World Baseball Classic Qualifier 4: Israel clinches spot in main tournament

brooklynA minor leaguers laden Israeli team crushed Great Britain 9-1 in the WBC Qualifier in Brooklyn’s MCU Park last night. For four innings the British could keep Israel at bay, but eventually the Isreali offense proved to strong. Thanks to this win, the team will advance to group B in Korea in next year’s World Baseball Classic, where it will be in the same group with Korea, Chinese Taipei and Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Great Britain  Great Britain  1  –  9  Israel  Afbeeldingsresultaat

Three homeruns by the Israelis proved to be the difference next the the superb outing of Jason Marquis. Marquis kept the British on a leash as he did not allow a hit and struck out five in four innings.
Two two run bombs in the fifth inning gave Israel a 4-0 lead and the team never looked back. Blake Gailen homered to right field and took Scott Burcham with him. Two batters later Ryan Lavarnway repeated the trick but this time to left field. 
Two one run innings (the sixth and the seventh) and a three run eighth sealed Great Britains fate for good.

All the British could do in return was to score a run in the top of the eighth inning. With two outs, Albert Cartwright singled to right field and advanced to second on a fielding error by Israel’s right fielder Zach Borenstein. Cartwright scored Great Britain’s sole run on a ground ball single to right field, hit by Chavez Young.

Winning pitcher for Israel was Josh Zeid of the Mets organization with a lot of AAA experience under his belt. Zeid pitched three innings of no-hit ball in relief in which he gave up a walk and struck out three.
Spencer Kreisberg took the loss for the British. Kreisberg does not have any minor league experience but played professional in Sweden. In four innings he gave up one run on two hits and three walks and struck out four.

Best hitter for Israel was Scott Burcham, who went 3 for 4 with two runs scored.

As a relative new baseball nation with barely a thousand active players in the country itself, the team only had two players from Israel, the rest were American born players with some ties with the country. Because of a big Jewish community in the US, it was rather easy to create a competitive team.

Four years ago, Israel was eliminated in the championship game by Spain. This time the team was vastly superior, even though the victory over Brazil was a close one. With a 3-0 record the team advances to the main tournament. Don’t be surprised if the team will carry a shipload of Major Leaguers with some Israeli roots.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor World baseball classic

Mainz Athletics one win away from championship

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor baseball bundesligaAfter beating up the Regensburg Legionaere 13-2 in game one, the Mainz Athletics won game two at their home ballpark, beating Regensburg 5-0. Next Saturday in Regensburg can be the decisive game for Mainz. If they win that game they can raise the championship banner. 

Despite the 5-0 win, the Athletics did not quite outhit the Legionaere. Mainz collected eight hits and Regensburg six. But Mainz was simply more effective.

The pitching of Mainz was superior. Eric Massingham pitched 7.2 innings and limited Regensburg to five hits, walked one and fanned four. His successor on the mound, Tim Stahlmann pitched the final 1.1 inning and gave up one hit and a walk.

On the side of Regensburg, Clayton Voechting pitched 6.2 innings in which he gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits, walked four and struck out six. Jonathan Eisenhuth pitched 1.1 inning and gave up one homerun.

When in the eighth inning, after Massingham was replaced by Stahlmann, Regensburg loaded the bases, the Legionaere had a glimpse of hope but Stahlmann got out of the jam without any damage.

At that point the offense of the Athletics had done some damage already. The Athletics scored their first run in the first inning when Thomas de Wolf drove in Kevin Kutowski with a ground ball single. In the third inning Peter Johannessen hit a homerun. Thomas de Wolf then scored on Lennard Stoecklin’s single. Peter Johannessen scored once more in the fifth, this time on a sac fly by Max Boldth. Trey Stover hit a solo shot in the eighth inning to reach the final score.

Eric Massingham earned the win and Clayton Voechting took the loss.

Best hitter for Mainz was Peter Johannessen, who went 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Here is another summary of the game. Play by play announcer is Tim Collins.

Why do the Red Sox keep honoring a bigoted owner?

As you may know, Fenway Park in Boston is located at Yawkey way, named after the former owner of the Red Sox (from 1933 until 1977). But why do the Red Sox (and the city of Boston) keep honoring an owner who was a proven bigot and racist? 

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Yawkey Way

Before 1947, when Major League Baseball upheld the color barrier, it wasn’t quite clear that Tom Yawkey was a racist. None of the MLB teams had Afro American players on their squads. Integration of Afro Americans was still far away.

But in 1945 a glimpse of what the Red Sox really were was shown as the club organized a try out for three Afro American players: Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs, Marvin Williams of the Philadelphia Stars and Sam Jethroe of the Cleveland Buckeyes.
The tryout lasted only ninety minutes and none of the players was hired, which did not come as a surprise because the Red Sox only organized the tryout under pressure of the Boston City councilman Isadore Mushnick.  Rumors say that after the tryout Yawkey said “Get those niggers off the field.”  Robinson was subjected to racial epithets and would later say during the 1967 World Series  “I’d like to see the Red Sox lose, because he is probably one of the most bigoted guys in baseball.”

The manager of the Red Sox, Michael Higgins, once said that “there would be no nigger on this ball club.”

It may not come as a surprise that the Red Sox were the last team to integrate, which happened in 1959 when the Red Sox called up Pumpsie Green, twelve years after Jackie Robonson broke the color barrier. But even after they called up Green, the Red Sox mainly used him as a pinch-runner or as a day-off replacement for infielders.

Not did There Yawkey pass up the chance to sign great players like Willie Mays and Robinson himself, he even discriminated against his own black players, decades after integration.

