Final Olympic Qualifier is over!

March 14th, 2008

After eight days of competition, IBAF Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament is over, South Korea, Canada, Taiwan qualify for Beijing Olympics baseball, Canada finishes first, Taiwan loses to South Korea, finishes third.

“The goal coming in was to qualify for the Olympics,” said Canadian starter Brooks McNiven of Vancouver, “and open everybody else’s eyes that we’re not just cruising into this but that we’re here to win.”

2004 Olympic silver medal winner Australia miss even with a win over South Africa.

“It was tough going out there today and that could certainly be classed as one of the ugliest wins of all time, but there were a few things there really worth noting,” manager Jon Deeble said. “We could very well look back at that game for producing things like James Linger’s first hit for Australia and Brad Tippett’s first win, two things youre likely to see a lot more of for many years to come.”

2008 IBAF Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament Final Recap is here.

Game 25 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mexico 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 6 0
Spain 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0

WP: Alvarez Ramirez (1-1) LP: Gutierrez Gutierrez (0-1)

RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 26 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Australia 4 0 3 2 0 0 3 1 0 13 14 4
South Africa 0 7 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 11 14 1

WP: Tippet (1-0) LP: Townend (0-1) HR: Luke Hughes

RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 27 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Korea 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 2
Chinese Taipei 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 7 2

WP: Kim, K. H. (2-0) LP: Lee C.-C. (0-1)

RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 28 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Germany 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
Canada 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 1

WP: Green (2-0) LP: Fries (1-1)

RECAP BOX SCORE

Final Standing (2008/3/14)

COUNTRY GP WO LO AVE GB
KOREA 7 6 1 857 – (QUALIFYED)
CANADA 7 6 1 857 – (QUALIFYED)
CHINESE TAIPEI 7 5 2 714 1.0(QUALIFYED)
MEXICO 7 4 3 571 2.0
AUSTRALIA 7 4 3 571 2.0
GERMANY 7 2 5 286 4.0
SPAIN 7 1 6 143 5.0
SOUTH AFRICA 7 0 7 0 6.0

Korea, Canada and Chinese Taipei got the qualification

March 13th, 2008

Before last day of IBAF Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Canada and Chinese Taipei won and get the tickets to Beijing, join the Korea who advanced a day early to 2008 Olympics.

The three team will joined the United States, host China, Cuba, Japan and the Netherlands at the Beijing Games 2008 Olympics.

Official Recap is here.

Game 21 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
Australia 3 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 ? 9 13 0

WP: Mowday (1-0) LP: Hernandez Diaz (0-2) HR: Ben Risinger (2inning, 3 runs)

RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mexico 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 7 1
Germany 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2

WP: Ortega Salinas (1-1) LP: Marquez Ramirez (1-1) HR: Carlos Valencia (9inning, 1 run)

RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 23 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Korea 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 8 1
Canada 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 ? 4 9 2

WP: Richmond, S. (2-0) LP: Ryu (0-1) HR: Mattew Rogelstad (2, 1inning, runs), Nicholas Weglarz (3, 4 inning, 1 run)

RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 24 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chinese Taipei 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 0 4 5 2
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2

WP: Chiang (2-1) LP: Armitage (0-2) HR: Chih-Hsien Chiang (7 inning, 1 run)

RECAP BOX SCORE

Current Standing (2008/3/13)

COUNTRY GP WO LO AVE GB
KOREA 6 5 1 833
CANADA 6 5 1 833
CHINESE TAIPEI 6 5 1 833
MEXICO 6 3 3 500 2.0
AUSTRALIA 6 3 3 500 2.0
GERMANY 6 2 4 333 3.0
SPAIN 6 1 5 167 4.0
SOUTH AFRICA 6 0 6 0 5.0

Final three teams almost reveal

March 12th, 2008

After one day rest, Korea get the ticket to Beijing by winning five streak, Virtually Clinches the Olympic Berth. And Canada also closing in on a trip to Beijing Games, won a ticket by thumps Spain in Olympic baseball qualifier.

Taiwan shuts out Australia in crucial games, clears way to Olympic Games, a win against South Africa will assure Taiwan of a spot in the Olympics.

