October 2011

Happy Halloween from Taiwan!


Its going to be all treats this Halloween for the Rangers and Cards.    Congrats to both teams.   My kids ( college)  thought it would be cool to do a pumpkin with the MLB logo.  Actually found a site that has the rangers pumkin stencil.  But not one for the MLB logo. http://mlb.mlb.com/tex/fan_forum/pumpkin_stencils.jsp

MLB  Players are on there way to Taiwan for the All Star Tour from CA. with first practice tomorrow at New Taipei City Stadium.

Taiwan’s Ballparks Prepare for 2011 MLB All-Star Tour

The MLB All Stars arrive this Sunday in Taiwan to play the Chinese Taipei National Team in a 5 game series at 3 ballparks across the country.   Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium in Taipei, Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung and Kaohsiung National Stadium in Kaohsiung will each host games.  With a practice session on Monday in Zinzhuang  and a game on Tuesday we have been pretty busy helping our friends in Taiwan prepare the fields and ballparks for the event.  The last All star tour was in Japan , I believe in 2006 and I can’t recall the last MLB All star tour that was in  Taiwan however we did play a couple Dodger Games here last year. 

The Xinzhuang Baseball  has hosted several World Cup Baseball events dating back to when I was here in 2001.  They actually had an all clay  infield  that first series. Coming back in 2007 for the Baseball world Cup they replaced the infield clay with grass and upgraded maintenance etc..  Its an older park better known as Xinzhuang Baseball “Court” in New Taipei City.  They also call it Taipei City stadium and seats about 14000.

The Intercontinental Stadium in Taichung is a larger ballpark at about 19000 and has seen numerous Major events.  A unique design of an iron sculpture arcs over the stadium. It’s a natural turf field as well with typical 330 distances down the lines and 400 to center but this ballpark plays big.  Taichung has 2 other stadiums that are also pretty nice.C Chengcing Stadium  in Kaohsiung hosted the Dodgers series last year and is also ongoing some minor upgrades for this event. The largest park of the series at 25000 it will see the final two games of the event. We have had  a few guys seasoned vets working the parks helping preparations. Greg Jones from the revolution ballpark is in Taichung, Ryan Woodley from the Staten Island Yankees Ballpark in Kaohsiung and Eric Ogden who helped us with the 2007 World Cup in Europe and Daytona Beach.

Having worked numerous tournaments here in Taiwan the people are crazy about the game .  Its going to be a fun event and the country is really excited to see these games.

Dutch Honkball team win Gold at World Cup

After a 3 hour rain delay and 6 1/2 tarp pulls the Dutch started the gold medal game in panama at 840pm and ended it with a win over Cuba. What a performance by both clubs as the final score was 2-1. A light rain fell on the field the entire night and for a while it seemed the game would never start but with a great effort by the tarp crew at Rodney Carew stadium we were able to out maneuver the rain. Earlier in the afternoon the USA vs canada bronze medal game was called off due to rain and what was thought to be a tie for 3rd actually became a win for Canada because they beat USA in pool play.

This is the second time i have witnessed the Dutch team win a tournament when they were not favored to win anything.  The 2009 World Baseball Classic was another great win for the club after defeating the DR twice.   The win at the Baseball World Cup should prove this country is a  baseball power.  All in all a great day for international baseball. Having the Netherlands win the gold is just another checkpoint for how far the game has developed outside of it’s origins.

World Cup Baseball Tourney down to 8 teams

Sad to see some teams not make it to the second round of these tournaments but you know what they say. Thats  baseball!  You never know.    I was in Lagos De Moreno yesterday checking on progress at the Pan American stadium for the next tournament. ( photo below)   They still have some work to do.  In Toronto last friday checking on 2015 sites for the Pan am games.   And then back to Panama today. 

Rico Cedeno stadium in Chitre has USA and Cuba going at it tonight while Ven vs Pan at  Omar Torrijos stadium in Santiago.  Looks like Panama has opened that one up.  Giving Rodney Carew stadium in Panama a couple of day rest from heavy use will help us for the final 6 games.  It’s ironic that our two rainouts have been USA games…but they were more like flood outs.   Ryan Woodley provided some photos of his work down at Chitre. actually a combination of several guys work.  Ballpark is holding up well.   Thanks again to Tracy and Chad kropff for coming down to help out.

2011 Baseball World Cup Opening

WOW what a show.  Probably one of the coolest I’ve seen in a while.  Laser lights, 300 dancers, 16 singers, 60x 40 stage.  and actors.  Fireworks, and field fire works.. On and off the field with the stage and portafloor quickly and it didn’t rain. 

Speaking of rain  we had it come down in biblical proportions… not once but twice in 24hrs the following day.  The stadium and field were flooded as were the dugouts, locker rooms, and lower concourse.  A storm water system upgrade is needed at this old park but in true Panamanian style, they broke out the squegees and pumps and cleaned it up pretty quickly.  The field drains fair but again its old and when you play a series of games  in the wettest month of the year you can expect there will be rain delays and challenges.

We have been shuffling guys around the four ballparks.  In order to have a successful tournament we needed to bring in some sportsturf managers to help the local grounds staff with construction and maintenance of the fields.  Everyone is pretty happy with the facilities.   Chad Kropff came in and headed to Aguadulce, Tracy Schneweis Came in today and is headed to Chitre.  Chad and Joe at Panama and Darrell Lemmer is holding down the fort in Santiago.  All good and each of them have their work cut out with all the rain.

PR vs USA game was a thriller. PR ended up on top as they went to the  IBAF  tie breaker rule in the top of the 10th when USA tied it up in the bottom of the 9th.   In Beijing they started the tiebreaker in the 11th . basically placing 2 players on 1st and 2nd at the start of each teams batting order.  

Yesterday, USA bounced back and won over Chinese Taipei last night in Aguadulce.  Check out the games on http://www.ibaf.livesport.tv/?WT.mc_id=ibafofficial