Archive for July, 2008

USA finalizes Olympic roster

July 24th, 2008

Finally, USA Baseball announced the 24th member of its 2008 Olympic Team, and also the three replacements for players named to the initial roster.

Colorado Rockies second baseman Jayson Nix (Midland, Texas) was named as the 24th player to the roster. Currently in Triple-A Colorado Springs, Nix has spent time with the Major League club this season, hitting .125 with two runs, two RBI and a stolen base.

USA Baseball honored Nix with the 2007 Richard W. “Dick” Case Award for his play on the USA Baseball World Cup Team last November. The award recognizes USA Baseball’s Athlete of the Year and honors the organization’s founding Executive Director/CEO. The Rockies prospect went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs, a run scored and a walk in a 6-3 win over Cuba in the World Cup gold-medal final in Taipei, Taiwan. In winning the gold, the U.S. snapped a 33-year winless streak at the World Cup, and it ended a run of nine consecutive championships for Cuba.

Also named to the team are Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jeremy Cummings, Minnesota Twins pitcher Brian Duensing and San Francisco Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz. The three players were added as replacements for Chicago White Sox pitcher Clayton Richard and San Francisco Giants pitcher Geno Espineli — both of whom were recently called-up by their Major League clubs — and St. Louis Cardinals OF Colby Rasmus who is injured.

Duensing was also a member of the 2007 World Cup Team, going 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA and four strikeouts. He also started the gold-medal final against Cuba, giving up only one earned run with two strikeouts in a no-decision. Duensing is currently pitching for the AAA Rochester Red Wings.

“We are excited to see Nix in the red, white and blue again,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. “Although it hurts to see the three players go, we know we are adding quality players — including Duensing — who we have seen first-hand get the job done against the best international competition.”

Cummings is 7-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 63 strikeouts for the AAA Durham Bulls. He came to Durham following a stint in Taiwan, giving righty experience on the international stage as well. Schierholtz is competing in Triple-A for the Fresno Grizzlies, carrying a .310 average with 13 home runs and 62 RBI. The left-handed hitter was a member of Team USA at the Futures Game in New York during Major League Baseball’s All-Star weekend.

This four players has experience, include MLB and International.

Schierholtz, hitting .310 with 13 homers and 62 RBI at triple-A Fresno, has the most big-league experience of the four, having hit .304 in 112 at-bats last season. Nix and Duensing, meanwhile, both played for Team USA in last fall’s World Cup, when the U.S. beat Cuba to win its first World Cup in 33 years.

Also back on the team is Texas Rangers prospect Taylor Teagarden. The catcher was among the original selections to the team, but lost his spot over the weekend after being called up to the big leagues. When the Rangers optioned him back to the minors on Monday, he wound up back on the Olympic team.

Cuba Announces Olympic Team

July 23rd, 2008

Cuba, the most powerful force of Olympic Baseball, had won three Gold Medal in fourth Olympics, announce the 24-man roster including stars such as Yulieski Gourriel and Norge Luis Vera.

The defending Olympic champion also has Pedro L. Lazo with team, who will be making his record fourth Olympic baseball appearance.

Cuba begins the defense of its gold medal against another gold-medal favorite Japan on August 13.

The traditional powerhouse at the Olympics, Cuba has dealt with some losses since 2006, including a World Baseball Classic defeat to Japan and gold medal losses to the U.S. in the 2007 World Cup and 2006 Americas Olympic qualifying tournament.

The roster is similar as Cuba team at Haarlemse Honkbalweek, but five players left.

Five players were eliminated from the preliminary roster, catcher Yosvany Peraza, infielder Yoandy Garlobo, outfielder Osmani Urrutia – the biggest surprise -, and pitchers Elier Sánchez and Miguel Lahera.

Cuba has won three of the four Olympic gold medals since baseball became a medal sport in 1992 — settling for silver in 2000 when it was upset by the United States.

The roster is:

Catchers: Ariel Pestano, Rolando Meriño, Eriel Sánchez.

Infielders: Alexander Malleta, Héctor Olivera, Yulieski Gourriel, Michel Enríquez, Eduardo Paret, Luis Miguel Navas.

Outfielders: Giorvis Duvergel, Yoandry Urgellés, Alexei Bell, Frederich Cepeda, Alfredo Despaigne

Pitchers: Pedro L. Lazo, Yunieski Maya, Jonder Martínez, Yulieski González, Yadier Pedroso, Vicyohandri Odelín, Adiel Palma, Norberto González, Norge Luis Vera, Luis Miguel Rodríguez.

