Monthly Archives: March 2006

Home run king Oh a champion once again

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WBC.2006.Japan.Sadaharu Oh in air

(Mar. 23) – The Asahi Shimbun – AS HE SENT the Cuban baseball delegation off to the World Baseball Classic, Cuban President Fidel Castro encouraged players to go forward, “always, until victory,” citing the words of his ally, revolutionary leader Ernesto Che Guevara (1928-1967). Continue reading

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Quality, sportsmanship earns tournament title of Classic

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“You know who ended up winning? Baseball did, sports did, sportsmanship did,” Velez said. “What you saw here tonight, we have to do this more frequently.” By JEFF BLAIR

SAN DIEGO (23 March 2006) — The organizers of the World Baseball Classic knew they’d hit on a winning formula the second Team USA was eliminated from the event and Alex Rodriguez talked for 45 minutes about what he’ll do differently in 2009.

It was a refrain heard elsewhere throughout the event, which culminated Monday night with Japan’s 10-6 win over Cuba at Petco Park in San Diego. Continue reading

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Japan hails world baseball champions, criticizes domination by U.S. imperialism

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People gather to get extra newspapers reporting Japan’s victory at the World Baseball Classic championship

People gather to get extra newspapers reporting Japan’s victory at the World Baseball Classic championship

TOKYO (22 March 2006) – (AFP) JAPAN heaped praise on its baseball team for its come-from-behind victory in the World Baseball Classic and called for a bigger Japanese say in the US-dominated sport.

Japan, which rarely tops international competitions and was embarrassed by a one-medal showing at the Turin Olympics, remained abuzz a day after beating Cuba 10-6 to capture the first-of-its-kind global baseball title. Continue reading

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Fidel reaffirms Cuba to donate World Classic prize money to Katrina victims

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• ‘None of our athletes will ever lack for anything for a decent life’

• Cuban leader honours Cuban baseball players and coaching team

• Describes their performance as a “colossal feat”

Fidel Castro with Leslie Anderson and Cuba’s national team in 2006. Photograph by Sven Creutzmann/reportage by Getty Images.

Fidel Castro with Leslie Anderson and Cuba’s national team in 2006. Photograph by Sven Creutzmann/reportage by Getty Images.

By MIGUEL HERNANDEZ, Granma daily staff writer

CUBA is to donate its earnings as runner-up in the 1st World Baseball Classic to victims of Hurricane Katrina in the southern United States, reaffirmed President Fidel Castro at the end of his welcoming speech to the brilliant Cuban team.

According to the regulations of the event’s organizers, of the economic benefits allocated to the teams, 9 per cent goes to the winner and 7 per cent to the runner-up. Continue reading

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Cuba hopes for Olympic baseball reinstitution

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San Diego, Mar 21 (Prensa Latina) – WITH its showing in the World Baseball Classic, Cuba hopes that baseball is reinstituted in the Olympic Games, starting with the London Olympics in 2012.

By decision of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee, the sport of balls and strikes is scheduled to be played for the final time in Olympic competition during the Beijing Games in 2008. Continue reading

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Only star remaining is on the Cuban flag

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The Globe and Mail’s headline on the Associated Press article on March 20th predictably declared, “WBC final lacks MLB star power.” Rather than just another version of the American All-Star game, the surprising grand finale consummated a new reality as a WORLD baseball classic, torpedoing the unfortunate disinformation of the sports media, writes PETER C. BJARKMAN* (a.k.a. Dr. Baseball) who, for more than a decade, has ranked among the premier students of Latino and Latin American baseball. It marked an entirely unexpected turning point, especially the perception of Cuba whose “unity sent shockwaves throughout the baseball universe.”

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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, (21 March 2006) Prensa Latina – MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL’S first World Baseball Classic did not turn out to be quite what either the moguls of American professional baseball or the rest of the world expected it to be. Continue reading

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Cuban baseball delivers a message

WBC.2006.HeaderArticles“We all deserve a little more Cuban baseball,” writes JEFF BLAIR in the Globe and Mail on the eve of the final of the World Baseball Classic. “More Cuba. Less Lasorda.”

SAN DIEGO (Monday, 20 March 2006) – WHAT WE ARE WITNESSING is nothing short of a conquest if not an outright theft of a national pastime. They have turned major-league millionaires into paupers on the baseball field, and tonight, in a city that bills itself as “America’s finest,” despite a fiscal crisis that has left it broke, Cuba can record a win for the ages.

In the shadows of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and in a state that was the magnet for America’s westward expansion, Cuba will play Japan in an improbable final game of the inaugural World Baseball Classic.

The final, set up when Cuba beat the Dominican Republic 3-1 and Japan shut out bitter rival South Korea 6-0 at Petco Park on Saturday in a day of baseball that drew a total of 83,907 fans, validates the legitimacy of the WBC.

It has also answered a riddle about how many members of the Major League Baseball Players Association it takes to hold a WBC final? The answer, in 2006 at least: two – Japan’s Ichiro Suzuki and Akinori Otsuka.

It is permissible to refer to the Chicago White Sox as the World Series champions, but it is fraudulent to call them the world champions. Continue reading

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