Sporting Life- Sports, Exercise Blog

Posts Tagged ‘MLB

Kaohsiung, March 13 (CNA) Former MLB star Manny Ramirez began training with the players of the EDA Rhinos in Kaohsiung on Wednesday, a day after signing a one-year contract with the team.

Ramirez was introduced to his Rhinos teammates by manager Hsu Sheng-ming and was reunited with Hu Chin-lung, his teammate with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2008 to 2010.

He then swatted a few home runs in batting practice off pitches thrown by Hsu after having trouble getting acclimating to the team’s mechanical pitching machine.

Ramirez said he felt OK after the workout and expected to gradually round into peak form.

He will not be able to play in any of the team’s pre-season exhibition games because his work permit is still being processed, Hsu said, but the manager expected the permit to be approved by the Rhinos’ first regular season home game on March 27.

Hsu said the Rhinos, one of four teams in Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League, did not sign Ramirez just to help the team win and boost ticket sales but also to help raise the league’s quality and attract higher caliber foreign players to the country.

The 40-year-old Ramirez signed a one-year contract with the team that reportedly will pay him between NT$750,000 (US$25,000) and NT$800,000 a month.

Ramirez, who began in the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians in late 1993, slugged 555 home runs in the majors, ranking 14th all-time, and hit .312 for his career.

He was also named the World Series MVP after leading the Boston Red Sox in 2004 to their first championship since 1918.

His career was overshadowed, however, by two suspensions for using performance-enhancing drugs. He was suspended twice after failing to pass drug tests in 2009 and 2011.

Ramirez arrived Monday evening amid renewed enthusiasm for the sport in Taiwan, following Taiwan’s best run ever in the World Baseball Classic.

As many as 15.54 percent of all households with cable tuned in to Taiwan’s game against Japan on March 8, according to a user lab under the Institute for Information Industry and the Cloud and Connect TV Forum, based on information provided by two domestic cable operators.

The rating, reported Wednesday, was considered to be exceptionally high in a country where the media market is highly segmented.

(By Lin Hung-han, Cheng Che-fon, Chung Jung-feng and Jamie Wang)

With a spot in the second round of the World Baseball Classic on the line, the U.S. came from behind twice on Sunday to defeat Canada, 9-4, at Chase Field. The Americans, who scored three times in the eighth to decide the game on an Adam Jones two-run double and Shane Victorino’s RBI single, will move on to Marlins Park from Pool D along with Italy to meet the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

First baseman Eric Hosmer put the game out of reach with a bases-clearing double in the top of the ninth inning off Canada closer John Axford.

The Americans narrowly avoided their earliest exit from the tournament, now in its third running. They’ve never finished higher than fourth. The Canadians still haven’t made it out of the first round. Mexico was the other team that didn’t survive the pool this weekend.

“Well, it’s not a relief, because we have been teasing ourselves,” U.S. manager Joe Torre said. “Last night [in a 6-2 win over Italy], we had the one big inning. We had too many opportunities [today] with too many good people up at the plate. We really don’t have a soft spot in that lineup. I guess we have to get behind to all of a sudden think about it. But they were very aggressive today and it really helped us.”

The tournament won’t get any easier. The U.S. is the top seed out of this bracket heading to Miami and will play an 8 p.m. ET game on Tuesday against Puerto Rico. Italy will play the Dominican Republic in the 1 p.m. ET game. The games will all be broadcast nationally by MLB Network and ESPN Deportes.

As opposed to the round-robin format in the first round, the next round will be double-elimination, meaning the teams to win two games each advance and the teams which lose twice are out.

The defending two-time Classic champion Japanese were the first team to qualify for the semifinals on either March 17 or 18 in San Francisco’s AT&T Park. The final game is there on March 19.

Like its first games, the U.S. fell behind by two runs early as Canada took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run homer by Michael Saunders off left-hander Derek Holland, who went five innings, allowing four hits and left with the score tied at 2.

Saunders, the Mariners’ right fielder, was named Most Valuable Player of the pool after going 8-for-11 with seven RBIs in the three games.

“It’s definitely an honor,” Saunders said. “However, it’s kind of a sour taste in my mouth right now. Whenever you represent your country, it really doesn’t matter how you do, as long as you win. And that was the main focus today. We played a tough game, and obviously the U.S. came out on top, but we’re holding our heads high. We came to this tournament prepared and we felt like we played well. A few innings didn’t go our way, but I think we played well and I think we showed the world that Canada is here to stay.”

