Junior Team Prospects Showing Improvement With Every Spring Training Game

  • April 18, 2006

While most people were hunting for Easter eggs, devouring chocolate bunnies and feasting on turkey over the long weekend, Baseball Canada’s National Junior Team prospects were hungry to show they were good enough to make the squad that will represent Canada at the 2006 World Junior Baseball Championship. Of the 28 players that kicked off the camp at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, 18 will eventually be selected for the World Championships. The prospects played three games against professional instructional teams over the weekend, and have improved dramatically each time out. In their first match-up against the Atlanta Braves, Saturday, the Canadians struck out 15 times in a 9-0 loss. However, with the experience of having played against professional players under their belts, Canada bounced back with a strong offensive effort against the Cleveland Indians. Mark Ellis (Maple Ridge, B.C.) was a catalyst, leading the Canadians by going 3-for-4 at the plate including hitting a lead-off double in the bottom of the fifth. Ellis was then scored by a single from Matt McCarney (Kanata, Ont.), who was perfect 2-for-2 at the plate. Jonathan Waltenbury (Bowmanville, Ont.) was 2-for-4 while, Leslie Williams (Scarborough, Ont.), Brett Lawrie (Langley, B.C.), Chris Dennis (Windsor, Ont.), Shayne Willson (Surrey, B.C.) and David Narodowski (Vancouver, B.C.) all collected one hit each. Despite losing the game 17-1, Canadian head coach Greg Hamilton was pleased with his team’s effort with the bats. “Any time you get 11 hits against pro pitching, you have to be happy about that,” said Hamilton. Canada’s bats stayed hot in Monday’s 15-8 loss against the Houston Astros. Waltenbury and Lawrie were once again right in the thick of things to lead the Canadian offence. Waltenbury was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and 1 run scored while Lawrie was 2-for-5 with 2 runs scored and 1 RBI. “For a kid that’s only 16 year of age and that has two years of eligibility left before being drafted he’s swinging the bat at a very advanced level thus far,” said Hamilton of Lawrie’s accomplishments early in camp. “He’s got some things to learn, obviously, because he’s so young, but he’s showing that he’s going to be a very good player." Canada jumped out to an impressive 6-0 lead on the Astros thanks to a six-run third inning. With the bases loaded, Tyson Gillies (Langley, B.C.) knocked a single to left field that scored Kyle Gilligan (Toronto, Ont.) and Williams. Lawrie then singled in Narodowski and Waltenbury doubled to score Gillies to set up a two-run single from Kyle Orr (Victoria, B.C.) to make it 6-0. Houston scored 3, 4 and 2 runs respectively in the next three innings and added a six-run inning of their own in the 8th, putting the game out of reach for Canada despite an RBI single by Waltenbury in the seventh and a homerun from Dennis in the eighth – The first for Canada in spring training. Canada’s next spring training game comes Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. EST against the Cleveland Indians in a game, which will mark the halfway point in this year’s spring training. Battling Injuries and Ailments Baseball Canada’s National Junior Team prospects have had to battle more than professional players this long weekend as a series of injuries and ailments has come to cut into the team’s depth at camp. Steve Anderson (Markham, Ont.) had to return home with the Chicken Pox while Dan Welch (Sidney, B.C.) has a mild ankle sprain. Gillies also suffered a minor ankle strain.

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Play Ball 2006! Saskatchewan Baseball

