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 '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS

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PostSubject: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:00 am

11/03/08 4:27 PM EST
'09 Classic features new venues, format
L.A. hosts finals; double-elimination replaces round robin

By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

The World Baseball Classic, replete with new venues, new rules for teams to emerge from the opening two rounds and a gala final game at Dodger Stadium, will be opening in a nation or commonwealth near you, beginning next March 5.

All 39 games will be televised this year by ESPN and the new MLB Network -- 16 by the fledgling network, which will be born on Jan. 1 and debut to a potential audience of more than 50 million basic cable subscribers. And the general sale of tickets at each of the seven ballparks hosting games will begin at MLB.com on Nov. 17.

Strips of tickets for all games at each particular venue must be purchased.

First-round games are slated for Tokyo Dome from March 5-8, Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from March 7-11, and Toronto's Rogers Centre and Foro Sol Stadium in Mexico City from March 8-12.

The second round was awarded to San Diego's PETCO Park and Dolphin Stadium in Miami, with the games being played in those two venues on March 14-19.

And Dodger Stadium will host the semifinals and finals on March 21 and 23. PETCO was home to the semis and finals in 2006.

"The 2009 World Baseball Classic will further demonstrate the remarkable global growth of our game," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "There has been incredible demand to host the games of the second World Baseball Classic, and we are pleased to have four international destinations as our first-round venues. We are excited about the 2009 World Baseball Classic and look forward to next March."

The 16-team field is the same as '06, though an expansion of the competition to 24 countries and territories with qualifying rounds as a preface to reach the main competition is under consideration for 2013.

Next year's brackets are as follows:

Pool A -- China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea in Tokyo.

Pool B -- Australia, Cuba, Mexico and South Africa in Mexico City.

Pool C -- Canada, Italy, the U.S. and Venezuela in Toronto.

Pool D -- Dominican Republic, The Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico in Puerto Rico.

The two winners from Pools A and B will go to San Diego, and the pair of survivors from Pools C and D will go to Miami.

Unlike 2006, when Japan defeated Cuba to win the inaugural Classic championship at PETCO Park, teams will cross over to create new matchups at Los Angeles in each semifinal bracket. Thus, one winner from San Diego will play a winner from Miami with the others doing the same in the semis, which will be single elimination games. The winners go to the finals; the losers go home.

Even getting out of each of the first two rounds will have different rules for qualification.

In '06, a round-robin style was used, in which the four teams each played three games with a complicated rule of runs scored and runs allowed being used as tiebreakers.

Not this time.

The first two rounds will use a double-elimination format, and there will be six games in each bracket. The first team to lose twice is out. The second team to go will be 1-2, meaning that the two winners will be determined by Game 5 of each early-round bracket. The final game will be used to determine ranking only for the next round.

Thus, one loser will play two games, the other loser will play three games, one winner will play three games and the other winner will play four times.

It'll be accomplished like this:

• The losers of Games 1 and 2 (0-1) will meet in Game 3.

• The winners of Games 1 and 2 (1-0) meet in Game 4.

• The loser of Game 3 (0-2) goes home.

• The winner of Game 4 (2-0) moves on to the Game 6 ranking contest and ultimately the next round.

• The winner of Game 3 (1-1) meets the loser of Game 4 (1-1) in Game 5.

• The loser of Game 5 (1-2) is eliminated, and the winner of Game 5 (2-1) plays the winner of Game 4 (2-0) in Game 6 and also ultimately heads to the next round.

If that sounds complicated, it isn't, and will seem simple when the competition begins, particularly in comparison to what happened to Team USA in the second round the last time.

Three teams finished 1-2 in Pool 1 in 2006 at Angel Stadium: the U.S., Mexico and Japan. But the Japanese moved on, because they won the three-way tiebreaker by allowing five runs in one more inning than the five runs the U.S. allowed in head-to-head competition involving the three tied teams.

So, no more of that. But a lot more of this: The tournament is the only one internationally that allows players on the rosters of all 30 Major League teams to participate, representing their various nationalities. In '06, 486 players competed, including 235 from big league organizations.

Taking advantage of the rules, Japan won its final two games, defeating Korea and much-heralded Cuba in front of sellout crowds in the 45,000-seat home of the Padres. Cuba, the perennial world baseball power on the international scene, beat the Dominican Republic to move on to the finals.

Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who now toils for the Red Sox, was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.

Which players will dominate and what team will emerge as victor is again open to discussion and question.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:07 am








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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:13 am

10/07/08 2:31 PM EST
MLB Network, ESPN to televise Classic
All 39 games of international tournament to be broadcast

By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

ESPN and the new MLB Network will televise the entire slate of 39 World Baseball Classic games next year from March 5-23, it was announced on Tuesday.

ESPN will televise 23 games of the tournament in the U.S., including the semifinal and final games, across ESPN and ESPN2, and on its Spanish-language platform ESPN Deportes.

The MLB Network, which will launch on basic cable to a record potential audience of 50 million homes this Jan. 1, is slated to broadcast 16 of the Classic games.

"ESPN has the proven ability to convey the excitement and national pride that the World Baseball Classic generates among the players and fans," Bob DuPuy, Major League Baseball's president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "With so many interesting stories to cover, the World Baseball Classic is the perfect event to air on MLB Network."

