Are You Watching the Caribbean Series?


Estadio Rod Carew in Panama City, Panama, 2007. Photo by Jose Gonzalez via Wikipedia

The Caribbean Series continues tonight, with Panama playing Puerto Rico at 7 pm (Eastern). The games are being aired on ESPN Deportes and the MLB website has live scores and links to their Gameday view, so there’s really no excuse to miss it. The schedule for the rest of the week is as follows (all times Eastern):

  • Thursday, 2/7
    • 3:00 PM Mexico vs. Cuba
    • 8:00 PM Puerto Rico vs. Dominican Republic
  • Friday, 2/8
    • 3:00 PM Panama vs. Dominican Republic
    • 8:00 PM Venezuela vs. Mexico
  • Saturday, 2/9
    • 1:00 PM Venezuela vs. Cuba
    • 7:00 PM Puerto Rico vs. Panama
  • Sunday, 2/10
    • 4:00 PM Championship Game: Winner Group A vs. Winner Group B

If you’re not sure who to root for, the team rosters are on the MLB site, as well as on ESPN.com. Check out the rosters and you may find some familiar names, such as my favorite former Cuban player, Dariel Alvarez.

Another familiar name, at least to Baltimore Orioles – or Bowie Baysox – fans, is Radhames Liz, who played for Bowie in 2006, 2007, and 2009. Liz was born on October 6, 1983, in El Seibo, Dominican Republic, and is of Haitian descent. The Baltimore Orioles signed him in February 2003 when he was 19 1/2 years old.  Liz has played for Baltimore, San Diego, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee, as well as for teams in the Dominican Republic, Korean, Japan, and, coming this season, China. I’d wondered what happened to him!

Check back on Stat-urday for more on Radhames Liz. In the meantime, enjoy the Series – and see what/who you might discover there!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

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The Series Moves from Venezuela to Panama


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/04/CaribbeanSeries.PNGA LOT has been happening in Venezuela lately – and I do mean a LOT. People are protesting, inflation has spiked, U.S. diplomats were asked to leave, and, oh yes, the leader of the Venezuela’s National Assembly declared himself interim president. Nations around the world are taking sides. The Pope, though carefully not supporting either group in Venezuela, has stated he fears there will be more violence. And all that’s just in the last week.

Amidst all this turmoil, politics and social issues have collided with baseball in Venezuela once again. For the second time in as many years, the Caribbean Series – or Serie del Caribe – has been moved from Venezuela to another location. The 2018 series was supposed to be in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, but was moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, because of concerns about political conditions in the country. The 2019 series, originally scheduled to take place February 2-8 in Barquisimeto, instead will be held February 4-10 in Panama City, Panama.

On Tuesday last week, the president of the Puerto Rican Baseball League (Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente) assured reporters that the Caribbean Series would go on as planned, despite the political problems in Venezuela. However, on Thursday, the members of the Confederación de Béisbol Profesional del Caribe – with the exception of Venezuela – decided that they should not hold the Caribbean Series there and gave themselves 24 hours to find another location or decide to cancel it altogether. Twenty four hours turned into 48 and there was still no decision. Meanwhile, MLB weighed in on the situation and strongly urged their personnel not to travel to Venezuela.

On Sunday, the Commissioner’s Office of the Confederación issued a statement outlining the reasons for moving the series: (1) Venezuela’s announcement that there had been a “usurpation of power” and political coup; (2) Venezuela’s severing of diplomatic ties with the United States, making it impossible for U.S. citizens on the participating teams to obtain visas; and (3) MLB’s recommendations to its players and personnel that they should not travel to or remain in Venezuela. The Confederación noted that it recognized the enormous effort made by the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League in planning for the Caribbean Series and stated that the decision was made only after “profound” analysis of the economic impact and consequences of moving the series to another nation.

Over the weekend, there were several reports of potential locations for the series. Pedro Infante, the Minister of Youth and Sport in Venezuela, continued to assert that Venezuela could ensure the safety of the event. On Monday, he denounced the Confederación’s decision to relocate the series, stating the decision was made under pressure from MLB, which, he argued, reflected the United States’ involvement in the situation in Venezuela.

This is not the first time that conditions in Venezuela have had an impact on baseball and baseball players. A year and a half ago, I wrote about how the situation in Venezuela impacted MLB stars from that country and the dangers they faced when returning home. I will continue to monitor the situation in Venezuela and its sociological impacts on baseball – and I’ll post more on the Serie del Caribe next week.

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

Films on Friday: MLB Tours of Japan


On October 27, 1962, the Detroit Tigers embarked on an 18-game tour of Japan. Detroit was not the first – nor last – team to visit Japan.  MLB players have visited Japan on official tours since 1908. In fact, MLB stars will again tour Japan this November; players expected to be on the tour include: Yasiel Puig, Jose Altuve, and Christina Yelich.

