AL East Predictions and Looking Forward

July 29th, 2016

Myworld was going to take a look at our beginning of the year predictions and see how we looked once the mid-season arrived. The mid-season has come and gone but that does not mean myworld can not take a look at each of the divisions. We’ll also take a look at the top five or so prospects of each team in the division to see how they stack up. We have put the teams in order of their standings as of this writeup and in parenthesis we have our start of the season prediction of where they would finish.

Baltimore Orioles (5) - We under estimated their current roster with Manny Machado leading the charge and a solid bullpen in Zach Britton and Darren O’Day protecting the leads. The starting pitching is ugly and it will still be difficult for them to win the division, but as long as the homer happy team keeps on hitting balls out of the ball park they can score more runs than their starters give up.

The future does not look bright for the Orioles with a vanilla farm system lacking impact players. Hunter Harvey was one of the prized pitchers, but he will undergo Tommy John surgery and myworld can’t put him in the top five. 1) Trey Mancini will probably have to be traded since the only position he plays is the same as Chris Davis, unless they move Davis to third and Manny to short. Trey can hit but first base and DH are his only positions he can play. 2) Chance Sisco is hitting for average but his power numbers are absent with nary a homerun. Some question whether he can stay at catcher which would down grade his prospect status. 3) Jomar Reyes is a rare Dominican signing making the grade. He needs to improve his average (.228) but he has been making contact and his power is starting to show. 4) Ryan Mountcastle will probably have to yield the shortstop position now that they have found Machado can play shortstop in the major leagues. That does not leave him with a position to play since his bat is a little soft for third base. 5) Cody Sedlock was the Orioles first round pick this year. They have not had a lot of success with their recent first rounders so they cross their fingers on Cody. Cody did miss a lot of bats pitching for Illinois striking out 116 in 101 innings.

Toronto Blue Jays (2) - They need Jose Bautista to get healthy and Troy Tulowitski to begin hitting with some consistency. They have the bats to score a lot of runs but they lack an ace in the rotation. Marcus Stroman needs to pick it up.

They may lose both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista to free agency next year so they need to do it this year or next year could be a rebuilding phase. They have traded a number of top prospects to keep their playoff runs alive so their farm system is a little light. Despite all these trades it is somehow stronger than the Orioles list of prospects, especially with pitching. 1) Sean Reid Foley was born in Guam with an arm that carries a fastball to the plate at 95 miles per hour. There is a lot of swing and miss in his pitches with the opposition hitting him at a .180 clip. 2) Jon Harris is having a breakout year though his numbers (2.23 ERA) are being strung together in Low A. How he will perform at higher levels will establish his true prospect status 3) Jose Urena is a smooth fielding shortstop who lacks tools that excel. 4) Conner Greene is having a good year but needs to improve his command. A promotion to the Eastern League has opened up those frailties. 5) Anthony Alford is the one player on this list with tremendous tools but injuries and lack of performance has kept those tools hidden.

Boston Red Sox (3) - They have had break out years from youngsters Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley. David Ortiz is having a nice retirement year. What needs to improve is their starting pitching and bullpen. They traded away one of their better prospects (Anderson Espinoza) to get NL All Star Drew Pomeranz. Now they have to get David Price on track. If not for Steven Wright this pitching staff would be a shambles. The Red Sox did not expect Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara to be spending so much time on the disabled list as their season wound down.

Trading Anderson Espinoza will hurt the future of the rotation five years from now, but the Red Sox needed to fix their rotation now. They have a deep farm system that is heavier on hitters so this trade will hurt in the long haul. 1) Yoan Moncada may be the best prospect in baseball now. The Cuban can hit for power, steal bases and hit for average. His defensive position (second base) is his only down side. 2) Andrew Benintendi has a power bat despite his 5′10 inch size. He will hit for average and power but the Red Sox need to find some room in the outfield for him. 3) Rafael Devers may have the most potent bat on the team but his defense is suspect. Right now he plays third but he eventually may have to move to first. 4) Michael Kopech was suspended for use of a stimulant and broke his hand in a fight but his fastball hits triple digits and sometimes that is the most important ingredient in a prospect. 5) Jason Groome is another pitcher with character flaws that dropped him in the 2016 draft but he throws lefthanded and hits the mid-90s.

New York Yankees (1) - We thought their pitching would be better than this and that did not include C.C. Sabathia. But Nathan Eovaldi, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Luis Severino have not panned out. The hitting has also disappeared with A-Rod the biggest bat that has molted into saw dust. The trade of Aroldis Chapman is a testament of what they think of the 2016 season. Their most consistent hitter Carlos Beltran may be the next Yankee packing for another team.