  • April 18, 2006

In the third of 10 provincial association profiles, Baseball Canada speaks with Saskatchewan Baseball President Ken Hamilton about the upcoming 2006 season. BASEBALL CANADA (BCAN) – In no particular order, what five events or initiatives are you looking forward to the most as you are in the midst of kicking off the 2006 baseball season? 1. Western Canada Championships Hat Trick KEN HAMILTON (KH) – 1. We’re going to be hosting three Western Canada Baseball Championships this summer in Saskatchewan. The first will be the Western Canada AAA Midget Championships, which will be held in Regina from August 24 to 28. The Second will be the Western Canada AA Senior Championship in Saskatoon from August 17 to 21 and the third will be the Western Canada AA Minor Championship (Pee-Wee, Bantam, Midget), which will take place in Yorkton from August 17 to the 21. BCAN – Obviously it has to be exciting to have three of the Western Canada Championships in Saskatchewan.  What kinds of challenges arise from hosting that many events of such magnitude and how do you see overcoming those hurdles? KH – It’s a big thing for us to have that many tournaments going on in one summer. It’s a big challenge for our volunteer base because we are stretched fairly thin as a small province.  However, if you look at Yorkton, it has been a real hotbed for baseball in Saskatchewan. They’ve got great facilities and great support from the city. They are also hosting the championship for the second year in a row now. They did a fantastic job last year and we expect them to be fine again this year. We also expect to see the same from the other two cities.  Regina and Saskatoon are both cities with good facilities and a lot of backing from their communities. Thanks to that, despite being a small province, the volunteer base we do have is very strong and should be able to handle this workload. We’ve hosted big events in the past so I don’t see why we can do this without too much strain. 2 & 3. Rally Cap Program & Winterball KH – This is the second year now that we’ve been involved in the Rally Cap program. This year, it’s being run in conjunction with the Mosquito division of the Saskatoon Baseball Council. We don’t have any numbers yet, but it does sound like the volunteers and everybody involved are extremely enthusiastic about it, which is what you want to hear. We’re really looking forward to seeing the numbers when they’re available. KH – Last year we had a number of Winterball Clinics, which were focused on Saskatoon and the northern part of the province.  They went over extremely well and exceeded our expectations, so Baseball Canada gave us some extra kits, which was a great thing for us. The feedback we’re getting from the schools is extremely positive. As a result, this year we have already booked over 40 clinics, mainly focusing in the southern part of the province (Regina and South). We’re just like all of the other baseball organizations in Canada. We need our grassroots system to be strong and we really believe that Winterball is a great program for young people to develop an interest in the sport, start playing the game and have fun at the same time. See http://www.baseball.ca/eng_doc.cfm?DocID=212&Related=13 for more information about Baseball Canada’s Rally Cap Program. See http://www.baseball.ca/eng_doc.cfm?DocID=69&Related=13 to learn more about Baseball Canada’s Winterball Program. 4.  North American Indigenous Games KH – As you know, in our province here in Saskatchewan we have a very high number of aboriginal people, and we’ve been trying for a number of years to get more participation in that sector.  This year, the North American Indigenous Games are being held in Denver, Colorado from July 2nd to the 9th. They’ve got tournaments for baseball in a number of age categories including Boys 13 & 14, boys 14 & 15, boys 17 to 19, and an over 20 age group. Consequently, Saskatchewan Baseball has been working very closely with the North American Indigenous Games Committee in the province, helping with coaching clinics, player selection and so on.  We think it’s going well and hopefully we’ll have some pretty competitive teams coming out of Saskatchewan. BCAN – Is Saskatchewan trying to field a team for each and every one of those age categories? KH – I think they would like to, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to. There may not be enough players.  Greg Brons, our technical director here at Saskatchewan Baseball has been very active in trying to get it off the ground. Thus far we’ve gotten good support from the North American Indigenous Games Committee. We’ll get at least one team down there for sure.  I’m thinking at this point that it will be in the 15 to 16-year-old category. BCAN – What’s the process for training, recruiting and selecting potential players and/or coaches for Saskatchewan’s representation at the North American Indigenous Games? KH – First we set up a coaching clinic, which is schedule for Saturday, May 6 in Saskatoon. Secondly, we’ll have a mission staff meeting on May 7 at the same hotel. Greg has also been involved with player camps and player selection, so we’ve got a fair level of involvement. The Aboriginal Community in Saskatchewan is a very large one with a lot of young people, so we’d like to get them playing ball. See http://www.teamsask.fsin.com/ for more information about Team Saskatchewan and the North American Indigenous Games 5. Girls Baseball KH – Because of our size as a province, we’ve had some problems fielding teams for the girls’ programs and have had difficulty dealing with the cost of sending them long distances or out of province, so this year we’ve changed our focus a little bit. Prior to this year we were allowing girls who were fastball players to simply come to try out camps where we would form our provincial baseball team. Basically this year we’ve gone to the same format that’s being applied to boys’ baseball. The girls will have to register with Saskatchewan Baseball. If we have enough players for more than one team then we would hold a provincial play-off to determine a provincial team. In the past we’d simply host the try-out camps and outside of that we don’t think that there was enough awareness about girls baseball. That being said, last year we hosted the pee-wee championships in Estevan and from that, some of the parents became more interested and more active in the sport. We’re now moving in a direction where the girls program has more exposure and that’s what we need. Once the girls start playing, they find out they love to play baseball. We just have to get them into the game. Want to learn more about Saskatchewan Baseball? Visit their website at www.saskbaseball.ca. That wraps up this week's edition of Play Ball 2006! Come back next week as Baseball Canada sits down with Baseball Manitoba’s Ken Sharpe. Schedule:April 24: Play Ball 2006! Manitoba Baseball AssociationMay 1: Play Ball 2006! Baseball OntarioMay 8: Play Ball 2006! Baseball QuébecMay 15: Play Ball 2006! Baseball New BrunswickMay 22: Play Ball 2006! Baseball Nova ScotiaMay 29: Play Ball 2006! P.E.I. Amateur Baseball AssociationJune 5: Play Ball 2006! Baseball Newfoundland

