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Friday, February 20, 2004

Pickoff Moves

Most of these links are from Baseball Guru today, news from Japan --

A Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa -- Ahhh

The International Herald Tribune re-runs a piece from the NYT making the case for MLB to force a baseball World Cup. Frankly, I'm not all that excited by the prospect; none of the other baseball playing countries -- with the exceptions of Mexico and Japan, to my knowledge -- field leagues that would be competitive. It would be something like the Yankees asking for more Devil Rays.

YES Says Yes To Japan Opener, ESPN Says No

Looks like the Yankees' Japan season opener will be broadcast on YES -- and nowhere else. ESPN declined to air the games in the U.S. nationally. Too bad, because it'll be the only pro baseball with national interest.

Kinkade Tearing It Up, SYL News, Japanese ST Invitee At Vero

Also from Baseball Guru, former Dodger Mike Kinkade is tearing it up in Japanese ST, a frequent tonic for many former MLB players. (See the Hanshin report in the link just above.) Wannabe MLB star Seung-yeop Lee didn't look too good in defensive drills with the Chiba Lotte Marines, booting a grounder, but he's hitting well, "collecting 13 homers overall in 58 swings". The Dodgers have invited Norihiro Nakamura to ST (see Kintetsu).

Yu Who?

The Dodgers, Mets, and Angels are apparently interested in a 17-year-old Japanese Iranian prep pitcher, Yu Darvish, with five Japanese teams in the mix as well. Darvish, who already has a 92-mph fastball, "features a good sinker, slider, changeup, and knuckle curve ball." His parents met in the U.S.

Angels' Rotation Set

Update: According to the Orange County Register (registration required), the rotation is set as "Bartolo Colon, Kelvim Escobar, Jarrod Washburn, Ramon Ortiz and John Lackey - perhaps in that order", with Sele trying to break in during ST. Good luck, Aaron, you've got your work cut out for you.

Validation On MLBPA Reinstatement

Seth over at The Pearly Gates says he's got confirmation directly from the MLBPA that "scab ball" players have been reinstated to the union. Good work, Seth!

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