1) Gleyber Torres was recently acquired for Chapman and he has moved Mateo to second so that says a lot about his defense. Torres has the potential to hit for power at the position. 2) Jorge Mateo was recently suspended because he thought he should be in AA. It may hurt his feelings further now that they are moving him to second. Jorge has a lot of speed and is showing some unexpected power. 3) Gary Sanchez has been a Yankee prospect for a long time now. His defense is average for the position but he has a strong arm. His bat is electric so that will carry him. Like Jorge Posada waiting for Joe Giradi to retire Gary needs to wait out the contract of Brian McCann. Perhaps next year he will make the team as a back up. 4) Aaron Judge is a big dude who can hit the ball a long way. As is the case with big dudes they have large strike zones and a lot of swings and misses with their bats. A sprained knee has left Judge hobbled so his major league callup may have to wait until September. 5) Miguel Andujar needs to show more consistency at third base before he can take the spot from Chase Headley. His bat has a little more offensive spark than Headley, but that spark must be proven in the major leagues.

Tampa Bay Rays (4) - Not a lot here. Even their pitching has failed them. The injury to Kevin Kiermaier may have sent their team spiraling downward as it had a big impact on the quality of their defense. Evan Longoria is having a career year in a season that will not be remembered.

They have not been drafting well since they have started winning. Most of their top prospects are players they acquired when trading veterans after their season has blown up in flames. 1) Willy Adames was acquired from the Tigers. He could be an offensive shortstop with some power in his bat, but a move to third could also happen. 2) Brent Honeywell has been a lesser version of Blake Snell in his ride up the minor league ladder. 3) Jacob Faria needs to find some consistency with his mid-90s fastball. He misses a lot of bats but his ERA north of 4 and his inability to win games makes a reliever role a stronger possibility. 4) Adrian Rondon may slide Adames over to third. His defense is superior but his bat will be a little soft. 5) Chih-Wei Hu lacks the size to intimidate (6′1″) but his command and diversity of pitches has been getting hitters out in the Southern League.

15 and Under Results in Japan

July 29th, 2016

The World Cup for 15 and under opened yesterday in Japan. Not a lot of upsets or competitive games.

United States 18 Taiwan 3

This was surprising in how easily the United States dominated Taiwan in a game that only went five innings. The United States scored crooked numbers in all five of the innings that were played while Taiwan scratched together three runs after the United States had built a 16-0 lead. Taiwan pitchers could not find the plate walking 10 batters and throwing three wild pitches.

Anthony Volpe strung together four hits in four at bats to drive in three runs for the United States. He also scored three runs and stole a base. Carter Young collected three hits in four at bats and also drove in three runs. As a team the United States stole seven bases, with lead off batter Jasiah Dixon leading the way with two stolen bases on three hits scoring three times.

Taiwan had a couple hitting stars going 5 for 5, accounting for five of their seven hits. Yao-Tsung Weng slashed three hits from the leadoff spot, driving in one run and Chin-Wei Lin Wu put together two hits in the number eight spot after coming off the bench.

Japan 13 Australia 0

Japan continued to show off their superior pitching, shutting out Australia on four hits in a game going seven innings. Australia committed six errors to allow 11 unearned runs to cross the plate in the game. Japan used four different pitchers to shut out Australia, Kanta Okada getting the start and going three innings without allowing a hit. He was pulled after Japan had jumped out to an 11-0 lead.

Kenji Ino was the big bat for Japan, collecting three hits including a triple to drive in two runs and score three.

Cuba 5 Colombia 0

In the only game to go nine Cuba shut out Colombia on three hits. Osiel Rodriguez went seven plus innings to get the win, striking out nine and allowing only two hits. Yaniel Nunez was the big Cuban bat with four hits in five at bats, including a double, the only extra base hit on the Cuban team.

Korea 14 Czech Republic 4

Korea jumped on the Czechs early with nine runs in the first three innings and spanked the lone European team in a game that went seven innings. Number nine hitter Min-Sung Cho hit the only homerun of the first day in his perfect 2 for 2 day before he was pinch hit for in his last at bat. Jun-Woo Shin powered two doubles among his three hits to drive in two. Man-Soo Kim drove in three with a perfect 1 for 1 day with a single, walk and sacrifice fly.