The second running of the Classic will open next year with the Asian bracket in Tokyo Dome on March 5 and close with the finals at Dodger Stadium on March 23.


In the 2006 inaugural Classic, Japan won the championship, defeating Cuba in the finals at San Diego's PETCO Park.

PETCO will be a second-round venue this year, with Miami's Dolphin Stadium staging the other second-round games.

No first-round games will be played in the U.S. this time around. Toronto, Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be the other first-round hosts.

The MLB Network plans blanket coverage of the event, which will be staged again in 2013, and every four years after that.

World Baseball Classic Tonight, which will debut in late February, will feature highlights, analysis, feature stories and special reports on the tournament, its teams, players and coaches. MLB Network also will air the World Baseball Classic Selection Show, a studio show reporting the announcement of rosters for the 16 nations and commonwealths participating.

"The acquisition of the World Baseball Classic demonstrates our commitment to airing big events and showcasing a wide variety of baseball programming," said Tony Petitti, MLB Network president and chief executive. "With game broadcasts and studio programming dedicated to the World Baseball Classic, MLB Network will provide in-depth coverage to all of the action and stories of the ultimate global baseball tournament."

ESPN's agreement includes English and Spanish radio broadcast rights as well as digital rights, including the live streaming of games on ESPN360.com. In 2006, more than 24 million fans watched ESPN's U.S. broadcast of the inaugural World Baseball Classic.

ESPN International has also obtained the rights to broadcast all 39 games of the 2009 tournament outside the U.S. to 167 countries in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.

"ESPN looks forward to working with the World Baseball Classic to build on what we started in 2006," said Len DeLuca, ESPN senior vice president of programming and acquisitions. "We have more games for ESPN, a deeper multimedia offering, and wider international rights. We look forward to collaborating to make this the best global championship in March."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:28 am

What channel will the MLB network be on!
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:41 am

gdennis59 wrote:
What channel will the MLB network be on!


You will have to check with your cable company.


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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:45 am

Dangit! I hope I dont need my box for it, my family wouldnt let me watch anything baseball related in the living room.
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:51 am

It says it will be on the basic cable lineup. That will probably mean standard cable and not digital (which needs a box.)

Quote :
The MLB Network, which will launch on basic cable to a record potential audience of 50 million homes this Jan. 1, is slated to broadcast 16 of the Classic games.

UPDATE: Comcast put MLBN and put it on channel 181 Basic Digital. That did not make a lot of people happy.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:56 pm

From what I could gather on the Net:

MLB Network is a television specialty channel, primarily owned by Major League Baseball, set to launch on January 1, 2009 into over 50 million homes in the United States. Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner and Cox Communications have minority ownership of the new network, with MLB retaining a controlling two-thirds share. The channel is building its state-of-the-art headquarters in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood and moving into MSNBC's old studios in nearby Secaucus, New Jersey. Profitability is expected by the end of 2009, according to industry sources. And by 2015, revenue from cable subscriber fees and advertising is projected to soar beyond $210 million, with a net value easily exceeding $1 billion.

Major League Baseball is the last major North American professional sports league and major professional sport overall to launch its own network. NBA TV dates back to 1999, the NFL Network to 2003, and the US version of the NHL Network to 2007, However, MLBN will have the most households of these four networks when it launches, largely because of the financial participation of the cable systems.

Tony Pettitti, former executive producer of CBS Sports, was recently named the network's first president.


MLB Network expects to carry 26 live baseball games in 2009 and Saturday night is the most likely timeslot these games will air in. Other early programming will include portions of the 2009 World Baseball Classic as well as highlights, studio programming, international and development league games, and archival material. Also in the works is a nightly news and highlight show patterned after ESPN's Baseball Tonight.


The network has signed contracts with 36 cable and satellite carriers. In a deal that may be copied by other sports league owned channels, MLB tied carriage of the MLB Network to the ability to carry the popular out of market MLB Extra Innings package. In return, cable and satellite providers were offered a minority share of the new network.
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:49 pm

11/06/08 10:00 AM EST
American stars anticipating Classic
Team USA looking to improve on 2006 showing

By Tom Singer / MLB.com

In the romantic's view, the cream of Major Leaguers would fight each other off for berths on Team USA and a role in helping avenge its performance in the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic.

Despite representing the country where the game is the national pastime, and despite playing with the home-country advantage, the U.S. couldn't survive Round 2 play and sent off with a 3-3 record -- essentially eighth in the global field of 16.

And there was a lingering sense that many around that team awoke too late to the realization of what a great time they were having, and what a worthy cause they were playing for.

As USA catcher Jason Varitek recalled, "We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, and I think for our team, for the U.S., that's a great steppingstone for us to look at for the next one."

So, rally around this 2009 opportunity to get it right, in what remains the only global tournament to feature the world's prime baseball talent.

But it's a pragmatist's world. Some of the burning patriotic passion gets doused by practical issues. You can't simply mesh last summer's American and National League All-Star teams and go play the world. You have to make choices.

That said, Bob Watson, the general manager for USA Baseball, could have a less complicated time assembling a representative team to go after the crown worn by Japan since its victory three years ago.