For Australia, life is not so good, especially after they lost to Chinese Taipei. They need to beat Spain and South Africa and rely on Canada dropping their final games against Korea and minnows Germany. NATIONAL coach Jon Deeble has slammed the international baseball federation and accused rival countries of conspiring to ensure reigning Olympic silver medallists Australia didn’t qualify for Beijing.

Game 17 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Germany 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0
Korea 2 3 0 6 1 0 12 10 0

WP: Son, M. H. (2-0) LP: Henkenjohann (0-2) HR: Donald Lutz (2 inning, 1 run)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Canada 4 0 1 4 0 2 11 12 1

WP: Periard (2-0) LP: Leal (0-1) HR: Nicholas Weglarz (2, 3 inning, 1 run)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 19 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
Mexico 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 2 ? 5 9 0

WP: Campos Machado (1-0) LP: Mostert (0-1) HR: Karim Garcia 2 (1, 4inning 2runs, 2, 8inning 2 runs)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2
Chinese Taipei 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 ? 5 7 1

WP: Yang (2-0) LP: Mildren (1-1)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Current Standing (2008/3/12)

COUNTRY GP WO LO AVE GB
KOREA 5 5 0 1.000
CANADA 5 4 1 800 1.0
CHINESE TAIPEI 5 4 1 800 1.0
AUSTRALIA 5 2 3 400 3.0
GERMANY 5 2 3 400 3.0
MEXICO 5 2 3 400 3.0
SPAIN 5 1 4 200 4.0
SOUTH AFRICA 5 0 5 0 5.0

Korea remain unbeaten

March 10th, 2008

After four days of IBAF Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Korea is 4-0 and the only team remain unbeaten, and 5 to 6 to Canada is a heart breaking lost for Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), and Canada improve 3-1 at Olympic Qualifier, Mexico finally got first win.

Of course, host Taiwan keen to secure Beijing baseball berth.

“Baseball is the sport we pay most attention to,” an official with the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee told reporters. “It’s best if we can get in, otherwise we won’t care about the Olympics as much.” “Baseball is so important that if we’re not in the Olympics, people will be very disappointed,” said Richard Lin, secretary general of the island’s Amateur Baseball Association. “It’s our national sport and this chance at the Olympics is hard to get.”

Official Recap is here.

Game 13 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
South Africa 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 0
Germany 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 ? 4 10 1

WP: Fries (1-0) LP: Terry (0-1)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 14 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Korea 1 0 1 5 1 2 1 3 0 14 16 1
Spain 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 5 11 1

WP: S. W. Kim (1-0) LP: Olivera Cavero (0-1) HR: Seung Yuop Lee (2, 8 inning, 2 runs)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Canada 0 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 6 16 2
Chinese Taipei 2 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 5 10 1

WP: Green (1-0) LP: Chiang (1-1) HR: Nicholas Weglarz (6 inning, 1 run), KUO-HUI LO (2, 6inning, 3 runs)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mexico 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 1 7 11 1
Australia 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 4 11 1

WP: Silva Sandoval (1-0) LP: Bright (0-1)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Current Standing (2008/3/10)

COUNTRY GP WO LO AVE GB
KOREA 4 4 0 1.000
CANADA 4 3 1 750 1.0
CHINESE TAIPEI 4 3 1 750 1.0
AUSTRALIA 4 2 2 667 2.0
GERMANY 4 2 2 500 2.0
SPAIN 4 1 3 250 3.0
MEXICO 4 1 3 0 4.0
SOUTH AFRICA 4 0 4 0 4.0

Korea and Chinese Taipei got three wins

March 9th, 2008

Day three of the 2008 IBAF Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament is ended, Australia still in the baseball action, Taiwan downs Germany according to CNA and Taipei Times, CBC sports and Canadian press write about Canada’s baseball team loses, and Korea won again.

The official recap is here.