Panama 16 New Zealand 1

Panama trampled all over New Zealand in a game that went six innings. They scored 12 of their 16 runs in the last two innings, assisted by six errors from New Zealand. Leonardo Jimenez drove in four runs with his two hits including a double and sacrifice fly. Adrian Montero had two at bats that included a walk and a triple that drove in three runs as a late inning replacement.

Venezuela 11 Mexico 1

This game was close until the latter innings when Venezuela erupted for eight runs in the last two innings to end the game in seven innings. Mexican pitchers issued 12 walks to aid in the Venezuelan scoring. Sergio Gutierrez drove in four runs and Jesus Orecchia added three to lead the Venezuelan efforts.

Cardinals Sign Cuban Outfielder Randy Arozarena

July 27th, 2016

The St. Louis Cardinals jumped into the Cuban signings with a $1.25 million bonus to sign outfielder Randy Arozarena. Arozarena is noted more for his speed than for his bat, though in the Mexican Northern league the 21 year old was leading the league in hitting with a .377 average. He showed off his speed with 42 stolen bases in 54 attempts. The Cardinals are one of many teams soaring past their international salary bonus with the signings of young Cuban players. They have also signed outfielder Jonatan Machado and pitcher Johan Oviedo.

Myworld’s Honkball Allstar Team

July 25th, 2016

Below is our All Star team from the Honkball tournament. Because we did not see all the games some of the pitchers chosen are based on stats.

C - Ricardo Dashenko (Netherlands) - (.389 ave. and .667 slugging)
1B - Ryoya Kaneko (Japan) - .448 ave, 690 slugging first and 7 RBIs second. Myworlds MVP vote
2B - Nick Urbanus (Netherlands) - (.333 ave and 7 runs scored tops in tournament)
SS - Stijn Van Der Meer (Netherlands) - (.360 and 7 runs scored; solid defense)
3B - Dwayne Kemp (Netherlands) - (.429 ave second, 8 RBIs first)
Utility - Taisei Yoshida (Japan) - .304 ave., .467 OBA with 7 walks first
LF - Tzu-Hsien Chan (Taiwan) - .304, 1 HR clearly the best hitter on Taiwan with good batting practice power
Cf - Yu-Ning Tsao (Taiwan) - .389 average voted defensive player of tournament
RF - Trent Oeltjen (Australia) - .286 ave, .607 slugging, 8 runs scored first and 2 HRs tied for first
DH - Tatsuhiko Satoh (Japan) - .316 ave, .684 slugging second, 2 homeruns tied for first

Pitching

Starters

Takuya Kato (Japan) - 2-0, 0.00 ERA 13 innings 23 K’s and .122 ave against, myworlds top pitcher of tournament
Tom Stuifbergens (Netherlands) - 0.00 ERA in two starts, 12 K’s second
Yuya Yanagi (Japan) - 1.86 ERA
Diegomar Markwell (Netherlands) - 0.00 ERA in one start and one relief, 9 shutout innings
Tzu-Peng Huang (Taiwan) - 1-0, 0.00 ERA in one start and 7 innings

Relievers

Loek Van Mil (Netherlands) - 4 appearances 0.00 ERA, 2 saves 97 mile per hour fastball
Tom De Blok (Netherlands) - 4 appearances 1-0, 0.00 ERA
Kazuya Yoshino (Japan) - 1-0 4 appearances, 0.00 ERA
Shane Lindsay (Australia) - 3 appearances, 0.00 ERA

Reimold With Pinch Hit Walkoff Dinger to Beat Indians

July 24th, 2016

Nolan Reimold got an opportunity to pinch hit for light hitting Julio Borbon with two outs and Pedro Alvarez on second. Nolan drove a 2-0 pitch from Cody Allen on a straight line that landed into the left field bleachers to give the Orioles a 5-3 win over the Cleveland Indians and a sweep of their three game series.

The Orioles got a good start from Vance Worley, a welcome outing since their five man rotation has been lacking quality starts. Vance coughed up two runs in the fourth, walking the lead off better Jose Ramirez. A hit and run single by Lonnie Chisenhale advanced Ramirez to third. A Tyler Naquin double scored one run and a Roberto Perez RBI single drove in the other. After giving up those two runs Vance settled down and retired the last 10 hitters he faced before he departed after the seventh inning.

Corey Kluber got the start for the Cleveland Indians. He also got roughed up in the fourth, Jonathan Schoop powering a double against the top of the centerfield wall and Manny Machado stroking a single to drive in Schoop. Schoop appeared to be thrown out at home but the throw from Tyler Naquin went too far to the third base side of home plate to put the tag on the sliding Schoop. The Indians appeared to be out of the inning with runners on first and third with one out when they appeared to turn a double play. A replay review ruled Pedro safe at first base and the tying run scored.

