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Blathering baseball

I think I'm finally coming back to earth following Australia's silver-medal performance in the Olympic baseball. And with Boston @ Seattle in progress on the tele, it's time to catch up on some baseball items over the past fortnight.

Let's start locally. Holroyd defeated Cronulla 2-1 to win the grand final of the Sydney Winter Baseball League at Petersham Oval on August 29. Here's the match stats of that game, prepared with software obviously intended for the NCAA. Official attendance, curiously enough, is recorded as 247. Knowing how open Petersham Park is, I wonder how they counted the spectators. (The SWBL has quite a good website, which is rich with stats.)

The Chicago Cubs lost 6-0 against Montreal on Wednesday night, after losing 7-6 in the 12th twenty-four hours earlier. They're currently 74-62 in the AL Central, half a game behind Houston (77-64) and way behind the Cardinals (93-46, the most successful team in the Major Leagues this year). But in the wild card chase, the Florida Marlins (72-63) are hot on their tail. Double-header Friday starts a crucial four-game home series against the Marlins, with last week's Hurricane Frances-postponed series being squeezed into September 20.

Todd Hollandsworth is .318 from 148 at-bats, Moises Alou 33 home runs, Aramis Ramirez 90 RBIs. Greg Maddux and Carlos Zambrano both have 13 wins, while Kent Mercker has an ERA of 2.27 from 47.2 innings pitched. Of pitchers qualified for the ERA title, Zambrano is 2.86, in third place in the major leagues (Randy Johnson 2.80). Adrian Beltre of the Dodgers is the current MLB home run king with 44 so far this season, while Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners is batting .377 before the start of tonight's game (he's 1 for 3 in the middle of the seventh as I write this, Seattle leading 7-0).

And what was that happened to the Tiges in the first game of their double-header against KC earlier today? Lost 26-5?? And can we forget the Yankees 22-0 drubbing by Cleveland on August 31, or is it more fun to gloat?

Little League World Series 2004The Little League World Series wrapped up on August 29. I said I was going for the Pabao Little League of Williamstown, Curacao, and the kids didn't let me down, becoming the first Caribbean team to win the World Championship, beating Conejo Valley LL (California) 5-2.

The AAA Junior World Championships are on in Taiwan at the moment, with the finals on Sunday. Japan and Cuba topped the pools. Japan beat USA 7-3 on Sunday. Australia didn't go so hot: 6-1 loss to South Korea, 7-2 loss to Cuba, 12-2 loss to Panama, then 11-1 win over South Africa and 8-0 win over Italy. The Dutch honkbalers had a similar record, helped by a forfeit over Venezuela, who withdrew from the tournament before it began. The Netherlands' one victory on the field was against Germany, 7-3.
Here's a wrap from today's Taipei Times. More on the AAA's after the conclusion on Sunday.

Next time, I'll talk Texas League, Lugnuts, Goldeyes, Isotopes, Latin America and industrial relations in Japan. (Currently Boston 0 Seattle 7, top of the 8th, two out, Ortiz at bat.)