He might run into less cynicism from teams' front offices, some of which were reluctant to provide players. And he will definitely come across more enthusiasm from the players already touched by the experience. Members of Team USA '06 would overwhelmingly welcome another shot.

Of 17 players on the 30-man USA roster asked by MLB.com, all but two would love to do it again.

Outfielder Randy Winn may have best put it into words ... by not being able to find the right words.

"You get this weird flutter that you don't get from playing in the big leagues every day. It's a true honor," said the Giants outfielder, who appeared in four games and batted .273 in 2006.

The only polled incumbent to flatly decline a repeat was Dan Wheeler, the Tampa Bay reliever, and even he qualified the rejection: "It's a great experience and I'd recommend it for anyone. But I came back to [Houston's] camp and only had [pitched] three innings. I want to be ready for the season."

First baseman Mark Teixeira also leaned toward not returning. Yet, even though he suffered through a hitless Classic in 15 at-bats, Teixeira added, "I really enjoyed the experience. Playing for your country is amazing."

Possible 2009 Team USA Roster
One possible projection of Team USA's 2009 roster, based on players
survey, positional breakdown and certain variables, primarily MLB
teams' attitude toward participation by specific players.
Position
Name
P Joey Devine



P J.J. Putz



P Brian Fuentes*



P Bobby Jenks



P Mike Gonzalez



P Brad Lidge*



P Cliff Lee



P Joe Nathan*



P Jake Peavy*



P Scot Shields*



P Huston Street*



P Roy Oswalt



P Mike Mussina



P Joe Saunders



C Joe Mauer



C A.J. Pierzynski



C Jason Varitek*



IF Derek Jeter*



IF Chipper Jones*



IF Ryan Howard



IF Alex Rodriguez*



IF Ryan Zimmerman



IF Chase Utley*



IF Michael Young*



OF B.J. Upton



OF Curtis Granderson



OF Raul Ibanez



OF Matt Holliday*



OF Vernon Wells*



OF Ryan Braun





* Participated in 2006 Classic





Teixeira is one of the offseason's premium free agents, and his participation could of course be subject to his new team's whims. The same goes for others who expressed a desire to return to Team USA and are either free agents (Brian Fuentes, Varitek) or on the trading block (Jake Peavy, Matt Holliday).

Such uncertainty is more than offset by the dozens of big leaguers avid to personally experience something they could enjoy only vicariously in 2006.

They include those who have broken into prominence since, such as ...

• Joba Chamberlain, who remembers wearing "U-S-A across my chest in the [2007] Futures Game and that was unbelievable," and reaffirms that "you always want the opportunity to represent your country."

• Curtis Granderson, who would be thrilled for "my first time ever getting a chance to represent the U.S."


• Evan Longoria ("If I got picked, I'd play"); Ian Kinsler ("I would love to go. I want to represent my country in the WBC"); and Joey Devine ("I can't imagine anyone passing up an opportunity to play for your country").

Or, the already established who missed out in 2006 for one reason or another, such as ...

• CC Sabathia, a high-profile free agent who also would have to heed his new club's wishes but who nonetheless said, "[The Classic] is definitely something I want to do this time."

• J.J. Putz, who three years ago hadn't yet made his mark as a closer but was already a dependable reliever, would "love to play in it, without a doubt. I heard it was an unbelievable experience and to wear USA on my shirt would be a thrill."

• Carl Crawford ("I'd love to play in that"); Joe Mauer ("It's pretty neat to be picked for something like that"); and Scott Kazmir ("I'd like to see USA do better this time around").

It is quite foolhardy to try predicting the USA's eventual 30-man roster -- the team doesn't yet even have a manager, an announcement expected at next month's Winter Meetings -- but there are some general conclusions to be drawn from the 2006 disappointment.

For instance, expect a considerable turnover, and stronger emphasis, on the pitching staff. Three members of the 14-man staff in 2006 have effectively retired (Roger Clemens, Al Leiter and Todd Jones). And Japan demonstrated that pitching is the key component in the early-year event; its staff had an ERA of 2.49, and the Japanese team did not allow more than four runs in any game until its 10-6 victory over Cuba in the championship game.

Because of timing and rules, which limit the innings load anyway, the prevalence of relievers -- 10 on the 2006 staff -- will continue. Some of the new arms figure to include Bobby Jenks, Mike Gonzalez, Devine and Putz -- but not Chamberlain. The Yankees, very protective of their pitchers in 2006, aren't likely to relent, especially for someone who already has had injury issues.

The infield could return intact, with a possible change to Ryan Howard at first base. But there figures to be wholesale changes behind the plate -- Varitek was backed up by Michael Barrett and Brian Schneider, both now role players -- and in the outfield.

Ken Griffey Jr., whose career now is at a crossroads, paced the '06 team with one of his more fabulous last hurrahs: Junior led with a .524 average (11-for-21), adding three homers and 10 RBIs. Vernon Wells and Winn split duty in center, but other outfielders included Johnny Damon, slowed by injuries, and Jeff Francoeur, returned to the Minors for part of last season.