Jonathan Schoop buried a ball into the middle of the left field bleachers in the fifth to give the O’s a 3-2 lead. Schoop also giveth away by booting a ball in the eighth to put runners on first and second with no out. Mike Napoli ripped a single to left field, but the throw home by the Orioles Julio Borbon was weak to the plate and the game was tied at 3-3.

Darren O’Day made an impressive ninth inning appearance, striking out the side. The Orioles came back with in the bottom of the ninth, Pedro Alvarez striking out but the ball skipping past the catcher. The Indians were fortunate the ball hit the brick wall and bounced back to the catcher Roberto Perez. He threw to Napoli at first, but the throw hit Alvarez in the back of the head just before he stepped on first. Ryan Flaherty bunted him to second. With two outs and the count 2-0 Reimold pinch hit for Borbon, tagged a 2-0 pitch from Cody Allen that caught too much of the plate, lining it into the crowd in left field for the Gatorade splash once he reached home plate.

Game Notes: In the eighth inning Chris Davis thought he had been hit by a pitch. He tried walking to first but the home plate umpire said the ball did not hit him. Catcher Roberto Perez saw Machado begin his stroll to second, rifled the ball to first where Machado was tagged out trying to dive back to the bag. Chris Davis would later walk. Trumbo hit a lazy fly ball to right field to end the threat…Julio Borbon has an arm that would not intimidate any runners from advancing the extra base…In the fifth inning Vance Worley retired the side in order, throwing just eight pitches, all of them strikes.

Netherlands Wins Honkball Championships

July 24th, 2016

The Netherlands beat Japan 2-0 to win the Honkball championships. Tom Stuifbergen got the start and pitched five shutout innings, allowing just two hits. Loek Van Mil threw the last two innings to seal the win. Netherlands scored both their runs in the seventh after the centerfielder made an error on a Stijn Van der Meer single that allowed Nick Urbanus to score from first. Van der Meer advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch. Japanese pitcher Yuya Yanagi was the victim of the sloppy Japanese defense, otherwise he may have continued to put up zeroes.

It was the second time Japan had been shutout by Netherlands. They lost 3-0 to Netherlands in the finals of the winner’s bracket, Mike Bolsenbroek throwing seven innings of four hit shutout ball. The first two runs the Netherlands scored was courtesy of an error and a wild pitch.

Japan got to the finals by crushing Australia 9-4. Ryoya Kaneko won his third game MVP honors by driving in four runs.

Myworld will put together a Honkball All Star team based on our limited observations of the games we watched, relying a little bit on the stats to capture many of the games we did not see.

Drew Draws up Game Winning Hit

July 24th, 2016

Myworld was in Iceland yesterday after missing our connecting flight to the United States. So we were able to spend one night in Iceland, get on a 10:00 AM flight and arrive in the United States by the afternoon, plenty enough time to attend the evening Nationals game. And what a game it was.

Stephen Drew, who myworld questioned the Nationals signing has come up with some big pinch hits for the Nationals. He came up with another last night with a blast into the right centerfield gap that one hopped the wall. Anthony Rendon, who anticipated the ball would not be caught was already halfway between second and third when the outfielders retrieved the ball. He scored easily to give the Nationals a 3-2 win over the Padres.

Max Scherzer got the start for the Nationals last night. The homerun ball again proved to be his nemesis. He gave up a two run shot to Ryan Schimpf in the second inning to give the Padres a 3-2 lead. The ball was tagged, hitting the upper deck bleacher fa├žade in right field and bounding back into the field. Yangervis Solarte had got the inning started with a leadoff single into right field. Scherzer was good after that, allowing just two hits and striking out 10 for the game, including striking out the side in the seventh, his last inning of work. All of his 10 strikeouts were swinging.

Edwin Jackson got the start for the Padres. He has bounced around to a lot of teams in his career, including the Nationals. A pitcher myworld thought had some of the best stuff we have witnessed when he was a young, upcoming prospect, but his career has not panned out. A one out walk hurt him in the third, putting Ben Revere on first base. He got behind Jayson Werth 3-1 and Werth lined the next pitch into right centerfield for a single, Revere racing to third. Daniel Murphy drove Revere in with a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Nationals tied the game in the fifth on a double by Danny Espinosa, shot over the head of a slowing Matt Kemp, who lacks the range in the outfield he once had. Ben Revere pulled a double into the rightfield corner to score Espinosa and tie the game.