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Waltenbury stays hot, Willson homers for National Junior Team Prospects in Spring Training

  • April 18, 2006

Jonathan Waltenbury (Bowmanville, Ont.) continued his hot spring training campaign with Baseball Canada’s National Junior Team prospects, Tuesday, going 2-for-3 an 11-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Waltenbury is now 6-for-11 with one run scored and two RBI in his last three spring training games against the Indians and the Houston Astros. “He’s a good hitter. He’s a guy that projects to be a good power hitter down the road,” said National Junior Team Head Coach Greg Hamilton. “He’s got real good bat speed, generates a lot of extension on his swing and has very good plate discipline.” Canada’s lone run came in the bottom of the ninth when Shayne Willson (Surrey B.C.) pulled a solo shot to left field in a game where Canadian hits were sparse. Leslie Williams (Scarborough, Ont.) and Tyson Gillies (Langley, B.C.) were the only two other Canadian prospects to record a hit. After committing nine errors in their first two spring training games, the Canadians now seem to have settled in defensively, playing two consecutive games without a miscue in the field. “That’s the benefit of being down here and having access to facilities where you can work on these things,” said Hamilton. “When you have some young guys like we do you have to get them to slow the game down a little bit as opposed to speeding up when the game is faster. We’ve managed to understand that concept a little bit better over the last two games and we’re not forcing things. As a result we’re improving, which is what you want to see.” Canadian starter Sheldon McDonald (Spruce Grove, Alta.) threw three good innings for the Canadians, striking out two batters while giving up three runs on five hits. After David Francis (Mississauga, Ont.) gave up eight runs behind five walks and six hits over the next 2.1 innings, Cory Hall (Regina, Sask.) shut down the Indians the rest of the way to close the game. Hall, the only Saskatchewan-born player at spring training was spectacular, striking out three batters and allowing only one hit over 3.2 innings of work. “He’s a strike thrower that has a solid, heavy fastball and he pounds the strike zone,” said Hamilton of the 6’2” right-hander. “He’s a competitive kid, he’s not afraid to go after people and he’s willing to attack hitters. He really simplifies the process.” Canada’s next spring training match-up comes Wednesday evening against Stetson University. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST.  

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Baseball Canada names Gatineau host of 2006 Women’s Nationals

  • April 13, 2006

Baseball Canada announced, today, that Gatineau, Qué has been named as the host city for its 2006 National Women’s Invitational Championship. The tournament, which will be held July 20 to 23 at Sancscartier Park in Gatineau, will feature the best female baseball players in the country, representing six teams from Ontario (2), Québec, Alberta, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. “The Outaouais is one of the best regions for the development of women’s baseball in Québec,” says André Lachance, Baseball Canada’s Manager of Baseball Operations and Head Coach of the Canadian Women’s National Team. “Gatineau’s amateur baseball association has solid base of quality volunteers who will make sure this tournament is a big success.” The championship will also be used to select its 18-person roster for the Canadian National Women’s Team, which will compete at the 2nd Baseball World Cup in Taipei, Taiwan August 1 to 6, 2006. “This Championship is, for all intents and purposes, one of the only opportunities these athletes have to show us what they’ve got and try to earn a spot the team that will compete at the World cup, where our goal is to win a gold medal,” says Lachance. “The level of competition we’re going to see in Gatineau is very high and will turn some heads. A lot of baseball fans are going to discover that baseball can also be played very well by Women.” Additional Information