The odd part of Team USA 2006's inability to advance beyond Round 2 play was that many of its players probably didn't even fully grasp why that was the case. After all, USA finished that round in a three-way tie (with Japan and Mexico) behind South Korea.

The answer was one of those hazy tiebreakers, which came down to Team USA allowing as many runs in round play as had Japan, but in one fewer inning.

Margins in international play often are that thin. But the format change for 2009, away from the inaugural tournament's round-robin style, will level the playing field.

The first two rounds next time will be double-elimination, meaning the first two teams with two losses in each pool are out and the two others move on. In both rounds, the final game will pit teams vying for a pool championship and seeding for the subsequent round.

The winners of each Round 2 pool will play the opposite pool's runners-up in two single-elimination semifinal games. Then, in a climax unchanged from 2006, the semifinal winners will meet in one final for all the bragging rights.

Team USA will begin play in the WBC's Pool C, with a draw comparable to its opening slot in 2006. Canada again is in USA's pool, while challenger Mexico and challenged South Africa have been replaced by Venezuela and Italy, respectively.

Pool C play will begin on March 5 in Toronto's Rogers Centre.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:59 pm

How come it keeps saying the MLB Network is cable instead of cable/satellite? As it's partly owned by DirecTV I highly doubt DirecTV wouldn't carry it. I'm also concerned by this:

Quote :

In a deal that may be copied by other sports league owned channels, MLB tied carriage of the MLB Network to the ability to carry the popular out of market MLB Extra Innings package.

I don't think it's their intention, but you could almost interpret that to mean you have to subscribe to MLB Extra Innings to get the package.

This is reassuring though...

Quote :
However, MLBN will have the most households of these four networks when it launches, largely because of the financial participation of the cable systems.

I can watch the NFL/NHL (and maybe NBA...I don't care enough to check) Networks without a problem without subscribing to high-end packaging. I'd assume DirecTV will offer MLB Network in a more standard package.


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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:00 pm

Also, why is Miami hosting games? Nobody goes to Marlins games there....why reward them with these games.
A) I wouldn't be shocked to see nobody go
B) There's plenty of other US stadiums that would work - either southern or domed.


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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:06 pm

catbox_9 wrote:
Also, why is Miami hosting games? Nobody goes to Marlins games there....why reward them with these games.
A) I wouldn't be shocked to see nobody go
B) There's plenty of other US stadiums that would work - either southern or domed.

I'm guessing a payoff is involved...
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:36 pm

amazing Chavez will let his boyz play
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:51 am

catbox_9 wrote:
Also, why is Miami hosting games? Nobody goes to Marlins games there....why reward them with these games.
A) I wouldn't be shocked to see nobody go
B) There's plenty of other US stadiums that would work - either southern or domed.



I agree
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:52 am

catbox_9 wrote:
How come it keeps saying the MLB Network is cable instead of cable/satellite? As it's partly owned by DirecTV I highly doubt DirecTV wouldn't carry it. I'm also concerned by this:

Quote :

In a deal that may be copied by other sports league owned channels, MLB tied carriage of the MLB Network to the ability to carry the popular out of market MLB Extra Innings package.

I don't think it's their intention, but you could almost interpret that to mean you have to subscribe to MLB Extra Innings to get the package.

This is reassuring though...

Quote :
However, MLBN will have the most households of these four networks when it launches, largely because of the financial participation of the cable systems.

I can watch the NFL/NHL (and maybe NBA...I don't care enough to check) Networks without a problem without subscribing to high-end packaging. I'd assume DirecTV will offer MLB Network in a more standard package.



I have WOW Cable


I bet I won't even get MLB Network
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:27 am

Poor GS, here is the current list of carriers. I recommend you contact WOW and demand that they carry it.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Below is a list of cable and satellite operators that will, or will not carry the upcoming MLB Network in 2009.

(source: The Sports Business Journal)

WILL CARRY

• ATMC
• Blue Ridge Communications (Pencor Svc)
• Bresnan Comm.
• Bright House
• Buckeye Cablevision Inc. (owner: Block Communications Inc., a.k.a. Toledo Blade)
• Burlington Telecom
• Cablevision
• CATV Service Inc.
• CCS Inc.
• Charter Communications
• Comcast
• CoMPAS
• Cox
• Davidson Cable TV Company
• DirecTV
• EATEL
• Home Town Cable TV, LLC
• Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (HTC)
• Jackson Energy Authority
• Massillon Cable
• MetroCast
• MidContinent
• Mid-Hudson Cablevision, Inc.
• Monmouth Independence Networks (MINET)
• OpenBand Multimedia
• Patriot Media
• Phonoscope
• Qwest Broadband Services, Inc.
• RCN
• SELCO (Shrewsbury)
• Service Electric Cable TV and Comm. Inc
• Service Electric Cable TV of NJ
• Service Electric Cablevision, Inc
• Southern Coastal Cable Communications, LLC
• Time Warner Cable
• Zito Media, L.P.