Some of the early tours were caught on film, including Jimmie Foxx’s 1934 tour of Japan with Lou Gehrig, Charlie Gehringer, Lefty Gomez, Connie Mack, and Babe Ruth, among others:

 

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

Films on Friday: The 1983 World Series


It’s been 35 years since the Orioles last won the World Series. On October 16, 1983, the Orioles won Game 5 of the 1983 World Series, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0. You can re-live some of the best moments of the series with the videos below – and reminisce about how the Orioles once were a good team…

 

 

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

What If …


I know this is bad timing, given the results of last night’s game, but yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of “the incident.” You know, that time that the Yankees used a kid to steal the game 1 and the entire 1996 ALCS from the Orioles? This one:

It still makes me cry.

But what if that had never happened? Let your imagination run wild here:

  • Perhaps Rocky Coppinger, losing pitcher of game 4, would have instead gone on to have a long and successful MLB career, instead of being shuttled between the Orioles and their minor league affiliates for three and half more years, then being traded to Milwaukee in July 1999, where, after not playing at all in 2000 due to injuries, he made history by giving up the final home run of Mark McGwire’s ignominious career.
  • 800px-Mike_Mussina_on_September_28,_2007
  • Mussina with the Yankees – not the O’s – in 2007 (photo by Keith Allison, via Wikipedia)
  • Maybe Mike Mussina, El Traidor, wouldn’t have ended up signing with the Yankees 5 years later. (And maybe he’d have gotten into the Hall of Fame after a fabulous career with the Orioles.)
  • Maybe Todd Zeile would have stayed with the Orioles instead of bouncing around for eight more years with eight more teams before becoming an actor. (Where IS he now?)
  • Perhaps Manny Alexander wouldn’t have been traded before the start of the next season, ultimately ending up with the Boston Red Sox in 2000 where he loaned the bat boy his Mercedes who was then arrested for possession of steroid (found in the glove compartment of said Mercedes), thus destroying the bat boy’s baseball career. (The charges were later dropped, but the damage was done.)
  • Maybe, just maybe, the Orioles would have have gone on to the World Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves, and continuing to have winning season for the next 22 years, thus, not having the worst season in Orioles history this year.

Guess we’ll never know.

~ baseballrebecca

Who to Root for this Postseason


708px-Jonathan_Schoop_on_September_26,_2013

Jonathan Schoop, 2013 (photo by Keith Allison, via Wikipedia)

So, the National League Division Series (NLDS) begins today. And the American League Division Series (ALDS) begins tomorrow. Even though my favorite teams might not be playing this postseason, I can always pretend.

For starters, if you’re an O’s fan looking for an excuse to root for the Brewers (and former Oriole Jonathan Schoop), the two teams share a common lineage. The Orioles were, in fact, “born” in Milwaukee. The 1901 Milwaukee Brewers, who finished eighth in the American League that year, moved to St. Louis in 1902 and became the St. Louis Browns. Five decades later the team moved again, this time to Baltimore, where they became the Baltimore Orioles. (Of course, the current Brewers team started out as the Seattle Pilots before moving to Milwaukee after the Milwaukee Braves departed in 1965 for Atlanta (after first moving from Boston to Milwaukee in 1953).

If that’s too complicated, just think about all of the former Orioles who will be playing in the NLDS. The series features the Dodgers v. the Braves and the Brewers v. Rockies. How many former Orioles will be playing? Quite a few, actually:

  1. 13 - Machado 2Matt Albers, P, Brewers
  2. Wade Miley, P, Brewers
  3. Jonathan Schoop, IF, Brewers
  4. Manny Machado, IF, Dodgers
  5. Justin Turner, IF, Dodgers
  6. Brad Brach, P, Braves
  7. Kevin Gausman, P, Braves
  8. Ryan Flaherty, IF, Braves
  9. Nick Markakis, OF, Braves

And let’s not forget about my other favorite team, the Washington Nationals. The Brewers have two former Nats, including one of my all-time favorite pitchers, Gio Gonzalez (the other being Matt Albers, who also is listed above as a former Oriole). In addition, the Dodgers have Ryan Madson, the Braves have Kurt Suzuki, and the Rockies have Ian Desmond.

For the ALDS it will be the Indians v. the Astros and the Red Sox v. the Yankees. A handful of former Orioles will be playing (Eduardo Rodriguez, former Orioles minor leaguer; Steve Pearce; Andrew Miller; and Zach Britton), as well as a few former Nats (Sandy Leon, former Nats minor leaguer; Oliver Perez; and A.J. Cole).

Even if you aren’t an O’s or Nats fan, you can use the same logic to determine which teams to root for this postseason if your favorite isn’t in the running. If that doesn’t work, you can always fall on classic reasons like rooting for a city you like, the team with the best uniform colors, the underdog, or even the team with the best players, best record, etc.

So, if your favorite teams aren’t playing this postseason, you have options for finding another team to root for.

Happy postseason!

~ baseballrebecca

NASA and the All-Star Game


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Astronaut Terry Virts, April 15, 2015 (photo courtesy of NASA.gov)

Even NASA got in on the fun at the All-Star Game yesterday. Check out NASA’s tweet below and the video from the NASA Administrator.

~ baseballrebecca