A Major League Problem for USA Baseball Team

July 22nd, 2008

Before the final roster announce, USA Olympic Baseball Team need to add three more players due to Major League Problem.

The U.S. Olympic baseball team, whose roster was announced last Wednesday, will get together for the first time next week in San Jose, but there will be a few no-shows at the party.

Three players — left-hander Geno Espineli, left-hander Clayton Richard and catcher Taylor Teagarden — all were called up to their major league clubs in recent days, making them ineligible to compete in Beijing.

Players under contract to big-league teams, as well as other professional players, can compete in the Olympic Games — but not if they’re on their club’s 25-man major league roster.

Teagarden was called up Friday by the Texas Rangers, Espineli was promoted on Sunday to the San Francisco Giants, and Richard joined the Chicago White Sox earlier today. All three had been playing in Triple A.

USA Baseball, which had one open roster spot to fill by Tuesday’s deadline for setting Olympic teams, now must find four players. A team spokesman said a final roster will be released on Wednesday.

The good news is, Colorado decide to let one in.

The country, or at least its baseball team, needs infielder Jayson Nix more than the Rockies.

The Rockies designated Nix for assignment Saturday after Team USA asked if the club would make him available for the Olympics in Beijing.

Nix, who is out of Minor League options and has to be exposed to other teams through waivers in order to be sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs, must be on a Minor League roster by Monday to be eligible for the Games.

It was with Team USA that Nix has had his highest baseball moment. In the 2007 International Baseball Federation World Cup in Taipei City, Taiwan, Nix went 12-for-31 with six extra-base hits to lead the U.S. to the gold medal and the earn tournament’s most valuable player honors.

Nix, 25, began the year as the Rockies’ starting second baseman, but he hit .125 (7-for-56) in two stints with the big club. The Rockies called up third baseman Ian Stewart in his place.

All that would stand between Nix and Team USA would be another club claiming him and placing him on its Major League roster.

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said USA Baseball officials talked with Rockies assistant general manager Bill Geivett about acquiring Nix’s services.

“If he gets through [waivers] and has the opportunity to play in the Olympics, I think that adds tremendous value to somebody’s career,” Hurdle said.

Nix, the Rockies top pick (44th overall) in 2001, would give the Rockies’ system three players on Team USA. Center-field prospect Dexter Fowler and right-handed reliever Casey Weathers, the club’s top choice in 2007, also have been chosen.

So does a Twins player.

Triple-A Rochester left-hander Brian Duensing has been named to the U.S. Olympic baseball team.

Duensing is scheduled to join the team on Monday for exhibition games in Durham, N.C., on Aug. 1-3. The team will then fly to Beijing, China, for the start of the Olympic Games.

The Twins prospect, who is 5-10 with a 4.18 ERA in 22 starts for the Red Wings this season, is not unfamiliar with international competition. Duensing pitched for Team USA last November in the IBAF World Cup in Taiwan. He started the gold medal game against Cuba and helped Team USA to pick up its first victory in the event in 33 years. The U.S. victory also ended a streak of nine consecutive gold medals by Cuba.

And another Rays.

Before spring training began in February, Jeremy Cummings had made up his mind that this was going to be his last year in professional baseball.

After all, the former South Charleston High and West Virginia University pitcher had spent the previous nine seasons in the minor leagues without ever receiving a call up to the big leagues.

Cummings, however, might want to reconsider retirement. He was named Monday to the U.S. Olympic baseball roster for next month’s Summer Games in Beijing, China.

“I just got the phone call this morning,” said the 32-year-old Cummings via cell phone Monday evening from the Triple-A Durham Bulls’ locker room. “I was running around trying to find a passport photo all morning and I’ve got to pitch tonight so I’ve been busy. It’s just an honor making the team. You never know what’s going to happen.”

“It was pretty awesome this morning when he told us,” added Jeffery Slack, Cummings’ stepfather, from his home Monday evening in South Charleston. “We were kind of surprised. He was pretty excited. He’s been working hard all of his life. Maybe all of his hard work is going to pay off.”

The U.S. Olympic team named 23 of the 24 players to its roster last week. The San Francisco Giants called up left-handed pitcher Geno Espineli on Sunday, five days after he was named to Olympic team, opening up another roster spot. Former major league manager Davey Johnson will lead the U.S. Olympic squad.