NOT CARRYING

• Adams CATV
• Antietam Cable
• Armstrong
• Atlantic Broadband Finance, LLC
• Baja Broadband (formerly Orange Broadband)
• Braintree Electric Light (BELD)
• Bristol Virginia Utilities
• Buford Cable
• Cable Co-Op Inc.
• Cable One
• Columbia Power and Water
• Dalton Utilities
• EchoStar-DISH Network
• EnTouch Systems
• Everest Connections
• Full Channel TV
• Grande Communications
• Insight
• Knology
• Marco Cable (Great Lakes DSB)
• Mediacom
• New Wave Communications
• NCTC
• Suddenlink Communications
• Vision
• Vista Media
• Wave Broadband (formerly Starstream Comm)
• WOW

source: The Sports Business Journal


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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:58 am

I have WOW too...Frown


bow Z. Miner
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:30 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:
Poor GS, here is the current list of carriers. I recommend you contact WOW and demand that they carry it.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Below is a list of cable and satellite operators that will, or will not carry the upcoming MLB Network in 2009.

(source: The Sports Business Journal)

WILL CARRY

• ATMC
• Blue Ridge Communications (Pencor Svc)
• Bresnan Comm.
• Bright House
• Buckeye Cablevision Inc. (owner: Block Communications Inc., a.k.a. Toledo Blade)
• Burlington Telecom
• Cablevision
• CATV Service Inc.
• CCS Inc.
• Charter Communications
• Comcast
• CoMPAS
• Cox
• Davidson Cable TV Company
• DirecTV
• EATEL
• Home Town Cable TV, LLC
• Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (HTC)
• Jackson Energy Authority
• Massillon Cable
• MetroCast
• MidContinent
• Mid-Hudson Cablevision, Inc.
• Monmouth Independence Networks (MINET)
• OpenBand Multimedia
• Patriot Media
• Phonoscope
• Qwest Broadband Services, Inc.
• RCN
• SELCO (Shrewsbury)
• Service Electric Cable TV and Comm. Inc
• Service Electric Cable TV of NJ
• Service Electric Cablevision, Inc
• Southern Coastal Cable Communications, LLC
• Time Warner Cable
• Zito Media, L.P.

NOT CARRYING

• Adams CATV
• Antietam Cable
• Armstrong
• Atlantic Broadband Finance, LLC
• Baja Broadband (formerly Orange Broadband)
• Braintree Electric Light (BELD)
• Bristol Virginia Utilities
• Buford Cable
• Cable Co-Op Inc.
• Cable One
• Columbia Power and Water
• Dalton Utilities
• EchoStar-DISH Network
• EnTouch Systems
• Everest Connections
• Full Channel TV
• Grande Communications
• Insight
• Knology
• Marco Cable (Great Lakes DSB)
• Mediacom
• New Wave Communications
• NCTC
• Suddenlink Communications
• Vision
• Vista Media
• Wave Broadband (formerly Starstream Comm)
• WOW

source: The Sports Business Journal


WOW CABLE SUCKS!



I GET THE NFL NETWORK


BUT THEY BLACK OUT THE THURSDAY NIGHT GAMES



WHY CARRY THE NETWORK IF THEY WON"T SHOW LIVE ACTION


rant rant rant rant rant rant
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:31 pm

I do get Big Ten Network
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:43 pm

Luckily I have DirecTV Whew

They give us ESPNU, Big 10 Network, NBA Network, NFL Network, NHL Network, and MLB Network....all in high definition (actually I'm not sure ESPNU is in HD - I'd have to check on that sometime).


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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:48 pm

I need to change cable



But I am too lazy
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:49 pm

I predict someday


The World Series


Or at least the playoffs will be only on MLB Network


The days of Sports Events on Broadcast TV are numbered
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:49 pm

That's what I said for 2 years in LA. I'm surprised Time Warner Cable is going to carry this network - they don't carry NFL Network, NBA Network, NHL Network, Big 10 Network, or ESPNU.


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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:52 pm

It is all about Greed


In the long run

The Fans get screwed
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:00 pm

11/13/08 10:00 AM EST
Venezuela poised to step forward
Players looking forward to Classic after ironing out differences

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

The first pitch of the World Baseball Classic won't be thrown for another few months, but Venezuela might already have the best comeback of the event.

It has nothing to do with the action on the field. It has everything to do with getting their best players onto it.

As recently as August, several Venezuelan stars in the Major Leagues -- ranging from Carlos Zambrano to Carlos Guillen, even the soft-spoken Magglio Ordonez and Johan Santana -- were threatening to take the tournament off. The threats came from lingering issues about the Venezuelan organization and its handling of the inaugural Classic squad in 2006.

It took a meeting last month between prominent Venezuelan players, the nation's sports minister and the president of the Venezuelan Winter League to find common ground. More than that, the meeting seems to have provided a united effort for Venezuela to bring together a full team representative of the rising talent that the nation is producing.

"We made a big step," Guillen said last week. "It's a lot better. A lot of players, they're happy. We have a new administration [in charge of the national team]. Everything's good."

Coming from Guillen, that's a major statement. He was among the most vocal critics of the administration for most of the year, saying that the players had no say in how the team was run. Guillen repeated over and over that he had no desire to play in the upcoming Classic, but the outreach from his country has reversed his direction.

And where Guillen goes, Detroit Tigers teammates Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera are likely to follow. They are not only three huge pieces in a potential Venezuelan lineup, but three of the more prominent athletes in the entire country.

