, Cuba 2

PUERTO RICO     - 020 550 0  --  12
CUBA            - 010 000 1  --   2

The Puerto Rico-Cuba game was supposed to be the marquee matchup of the World Baseball Classic’s Pool C. Instead, the final game of the first round turned into a hometown party at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, as Puerto Rico walloped Cuba, 12-2, in a one-sided affair. The game was called after seven innings, as Puerto Rico’s 10-run lead kicked the mercy rule into effect.

The loss was the worst for Cuba since an 11-2 loss to Japan in the finals of the International Cup in 1997, and the first against a team from Puerto Rico since 1984. It was just the second time Cuba has ever been beaten by the mercy rule, the other coming in 1983 against Taiwan.

Pool D:
Dominican Republic 6, Australia 4

AUSTRALIA       - 100 001 002   --   4
DOMINICAN REP   - 031 101 00x   --   6

Having already clinched a top spot in the second round of the World Baseball Classic, the Dominican Republic still put forth a full effort on Friday in its 6-4 win over Australia in the final game of the Pool D version at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney.

Rebounding from the opening-game shutout loss delivered by Italy, the Australians proved this with respectable performances against much stronger competition provided by Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. There were no wins to show for the effort provided by the Australians in the inaugural WBC, but they can certainly go home proud of the way their pitchers performed against the powerful Latin nations.

Five teams advanced!

Anothr five teams advanced to the second round today, with Mexico in Pool B, Cuba and Puerto Rico in Pool C, Dominican Republic and Venezuela in Pool D. As for the final spot, Canada or USA have final chance depends on the result of USA vs. South Africa game.

Pool B:
Mexico 9, Canada 1

MEXICO          - 420 201 000   --   9
CANADA          - 000 001 000   --   1

The Canadians came, they saw and they almost conquered. During a roller-coaster three-day run in the inaugural World Baseball Classic, Team Canada had to come from behind in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat a plucky South Africa team, then upset Team USA, but fizzled when all the Canadian dollars were on the line on Thursday night against Mexico. Losing to the Mexicans, 9-1, with a chance to wrap up a berth in the second round a day after beating the Americans.

When he travels in his native Mexico, Jorge Cantu hears one sport talked about more than any other. Team Mexico delivered that message on Thursday night, when it beat Canada, 9-1, to advance to the World Baseball Classic’s second round as Pool B’s No. 1 seed.

Pool C:
Cuba 11, Netherlands 2

CUBA            - 200 400 401   --  11
NETHERLANDS     - 000 002 000   --   2

The Netherlands’ hopes of advancing in the World Baseball Classic came to an end on Thursday night, as Cuba mashed its way to an 11-2 victory to lock up a spot in the second round of the tournament.

If there was ever any doubt that Cuba could compete in a tournament that featured the best teams it had ever faced, the club removed it with an extra-inning victory against Panama in its first game. Any remaining questions were obliterated Thursday with Cuba’s win against the Netherlands. More questions? Doubts, perhaps? The Cubans sure hope so.

Pool D:
Dominican Republic 8, Italy 3

ITALY           - 102 000 000   --   3
DOMINICAN REP   - 202 030 10x   --   8

The Dominican Republic performed as expected on Thursday, outslugging team Italy in an 8-3 win before a sellout crowd of 9,949 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. This means the Dominican advances to the next round of the World Baseball Classic. This also will likely end Italy’s Classic run.

Burdened with two errors by third baseman Mark Saccomanno at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex on Thursday afternoon, Italy closed its schedule in Pool D with loss to the Dominican Republic. However, Team Italy has no reason to be ashamed. But it appears its run in the inaugural World Baseball Classic has come to an end.

Venezuela 2, Australia 0

VENEZUELA       - 010 001 000   --   2
AUSTRALIA       - 000 000 000   --   0

It wasn’t supposed to be this close, and if ever there was a moral victory, this probably was it. Although Venezuela prevailed over Australia, 2-0, the losing club made this contest much more competitive than anyone could have expected.