Game 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chinese Taipei 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 9 0
Germany 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1

WP: Chang (1-0) LP: Hughes (0-1)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Canada 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 5 8 1
Australia 0 0 4 0 4 0 0 2 ? 10 14 1

WP: Kent (1-0) LP: McNiven (0-1) HR: James Van Ostrand (2 inning, 1
run), Mattew Rogelstad (7 inning, 2 runs), Ryan Radmanovich (8 inning, 2runs)

RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 11 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Spain 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 5 1
South Africa 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1

WP: Leal Gonzalez (1-0) LP: Armitage (0-1)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Mexico 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 7 1
Korea 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 4 ? 6 10 0

WP: K. H. Kim (1-0) LP: Silva Escalante (0-1) HR: Miguel Ojeda (5 inning, 1 run)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Current standing (2008/3/9)
COUNTRY GP WO LO AVE GB
KOREA 3 3 0 1.000
CHINESE TAIPEI 3 3 0 1.000
AUSTRALIA 3 2 1 667 1.0
CANADA 3 2 1 667 1.0
GERMANY 3 1 2 333 2.0
SPAIN 3 1 2 333 2.0
MEXICO 3 0 3 0 3.0
SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 3 0 3.0

Canada, Korea and Chinese Taipei get the second win

March 8th, 2008

On the second day of the Final Olympic Qualifier, Canada, Korea, Chinese Taipei and Germany Win, but South Africa, Australia, Mexico and Spain lost.

Baseball America let us know more about players from minor league, and The China Post describe detail on Chinese Taipei beat Mexico, Seung-woo Kang of The Korea Times wrote an article about Korea hammers Australia, you can also get the game recap form IBAF new official websites.

Game 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ? ? 0 5 1
Canada 0 0 1 2 6 0 1 ? ? 10 10 0

WP: Periard (1-0) LP: Dancer (0-1) HR: Chris Robinson (1, 7inning)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Chinese Taipei 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 6 13 0
Mexico 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 7 0

WP: Yang (1-0) LP: Ortega (0-1)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Australia 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 ? ? 2 10 0
Korea 4 2 4 6 0 0 ? ? ? 16 13 1

WP: Ryu (1-0) LP: Wiltshire (0-1) HR: Seung Yuop Lee (1, 3 inning, 3Runs)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Game 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Germany 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 7 0
Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0

WP: Marquez-Ramirez (1-0) LP: Hernandez (0-1) HR: Sascha Lutz (1, 8inning)
RECAP BOX SCORE

Current standing (2008/3/8)

TEAM W-L    PCT.    GB
CANADA 2-0    1.000    —
CHINESE TAIPEI 2-0    1.000    —
KOREA 2-0    1.000    —
AUSTRALIA 1-1    0.500    1.00
GERMANY 1-1    0.500    1.0
MEXICO 0-2    0.000    2.0
SOUTH AFRICA 0-2    0.000    2.0
SPAIN 0-2    0.000    2.0

Korea is happy about their first win

March 8th, 2008

The first step is the most important.” Korean national baseball team manager Gyeong-moon Kim said.

He also mention that he would use starting pitcher Sun-woo Kim (Doosan) as a relief pitcher. Kim will be the starting pitcher in the game against Spain on Mar. 10 and Min-han Son will be the starter in the game against Germany on Mar. 12. But Kim could be brought in as a relief pitcher as a crucial closer.

Korea defeated South Africa 5-0 at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taiwan on Friday. Son stuck out seven batters in six innings with one hit and no loss. Kim had no hit and no loss in two innings. Kyu-min Woo pitched for one scoreless innings to complete the shutout.

The Koreans pounded South African starter Robert Verschuren early, opening their account on an RBI double by Seung-yeop Lee in the first inning. They added two runs in the third inning on consecutive doubles by Dong-joo Kim and Dae-ho Lee, and Taek-geun Lee drove Kim home with an RBI single in the eighth. Jin-young Lee scored In-sung Cho with a double in the ninth to complete the rout.

Seung-yeop Lee has often been touted by other players for his professional spirit and attitude. During his free time, he goes to the health club at the Howard Hotel in Taijung, Taiwan to workout and lift weights. Sometimes, he teaches younger players how to build muscles and get into better shape.

