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Scott Rolen inducted into the Hall of Fame

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AL BEHRMAN PHOTO, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

Scott Rolen in 2010

(Cooperstown) Third baseman Scott Rolen was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Rolen, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays, won the favor of 76.3% of voters.

A player’s name must appear on at least 75% of ballots to be admitted to Cooperstown. Rolen’s name was chosen by 63.2% of voters last year.

Rolen played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball, maintaining offensive averages of .281/.364/.490. He hit out for 2,077 hits, including 517 doubles and 316 home runs, while driving in 1,287 runs and crossing home plate 1,211 times.

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National Rookie of the Year with the Phillies in 1997, Rolen won eight Gold Gloves and a Silver Stick, in addition to being named to the All-Star team seven times. He finished fourth in National MVP voting with the Cards in 2004.

Rolen thus becomes the 18and third baseman admitted to Cooperstown.

Todd Helton, first baseman for the Colorado Rockies, took a big leap towards a possible election, receiving 72.1% of the vote, up from 52% in 2022.

Billy Wagner also took a step towards the Temple, seeing his result go from 51% to 68.1%.

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Source: lapresse

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Baseball

The Return Tournament in Spring 2026

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PHOTO SAM NAVARRO, USA TODAY SPORTS

Japan won the 2023 edition.

(Miami) The World Baseball Classic will return for its sixth edition in March 2026, with organizers concluding that spring training camp remains a better time to hold it than after the World Series or mid-season.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s final between the United States and Japan, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said owners and general managers needed to be persuaded to make more pitchers available to national teams.

Since its launch in 2006, the World Baseball Classic has been held in March before the opening day of Major League seasons in North America, Japan and South Korea.

“We talked about the schedule until our heads hurt,” Manfred said.

“There is no perfect moment. You really can’t do that after the playoffs because so many players are inactive. We talked about something in the middle of the season. I think, all things considered, even if it’s not perfect, it’s probably a good time to do it. »

Many Major League Baseball teams kept pitchers out, wanting them to focus on preparing for the start of the season.

“From a competitive point of view, I think the most important thing is that we will have to continue to work, in particular with our clubs, on the pitchers issue,” admitted Manfred.

“Of course it’s great to have the players we’ve had, but I think I’d like to see teams of pitchers with the same quality as our positional players,” added Manfred, who believes that shooting in a high-profile situation like Tuesday’s final -fair, helps players to develop.

As part of the tournament, two star players suffered injuries. New York Mets goaltender Edwin Diaz suffered a knee injury during a post-game celebration with Puerto Rico last week. He had to undergo surgery which ended his season.

Additionally, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve broke his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch. He will undergo an operation that will keep him out for a period yet to be announced.

“I think perhaps the best testament is how the players, after Díaz’s unfortunate injury, supported the tournament,” noted Manfred. “It is an indication that they are very, very interested in the event. »

Unlike the Soccer World Cup, Manfred has no plans to make the World Baseball Classic bigger than the playoffs and World Series. The purpose of the event, he said, is to develop baseball and internationalize it.

Source: lapresse

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Japan in jubilation after the country’s triumph

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PHOTO ISSEI KATO, REUTERS

(Tokyo) Japanese television maintained its live coverage of Miami for nearly two hours following Japan’s 3-2 victory over the United States in the World Baseball Classic Grand Final.

It was a show to watch over and over again.

The shot near the outside corner of home plate that allowed Shohei Ohtani to eliminate Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout and end the game was featured as a replay replayed between player interviews, footage from the beer-washed locker room and the ceremony. traditional where members of the winning team throw their manager and teammates into the air.

Yomiuri, the country’s main newspaper, ran a special edition on Wednesday afternoon for passengers, usually reserved for serious state affairs, breaking news about elections or, as last year, the assassination of the former prime minister. Shinzo Abe.

“Japan, number 1 in the world”, could be read in the main title, in Japanese, while users of Shibuya station crowded to seize this collector’s item.


PHOTO EUGENE HOSHIKO, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ohtani’s victory and focus over the past two weeks has served to divert attention from economic malaise, North Korea’s missile threats, China’s rise in Asia and its implications for Japan.

It also gave a boost to baseball in Japan, which is now rivaled by soccer as the country’s favorite sport. Japan is unlikely to win the soccer World Cup in the short term, but the level of its baseball is world-class. The country has won three of the five Clássico titles since the first edition, in 2006.

Japan joined the Dominican Republic in 2013 as the only undefeated champion of baseball’s major national tournament.

“I was comfortable losing or winning,” said Hiroya Kuroda, 44, in a crowd of about 400 watching the match at a Tokyo Tower studio. “But I was very moved by the fact that we were shown a dramatic departure on this US stage. »

Toshiya Ishii, a 29-year-old fan, burst into tears after the win.

“Thank you Ohtani,” he said. “Congratulations to Samurai Japan. THANKS. »


PHOTO ALEX TRAUTWIG, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Japan beat the Americans at their own game, and it wasn’t the first time.

American teachers and missionaries popularized the game in Japan in the 1870s and 1880s, but it was an 1896 game in Yokohama between the Americans and Japanese, won 29-4 by Japan, that allowed baseball to take root in the country.

“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made,” said Lars Nootbaar, the St. Louis outfielder. Louis Cardinals who were the first to play for Japan because of their heritage.

He spoke in a TV interview after the match and hugged his mother, Kumiko, who was by his side.

“Nippon daisuki,” said Nootbaar in Japanese. “Arigato”.

(I love Japan. Thank you.)

Nootbaar, Ohtani, pitcher Yu Darvish and coach Hideki Kuriyama were among those thrown into the air by the fans.

“It’s the first time I’ve been lifted like this,” Nootbaar said. “I hope to take a picture of this because it’s something I want to remember forever. »

Source: lapresse

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Japan wins World Baseball Classic against USA

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PHOTO SAM NAVARRO, USA TODAY SPORTS

Shohei Ohtani (16) celebrates with his teammates after beating the United States.

(Miami) Shohei Ohtani came out of the bullpen and knocked out Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout to win the World Baseball Classic final against the United States 3-2 on Tuesday night.

This is the first World Classic title for the Japanese.

Ohtani, who has captivated fans on two continents, hit a single in the seventh inning as the designated hitter, then walked along the left-field line to Japan’s bullpen to warm up before climbing the mound.

He walked Jeff McNeil before making Mookie Betts hit a double play.

Trout, the captain of the United States and three-time MVP, ended the game by being eliminated.

Ohtani hit . 435 with a home run, four doubles, eight RBIs and 10 walks in the contest when Japan joined the Dominican Republic in 2013 to become the only undefeated World Baseball Classic champions.

Source: lapresse

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