The last leg of the initial journey had a few more bumps than expected. But Venezuela emerged victorious against a pesky Australian team and punched its ticket into the second round of the World Baseball Classic.

World Baseball Classic all over begins!

David Ortiz - Hits game-winning HR, 12th inning, Game 4, 2004 ALCS ©Photofile
Pool B, C, D of the 2006 World Baseball Classic started to fight today, there are five intense games to play, the biggest suprise is Italy; who gets the help from Major Leaguers and itself, shutout the 2004 Athens Olympic Silver Winner Australia. Other winners are United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Dominican Republic.

March 7 Result:
Pool B:
United States 2, Mexico 0

MEXICO          - 000 000 000   --   0
USA             - 000 100 10x   --   2

Jake Peavy and a parade of relievers combined on a four-hitter against a lineup loaded with major-leaguers Tuesday, leading the United States to a 2-0 victory over Mexico in its World Baseball Classic debut. Home runs by Derrek Lee and Chipper Jones were all that was necessary on offense.

“I never would have said this yesterday,” Lee said after the World Baseball Classic opener for both teams, “but today, being on the field, I think this means more. It’s like Jake Peavy said, ‘You’re not playing for your city, you’re playing for your country.’ When you have your country behind you, there’s a lot of responsibility. There’s no monetary motivation for this. Guys came to this team to play for their country. It’s as simple as that.”

Canada 11, South Africa 8

CANADA          - 000 030 404   --  11
SOUTH AFRICA    - 000 040 130   --   8

Canada narrowly avoided a startling loss in its World Baseball Classic debut, rallying for four runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat South Africa 11-8 Tuesday night.

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel [worried] going into the ninth inning,” Canada third baseman Corey Koskie said. “But one of the great things about baseball is I knew we had a good chance.” “Everyone was putting out to the end. We were going after it.”

Pool C:
Puerto Rico 2, Panama 1

PANAMA          - 000 100 000   --   1
PUERTO RICO     - 000 020 00x   --   2

Puerto Rico’s first game in the World Baseball Classic was a tougher test than many expected. Bernie Williams hit a tiebreaking single, Alex Rios homered and Team Puerto Rico made its WBC debut with a 2-1 victory over Panama.

I felt like I was playing the World Series in March,” Williams said. “It was a great feeling. There is something very special about playing in my country, in my hometown. People chanting my name was a very special feeling for me. I will treasure that.”

Pool D:
Dominican Republic 11, Venezuela 5

DOMINICAN REP   - 020 040 005   --  11
VENEZUELA       - 000 121 100   --   5

2005 AL Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon vs. Johan Santana, the 2004 AL Cy Young winner, but hitters took the show. David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre each homered twice, leading a powerful Dominican team to an 11-5 victory over Venezuela in their World Baseball Classic opener.

The fans were seemingly split 50-50 between their allegiances to their native countries. Equally enthusiastic, Dominican and Venezuelan fans proudly waved their respective flags and cheered loudly throughout the contest, whether it was for home runs, groundouts or fly balls.

Italy 10, Australia 0

AUSTRALIA       - 000 000 0  --   0
ITALY           - 031 122 1  --  10

Mike Piazza doubled and scored a run and Jason Grilli was almost perfect in 4 2/3 innings of work, leading Italy to a 10-0 victory over Australia in the first round of the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday night.

“This is what we talked about when we were in a group,” Italy manager Matt Galante said. “We want to show the world we can play. And how well we do, time will tell. But we feel we can compete, and if you can compete, you’ve got a chance. That’s what I keep saying.”

Australia play exhibition game with Red Sox

Flag of Australia
The Australia team of World Baseball Classic will train at Fort Myers and play an exhibition game on March 5 with Boston Red Sox.