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Baseball Canada National Junior Team Prospects Prepare for Spring Training

  • April 13, 2006

OTTAWA – Baseball Canada’s 2006 national junior team prospects will continue the selection process for this year’s club when they take part in a spring training camp April 14-24 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. A total of 28 players aged 16 and 17 years have been invited to participate in the training camp. Players will conduct practices daily beginning April 14 and will also play a total of eight exhibition games against extended spring teams of the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros as well as U.S. college programs. The selection process for Baseball Canada’s 2006 national junior team, which will compete at the World Junior AAA Championship in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba in September, began last October with a fall instructional league camp. The selection process will continue later this year with a May training camp in the Dominican Republic before a summer exhibition series in Atlanta, Ga., against the American national junior team, which will serve as a tune-up for the World Championship. Exhibition Game Schedule: Saturday April 15 – Canada vs. Atlanta Braves, 10 a.m. ESTSunday April 16 – Canada vs. Cleveland Indians, 1 p.m. ESTMonday April 17 – Canada vs. Houston Astros, 1 p.m. ESTTuesday April 18 – Canada vs. Cleveland Indians, 1 p.m. ESTWednesday April 19 – Canada vs. Stetson University, 7 p.m. ESTThursday April 20 – Canada vs. Lake Sumter Community College, 3 p.m. ESTFriday April 21 – Canada vs. Detroit Tigers, 1 p.m. ESTSaturday April 22 – Canada vs. Atlanta Braves, 10 a.m. EST RosterPitching Rotation2005-2006 Junior Team Schedule

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Play Ball 2006! Baseball Alberta