Edwin Jackson pitched well enough to get more starts for the Padres. They are a team in a rebuilding phase. His fastball still hits the mid-90s, his arm probably fresh from pitching out of the bullpen the last couple years. He only struck out one in his six innings of work and walked three. When the Nationals pinch hit Chris Heisey for the pitcher Max Scherzer to lead off the seventh the Padres replaced Jackson with Jose Dominguez.

It was Kevin Quackenbush who was on the mound in the ninth. He gave up a leadoff single into left field to Anthony Rendon but Melvin Upton made a good play on the ball close to the corner to hold Rendon to a single. It didn’t matter after Drew tagged a 1-2 pitch deep into right center field.

Game Notes: There was a rainbow over the field for about five minutes but no rain. That is an indication the humidity is high…The 30,747 in attendance also enjoyed the pigeon who camped himself in the grass just behind second base. All attempts by the players to move him were unsuccessful. He enjoyed his time there for at least one full inning, ignoring the hit balls and the players running around the field…Matt Kemp doubled twice but watching him run it is quite apparent he has lost a lot of speed. Myworld does not see the Padres trading him unless they eat up a lot of his contract…Bryce Harper is not the slugger he was in April or all of 2015. Since April 27 he is hitting .231 with a .378 slugging percentage. With a runner on second and two out the Padres issued four balls to Daniel Murphy to face Bryce Harper, who popped up to second. Teams are shifting him to pull and he seems to be trying to go the other way, with little success. In the eighth Harper swung at and missed on a 93 mile per hour fastball from Ryan Buchter. At one point, those were the kind of pitches Bryce feasted on…The Schimpf homerun has now given the Padres 21 consecutive games with at least one homerun. It was also Schimpf’s 8th homerun of the month, tying him with Jedd Gyorko for the most homeruns by a rookie in a month. In the ninth with a runner on second and two outs the Nationals chose to walk Schimpf on four pitches to face Christian Betancourt. Brett Wallace pinch hit for Betancourt and popped out to third.

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo Three Consecutive Multi Homer Games

July 22nd, 2016

The Yokahama Bay Stars 24 year old outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo is another rising superstar to watch in the NPB. His walkoff homerun yesterday in the 12th inning gave the Bay Stars a 3-2 win over the Yomiuri Giants. He drove in all the runs for the Bay Stars with an RBI single in the first and a solo homerun in the sixth in a 4 for 5 day.

In his previous two games Tsutsugo had slugged two homeruns in each game, 9-2 and 9-8 wins over the Yakult Swallows. In the 9-8 win his last homerun was a solo shot in the top of the ninth inning giving the Bay Stars their 9-8 win. In the last three games Tsutugo has hit for the cycle with 6 homeruns, a double, single and triple, four walks, 6 runs scored and 9 RBIs. The homer barrage now gives him 28 for the season, a career high and second most in the NPB. In his previous three seasons in the NPB Tsutsugo has hit 22, 24 and 24 homeruns.

The 28 homeruns now leaves him one behind the other young 23 year old Japanese superstar Tetsuto Yamada, who has 29. Both players are fighting for the Japanese triple crown with Yamada leading in hitting (.347) tops in homeruns (29) and tops in RBIs (73). Tsutsugo is second in batting average (.328), second in homeruns (28) and third to Takahiro Arai (69) in RBIs with 66.

Perhaps the 2017 WBC will highlight some of these young superstars blossoming in Japan, outslugging the foreign hitters who in years past were the homerun hitters in the NPB. Not with Yamada and Tsutsugo in the league.

Baseball Reference shows that Tsutsugo played in the Dominican Winter League in 2015 where he struggled for average (.206) and did not hit a homerun in 40 plate appearances. Perhaps that experience has been responsible for his break out season in 2016, despite his struggles with Escogido. He has hit .300 or better in his last three complete NPB seasons.

Haarlem Notes

July 21st, 2016

Myworld heads back to the States tomorrow. Some notes on my impression of Haarlem, Netherlands and Pim Mulier Stadium. It is a little bit different than about writing about minor league cities and the parks I went to last month.

***Haarlem is a cool place. It gives off a beach vibe with the canals and the sea gulls floating in the air. Every now and then they give out a cry and you feel you are at the beach. Supposedly they have a beach, but that was not my purpose for coming to Haarlem. It was to watch baseball. I never got out to what they call their beach. Coming from San Diego beaches are usually disappointing.