While other players went shopping or watched TV on Wednesday, Lee stayed at the hotel to exercise at the club.

I want to do my best and be ready to play the game in the utmost condition,” he said. “That is why I keep working on these weights.”

Lee is well known for his generosity and thoughtfulness towards his peers and junior players. Kwang-hyun Kim, the youngest member on the national team, said, “Lee is like an older brother or friend because he always takes care of others. I think I should learn from his humble attitude without boasting in spite of his stardom.”

If Lee is seen as very thoughtful and friendly, LA Dodgers’ Chan-ho Park, who served as team leader for last year’s national team, is known for his strong leadership skills.

Due to Park’s strong confidence and pride, he gives off a bit of a cold impression, though he is very charismatic. On the other hand, Lee, who looks soft and gentle, has a mighty spirit. His distinctive character is expected to lead the team to the finals in Beijing.

Before the game, manager Kim hope to got the win early, but it still need nine-inning to finish against South Africa.. “It is vital that we score as many runs as we can in the early innings against the teams considered weaker, as taking advantage of the seven-inning mercy rule would be the best way to save our bullpen pitchers for more critical situations.” “It would be important for us to get our wins early and give us a cushion for the rest of the tournament,” he said. “We won’t risk too much in the goal of winning all of our matches.”

Kim would obviously prefer less of a thriller, as he plans to go all out in the first three games, with contenders Australia and Mexico next in line, gunning for a comfortable lead and wouldn’t want to consume too much energy against an underdog opponent.
Even South Africa is bringing 11 players from its WBC roster to Taiwan, include ace pitcher Barry Armitage, a former Kansas City Royals prospect, Second baseman Jonathan Phillips, who once played rookie ball in the Milwaukee Brewers system, and shortstop Brett Willemburg, they still can not score a run against Korea.

For Korea, all eyes will be on the performance of shortstop Jin-man Park, considered one of Asia’s top defensive players at the position, who made the roster despite a bum shoulder.

Park’s injury makes the left part of the Korean infield an uncertainty, as Dong-joo Kim, whose value clearly lies with his bat, is a liability with his limited range at third base.

If Park fail to prove his fitness, Manager Kim could opt to switch for Son Shi-hun, slightly a better bat but much lesser of a glove, in the games against Australia and Mexico.

At least Kim has good news with batting lineup, which has the potential to be the country’s most productive ever. Expect Seung-yeop Lee, Dong-joo Kim and Dae-ho Lee, Centerfielder Lee Jong-wook, who hits for average and steals bases in bunches, is hitting leadoff, followed by Ko Young-min, a second baseman with a pop in the bat. Outfielders Lee Jin-young and Lee Taek-geun and catcher Cho In-sung combine as a formidable trio at the bottom of the order.

South Korea is currently playing in an eight-team tournament that stakes three tickets to the Beijing Olympics in August. The South Africans, along with Germany and Spain, were considered among the weakest of the eight squads, but host Taiwan and regional powers Australia, Mexico and Canada may be tough competition for the Koreans.

South Korea meets Australia today in their second match of the tournament and Mexico on Sunday.

Final Olympic Qualifier Begin!

March 8th, 2008

The 2008 Final Olympic Baseball Qualifying Tournament has opened on Friday. The first four game winners are Korea, Canada, Australia and Chinese Taipei.
foq-open.JPG

As expect, Korea, Australia and Chinese Taipei all defeat their opponent. As for a tough game between Canada and Mexico, both got 18 hits, both used six pitchers, but Canada take advantage on four errors with timely hitting, won by five runs.

“That’s international baseball because you never know,” Canadian manager Terry Puhl said in a news release. “Mexico has a lot of experienced hitters and they got back into the game. They just kept coming at us every inning and that’s a trademark of this ball club.”

“That’s a big win for us right off the bat,” said Canadian second baseman Stubby Clapp of Windsor, Ont. “It wasn’t pretty, but we hung in there and kept swinging the bats and our pitchers kept going out there, attacking the strike zone and they did a great job.”

Both Canada and Mexico are not fielding their best teams as some players are vying for a spot with teams at Major League Baseball spring training in Florida and Arizona.