"We want to play," Guillen said. "I want to play. I think Miggy's going to play. Magglio's going to play. Everything's going to be better. We just want to prepare ourselves better for the next World Baseball Classic. We want to do a better job."


With Venezuela's talent level even higher than that of the 2006 squad that carried high expectations into the inaugural Classic and fell a win shy of the final round, the 2009 squad will have the potential for more under the guidance of manager Luis Sojo. If they can reach it, the Venezuelans could make their long-awaited statement on an international stage.

To get there, they'll have to take a different path, one that won't include a matchup against any traditional Caribbean Series foes in the first round. They'll open March 5-12 as part of Pool C in Toronto against the United States, Canada and Italy.

Sojo, the longtime infielder who currently works in the Yankees' developmental system, received some of the criticism back home when the team didn't reach the finals in the inaugural event. However, he was not the target of the players' ire when they asked for changes. Ordonez, in fact, came to his defense.

"I have a lot of respect for him," Ordonez said. "It was the fans in Venezuela. When he was the first manager, they criticized him. I know a lot of people deserve a second chance."

Pitching was dominant for the club in the inaugural event, based around a rotation stacked with Johan Santana, Carlos Zambrano and Freddy Garcia. With Garcia planning to sit this one out and the status uncertain on Zambrano and Santana, Venezuela's pitching could look a lot different. However, the possibility of having Mariners ace Felix Hernandez and Tigers breakout right-hander Armando Galarraga on the mound could go some way toward filling the gap. Closer Francisco Rodriguez is expected to anchor a skilled bullpen behind them.

Whatever the names, Venezuelan pitching is a strength. The main reason Venezuela couldn't get to the finals last time, however, was an inconsistent offense that couldn't produce enough runs in the big games. Guillen and Ordonez went 2-for-18 and 2-for-20, respectively, in the 2006 event. Bobby Abreu went 3-for-20. Cabrera homered twice with five RBIs in his 4-for-19 performance to power the Venezuelan offense, while Endy Chavez added a pair of solo homers and Victor Martinez hit a grand slam.

The Venezuelans scored a total of only one run in their two second-round losses, including a shutout to Cuba and a 2-1 defeat to the Dominican Republic that denied them a berth in the finals. They produced a 6-0 win over Puerto Rico, but had a close battle before Martinez's eighth-inning grand slam.

"Playing in the playoffs [in 2007] and playing in the [Classic] are at the very top of my career," Martinez said recently.

Some Venezuelan players, including Guillen, said later that their hitting was behind the pitching that they faced at that point in the spring. With so many players coming back to the club, they're expected to take that experience to memory and, in some cases, ramp up their offseason preparation earlier.

With the sweet swings of Ordonez, Abreu and Guillen, plus the power of Cabrera and Martinez, Venezuela has the potential to overwhelm opposing pitchers. With the emergence of young players such as Rays catcher Dioner Navarro, Mariners second baseman Jose Lopez, five-tool Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, Indians outfielder Franklin Gutierrez and Royals infielder Alberto Callaspo, this year's roster should be deeper.

"It would be fantastic [to play]," Navarro said. "That's your land and your colors."

At the center could again be Vizquel, the 20-year Major League veteran who is an icon in his country and a role model for many young Venezuelan players.

"That has been one of my greatest experiences, being around all the best players from every country," Vizquel said. "It was beautiful to see everybody come together as a team."

Off the field, it appears they've come together to put forth another formidable team. If they can come together on the field and take the next step, their experience could be even sweeter. With the Dominicans potentially looming again in the second round, March 14-19 in Miami, they could be headed on another collision course.

Possible 2009 Team Venezuela Roster
One possible projection of Team Venezuela's 2009 roster, based on
players survey, positional breakdown and certain variables, primarily
MLB teams' attitude toward participation by specific players.
Position
Name
CVictor Martinez
CDioner Navarro
CRamon Hernandez
IFMiguel Cabrera
IFOmar Vizquel
IFJose Lopez
IFMelvin Mora
IFCarlos Guillen
IFMarco Scutaro
IFCesar Izturis
IFMiguel Cairo
IFAlberto Callaspo
OFMagglio Ordonez
OFBobby Abreu
OFJuan Rivera
OFFranklin Gutierrez
OFEndy Chavez
OFCarlos Gonzalez
PCarlos Zambrano
PJohan Santana
PFelix Hernandez
PArmando Galarraga
PFrancisco Rodriguez
PRafael Betancourt
PCarlos Silva
PJorge Julio
PWilfredo Ledezma
PAnibal Sanchez
PRenyel Pinto
PYusmeiro Petit







Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:05 pm

11/10/08 10:00 AM EST
Dominicans regroup for second Classic
Added star power should make up for '06 disappointment

By Tom Singer / MLB.com

Of the two co-favorites to fall short of expectations in the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic, the breakdown of one caused national depression.

In the United States, a country of multiple passions, most people were able to get over it and move on.

But in the Dominican Republic, a fourth-place finish threw salt into gaping wounds of pride.

The Caribbean republic of eight million expected much more from the latest crest of a tidal wave of talent that had been battering the Major Leagues' shores for decades.

