Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sorry I haven't wrote in a while ... I will be on here everyday discussing the upcomig tournaments. Best time of the year, international Baseball Season.
So the 2011 World Port Tournament will start June 23. Now, I can guarantee you that this one won't be televised, but it's still the first major tournament with some interesting teams.

Chinese Taipei - Never count them out. They may not be a fan favorite but they always play consistent baseball. There's a reason there 5th in the world, even though their results in big tournaments have made them less dominant. (Hey, back to back losses to China in the Olympics and the WBC?!) But this is the type of competition they shine in.

Cuba - It's almost robotic. It's been 12 years since they have not won this tournament, and a 5-peat is likely. But the other teams are definitely gaining ground. Again however, this is the tournament that they shine in.

Curacao (Netherlands Antilles) - Now, as you know, I usually pull for the Netherlands in every tournament possible. But, not this time. I have no idea how Curacao is going to do. I'll be honest. Their last major tournament, the 2009 Baseball World Cup had Mixed results. (Wins over Korea, but getting blown out by Canada and Australia) But for whatever reason, they were left out of qualifying for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which bothers me. Teams like Israel, whose only claim to fame is a league that lasted three or four years before folding. Or Thailand, who have went into tournaments with a two-man starting rotation and just five pitchers on their rosters. That is not a typo. So, you know, I'm rooting for these guys.

Germany - Another one of my favorites, Germany is still the most up-and-coming. They are now preparing to shock the world at the 2012 WBC Qualifying. Never count them out. Also, I just noticed that their best player, Ludwig Glaser, was kept off their roster. I do not know why yet, but in order to compete they will need offense from the likes of Dominik Wulf, Simon Guhring, and Jendrick Speer.

Netherlands - I'm going to make a statement and predict them as the winners. I know, it's bold, but they do have the home turf. This is a team that has gotten younger, and it is actually a lot different from the 2009 team. To beat the mighty Cubans, they will need production out of there proven stars, Sidney de Jong, Bryan Engelhardt, and Gene Kingsale.

My Prediction:
1. Netherlands
2. Cuba
3. Chinese Taipei
4. Germany
5. Curacao

On the Rise:
Simon Guhring (Germany)

On the Decline:
Gene Kingsale (Netherlands)

Good luck to everyone


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