Australia, who won the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, will hold a training camp at the Red Sox’s minor league base in Fort Myers, Florida from March 3-6. The Aussie will play against Red Sox in an exhibition game at 6:05 p.m. on Sunday, March 5 at City of Palms Park.

Tickets will be half-price, as the games for the Red Sox with college on March 3, are available online at or by calling (617) 482-4SOX. The City of Palms Park ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Adrian Burnside, Trent Durrington, Justin Huber, John Stephens and Glenn Williams have agreed to join World Baseball Classic for Australia.

Australia is managed by Jon Deeble, the Red Sox coordinator for Pacific Rim scouting, will play against Italy on March 7th, Venezuela on March 9th and DominicanRepublic on March 10th.

177 MLB Players agree to play

At the beginning of Winter Meeting, Major League Baseball lease a list of 177 major league players, representing all 30 teams who have agreed to participate in World Baseball Classic next spring.

“This is going to be the most important international baseball event ever staged,” MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said. “The game’s best players will compete for their home countries. New and old fans throughout the world will have the opportunity to enjoy our great game and see many of baseball’s best players competing in this historic event.”

Players planning to represent Japan, China, South Korea or Taiwan are expected to be announced later this week at a news conference in Asia.

The designated hitter rule will be used and there will be limitations on pitch counts, but the number has not been decided yet. All players will be tested under the Olympic drug policy although a positive test for the WBC will not count under MLB’s new steroid policy.

“The International Baseball Federation has endorsed and has sanctioned the event,” Players Association COO Gene Orza said. “They would not do that were the tournament not conducted under the rules of the IBF in respect to other Olympic or international events as it relates to drug testing.”

Only Italy, Cuba and South Africa have yet to announce a manager. John Deeble (Australia), Ernie Whitt (Canada), Jim Lefebvre (China), Hua-Wei Lin (Chinese Taipei), Manny Acta (Dominican Republic), Sadaharu Oh (Japan), In-Sik Kim (Korea), Paquin Estrada (Mexico), Robert Eenhoorn (Netherlands), Roberto Kelly (Panama), Jose Oquendo (Puerto Rico) and Luis Sojo (Venezuela) already had been named to lead their countries.

“It is no secret that we have had some discussion with the Cubans that has made us feel very, very confident that they will play,” Orza said. “I believe the Cubans will play.”

Below is the list of players who have agreed to participate in the inaugural World Baseball Classic. A player has agreed to participate does not guarantee that he will be on the final 30-man roster, which must include at least 13 pitchers and three catchers.

Adrian Burnside, Trent Durrington, Justin Huber, John Stephens, Glenn Williams

Jason Bay, Erik Bedard, Rheal Cormier, Jesse Crain, Jeff Francis, Eric Gagne, Steve Green, Aaron Guiel, Shawn Hill, Corey Koskie, Pete LaForest, Adam Loewen, Russ Martin, Cody McKay, Justin Morneau, Pete Orr, Paul Quantrill, Chris Reitsma, Matt Stairs, Scott Thorman

Dominican Republic:
Antonio Alfonseca, Ronnie Belliard, Adrian Beltre, Eude Brito, Juan Brito, Daniel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Alberto Castillo, Jesus Colome, Bartolo Colon, Francisco Cordero, Pedro Feliz, Franklyn German, Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro Martinez, Jose Lima, David Ortiz, Wily Mo Pena, Neifi Perez, Placido Polanco, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Felix Rodriguez, Duaner Sanchez, Alfonso Soriano, Julian Tavarez, Miguel Tejada, Robinson Tejeda, Salomon Torres

Frank Catalanotto, Mark DeRosa, David Dellucci, Mike DiFelice, Tony Fiore, Mike Gallo, Jason Grilli, Matt Mantei, Frank Menechino, Doug Mirabelli, Val Pascucci, Mike Piazza, Joe Vitello, Pete Zoccolillo