“He’s been in our discussion for several months now,” said Paul Seiler, executive director and chief executive officer of USA Baseball, of Cummings. “He’s been a guy that’s absolutely been on our radar. His numbers speak for themselves. We know what he can do and we’ll figure out what his role is once we get together.”

Since Cummings decided this year would be his last, it has turned out to be one of his best seasons. After getting released by the Toronto Blue Jays out of spring training, Cummings spent two weeks at home before traveling to Taiwan in search of a job.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-hander didn’t have to wait long as the St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays came calling after about a month and in May, Cummings signed with the Rays. He was sent to the Durham (N.C.) Bulls, the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate in the International League.

Cummings posted a 7-2 record with a 2.82 earned run average to earn a spot in last Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game in Louisville, Ky. He struck out two in one inning for the International League All-Stars.

In addition, Cummings, who was married last December, is expecting a child sometime in September.

“Going into the season I planned on this being my last year,” he said. “That might change with all these doors opening. Things happen when you pitch well. There’s nothing really different. [I’m] just getting more outs.

“I’m probably a little bit more relaxed [with] no worries just going out there and having fun. Pitchingwise, I haven’t changed much from what I’ve been doing my whole career. You go in day in [and] day out doing your same routine and I guess finally it all clicks for you.”

Cummings will head to San Jose, Calif., on July 28 for Olympic orientation where he will receive his Team USA uniform. The U.S. Olympic team will then return to Durham, N.C., and play three exhibition games against Canada on Aug. 1-4 before heading to Beijing on Aug. 5. The Olympic baseball competition will take place Aug. 13-23.

Cummings will also walk with other U.S. Olympic team members during the opening ceremonies. This year’s selection to the U.S. Olympic team carries a little more prestige. This is the last time baseball will be an Olympic sport for the foreseeable future.

“I’ve dreamed of it when I was young of being an Olympic athlete,” he said. “I never thought the opportunity would come.”

Seiler said he knew Cummings would be a great addition to Team USA after a meeting in his office several weeks ago.

“I was very impressed with his grasp that this just isn’t something else I got a phone call on,” Seiler said. “This is something special. I’m happy he made the team. I think there’s a lot of character there. If we have a team of 24 Jeremy Cummings, we’re going to be in good shape.”

After playing four years at WVU, Cummings was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 21st round of the 1999 amateur draft. He spent seven years with the Cardinals organization, then played in the Philadelphia Phillies minor league system in 2006 and the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays organizations in 2007. He owns a 68-54 record with a 3.86 ERA in 10 seasons in the minors.

“[Doors are opening] for some kind of reason,” said Cummings, who has played in Triple-A the past three seasons. “I don’t know if it’s God’s will, but they’re happening.”

Maybe MLB will change mind about Olympics

July 21st, 2008

If it will help restore baseball to the Olympic calendar, Major League Baseball is ready to consider releasing major league players.

Baseball and softball will be played at the Beijing Olympics next month but the International Olympic Committee has voted to remove both sports from the Olympic calendar from 2012 onwards.

Among the reasons for the decision has been MLB’s consistent refusal to alter its calendar in order to create a window for major league players to compete.

However, MLB vice-president Bob Watson, who also serves as the general manager of the American national team, revealed as part of the American squad announcement on Wednesday that talks are ongoing between MLB, the IOC and International Baseball Federation.

‘I believe they are trying to work up something, you have a few years to get a plan. There are a lot of moving parts but don’t rule it out,’ Watson said in a conference call.

MLB is still not ready to consider shutting its season down for an extended period, but is studying an idea to schedule an extended All-Star break that would allow a short Olympic tournament to be scheduled.

So if MLB really decide to open, with more strictly drug testing is already under way, the two critical point that IOC wants, there is very good chance that Olympic Baseball will back to 2016, and hope it will come true.

USA announce Olympic Roster

July 16th, 2008

After 2008 MLB All Star Games, USA Baseball announce the 23 of the 24 members of its 2008 Olympic Baseball Team.

The team features 12 pitchers and 11 position players. The 24th member of the Olympic Team will be named in the coming days, ahead of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad’s (BOCOG) July 22 cut-off date.

“We are proud of the ballclub we have assembled,” said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. “The team is strong from top to bottom, and we are confident it will succeed in Beijing. We applaud our coaching staff and selection committee for their tireless work in putting together an excellent team.”