The U.S., which lost its opener to Mexico in the pool and then came back to defeat Italy and Canada, had numerous chances to score on Sunday. The Americans squandered runners in scoring position in the first, second and seventh innings, finally breaking through to take the lead against reliever Jimmy Henderson in the eighth.

The U.S. was trailing, 3-2, and had runners on first and second moving as Henderson delivered to Jones, who lined the pitch into left-center for the double that gave America the lead for good. Victorino, 0-for-3 in the game and 0-for-11 with the Red Sox this spring coming into the Classic, singled home Jones.

With Jones at the plate, Torre had just sent Willie Bloomquist to second to run for Joe Mauer. It was Bloomquist who read the play and took off on the pitch with David Wright at first base trailing.

“Knowing Bloomquist and Wright, those are guys who are perennial basestealers,” Jones said. “I played with Bloomy in Seattle, and any time he gets on base, he doesn’t want to stay on that base too long. It was a good pitch for him to go on and it was a good pitch for me to hit. I was glad that I didn’t try and do too much, didn’t get distracted by the runners, and just was able to put a good swing on a good pitch to hit.”

For Canada, the loss was just another bitter pill. In 2009 at Toronto, the U.S. won the opener of the pool at Rogers Centre against the Canadians, effectively sending them on to elimination. Again this year, Canada lost its opener, 14-4, to Italy in a game that ended in the eighth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Canada redeemed itself on Saturday by defeating Mexico in a game that was marred by a benches-clearing incident in the ninth inning.

Both the U.S. and Canada had to play themselves out of 0-1 holes to get to this single-elimination confrontation. And in the end, it turned out to be too much for Canada.

“I think it’s exciting for baseball, to be honest with you,” long-time Canada manager Ernie Whitt said. “Did we want to get mercied in the first game? Absolutely not. But it happened. And like I said yesterday, Mexico did us a favor by beating the U.S., which just gave us an opportunity. We knew what we had to do, we just fell short today.

“I’m not happy with the results. I thought it was a good ballgame. They got some key hits in timely situations, and so you tip your hat to them.”

(By Barry M. Bloom /

MLB Network will televise all 39 games of the 2013 World Baseball Classic to be played in March, and will also be the exclusive English-language telecast partner in the United States for the 2017 tournament, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.

The third edition of the Classic, which features the world’s best players from 16 countries and territories that qualify, will be played in seven venues in four nations and territories from March 2-19.

Japan is the two-time defending champion, having won each of the first two Classics in 2006 and 2009.

The semifinals and finals will take place March 17-19 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Second-round games hosted by the Miami Marlins will be held from March 12-16 at Marlins Park, and at Tokyo Dome in Japan. First-round competition will be hosted by the Arizona Diamondbacks and held from March 7-10 at Chase Field in Phoenix and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz.

In addition to televising all 39 games, MLB Network will extensively cover the World Baseball Classic in its studio programming, including MLB Tonight, Hot Stove, Intentional Talk and Clubhouse Confidential. MLB Network will premiere a World Baseball Classic promotional spot during the 2012 World Series.

MLB Network televised 16 games of the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

“We are excited about working with MLB Network to bring every game of the 2013 and 2017 World Baseball Classic tournaments to fans throughout the United States,” said Paul Archey, MLB’s senior vice president of international business operations. “MLB Network has done an exceptional job producing and covering baseball, including part of the 2009 tournament. In addition to the game broadcasts, MLB Network’s studio programming will provide fans with unprecedented in-depth coverage of this global event.”

MLB Network will also televise the final game of each qualifier pool. The qualifiers, which expanded the competitive field of the tournament from 16 to 28 countries, has already seen Spain and Canada advance to the main tournament. The final two qualifiers will begin on Nov. 15 in Panama City, Panama; and New Taipei City, Taiwan. The four that advance will join the 12 countries — Australia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands Kingdom, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela — that received automatic invitations based on their performance in the 2009 tournament.

“MLB Network is a welcomed broadcast partner for the next two World Baseball Classics, as baseball fans and players alike are increasingly turning to MLB Network for their baseball news and live-game coverage,” said Timothy Slavin, director of business affairs and licensing and senior counsel for the MLB Players Association. “We’re confident that the amount of coverage provided by MLB Network prior to and during the World Baseball Classic will dramatically increase the interest in and exposure of the game’s most significant international competition.”

Additional information and the opportunity to register for an exclusive ticket sales window are available at the World Baseball Classic website.

(By Bobbie Dittmeier /

Sporting Life

August 2020