Archive for the ‘Global Honkbal Superlative’ Category

WBCwin1

The World Baseball Classic is over, and despite a slightly soggy, anticlimactic finale, it was actually a rather outstanding event, especially because of the championship run of the Dominican Republic, whose players and fans made the tournament feel like something genuinely important, thanks to their infectious enthusiasm. Also: Jose Reyes.

Congratulations to him, Edwin Encarnacion, Moises Sierra, Ricardo Nanita, and would-be/will-be teammates Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Emilio Bonifacio and Esmil Rogers. Save some champagne for October, boys.

And congratulations too to Puerto Rico, about whom much the same could be said, and who had their own terrific tournament run as runners-up.

A few more pictures after the jump. Click on each for a larger look. Also: Jose Reyes.

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World Baseball Classic - Semifinals - Netherlands v Dominican Republic

Jose Reyes plays for the Toronto Blue Jays. That still sounds weird and awesome and weirdly awesome, especially after the sensational tournament he’s had in this edition of the Global Honkbal Superlative, which– one way or the other– ends tonight. It’s the final, from San Francisco, California, as Reyes, new teammate Edwin Encarnacion, organization-mate Moises Sierra, and the rest of Team Dominicana takes on Charlie Beltran, Yadier Molina, Angel Pagan, Alex Rios and Puerto Rico. This is the third meeting of the two sides in this weirdly awesome tournament, and there’s not a whole lot of reason for it to not be outstanding.

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Fußball-EM '88: Europameister Niederlande

I bet you didn’t know that there’s still a Canadian playing in the Global Honkball Superlative, did you? Well then, might it change your rooting interest to know that tonight in San Francisco, Blue Jays Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion are going up against maple flavoured one-time New Hampshire Fisher Cat and DJF Podcast guest Leon Boyd? Because they totally are… uh, technically.

Boyd is a Vancouver-born reliever who, so far, has gotten into four games for the pseudo-Dutch– aka the Dutch-ish, aka Curacao, aka Dr. Nguyen van Phuoc– tossing 5.2 innings, allowing six hits, two walks, and striking out one. He also, according to his Wikipedia page, was released by the Jays prior to the 2010 season, which he says “was affected by his high walk count and the Jays’ trading of Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies in December 2009.”

OK… ?

He also struck out pre-Bautista Bautista to end the game and get the save when the Dominicans and Dutch-ish met in the 2009 event, and currently plies his trade for DOOR Neptunus in the Honkbal Hoofdeklasse. So… yeah. Reyes and Encarnacion sure are fucking awesome, huh?

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Miami Marlins v New York Mets

You’re sure to be torn, as a Jays fan, over what will transpire tonight in Miami, but as a baseball fan, it’s kinda gonna be fun as fuck, as Team USA sends the Jays’ new ace, R.A. Dickey, to the mound to take on the Dominican Republic. Leading off tonight for the Dominicans will be the Jays’ other new former New York Met, Jose Reyes, and hitting cleanup it’s Edwin Encarnacion, and they’re doing it with a spot in the semi-finals on the line (with the loser having to face Puerto Rico for the last semi-final spot.

Jays minor leaguer Ricardo Nanita will play as well, which I mention for those of you who are Ricardo Nanita’s mom.

And who could forget J.P. Arencibia, who gets the start behind the plate for the USA? (Uh… me, apparently.)

Nails much? Actually, I’m not entirely sure. But I know one thing for certain: we haven’t seen or heard from these guys nearly enough so far this spring, so let’s fucking do this.

Scuttlebutt

David Wright, who has been key for the USA so far in this tournament, is a late scratch, giving way to little Willy Bloom, who will play third and hit ninth.

Uh… yeah, that’s enough, right? Let’s play ball!

TV: Sportsnet (Pacific, West, East and One)

USA

J. Rollins SS
B. Phillips 2B
R. Braun LF
J. Mauer DH
E. Hosmer 1B
G. Stanton RF
A. Jones CF
J. Arencibia C
W. Bloomquist 3B

R. Dickey RHP

Dominican Republic

J. Reyes SS
M. Tejada 3B
R. Cano 2B
E. Encarnacion 1B
H. Ramirez DH
N. Cruz RF
C. Santana C
R. Nanita LF
A. De Aza CF

S. Deduno RHP

morneaumaple

The Honkballers may have gone home [Note: or they may have not, which shows you about how much I've been playing to this tournament], but the Global Honkbal Superlative still meanders forward with a humdinger of a dilly of matchup between Canada and the United States, for the right to go on to the next round. The good guys will, of course, be in tough against a star-studded Team USA lineup, but anything can happen in this sort of tournament, so this is some must-watch shit right here– a shocking development, if you’d listened to the wake that was the Prime Time Sports roundtable on Friday on the Fan 590, as Canada was getting mercied by Italy.

American-born-to-Canadian-parents Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon gets the nod for Canada, looking for some Loewen-like magic– and I wouldn’t be shocked if he managed to provide it, given his elite prospect status (number 20 in Keith Law’s 2013 list), and the fact that none of the Americans have seen him. Harris Trinsky starts for Team USA, which should be troublesome for Canada’s left-heavy lineup.

Scuttlebutt

No suspensions for Canada following yesterday’s brawl with Mexico, and the only scuttlebutt worth passing along is the fact that they’re totally going to effing do this (athough, y’know, probably not).

TV: Sportsnet

And now the lineups…

Canada

T. Gillies CF
T. Green 3B
J. Votto DH
J. Morneau 1B
M. Saunders RF
C. Robinson C
A. Loewen LF
P. Orr 2B
C. Iorg SS

J. Taillon RHP

USA

J. Rollins SS
B. Phillips 2B
R. Braun DH
J. Mauer C
D. Wright 3B
B. Zobrist RF
A. Jones CF
E. Hosmer 1B
S. Victorino LF

D. Holland LHP

Canada v Mexico - World Baseball Classic - First Round Group D

Holy shitballs! I know that stuff like Jussell Martin and Ryan Dempster and half of the available Americans opting out of this year’s version of the Global Honkbal Superlative might make it seem like players don’t really care so much for the tournament, but… uh… tell that to the players for Canada and Mexico. In the top of the ninth inning of today’s tournament-continuing Canadian victory, the two national sides engaged in a thoroughly fucking crazy brawl, at least by baseball standards– and… well… by a lot of standards.

The seeds of it were planted earlier in the game, with a late slide to break up a double play, and a collision at home plate, but what really set things off was Canada’s catcher Chris Robinson (who was involved in both those incidents as well) bunting for a hit in the ninth inning with his country already up 9-3. Mexico third baseman Luis Cruz, who fielded Robinson’s bunt and apparently doesn’t know the damn rules*, motioned to pitcher Arnold Leon to hit the next batter, and after a couple failed tries (and a warning from the home plate umpire) he did, plunking outfielder Rene Tosoni. Assorted GIFs and pictures of what happened next below…

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Canada v United States - World Baseball Classic - Toronto Day 1

The Jays– well, Josh Johnson, Rajai Davis and a bunch of your Buffalo Bisons– travel to Orlando today to take on the Atlanta Braves and Kris Medlen at 1 PM ET, but for most of us that game is going to slip into blissful irrelevance about an hour later, as Team Canada kicks of its Global Honkbal Superlative campaign at 2 PM ET against Italy.

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