  • April 10, 2006

In the second of 10 provincial association profiles, Baseball Canada speaks with Baseball Alberta representative Terry Murphy about the upcoming 2006 season. BASEBALL CANADA (BCAN) – In no particular order, what five events or initiatives are you looking forward to the most as you are in the midst of kicking off the 2006 baseball season? 1. Baseball Canada National Bantam Girls Championship: Grande Prairie, Alberta TERRY MURPHY (TM) – 1. At the top of our list would be the Bantam Girls National Championship in Grande Prairie. We’ve been working very diligently on that for quite some time now in order to make sure that it’s going to be a nice and smooth operation once the tournament kicks off. Our vice president here at Baseball Alberta, Doug Star, is on the executive committee for the tournament and with his guidance I’m sure everything will be in order when August 18 rolls around. Grande Prairie is the largest association in Baseball Alberta and they’ve got a great volunteer base to work with. As you’ve probably seen, they hosted the World Women’s Curling Championship there not too long ago, so they’ve proven they can host great events. BCAN –What kind of exposure can this championship give girls baseball, given the fact tat it will be held one week prior to the rest of the Baseball Canada Championships? TM – I really hope it can help promote the growth of girls’ baseball. The City of Grande Prairie is extremely excited about having them there. They’re extremely supportive of women’s sport and I don’t think that will be any different with our Bantam Girls. 2. League Management Initiative TM – Our next big initiative is our League Management Program, which we started at all levels last year – from Mosquito all the way to Midget as well as working with some tournaments at the Junior and Senior levels. We had a league management workshop at our AGM this year, from which some positive recommendations surfaced. We also had a very good turnout at this workshop, which included 56 representatives from a number of our associations throughout the province. The goal of the initiative is to get all of these representatives and associations on the same page and accepting how we’re going to manage our leagues and provincial tournaments. We’ve established a framework where there would be no significant travel in the first round of a tournament. Based on the results of that first round, teams will be seeded for the second round of play and will be split up into different tiers. The third round will be the final provincial championship round and each tier will have a provincial champion. In other words, we’re having more championships within each age group and more kids are going to have the chance to play through the month of July. Furthermore, we will be holding the provincial championships earlier (middle of July instead of the first part of August), giving teams that qualify for the national championships the opportunity to better prepare themselves. For example if it’s a team that needs to travel a long distance across the country, they will have more time to save the money they need to be able go. In some cases, teams would only have two weeks to get ready and that’s too taxing on our associations to raise that kind of money within that short period of time. One of the things that has really helped with the League Management Initiative is our on-line registration process, which we introduced last year. During the first year, we had 75 associations work on-line and this year we expect virtually all of them to do so. The beauty of the on-line program is that the associations can develop spread sheets for their players, which can be updated from year to year as the players move up through the different age categories. It’s also easier this way to add new players to the system. Also, it’s a good vehicle for collecting data for mail-outs or canvassing for registrations. It really gives you easy access to all of the information that you would require for each association or individual athlete. 3. New NCCP Leaders TM – We’re very happy to have hired Mark Randall and Shane Bromlley to get the province on track with the new National Coaching Certification Program Initiatives. They were the two top guys during our interviewing process so we decided to go with both of them in order to get coaches together and organizing clinics. Their first assignment was to get a good turnout to the new NCCP evaluator training and that went off quite well. Now they’re continuing to press on by organizing clinics and making sure that communities are aware of what they have to do to host these clinics. In the future these are two individuals that we would like to see do more things with Baseball Alberta, so this is one way that we can start to do that. See http://www.baseball.ca/eng_news_story.cfm?NewsID=811 for more information about the new NCCP program. 4 & 5. Rally Cap and Winterball Programs TM – First of all, we’ve had so many requests for the Rally Cap Program that we can’t even fill them all. We’re going to get another batch of Rally Cap hats here in the next couple of weeks and, already, they’re all spoken for. It’s extremely exciting that all of the associations are enthused about it and looking forward to getting on board with the program. Secondly, we’ve used all but 25 of the Winterball kits we’ve received thus far. Those 25 kits are all spoken for and are going out to schools this fall. Dan Curtis and Brad Wolanski, who are running the Winterball Initiatives in Alberta, have done a great job generating interest in the program. One of the main reasons for the high interest is that they attended a teacher’s convention here in Edmonton, which was essentially a trade show for educational materials. They set up a booth at the convention to present the program and as a result, we can’t even fill all of the requests we’ve had. They’re also making sure that our baseball associations are aware that these Winterball kits are going out to schools in their communities.  As a result we expect the associations to communicate with the schools. That way when spring time rolls around, they can either hold registration at the schools or at least make sure that the kids in these schools are aware that the registration process for local baseball is ongoing. BCAN – How important is it for local baseball associations to maintain a relationship with the schools that have adopted the Winterball Program into their curriculum? TM – If we don’t nurture the program and keep the lines of communication open with the schools we won’t see any growth in our registration numbers. Nurturing the program means making sure everything is going well while the program is being introduced and asking the teachers if they need any help. We expect the associations to send representatives out to touch base with the educators and most of them seem to be willing to do that. BCAN: How much optimism does that create when you’ve got such a high demand from programs like these at the grassroots level? TM – It’s pretty exciting because our baseball programs haven’t grown all that much until the last couple of years. I think new programs from the NCCP, Rally Cap and Winterball, are really going to help our associations grow stronger. See http://www.baseball.ca/eng_doc.cfm?DocID=212&Related=13 for more information about Baseball Canada’s Rally Cap Program. See http://www.baseball.ca/eng_doc.cfm?DocID=69&Related=13 to learn more about Baseball Canada’s Winterball Program. Want to learn more about Baseball Alberta? Visit their website at www.baseballalberta.com. That wraps up this weeks edition of Play Ball 2006! Come back next week as Baseball Canada sits down with Saskatchewan Baseball President Ken Hamilton. Due to the Easter Holiday, next week’s edition will be posted Tuesday, April 18. Schedule: April 18: Play Ball 2006! Saskatchewan BaseballApril 24: Play Ball 2006! Manitoba Baseball AssociationMay 1: Play Ball 2006! Baseball OntarioMay 8: Play Ball 2006! Baseball QuébecMay 15: Play Ball 2006! Baseball New BrunswickMay 22: Play Ball 2006! Baseball Nova ScotiaMay 29: Play Ball 2006! P.E.I. Amateur Baseball AssociationJune 5: Play Ball 2006! Baseball Newfoundland  