The initial 23-member roster includes Cleveland Indians OF Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.). LaPorta was recently dealt by the Milwaukee Brewers to the Cleveland Indians as the key piece of a trade that brought 2007 A.L. Cy Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia to Milwaukee. Baseball America currently ranks LaPorta as the top prospect in Cleveland’s farm system, and the outfield slugger was also a member of the 2005 USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate).

One special name show up at the list too, and San Diego State righthander Stephen Strasburg, who pitched for USA Baseball’s college national team this summer, went 3-0, 1.33 for that club, striking out 40 and walking four in 27 innings, is the ONLY collegiate player at the final roster.

As a sophomore at San Diego State, Strasburg established himself as the top prospect for the 2009 draft, going 8-3, 1.57 and posting a 133-16 strikeout-walk ledger in 97 innings. He allowed only one home run as he commanded a mid-to-high 90s fastball that regularly hit 99 mph and a power slider.

Strasburg made national headlines this year following a 23-strikeout performance against Utah on April 11, 2008, that was part of a breakthrough sophomore campaign. The 19-year-old righty, who turns 20 on Sunday, is currently anchoring the pitching staff on the 2008 USA Baseball National Team. The team of collegiate all-stars is fresh off a first-place finish at Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands, which included two victories over the Cuban National Team.

“Our reports from (Team USA college national general manager) Eric Campbell were very good. He was on our radar before this summer. He throws high 90s and he throws strikes. He pounds the strike zone awfully good and he was lights out in the tournament. He’s one of my starters,” Team USA manager Davey Johnson said.

Not only prospect and collegiate player, the Olympic Team is laden with veteran talent — 14 players are currently playing at the Triple-A. Seven players are in Double-A, one in Class A and one at the collegiate level.

Bob Watson, USA Baseball General Manager of Professional Teams said that they were looking for a roster of experienced players.

“We knew going in that we wanted a veteran club, a team of guys who have been battle-tested, so to speak,” Watson said. “But we wanted younger prospects as well, guys with the fire to go out and showcase their talents on the international stage.”

The lineup also features several Triple-A veterans with some big league experience, such as corner infielder Terry Tiffee (Dodgers), who’s hitting .393 to lead the Pacific Coast League; third baseman Mike Hessman (Tigers), whose 30 homers rank second in the minors; outfielder John Gall (Marlins), a veteran of the college national team from his college days at Stanford; and righhanders Mike Koplove (Dodgers) and Blaine Neal (Tigers).

Power arms is easy to see at this roster.

Power arms have proven vital for Team USA in past international tournaments, including recent gold-medal victories in the 2007 World Cup and 2006 Olympic qualifier. Strasburg has the biggest arm on the roster but not the only one, as a quartet of young starters likely will join him in the rotation: Athletics farmhands Brett Anderson, a lefthander, and Trevor Cahill, a righthander, along with Orioles righthander Jake Arrieta and White Sox lefthander Clayton Richard. All four pitched well in Sunday’s Futures Game, as did reliever Casey Weathers (Rockies), who competes with Strasburg for the title of the team’s hardest thrower. He topped out at 98 mph in the Futures Game.

For the bullpen, Johnson has difference view and idea.

Johnson said that he plans to divide his bullpen into two sections. While the closer, which could be Weathers or Indians righthander Jeff Stevens, will pitch whenever needed, the rest of the bullpen will likely be divided into pitchers who are used every other day. Righthander Brandon Knight, a pitcher with experience pitching in Japan, will likely serve as a long reliever while also giving the bullpen some experience.

“That’s how I’ve always done it,” Johnson said. “Relievers are setup to pitch every other day. You want to give them a day’s rest. If you have a great (group) a and (group) b you always send a guy up there that is pretty fresh.”

Manager and coach is also one of the best.

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Baseball Team will be led by Manager Davey Johnson (Winter Park, Fla.). Johnson returns to USA Baseball on the heels of a gold medal-winning performance last November at the 2007 IBAF Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. That team included All-Star Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, as well as two players named to the Olympic roster: St. Louis Cardinal outfielder Colby Rasmus (Columbus, Ga.) and Cleveland Indians right-handed pitcher Jeff Stevens (Berkeley, Calif.).