Baseball Canada lobbied last fall to have the tournament rescheduled, but was rebuffed by the International Baseball Federation.

Pitchers Steve Green and T.J. Burton cemented the Canadian win on Friday, combining to shut out Mexico over the final 2 2/3 innings.

Canada jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a pair of hits by Mike Saunders and Matt Rogelstad. Another run in the second and three more in the third frame gave the red and white a seemingly comfortable advantage.

But Carlos Valencia helped vault Mexico into the lead in the bottom of the inning with a two-run home run before the Canadians plated three runs in the fourth to move ahead 9-8.

In Canada’s five-run seventh inning, Adam Stern and Jimmy VanOstrand drove in two runs apiece on a double and triple respectively.

It’s a good start for us to beat a team like Mexico,” said Rogelstad, who went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. “We came out ready to play. We got some runs early in the game and we were able to keep that going.”

Below is the score and result of Game 1:

Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Korea 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 12 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

WP: Son (1-0) LP: Verschuren (0-1)
RECAP BOX SCORE  PLAY BY PLAY

Game 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Canada 2 1 3 3 1 0 5 0 0 15 18 2
Mexico 0 0 8 0 0 0 2 0 0 10 18 4

WP: Richmond (1-0) LP: Alvarez Ramirez (0-1) HR: Carlos Valencia (1, 3inning)
RECAP BOX SCORE  PLAY Y PLAY

Game 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Australia 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 0
Germany 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 1

WP: Mildren (1-0) LP: Henkenjohann (0-1)
RECAP BOX SCORE  PLAY BY PLAY

Game4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Spain 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 ? ? 3 6 1
Chinese Taipei 2 3 1 6 0 0 1 ? ? 13 12 0

WP: Chiang (1-0) LP: Olivera Cavero (0-1) HR: Chen-Ming Peng (1, 1st inning), Kuo-Hui Lo (1, 4th inning)
RECAP BOX SCORE  PLAY Y PLAY

Current standing (2008/3/7)

TEAM W-L    PCT.    GB
AUSTRALIA 1-0    1.000    —
CANADA 1-0    1.000    —
CHINESE TAIPEI 1-0    1.000    —
KOREA 1-0    1.000    —
GERMANY 0-1    .000    1.0
MEXICO 0-1    .000    1.0
SOUTH AFRICA 0-1    .000    1.0
SPAIN 0-1    .000    1.0

Canada hope for redemption

March 6th, 2008

After exhibition games with Australia, Canada’s national baseball team head to Taiwan, and hope to get a chance to regain a berth in the Summer Olympics.

Four years ago, Canada fell frustratingly short of a medal in the Athens Games, so the flight out from Down Under represented a new beginning.

“It looks good for us,” said outfielder Jimmy Van Ostrand of Richmond, B.C., as the Canadians headed to the final Olympic qualifying tournament for this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing. “It’s a tough tournament and there is going to be a lot of tough competition there but we definitely have a good team to give ourselves a chance. It’s going to be lots of fun.”

Van Ostrand and the rest of the Canadian roster felt upbeat and confident after going 3-1-1 in a tune-up series against the Australians that began Feb. 27. They were able shake off a winter in which most of the players were away from baseball.

Canada must now claim one of three open Olympic spots. The week-long tournament, starting tomorrow, will see Canada in a stiff competition to come out ahead of baseball-strong countries Australia, Germany, South Korea, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, and the host Taiwan.

The Canadians will field a very young team featuring up-and-coming prospects like Mike Saunders of Victoria, VanOstrand of Richmond, B.C., Matt Rogelstad of New Westminster, B.C., and Nick Weglarz of Stevensville, Ont.

“We have all the tools here to get it done. We just need to stick to our game and we’ll get the results that we want,” said Canadian manager Terry Puhl.

Canada’s experience will likely be a factor this week, with Windsor’s Stubby Clapp, Adam Stern of Port Stanley, Ont., Calgary’s Ryan Radmanovich, Jeremy Ware of Guelph, Ont.and Mike Kusiewicz of Ottawa all returning from the 2004 team that dropped an 8-5 decision in the late innings to Cuba in a game that would have sent them to the gold medal match.