Luckily a lot has changed in the Red Sox organization, but I think that the Red Sox or the City of Boston should make the step to change the name of Yawkey Way. It is way too much honor for a bigot like he was to have a street named after him. The Red Sox had plenty of big names in their ranks to name a street after. Tom Yawkey is the embodiment of a black era in the Red Sox history.

Holland Series 2016, game two: Curacao Neptunus ties series at one

For the biggest part today’s game was similar than yesterday’s. Curacao Neptunus leading and L&D Amsterdam Pirates not being able to close the gap. But today the outcome was different than yesterday. Where Pirates was able to close the gap yesterday, it wasn’t today. 

L&D Amsterdam Pirates  5  –  8  Curacao Neptunus

Amsterdam L&D Pirates had a quick start as they took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Gilmer Lampe hit up the middle and drove in Nick Urbanus and Remco Draijer.

But Neptunus bounced back immediately in the bottom of the first as they scored four runs and never looked back. With the bases loaded, Robin Schel issued a walk to Gianison Boekhoudt to put Neptunus on the board. A sac fly by Dwayne Kemp to center field, drove in Randolph Oduber for the game tying run. Another bases loaded walk gave Neptunus the lead. After Robin Schel was replaced by Dennis Burgersdijk, Benjamin Dille hit another sac fly to give Neptunus a 4-2 lead.

Two runs in the second inning and two in the fifth gave Neptunus a commanding lead. Pirates came back in the game in the eighth inning as they scored three runs but their rally fell short when Linoy Croes lined out to left field.

Orlando Yntema cruised through seven innings for the win

Orlando Yntema cruised through seven innings in which he only gave up two runs in the
first. He struck out seven and walked trhee. The loss went to Robin Schel, who did not survive the first inning. He recorded one out and allowed four runs on two hits four walks.
The save went to Berry van Driel, who kept Pirates on a leash, not allowing a hit and striking out two. 

The best hitter for Curacao Neptunus was Christian Diaz, who went 3 for 5 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.

This report was brought to you by Score66 Baseball.

Mainz Athletics beat up Regensburg Legionaere in game one

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor baseball bundesligaJust like in the Netherlands, the German competition is at the stage of the championship series now. Where the first game in the Netherlands was a close one (a 6-5 for L&D Amsterdam Pirates over Curacao Neptunus), it wasn’t the case in game one in Germany.

The championship series between two South Division teams, the Mainz Athletics and the Regensburg Buchbinder Legionaere, took off yesterday. In Mainz the home team was vastly superior in a game that was shortened due to the mercy rule thanks to a 13-2 blow out score.

After Mainz took a 4-0 lead in the third inning, the game went without any runs being scored for the next three innings. But in the sixth Mainz would score four more runs.
In the mean time  the Mainz pitching dominated the Regensburg lineup. In six innings Jan-Niclas Stoecklin limited Regensburg to only four hits as he walked one and struck out eight.
Mike Bolsenbroek, the ace of Regensburg, was hit hard in only five innings. Bolsebroek surrendered eight runs on thirteen hits and took the loss. His successor Jan Tomek, did not fare much better as he gave up five runs on two hits and a walk in just 1.1 inning.

The Athletics’ offense caught fire in the third when Lucas Dickman singled home Lennard Stoecklin and scored a run himself on Kevin Kotowski’s single.
Belgian international Thomas de Wolf and German international Max Boldt lifted Mainz to an 8-0 lead in the sixth with back-to-back homeruns.

Max Boldt and Thomas de Wolf both drove in five runs. Boldt went 2 for 4 and scored two runs. De Wolf collected three hits and drew two walks in five plate appearances.

Here is the summary of the game. Play by play announcer is Tim Collins.

World Baseball Classic Qualifier 4: Great Britain to face Israel for final spot in main tournament

brooklynIn a very close game in which Great Britain had the lead from the third inning , a suicidal action by Brazil’s Juan Carlos Muniz, who tried to steal third base, ended the game, leaving Brazil eliminated from the tournament.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Brazil  Brazil  3  –  4  Great Britain  Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Great Britain

After two scoreless innings Brazil took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third. Just one out away from getting out of the inning, Blake Taylor gave up back-to-back singles to Gabriel Maciel and Irait Chirino that put runners on the corners. A wild pitch allowed Chirino to advance to second to put both runners in scoring position. Leonardo Reginatto then singled on a line drive to right field that drove in both runners.

But Great Britain bounced back in the bottom of the very same inning.
A dropped fly ball that was ruled a double with a runner on second put runners in scoring position for the Brits. After Antoan Richardson loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch, the next two batters struck out and it looked like Andre Rienzo would get out of the inning without any damage. But again Rienzo would hit a British batter with a pitch, so with the bases loaded, Great Britain got on the board. Jordan Serena hit the ball towards shortstop Leonardo Reginatto who bobbled the ball , allowed Great Britain to score two more runs and take a one run lead.

After Great Britain extended its lead with another run in the seventh inning, Brazil got back with in one run in the top of the eighth.
With two outs in the ninth, Juan Carlos Muniz doubled off Chris Reed. Probably in a burst of euphoria, he tried to steal third and was thrown out by catcher Chris Berset for the final out of the game.

Chris Reed pitched 4.2 innings for the win as he allowed one run on seven hits, walked one and struck out five.
Andre Rienzo took the loss. In five innings, he allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits and struck out eight.
The save went to Daniel Cooper as he entered the ninth inning with two outs.

Great Britain will face Israel in the final of this Qualifier for a spot in group B in Korea with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Korea and Chinese Taipei.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor World baseball classic