Alfredo Amezaga, Luis Ayala, Rigo Beltran, Jorge Cantu, Vinny Castilla, Juan Castro, Elmer Dessens, Gerardo Garcia, Karim Garcia, Luis Garcia, Edgar Gonzalez, Edgar Huerta, Esteban Loaiza, Rodrigo Lopez, Miguel Ojeda, Antonio Osuna, Oliver Perez, Roberto Ramirez, Dennys Reyes, Ricardo Rincon, Oscar Robles, Ismael Valdez, Oscar Villareal

Andruw Jones

Bruce Chen, Carlos Lee, Jose Macias, Carlos Ruiz

Puerto Rico:
Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlos Baerga, Carlos Beltran, Kiko Calero, Alex Cintron, Jose Cruz Jr., Carlos Delgado, Jose Hernandez, Ricky Ledee, Felipe Lopez, Mike Lowell, Luis Matos, Joel Pineiro, Ivan Rodriguez, J.C. Romero, Rey Sanchez, Jorge Sosa, Andres Torres, Javier Valentin, Javier Vazquez, Jose Vidro, Bernie Williams

United States:
Michael Barrett, Lance Berkman, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Mark Buehrle, Eric Chavez, Roger Clemens, Chad Cordero, Carl Crawford, Johnny Damon, Adam Dunn, Brian Fuentes, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Guardado, Roy Halladay, Jason Isringhausen, Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Todd Jones, Derrek Lee, Al Leiter, Brad Lidge, Joe Mauer, Jake Peavy, Andy Pettitte, Juan Pierre, Jimmy Rollins, B.J. Ryan, C.C. Sabathia, Brian Schneider, Ben Sheets, John Smoltz ,Huston Street, Mark Teixeira, Chase Utley, Jason Varitek, Billy Wagner, Vernon Wells, Dontrelle Willis, David Wright, Michael Young, Barry Zito

Bobby Abreu, Edgardo Alfonzo, Henry Blanco, Miguel Cairo, Giovanni Carrara, Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen, Melvin Mora, Tomas Perez, Francisco Rodriguez, Johan Santana, Carlos Silva, Omar Vizquel, Carlos Zambrano, Victor Zambrano

a- Alex Rodriguez b- Marco Scutaro
a- eligible to play for both the Dominican Republic and the United States b- eligible to play for both Italy and Venezuela.

Players agreeing to participate in World Baseball Classic
All 30 MLB teams to be represented at World Baseball Classic
WBC Rosters By Country
Big names expected at World Baseball Classic
Major League Stars Sign Up for World Baseball Classic

Pool D expected to play in Florida

Pool D, include Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Italy and Australia, are expected to play first round in Florida, will announce shortly.

Major League Baseball currently negotiate contract with Disney about six first-round games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, spring training base of Atlanta Braves. Four team of Pool D will play their round-robin games on March 8-11 at Orlando, Florida.

Pool A will take place at Tokyo Dome in Japan, and Pool C will play at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as for Pool B, it likely to play at a spring training park in Arizona.


Australia have Friendship Series with Marines

Chiba Lotte Marines has a 20-day training camp in City of Greater Geelong’s baseball complex next Spring, will have Friendship Series with Australian baseball team.

The City Of Greater Geelong, which located on South Victoria, Australia, will become the summer training camp for Chiba Lotte Marines of Nippon Professional Baseball.

Six television crews and representatives from 10 print media outlets will report back to Japan daily on the team’s progress. About 140 million Japanese viewers will watch live TV crosses and news grabs from Geelong Regional Baseball Centre at Waurn Ponds.

A marquee will be set up at the City of Greater Geelong’s $3 million baseball complex for 40 media representatives from Japan. Their cameras will be focused on the 100 players and support staff from the Marines outfit led by Bobby Valentine.

A highlight of the 20-day training camp will be a Friendship Series between the Marines and the Australian baseball team which won a silver medal at the Athens Olympics. The Australian team will be preparing for the World Baseball Classic in March.

The eyes of a nation turn towards Geelong

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