The Canadians – behind starter Shawn Hill, pitching with a torn ligament in his right elbow – carried a 3-2 lead into the eighth inning before the Cubans rallied for six runs. Canada rallied for two runs in the ninth, but with two out and two runners on base, Kevin Nicholson’s apparent home run was snagged at the wall by leaping Cuban left fielder Frederich Cepeda and preserve Cuba’s 8-5 win.

For veteran like Clapp, the thought of that agonizing finish still makes him feel “sick to my stomach … it brings tears to my eyes every time I see it on the replay.” “When we didn’t medal in 2004 I felt cheated, because we had a team to do it, circumstances just didn’t allow it,” Clapp told the Canadian Press. “At that time after being so heartbroken, it was really hard to go back to baseball again.”

The Canadian baseball folk hero retired from professional play last season, and only the national team’s pursuit of a berth at the Olympics this summer keeps him on the field now. He’s put his job as a hitting coach in the Houston Astros organization on hold in the hope that the last of his trademark pre-game back flips comes in Beijing, while taking the field for the gold-medal game.

If they didn’t make it, one of the more colorful players to ever suit up for the national team will likely have played his final game wearing the Maple Leaf.

“Unfortunately, that’s the truth,” Clapp said in a recent interview. “I’ve thought about it and what it does is motivate me more to succeed in this tournament because I want to play in August. I’d rather that be my last hurrah than a qualifying tournament. It’s a special deal and we have to take advantage of it.”

“(Winning a medal) is probably about as important as anything’s been to me, especially for this program.”

The kids will be counted on to do the heavy lifting, with veterans like Clapp guiding them along.

“The toughest part is them being able to trust themselves and that’s something that will be relayed from the veteran guys,” said Clapp. “They’re at a point in their careers where they’ve got to be able to do that and if they can’t it’s going to be tough to succeed. The pressure only gets worse. It never stops, you just have to learn to deal with it.”

Clapp is the ideal player to show them the way.

He first came to national prominence in 1999, when his bloop fly ball in the 11th inning brought home the winning run in a walkoff 7-6 victory over the United States at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg. In subsequent years he played a key role in most major Canadian baseball highlights, including qualifying for the 2004 Olympics and the stunning 8-6 win over the U.S. at the World Baseball Classic in 2006.

One of his most memorable moments came after Canada clinched its berth for the Athens Games, when the team gathered on the bus and sang O Canada together over and over.

“That sends goosebumps down my skin just thinking about that moment. It was just unbelievable, the camaraderie between the guys and the coaches,” Clapp recalled. “The Pan Am Games sticks out, the game against the U.S. was huge. The game against the U.S. at the World Baseball Classic, there were some things in that game that were just phenomenal. There have been so many games that have meant so much.”

There’s been plenty of heartbreak, too.

Aside from the loss to Cuba in 2004, there was missing out on the 2000 Olympics after a 3-2 semifinal loss to Cuba at the ’99 Pan Ams and elimination from the World Baseball Classic on run differential despite tying the U.S. and Mexico with 2-1 first-round records. “International baseball is different, we talk about cutthroat baseball and we’ll relay that to the young guys,” said Clapp. “Let them know every pitch counts, every run counts.”

Korea release 24-man Olympic Qualifier Roster

March 5th, 2008

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) and Korea Baseball Association (KBA) announced the final 24 members to play in the upcoming Beijing Olympics qualifying tournament, headlined by power hitters Seung-yeop Lee of the Yomiuri Giants, Dae-ho Lee of the Lotte Giants and Dong-joo Kim of the Doosan Bears.

Along with the trio of power hitters, players include former Major Leaguer Sun-woo Kim, who signed with the Bears in January; Hanwha Eagles lefty Hyun-jin Ryu who combined for 35 wins the last two seasons; and Lotte Giants veteran right-hander Min-han Son, who has recorded 85 victories in his 10-year KBO career.

