utfielder Yasmany Tomas #27 of Cuba hits a three run home run in the top half of the sixth inning during the World Baseball Classic Second Round Pool 1 game between Chinese Taipei and Cuba at Tokyo Dome on March 9, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan | Koji Watanabe/Getty Images AsiaPac
By PETER C BJARKMAN*
March 10, 2013 (from Tokyo, Japan) – FOR THE SECOND TIME in seven years Team Cuba now sits poised to pull off a World Baseball Classic “miracle run” designed once more to underscore the true quality of post-aluminum-bat and post-amateur-era island baseball. It now all comes down to one final rematch on Monday night with either the Dutch or Japanese (it will be the Jaanese– ed.) – this time with a trip to San Francisco as the ultimate prize. One more victory and Cuba will join Japan and Korea as the only three clubs so far to reach the final championship round of the MLB Classic on multiple occasions. Continue reading
By PETER C. BJARKMAN*
(March 9, 2013 from Tokyo, Japan) – IF TEAM CUBA at least temporarily dispelled one myth in Fukuoka on Wednesday (that they could perhaps never learn to hit funky Japanese pitching), they nonetheless failed miserably on Friday afternoon to dismiss yet another pervasive theme (that their new insurmountable hurdle seems to be the talent-rich forces of the Dutch national team). In Panama in September 2011 a Cuban squad managed by Alfonso Urquiola went down harmlessly twice against the Dutch forces (their only two tournament defeats) and thus squandered an opportunity to reclaim an IBAF world title during the final edition of the now-suspended Baseball World Cup. In a Taiwan tune-up late last month Cuban bats were again effectively blanketed by Dutch pitching. At the 2010 Haarlem Baseball Week a Cuban B squad managed by Germán Mesa suffered through the only “mercy rule” drubbing (10-0) suffered by a top-level Cuban outfit in more than four full decades. In brief, The Netherlands (now featuring a host of young big league prospects like Kalian Sams, Andrelton Simmos and Jonathan Schoop) has recently become just as large a thorn in the Cuban side as have the two-time WBC champion Japanese. Continue reading
Reflections by FIDEL CASTRO
IN THE early days of the Revolution, the Olympics were an event for amateurs.
When the concepts of developed capitalism managed to infiltrate the Olympics, sports stopped being a health and education issue, which had been its main goals throughout history.
The only country in the world where that character prevailed was Cuba, which for many years won the highest number of gold medals per inhabitant. Continue reading
I TRY TO FOLLOW the details about the Baseball Classic through our national television.
The game between the teams of Japan and South Korea, Cuba’s two strongest rivals, which was played today, Monday morning, was 1 to 0 in favour of South Korea when Japan had only two more chances at bat.
The dangerous and emblematic Ichiro, who had failed three times, connected with a single. Continue reading
(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
“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
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
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.”
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
By JAYSON STARK*, ESPN.com
SAN DIEGO (19 March 2006) – THEY won’t be just two baseball teams colliding on the same field.
That, we’ve seen before. That, in fact, you can see every night at a stadium near you.
The Japan-Cuba championship game is a contrast in styles.
But when Japan meets Cuba on a historic Monday evening in San Diego, what will unfold is something bigger, something grander, something much more fascinating. Continue reading
A review of the first two rounds and some impressions of an international tournament still in its teething stages by CITIUS ALTIUS FORTIUS*
(18 March 2006) – IN THE INAUGURAL edition of baseball’s world championship event, the World Baseball Classic, the semifinal knockout stage begins tonight. Here is a review of the first two rounds and some impressions of an international tournament still in its teething stages. Continue reading