Johnson will be joined by the same coaches he has worked with at USA Baseball since the 2005 IBAF Baseball World Cup. Marcel Lachemann (Penryn, Calif.) is the team’s pitching coach, and Reggie Smith (Woodland Hills, Calif.) will act as the hitting coach. Third-base coach Rick Eckstein (Sanford, Fla.) and auxiliary coaches Dick Cooke (Davidson, N.C.) and Rolando de Armas (Palm Harbor, Fla.) round out the staff.

“We have an unbelievable coaching staff,” said Johnson, who in addition to his international accomplishments, also achieved wide-spread success as player and coach in the big leagues, including leading the 1986 New York Mets to a World Series title.

“We have worked together for over three years now and across several international tournaments. With the staff’s help, I think we achieved the well-balanced lineup that is critical for Olympic success.”

USA Baseball alumni is easy to see at the roster.

In addition to LaPorta, Strasburg, Rasmus, and Stevens, the Olympic Team also features five other USA Baseball alumni: Oakland Athletics left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson (Midland, Tex.; 2005 18U, 2004 16U), Baltimore Orioles right-handed pitcher Jake Arietta (Farmington, Mo.; 2006 National), Florida Marlins outfielder John Gall (Stanford, Calif.; 1998-99 National), Texas Rangers catcher Taylor Teagarden (Dallas, Tex.; 2004 National), and Colorado Rockies right-handed pitcher Casey Weathers (Elk Grove, Calif.; 2006 National).

LaPorta, Anderson, Arietta, Teagarden and Weathers were also members of the 2008 XM Future Stars USA Team during Major League Baseball’s All-Star weekend. The game, which saw the U.S. fall to the World Team 3-0, acted as an Olympic Trials event for Johnson and his staff. Trevor Cahill (Oceanside, Calif.), Jason Donald (Fresno, Calif.), Dexter Fowler (Atlanta, Ga.) and Clayton Richard (Lafayette, Ind.) were also members of the Futures Team who are on the Olympic roster.

For a team who lead by Tommy Lasorda and featuring Ben Sheets and Roy Oswalt to won the gold medal over Cuba in Sydney 2000, they rather not to think about other Olympics, include finished fourth (Barcelona, 1992), third (bronze, Atlanta, 1996) and did not qualify for the Athens Games in 2004.

And one question remain.

With only 23 players named, Team USA still has one spot left open. General manager Bob Watson said that they hope to fill the final roster spot shortly. The roster doesn’t have to be officially finalized until July 22. And with trades and callups still on the horizon, it is possible that some of the players named today will not be headed to Beijing.

“The trading deadline is July 31,” Watson said. “Just like Matt was traded from Milwaukee to Cleveland, we have some players who might be included in one or more deals. We just hope the club who is getting the player will have the mentality to let us have him, like Cleveland has with Matt.”

Below is the roster list

Name Pos B/T Ht. Wt. Hometown
Anderson, Brett P L/L 6-4 215 Midland, TX
Arrieta, Jake P R/R 6-4 225 Farmington, MO
Barden, Brian IF R/R 5-11 185 Templeton, CA
Brown, Matthew IF R/R 6-0 200 Bellevue, WA
Cahill, Trevor P R/R 6-3 195 Oceanside, CA
Donald, Jason IF R/R 6-1 190 Fresno, CA
Espineli, Geno P L/L 6-4 195 Houston, TX
Fowler, Dexter OF S/R 6-4 175 Atlanta, GA
Gall, John OF R/R 6-0 195 Stanford, CA
Hessman, Mike IF R/R 6-5 215 Fountain Valley, CA
Jepsen, Kevin P R/R 6-3 215 Anaheim, CA
Knight, Brandon P L/R 6-0 195 Oxnard, CA
Koplove, Mike P R/R 6-0 160 Philadelphia, PA
LaPorta, Matt OF R/R 6-2 210 Port Charlotte, FL
Marson, Lou C R/R 6-1 200 Scottsdale, AZ
Neal, Blaine P L/R 6-5 240 Marlton, NJ
Rasmus, Colby OF L/L 6-2 195 Columbus, GA
Richard, Clayton P L/L 6-5 240 Lafayette, IN
Stevens, Jeff P R/R 6-2 205 Berkeley, CA
Strasburg, Stephen P R/R 6-5 215 San Diego, CA
Teagarden, Taylor C R/R 6-1 200 Dallas, TX
Tiffee, Terry IF S/R 6-3 215 North Little Rock, AR
Weathers, Casey P R/R 6-1 200 Elk Grove, CA

Netherlands announce Olympic Roster

July 14th, 2008

After Haarlem Honkbalweek finished, Manger Robert Eenhoorn of Nederlands announce the Final 24 man roster of 2008 Olympic Team.