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Thunder Bay strengthens bid for 2010 World Junior Championships

  • April 08, 2006

The Thunder Bay International Baseball Association (TBIBA) now has seven months to strengthen its bid for the 2010 World Junior AAA Championships.  The International BAseball Federation (IBAF), who was expected to make a decision on the location of 2010 World Juniors last week, deferred the matter to its next meeting, which will be held in November.  Although Thunder Bay is currently the only city to have entered a bid, TBIBA Executive Director Warren Philp says there’s no reason why TBIBA shouldn’t take advantage of the extra time to make its bid even more appealing to international officials.  “We will continue to work closely with Baseball Canada to keep our bid current in order to pout forward the best proposal possible to host the 2010 event,” said Philp. “We believe that the time we have, in light of the deferral, will work in our favour by allowing us to make our bid look better.”  A joint effort between the City of Thunder Bay and the Northwoods Baseball League’s Thunder Bay BorderCats will create capital improvements for the Port Arthur Stadium, where the championship would be held. In addition, the Thunder Bay Baseball Association has obtained funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to enhance game and practice facilities at Baseball Central.  “What’s great about Baseball Central is that we can have everything going on at the same place,” said Philp. “Everything from games to training camps to practices can be held in one location which makes things a lot easier for everybody.”  Baseball Canada awarded the TBIBA the opportunity to present its bid to the IBAF during the national organization’s Annual General Meeting in November 2005. If Thunder Bay earns the right to host the World Junior Championships in 2010 it will mark the 11th time the event was awarded to Canada. Canada last hosted the championship in 2002 when Cuba beat Chinese Taipei to win gold in Sherbrooke, Qué.  

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15 Canadians on Major League Baseball Opening Day Rosters

  • April 04, 2006

A total of 15 Canadian players were included on the opening day rosters for 12 different Major League Baseball Club yesterday. The players are as follows: Erik Bedard (Navan, Ont.) - Baltimore Orioles Adam Stern (Port Stanley, Ont.) - Boston Red Sox Matt Stairs (Fredericton, N.B.) - Kansas City Royals Mark Teahen - Kansas City Royals Justin Morneau (New Westminster, B.C.) - Minnesota Twins Jesse Crain (Toronto, Ont.) - Minnesota Twins Rich Harden (Victoria, B.C.) - Oakland Athletics Peter Orr (Newmarket, Ont.) - Atlanta Braves Chris Reitsma (Calgary, Alta.) - Atlanta Braves Ryan Dempster (Sechelt, B.C.) - Chicago Cubs Jeff Francis (North Delta, B.C.) - Colorado Rockies Eric Gagné (Montréal, Qué.) - Los Angeles Dodgers Corey Koskie (Anola, Man.) - Milwaukee Brewers Rheal Cormier (Moncton, N.B.) - Philadelphia Phillies Jason Bay (Trail, B.C.) - Pittsburgh Pirates Canada also has 79 players currently listed in the minor leagues including outfielder Aaron Guiel (Vancouver, B.C.), shortstop Danny Klassen (Leamington, Ont.), pitcher Steve Green (Longueuil, Qué.) and first baseman Scott Thorman (Cambridge, Ont.) as well as catchers Pierre-Luc Laforest (Hull, Qué.), Russell Martin (Chelsea, Qué.), Eric Langill (Point Clair, Qué.), Maxim St. Pierre (Québec, Québec) who are all playing at the Triple-A level. Each weekday morning, Baseball Canada will track the progress of Canadian Major League Baseball players at www.baseball.ca. Here’s what happened last night. Position players 1. Red Sox Outfielder Adam Stern came in as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers. He did not get an at-bat. 2. Peter Orr of the Atlanta Braves went 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit single and one total base against the Los Angeles Dodgers. 3. Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Jason Bay was 0-for-1 with three walks and one outfield assist against the Milwaukee Brewers. Pitchers 1. Atlanta Braves closer Chris Reitsma picked up his first save of the game in a wild 11-10 win over the Los Angles Dodgers. The line on Reitsma: 1.1 Innings pitched, 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 14 pitches-10 strikes, 3 ground outs-0 fly outs, 6 batters faced. 2. Ryan Dempster threw to five batters for the Chicago Cubs against the Cincinnati Reds. The line on Dempster: 1.0 innings pitched, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 0 runs, 17 pitches-10strikes, 2 ground outs-0 fly outs, 5 batters faced 3. Phillies reliever Rheal Cormier threw one scoreless inning in a 13-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The line on Cormier: 1.0 innings pitched, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 runs, 0 strikeouts, 12 pitches-10 strikes, 3 ground outs-0 fly outs, 4 batters faced. Five MLB games tonight feature at least one Canadian player: Boston Red Sox vs. Texas RangersMinnesota Twins vs. Toronto Blue JaysOakland Athletics vs. New York YankeesAtlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles DodgersMilwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates  