***The city has curvy, winding brick layered streets with a huge town square where it feels pretty nice to find a table at a local eatery, order a beer and just watch the people pedal their bikes past you while you are savoring your beer without a care in the world. Sometimes it makes you wonder where these people are pedaling their bikes.

***Haarlem is noted for being the center of the tulip bulb growing business. When I see tulips sprouting in my front yard each spring I’ll think of Haarlem.

***The New York city Harlem was named by the Dutch settlers after this city. The newer Harlem has gotten better, but when I think of ghettos I think of Harlem, New York. We certainly did a number on that city after the Dutch settlers left.

***There is lots of beer brewing in Haarlem, dating all the way back to the 15th century. They used to make the beer from the water in the canals but that got too polluted so they had to improvise. It makes sense when sitting in the town square to relax and drink a beer brewed in Haarlem. They have a lot of choices for you to make.

***When walking around the brick structured dwellings and businesses that surround the city take a closer look at each of the buildings. Some of the brick or walls date all the way back to the 12th or 15th century. You can still see some of the old writings carved in the leftover stone that is still used to support the newer office building.

***The Honkball tournament is every other July so if you want to watch some baseball and relax in a cool city, visit Haarlem in 2018. If you want to visit in September of this year they will be having the European championships at Pim Mulier stadium. You will see a few more errors than you see in major league baseball, but the atmosphere is good. They have some traditions that are unique to their culture, such as doing deep knee bends whenever a pitcher is changed in the middle innings. They also carry some of the American traditions, such as singing “Take Me out to the Ballgame” during the bottom of the seventh.

***The stadium is Pim Mulier Stadium. It is not a large facility, holding about 3,000, more if you include the tented suites that sit in back of the stands. There are no arm rests to the seats or cupholders, but it is better than bleacher seating. The stadium sits in the middle of a large sports complex that houses other baseball fields, soccer fields and outdoor tennis courts. There was no reserved seating at the tournament, so it is first come first to pick your seat. That becomes critical when you consider the only shade in the stadium is directly behind home plate, covering about 40 seats. For 7 PM starts the sun is still shining in July at 9 PM. Many of the fans bring their umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun. They also bring their coolers filled with food and drinks.

***They have a small museum inside the stadium along the third base side. The museum takes you through the history of Dutch baseball. If you can’t speak Dutch you will have to be satisfied with looking at the pictures. The 2011 World Cup champions have a corner there, an event myworld witnessed as the Netherlands upset Cuba for the Gold Medal. The United States team sent a group of minor league players including Travis d”Arnaud. The Netherlands had Didi Gregorius at short, Jonathan Schoop at third base, Xander Boegarts, who played right field but was mainly a bench warmer and others I’m probably forgetting.

***The concessions include a donut stand, lots of ice cream facilities, a kibbling (fish and chips)stand, a candy stand, a place for hamburgers and a bar where you can get beer from the tap. The choices are a little different from what you would see at an American park.

***As far as the stadium itself, there is a scoreboard that records the pitchers velocity and the name of the batter and his batting average. They have a video board in right center field, but that is a little too small to see unless you carry binoculars. The park itself with its chain link fences would be no different than a local college field, though nowadays some of the college baseball fields are ramping up their stadiums to give themselves a minor league look about them. The fences all carry sponsor advertising.

***That’s about it.

Two Players Implicated in KBO Match Fixing

July 21st, 2016

NC Dinos pitcher Tae-Yang Lee and Nexon Heroes outfielder Woo-Ram Moon have both been implicated in match fixing scandals. Lee was accused of walking players in certain innings but has been taken off the team since late June because of elbow pain. Moon is doing his mandatory military service and playing in the Future’s League. Both were drafted by the Heroes and were teammates for a short while.

If both players are found guilty they could receive jail sentences and could have life time bans instituted against them that will apply to the major leagues, NPB and the Taiwan professional league. That will put an end to their major league career.

Another player, Samsung Lions pitcher Ji-Man An has been accused of financing an illegal gambling operation. He claims he was just loaning a friend money to start a business. An faced questioning last year along with ex Cubs pitcher Chang-Yong Lim and current Cardinals pitcher Seung-Hwan Oh for betting on illegal overseas gambling operations. The Lions removed An off their roster because of shoulder pains.

Where there is success there is money to be made. The KBO needs to recognize that the more money they make on baseball and the less they compensate their employees (the players) the more susceptible they are to being bought off. If as a player you are being compensated fairly there is more risk involved in dealing with gamblers.