The '06 disappointment, acerbated by the team getting knocked out of the tournament with a 3-1 loss in the semifinals to Caribbean-rival Cuba, appears to have only heightened the Dominicans' make-good resolve.

It appears that the country's 2009 manager -- Stan Javier, who replaced Manny Acta after serving as GM for the first go-round -- will have his pick of front-line players. Dominican big leaguers are storming the roster, so to speak: The number to already submit written applications to participate is enough to fill three rosters.

Team Dominican's star power will be considerably brighter.

Judging by information disseminated two weeks ago by Dominican Baseball League officials, players who were absent in 2006 for various reasons but are in the 2009 fold include Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Guillen and even Sammy Sosa.

Without intending any disrespect to the '06 participants, put it this way: The reserve first baseman then was Pedro Feliz, who had seldom played that position for the Giants, his Major League club at the time.

Feliz now says he "definitely" wants to rejoin the team because he was "proud to play for my country, " and he very well might be back -- but not at first base, since Carlos Pena is now on board to share the position with Albert Pujols.

"Definitely, I want to play," said Pena. "Are you kidding me?"

Similarly, right-hander Julian Tavarez hopes to be back because, "I loved it the last time and I think this time it will be even better because it will be better organized." Tavarez might find it hard to land a staff spot with such marquee names as Ervin Santana and Edinson Volquez on Javier's preliminary list.

"They know how important this tournament is for our country," Javier said recently, addressing his countrymen's response. "We love to play baseball. What better chance to represent your country than to try to win [a world tournament]? People here breathe, talk and live baseball."

Having options will be good for Javier, because the return of several key members from the 2006 team is up in the air due to health or competitive issues.

The top concern in that regard is Pujols, one of three to play in all seven of the Dominican's games in 2006. Pujols batted .286 with a homer and three RBIs while being largely dodged by foes; his seven walks ranked second to teammate David Ortiz's eight among all players.

Pujols had surgery on his chronically sore right elbow in mid-October, but Javier remains optimistic that he'll be ready to go in March.

Third baseman Adrian Beltre, the only Dominican to earn a spot on the '06 All-Classic team for his four-homer, nine-RBI performance, is recovering from thumb and shoulder injuries. Reliever Robinson Tejeda's season ended prematurely with a hip injury.

Others, like Frank Francisco, who might close for the Rangers next season, and Tigers second baseman Placido Polanco, are talking about preferring instead to focus on the upcoming Major League season.

Polanco could be a particularly steep loss: He batted .500 (9-for-18) while splitting the position with Alfonso Soriano, who was hitless in 12 at-bats.

But finding replacements for Polanco and Soriano (he's entrenched in the outfield now) would not be a problem: the Yankees' Robinson Cano and Alexi Casilla of the Twins are both on board.

Then, Javier's riches at shortstop will give him flexibility in the middle of the infield, with the option of switching someone to the other side of second: Incumbents Jose Reyes and Miguel Tejada both are interested in returning, and others like Jhonny Peralta and Hanley Ramirez want in.

Yet all of the foregoing could be incidental to a loaded outfield and fortified pitching staff.

Not to imply that the Dominican's 2006 outfield was shorthanded, but it included Luis Polonia, six years after his last Major League sighting. Moises Alou was the only one of the five outfielders on the '06 team to hit a home run. In total, the outfield combined to drive in five runs.

Guerrero (who withdrew in 2006 in the wake of a family tragedy, the death of three cousins in a car crash), Manny Ramirez (who fell out after reporting late to Boston's camp) and Jose Guillen (who was recovering from elbow surgery) are all now in. Last season alone, that trio was good for 84 homers and 309 RBIs. Add to them Soriano, the Twins' Carlos Gomez and Sosa, who sat out the 2008 season and has long been suspected of planning on the 2009 Classic as his formal last bow.

The upgrade to the pitching staff could be even more dramatic, with such breakthrough pitchers as Carlos Marmol, Fausto Carmona, Francisco Liriano, Johnny Cueto, Santana and Volquez eager to get the ball and join up with Odalis Perez (he led the '06 staff with two wins) and Fernando Rodney (big out of the pen, with seven strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings).

All of those components would certainly add up to a formidable force, ready to finish a job the 2006 team began in impressive style. For that Dominican team actually did far better than the Classic's bitter aftertaste suggested.

In fact, the Dominican Republic's final record of 5-2 ranked second to South Korea's 6-1. But neither team made it to the final. The finalists, Japan and Cuba, both wound up 5-3.

But such are the vagaries of international round-robin play, which was the system in use in 2006. This will be replaced in 2009 by double-elimination, with its greater emphasis on won-lost records instead of tiebreaker rules.

The Dominican Republic is grouped with the Netherlands, Panama and Puerto Rico in Pool D, set to play out March 7-11 in San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium.