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Play Ball 2006! Baseball British Columbia

  • April 03, 2006

In the first of 10 provincial association profiles, Baseball Canada speaks with Baseball British Columbia President Peter Buxton about the upcoming 2006 season in the country’s westernmost province. BASEBALL CANADA (BCAN) – In no particular order, what five events or initiatives are you looking forward to the most as you are in the midst of kicking off the 2006 baseball season? 1. Baseball Canada National Pee-Wee Championships: Victoria, B.C. PETER BUXTON (PB) – 1. Obviously we would have to say the hosting of the Pee-Wee National Championships in Victoria because that will be one of our biggest events. From a family perspective and participation point of view it’s one of the most enthusiastically supported championships across the country. Summerside, P.E.I., has led by example and proved what a great family event this can be. We think that in Victoria, people will find the same type of atmosphere. BCAN – With Baseball Canada’s National Pee-Wee Championships having been held in Summerside for eight consecutive years leading up to the event in Victoria, does that put a little bit of extra pressure on Baseball B.C. to put on a good show? PB – If you look back what transpired at our fall convention two years ago, you could even see then that we were ready to step up to the plate with the event in Victoria. We wouldn’t dare compare anything we do to Summerside, but what we want to do is create our own very special version of the championship. We’ve got an extremely strong core of volunteers with us and we’re going to make sure that all of the athletes and their families have a wonderful time. There’s always pressure to succeed at something like this, but we know that the volunteers in Victoria and Baseball B.C. are going to be able to pull it off. 2. Girl’s Baseball PB – We’re really pleased to be involved in girl’s baseball and continuing to develop in that area. We see that as a strong part of our mandate both provincially and nationally. If you look at our track record in participating in invitational tournaments and in Bantam (Girls) National Championships, B.C. has always been well represented by our teams. Al Foreman and Ken McKenzie who are two of our executives here are going to continue with this programming and we’re hoping to expand participation numbers and competing at a high-level on the national stage. 3. New Coaching Standards PB – We’re very proud to have a continuing involvement and taking of a leadership role in the new National Coaching Certification Program’s (NCCP) Introduction to Competition Module. Adam Debray (Baseball B.C. Information Director) continues to develop and expand our coaching website www.bettercoaches.com where people can find a video library of practice session and tips for coaches that will enable them to see first hand, on the internet, practical and modern coaching techniques. With that in mind, we’re excited to work in co-operation with Baseball Canada and the NCCP in helping develop and administer these new methods of coaching certification. See http://www.baseball.ca/eng_news_story.cfm?NewsID=811 for more information about the new NCCP program. BCAN – We’re now seeing the sport of baseball really taking advantage of information technology to expand the avenues by which we can develop athletes and coaches. What kind of impact do you see the Internet making in that regard? PB – It’s vital for a number of reasons. On the community level, it affords coaches the opportunity to see, first-hand, practical demonstrations of coaching techniques for practices and competition situations. Furthermore, it allows people to do things at their own speed on their own time in the comfort of their own home. We see it as a very exciting way to deliver this type of programming. Secondly, we feel very strongly Canada should be demonstrating to the international baseball community that we can play a leading role in the use of this technology for the distribution of this information. We are truly hoping that we can help develop an increase in participation in Europe, Asia, Australia and other markets that have already show an strong interest in baseball. 4. Rally Cap Program Pilot Project PB – We’re really looking forward to the North Delta Baseball Association’s participation, as a pilot project, in the Rally Cap Program. North Delta is a strong baseball association that has successfully represented B.C. on the national stage. North Delta’s president Bob Burkmar and his executive should be commended for their enthusiasm and their co-operation in making this a successful pilot project. Along with Baseball B.C.’s programming director David Laing that association is doing everything they can to make sure this pilot project will work very well. Given their long participation history in Canadian Baseball, we expect them to do an excellent job and we’re looking forward to them setting a standard for this program in B.C. See http://www.baseball.ca/eng_doc.cfm?DocID=212&Related=13 for more information about Baseball Canada’s Rally Cap Program. 