However, manager Kim Kyung-moon (Doosan Bears)’s penchant for experience over base running removed Keun-woo Jung of the SK Wyverns, Byung-hyun Min of the Bears and Dae-hyun Lee of the LG Twins, who combined for 107 stolen bases in the KBO last season, from the roster.

In addition, the quartet of the Bears’ Tae-hoon Lim, the Woori Heroes’ Yong-hoon Cho, the Lotte Giants’ Won-joon Jang and the Eagles’ Young-myung Ahn, who were expected to be used as relief pitchers, also failed to make the national team, which reached the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) two years ago.

Giants catcher Min-ho Kang also was also left off the roster.

Seung-yup Lee, 31, plays for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. Lee was in spring training with the Cubs back in 2002 and with the Marlins in 2003, but never signed a major league contract. Instead, Lee went on to set the single-season home run mark for an Asian professional league with 56 home runs in the KBO in 2003. Lee had previously set the KBO single-season home run record in 1999 with 54 homers, and collected five MVP awards in the KBO before moving to Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball in 2004. Lee was a key member of South Korea’s 2006 World Baseball Classic team, hitting five home runs in the team’s first six games en route to a 6-0 start.

Dae-ho Lee, 25, is an imposing 6-foot-3, 265 pounds and won the KBO Triple Crown in 2006, hitting .336 with 26 homers and 88 RBIs, and capped it off by winning a gold glove. Lee led the KBO in slugging last year, batting .335/.453/.600 with 29 home runs and won his second straight gold glove.

Dong-joo Kim, who won the KBO gold glove at third base in 2007, hit .332/.457/.534 with 19 home runs last year for the Doosan Bears and led the KBO in on-base percentage.

20-year-old lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who in 2006 became the first player in Korea Baseball Organization history to win the league’s rookie of the year award and be the MVP in the same season. Ryu also won a gold glove that year, finishing with 204 strikeouts in 201 2/3 innings and a 2.23 ERA for the Hanwha Eagles. Last year, Ryu led the KBO with 178 strikeouts and had a 2.94 ERA in 211 innings.

Sun-Woo Kim, who pitched in the Giants’ system last year at Triple-A Fresno, will pitch for South Korea. Kim, who signed with the Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization earlier this year, had a 4.87 ERA in 118 1/3 innings last year. Kim last pitched in the majors in 2006, appearing in six games for the Rockies and two more for the Reds.

There are some questions about Korea Roster, manager Kim is not sure who will be his closer, and the middle infield defense is another issue.

He did know who will be on the starting rotation; Hyun-jin Ryu is starting against Australia and Taiwan, considered the most critical outings in the schedule. So does the Former San Francisco Giant Sun-woo Kim, SK Wyverns lefty Kwang-hyun Kim and Lotte Giants Min-han Son.

The lack of bullpen depth is alarming considering the length of the series and that, aside of Ryu and Son, none of starters have a reputation for working into the late innings. Sun-woo spent the larger part of his career as a reliever and the 20-year-old Kwang-hyun is not even established in the regular rotation of the Wyverns yet.

Kim is struggling to replace Samsung Lions closer Seung-hwan Oh, a mainstay with the national team in the past few years who is unavailable due to an elbow injury. Bears reliever Tae-hoon Im is a candidate, although he might be too much of a gamble as an inexperienced 20-year-old.

Wyverns veteran reliever Dae-hyun Chung could be a better option, but Kim has been concerned about his poor form in the practice matches. Chung, a soft-throwing submariner, has never been known as a strikeout artist, and that could be a problem in the late innings considering the compromised infield defense.

Lions shortstop Jin-man Park, whose range and glove work are irreplaceable, hasn’t been able to participate in defensive drills due to a bum shoulder and is questionable for the tournament. Si-hun Son, currently with the Korean army baseball team, is considered as an alternative option.

Korea will play its first game of the qualifier against South Africa on Friday, then plays Australia on Saturday, Mexico on Sunday, Spain next Monday, Germany on March 12, Canada on the 13th and host Taiwan on the 15th. The tournament will feature eight teams; include Australia, Canada, Germany Mexico, South Africa, Spain and Taiwan, fighting for three final slots in the Beijing Games.

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]