The Roster is:
Pitcher:
– David Bergman (Corendon Kinheim)
– Leon Boyd (DOOR Neptunus)
– Rob Cordemans (Sparta/Feyenoord)
– Michiel van Kampen (Corendon Kinheim)
– Diegomar Markwell (DOOR Neptunus)
– Shairon Martis (Columbus Clippers, USA)
– Loek van Mil (Beloit Snappers, USA)
– Alexander Smit (Sarasoto Reds, USA)
– Juan Carlos Sulbaran (American Heritage, USA)
– Pim Walsma (L&D Amsterdam Pirates)

Catcher:
– Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates)
– Tjerk Smeets (Corendon Kinheim)

Infielder:
– Sharnol Adriana (Rojos del Aguilla de Veracruz, Mexico)
– Yurendell de Caster (Columbus Clippers, USA)
– Michael Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers)
– Percy Isenia (Sparta/Feyenoord)
– Roel Koolen (Corendon Kinheim)
– Raily Legito (DOOR Neptunus)
– Jeroen Sluijter (DOOR Neptunus)

Outfielder:
– Bryan Engelhardt (Corendon Kinheim)
– Eugene Kingsale (DOOR Neptunus)
– Dirk van ’t Klooster (Corendon Kinheim)
– Martijn Meeuwis (DOOR Neptunus)
– Danny Rombley (Corendon Kinheim)

The staff is:
Robert Eenhoorn – manager
Brian Farley – pitching coach
Wim Martinus – 1st base coach
Jack Hubbard – 3rd base coach
Paul van den Oever – coach
Martijn van Berkel – sportfysiotherapeut
Rob Tamminga – sportfysiotherapeut
Kees Sleegers – teamleider
Steve Matthew – scout
Frans Bergman – materiaal

Netherlands Team will leave on July 26th to Korea and play five warmup games with Korea Olympic Team, then travel to Beijing on August 8th and play two games with Canada Olympic Team before 2008 Beijing Olympic Games begin.

Canada Announces 2008 Olympic Team

July 11th, 2008

Baseball Canada just Announces the 2008 Olympic Team, they released the 24 man rosters(including six returning players from the 2004 Olympic team that finished fourth in Athens.), four coaches and four support staff members that will represent Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing August 13-24.

“This is a tremendous time for Baseball Canada and we are very excited about our Olympic team,” says Ray Carter, the association’s president. “The Olympic Games are the pinnacle of competition and to represent our country this summer is a great honor we hold very dear.”

“Selecting this team has been a challenging process, but we’re anxious to get going and have high hopes for our team in Beijing,” says Greg Hamilton, Baseball Canada’s Director of National Teams.

A total of 15 players on the team and the entire coaching staff and three of the four support staff are returning together after participating in last March’s Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Taichung, Taiwan, where Canada finished first in the eight-team tournament to claim one of three remaining berths to the Olympics.

This summer’s Olympic team will be managed by Terry Puhl, who played 15 seasons in the majors and who led the Canadian team at the 2007 IBAF World Cup in Taipei, Taiwan and the Final Olympic Qualifier team in Taichung, Taiwan.

“We have a very good mix of experience and youth on this ball club,” says Puhl. “The World Cup and Qualifier was a chance to give our younger guys some invaluable international experience and I believe that this team is more than capable of winning a medal.”

Baseball Canada’s Olympic team will convene in Toronto on July 28 to begin its Olympic training camp. The team will participate in a golf tournament which will be open to the media at Lionhead Golf & Country Club on July 29 at 8:30 am and will hold a practice open to the media on July 30 at Connorvale Park in Etobicoke from 3:00-6:30 pm.

The Canadian team will then participate in a pre-Olympic exhibition series from August 1-4 in Cary, North Carolina and Durham, North Carolina against the U.S. Olympic Team, followed by a pair of exhibition games against the Netherlands on August 9 and 10 in Beijing in preparation for the Summer Games, which will include the U.S., the Dutch, Cuba, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea in the baseball event.

Here is Chinese Version.