Possible 2009 Team Dominican Republic Roster
One possible projection of Team Dominican's 2009 roster, based on
players survey, positional breakdown and certain variables, primarily
MLB teams' attitude toward participation by specific players.
Position
Name
CAlberto Castillo
CRonny Paulino
CMiguel Olivo
IFMiguel Tejada
IFHanley Ramirez
IFJhonny Peralta
IFDavid Ortiz
IFCarlos Pena
IFJose Reyes
IFAlbert Pujols
IFAdrian Beltre
IFPedro Feliz
OFVladimir Guerrero
OFSammy Sosa
OFJose Guillen
OFCarlos Gomez
OFAlfonso Soriano
OFManny Ramirez
PJesus Colome
PErvin Santana
PGuillermo Mota
PDaniel Cabrera
PUbaldo Jimenez
PJohnny Cueto
PDamaso Marte
POdalis Perez
PPedro Martinez
PCarlos Marmol
PFernando Rodney
PFausto Carmona
PEdinson Volquez

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:18 pm

11/07/08 10:00 AM EST
Cubans ready for another Classic run
Powerhouse should again be in the mix for championship

By Jim Molony / MLB.com

It will have a hard time topping the drama Cuba's entry in the inaugural World Baseball Classic provided three years ago, but the 2009 Cuban team has the potential to be as strong -- if not stronger -- than the one that advanced to the championship round of the initial event before falling to Japan.

Three years ago, the Cuban team was initially not allowed in the tournament. But the U.S. Treasury Department reversed its decisions and decided not to ban Cuba's participation.

It was an historic move, as Cuba had been an international power in baseball and winner of three of the four Olympic gold medals in the preceding 16 years.

They were the winners of the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, and the 2004 International Baseball Federation World Cup in the Netherlands. The Cubans have won the latter tournament 25 times since its inception in 1938. But Cuba had never competed against Major League players in an international tournament.

The closest it came was splitting a pair of exhibition games against the Baltimore Orioles in 1999, losing in Havana and winning at Camden Yards.

With players like center fielder Alexei Ramirez, currently with the White Sox, the Cubans lived up to their reputations by winning five games in the tournament before falling to Japan, 10-6, in the championship game at San Diego's Petco Park.

The Cuban team cruised through the first round, topping Panama and the Netherlands, with its lone loss in Pool C coming against Puerto Rico. The loss was avenged in the second round, when Cuba topped Puerto Rico along with Venezuela to qualify for the semifinals.

The club rebounded from a 7-3 loss to the Dominican Republic in Round 2 with a 3-1 semifinal victory against a Dominican team made up of Major League All-Stars to qualify for the matchup against Japan.

That win earned Cuba the distinction of being the only Latin American team to reach the final in a field that included such powerhouses as the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. The final was the 37th time Cuba advanced to a championship game, spanning years of Olympic participation, World Cups and Intercontinental Cups.

Ramirez, who helped the White Sox reach the playoffs in 2008, hit .375 (6-for-16) with two doubles and two RBIs for Cuba in the Classic.

Although it is unlikely Ramirez will participate for the Cuban team in 2009, many of the players who helped Cuba get to the final three years ago could return.

Outfielder Yoandy Garlobo, who hit .480 with a .536 on-base percentage, had the fourth-best average of any tournament participant and the second-highest among players with at least 20 at-bats, trailing only Ken Griffey Jr.'s .524 mark in 21 at-bats for the USA.

Outfielder Frederich Cepeda hit .385 with two homers and eight RBIs in 26 at-bats, including a two-run home run in the eighth inning off Soichi Fujita in the final that cut Japan's lead to one run.

Outfielder Osmany Urrutia (.345), first baseman Arriel Borrero (.318) and third baseman Yulieski Gourriel (.273) should be back to form the nucleus of what will likely be another productive offense. Cuba's team batting average in the 2006 Classic was .283, and the club's 44 runs and 117 total bases surpassed every team except Japan.

Starting catcher Ariel Pestano and shortstop Eduardo Paret could also be back for return engagements.

Pitchers Yadel Marti (1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in four games) and Pedro Lazo (1-0, 2.45), who helped beat the Dominican Republic to put the Cuban team in the final, are expected back, along with Ormani Romero (2-1, 4.15), who started against the Japanese.

This time Cuba is in Pool B, along with Australia, Mexico and South Africa, at Mexico City.

Possible 2009 Team Cuba Roster
Position
Name
PLuis Borroto
PMaikel Folch
PYulieski Gonzalez
PPedro Luis Lazo
PYadel Marti
PJonder Martinez
PYunieski Maya
PVicyohandry Odelin
PAdiel Palma
PYadiel Pedroso
PYosvany Perez
POrmari Romero
PDennis Suarez
CRoger Machado
CAriel Pestano
CErier Sanchez
IFLeslie Anderson
IFAriel Borrero
IFMichel Enriquez
IFYulieski Gourriel
IFJuan Carlos Moreno
IFEduardo Paret
IFJuan Carlos Pedroso
IFRudy Reyes
OFFrederich Cepeda
OFYoandy Garlobo
OFCarlos Tabares
OFOsmany Urrutia

Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:27 pm

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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:02 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:
11/13/08 10:00 AM EST
Venezuela poised to step forward
Players looking forward to Classic after ironing out differences


They'd be better off with Pedrique at the helm rather than Sojo, IMO.
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PostSubject: Re: '09 World Baseball Classic NEWS   Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:20 am

gdennis59 wrote:
Dangit! I hope I dont need my box for it, my family wouldnt let me watch anything baseball related in the living room.

Now THAT is just messed up!! :tiger2:
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