Nate Schierholtz, Chris Valaika & Mike Hessman is possible for USA

July 9th, 2008

For the second straight year, Toledo Mud Hens’ third baseman Mike Hessman has been invited to participate in the 2008 Triple-A All-Star game’s home run derby, and he is one of the possibility for Team USA in Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

So does Fresno Grizzlies right fielder Nate Schierholtz.

Fresno Grizzlies right fielder Nate Schierholtz didn’t do anything special Wednesday night, he did what he normally does. And that’s why he’s a candidate for the U.S. Olympic baseball team.

Schierholtz drove in two runs to tie the score in the ninth inning and Scott McClain ended the game with a run-scoring single to center field to give the Grizzlies their fifth straight win, 8-7, against the Portland Beavers at Chukchansi Park. It was Fresno’s third walk-off victory in four games.

Schierholtz went to the plate with the bases loaded and the pitcher pressing. His hit to right field began hooking toward the chalk.

“I was just hoping it would stay fair,” Schierholtz said. “I guess it hit the line. The umpire told me I hit it in just the right spot. I guess it was my lucky night.”

Or just another ordinary night.

Coming into the game he was batting, .293 with 53 RBIs, 12 home runs, nine triples, 18 walks and nine stolen bases. He went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Some say the only reason he’s not in the majors is because Randy Winn is playing right field for the parent San Francisco Giants. (Ironically, Winn and Schierholtz both went to San Ramon Valley High.)

“He’s a total package waiting to be opened up,” Grizzlies manager Dan Rohn said. “Hopefully he gets a chance here pretty soon.”

That’s why Schierholtz called his situation win-win. If he doesn’t make the Olympic team, he can come back to Fresno and concentrate on getting called up.

He’s eligible for the U.S. Olympic baseball team because he was chosen for the Futures Game, which takes place Sunday at Yankee Stadium. The Olympic team roster will be finalized July 16.

Until then he’ll enjoy his time at Yankee Stadium.

“It’s going to be pretty neat to play where the Babe and everyone played,” Schierholtz said. “I know it’s only one day, but it’ll be a day I bring my camera and have a lot of fun.”

And Chattanooga Lookouts shortstop Chris Valaika.

A Hart baseball product has a shot at being named to the U.S. Olympic baseball team, which will play in Beijing, China.

Whether he ends up being chosen or not, Chris Valaika will play in one of the shrines of Major League Baseball.

On Thursday, Valaika was named to the Team USA roster to play in the XM All-Star Futures Game. On July 13, he will play in Yankee Stadium, in a game against the World Team that is part of All-Star Sunday.

Valaika plays shortstop for the Chattanooga Lookouts, a Class AA-level team of the Cincinnati Reds.

“That’s big-time,” said Hart High School baseball head coach Jim Ozella said. “It qualifies him to make it to the U.S. Olympic team. Pro people think very highly of him.”

Valaika is hitting .269 for Chattanooga and .311 overall with 11 home runs this season. He was called up after hitting .363 with Saratoga in the Florida State League.

“He’s rising to the challenge,” Ozella said.

Valaika holds the Hart Indians’ school record for most career home runs with 18.

He earned All-Foothill League honors his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He received first team All-State and first team All-CIF honors as a junior and senior.

Valaika was drafted by the Reds in the third round of the 2006 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

He won gold medals at the Pan-Am Games in Santo Domingo and at the 2004 World Championship in Taiwan.

Valaika also played for UC Santa Barbara, where he was named Big West Freshman of the Year.

Looks like more challenge for other teams.

Matt Rogelstad is expected in Team Canada

July 9th, 2008

From BOB MACKIN, 24 of 24 Hours Vancouver, New Westminster’s Matt Rogelstad is expected to be named third baseman for Canada’s Olympic baseball team.

“The excitement’s definitely building and I’m getting antsy,” Rogelstad told the Potomac News, which said Baseball Canada has sought Rogelstad’s temporary release from the Washington Nationals’ organization to play in the Beijing Games. Rogelstad was promoted yesterday from the single A Potomac Nationals to the double A Harrisburg Senators.

And Robert Daski of Potomac News has more.

As it gets closer to the day when Matt Rogelstad boards a flight for Beijing, he gets giddy when speaking of the opportunity he has to play in the Olympics.
“The excitement’s definitely building and I’m getting antsy,” the Potomac Nationals’ infielder said.
Rogelstad, who is from New Westminster in British Columbia, is likely to play third base for Canada in the Olympic Games. Canada’s roster is supposed to be officially released in the next day or so.
A Canadian baseball representative has contacted Washington Nationals officials to request Rogelstad’s services for the Olympics and Washington officials have granted him permission to play in the games.
“We anticipate he will be selected for the team,” Washington director of player development Bobby Wil-liams said.

If so, Rogelstad is imagining what it will be like.
“There will be a little bit of nerves, but as an athlete you try and find ways to minimize them and remain re-laxed,” Rogelstad said. “That’s the key. It’s the same game being played over there as I’m playing right here.”
Rogelstad will leave for Toronto on July 28 for three days of team functions and then the Canadian team will travel to North Carolina for a four-day exhibition series against the United States before departing for Beijing.
Rogelstad anticipates marching in the opening ceremonies on Aug. 8. It is then when he will realize the meaning of being an Olympian.
“I don’t think it’ll hit me until the opening ceremonies when we walk into the tunnel in front of 120,000 peo-ple or whatever it is,” Rogelstad said. “The light bulbs will be flashing everywhere and there will be a couple billion people watching on T.V.”
Canada opens play on Aug. 13 against China. It seeks to erase the disappointment of finishing fourth at the 2004 games.
“We have a lot of power in our lineup with the bats and some good pitching,” Rogelstad said. “In a short tournament like this, it’s a sprint to the finish line and anyone can beat anyone on any given day. I think we’ve got a great shot.”
Eight teams, including the United States, participate in the competition. The top four finishers in the pre-liminary round advance to the semifinals on Aug. 22. The gold medal game is Aug. 23.
Rogelstad has much to offer his team. He hit .360 with two home runs during the Olympic qualifying tour-nament. He is hitting .274 with eight home runs and 39 RBI for Potomac and was a 2008 Carolina League All-Star.
Potomac’s postseason will be a week away when he returns. Potomac is a playoff team, having won the Northern Division in the first half and Rogelstad will try to stay focused.
“It’s going to be pretty intense overseas, so you try to maintain it coming back,” Rogelstad said. “But you try to look at the positive side and that we are a playoff team, so we’ll have the playoffs to look forward to when I come back.”

USA Olympic Team to practice at Santa Clara

July 8th, 2008

Acccording to CSTV, USA Olympic Baseball Team will practice at Santa Clara on July 29 and it is FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC.

South Bay area baseball fans will have a chance to see the USA Olympic Baseball team up close and personal on Tues., July 29 when the USA team practices at Schott Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. The practice is free and open to the public.

Fans may bring items to be signed by the Olympic team at the autograph session immediately following the practice. Fans will be allowed on the field to mingle with USA team coaches and team members during the autograph session.

The team will be arriving at Schott Stadium between 2:30-3:00pm on July 29th. The practice plan will begin with defensive work and then the team will take batting practice.

The USA Baseball Team won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

It’s a good chance to get items to be signed.

Next »

澳门赌场(http://www.zxin100.com/dc/)澳门博彩(http://www.zxin100.com/bcw/)百家乐技巧(http://www.zxin100.com/bjl/)网络赌博(http://www.zxin100.com/dc/)大发888(http://www.zxin100.com/dafayule/)博彩评级(http://www.zxin100.com/bcw/)百家乐玩法(http://www.zxin100.com/bjl/)888娱乐(http://www.zxin100.com/dafayule/)网上赌博(http://www.zxin100.com/dc/)博彩公司(http://www.zxin100.com/bcw/)百家乐官网(http://www.zxin100.com/bjl/)博彩网站大全(http://www.zxin100.com/bcw/)澳门赌博技巧(http://www.zxin100.com/dc/) 娱乐城[http://q.weibo.com/1331924] 大发888[http://q.weibo.com/1742311] 红心棋牌[http://q.weibo.com/2055033] 娱乐城[http://q.weibo.com/2058692] 银河国际[http://q.weibo.com/1862504] 时时彩平台[http://q.weibo.com/1265068] 足球投注[http://q.weibo.com/1646857] 博彩网站[http://q.weibo.com/1929473] 澳门百家乐[http://q.weibo.com/1982745] 澳门娱乐城[http://q.weibo.com/1341582] 网上赌博[http://q.weibo.com/1917750] 网上百家乐[http://q.weibo.com/1053298] 真钱棋牌[http://q.weibo.com/1302599] 皇冠现金[http://q.weibo.com/1017073] 体育博彩[http://q.weibo.com/1604864]