5. Winterball Wonders PB – I was very surprised to hear that we had over 200 requests for the Winterball Program here this year and we see that as a huge success. We were given 67 kits to distribute and obviously all of them have gone out. The responses we’ve received from communities and schools have just been extraordinary. I’m looking forward to have an increased participation in this program and distributing even more kits in the coming year and meeting this very large demand to make this even more of a success story. BCAN – How exciting is it to see roughly triple the amount of requests originally anticipated for the Winterball Program in B.C.? PB – I think that’s fantastic. It fills a need in school curriculums and it’s a great introduction into the programming that will lead to an increased level of participation across the province. Another great thing about it is that, geographically, there are province-wide requests for participation in the Winterball program. I think it’s very exciting that communities in the dead of winter are interested in baseball and promoting an introduction to the sport to kids at the grassroots level. BCAN – How important do you feel it is to have the Winterball program in place in schools throughout the country and giving kids the opportunity to learn the game year round? PB – It is absolutely critical. We’ve seen, at the competition level, that getting a jump on the season is vital to our success here in B.C. and we always try to take advantage of it. If we can further extend that opportunity indoors to kids all across the province it’s critical to the development of our baseball programming not only from a skill perspective, but from an introductory perspective as well. See http://www.baseball.ca/eng_doc.cfm?DocID=69&Related=13 to learn more about Baseball Canada’s Winterball Program. Want to learn more about Baseball British Columbia? Visit their website at www.baseball.bc.ca That wraps up this weeks edition of Play Ball 2006! Come back next week as Baseball Canada sits down with Baseball Alberta’s Terry Murphy. Schedule: April 10: Play Ball 2006! Baseball AlbertaApril 17: Play Ball 2006! Saskatchewan Baseball CanadaApril 24: Play Ball 2006! Manitoba Baseball AssociationMay 1: Play Ball 2006! Baseball OntarioMay 8: Play Ball 2006! Baseball QuébecMay 15: Play Ball 2006! Baseball New BrunswickMay 22: Play Ball 2006! Baseball Nova ScotiaMay 29: Play Ball 2006! P.E.I. Amateur Baseball AssociationJune 5: Play Ball 2006! Baseball Newfoundland  

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Coach Registration Booming Thanks to New Certification Initiative

  • March 30, 2006

It’s not even April yet and Baseball Canada has seen a surge in potential coaches seeking certification through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). Since January, an astounding 612 people have signed up for the Initiation Coach Program, Baseball Canada’s new training module for future coaches. Baseball Canada estimates receiving up to 3,000 registrations within the next year – well beyond the 612 registrations received last year while the Initiation Coach Program was being phased in alongside the old training system. Under the old coach training system, potential coaches had to register for various technical courses along with further theory courses to begin their basic training.  Under the new Initiation Coach Program, the technical and theory courses have been integrated. The result is a more efficient, more comprehensive program that will benefit future coaches as well as athletes. “The training coaches will receive will be more meaningful and directly related to what their needs are,” said NCCP contractor and New Brunswick Baseball’s Coaching Co-ordinator, Mike Bowes. “The previous program was more instructional-based while this one is more interactive. It will be more efficient in giving coaches the tools they need to become competent coaches – that’s the focus.” Another major benefit of the program is the fact that the introductory phase of the new Coach Initiation Program is completed on-line. Potential coaches can now receive their basic baseball-specific training at their own pace and on their own time, something which is receiving tremendous feedback from future coaches across the country. “The way the world works now people are more likely to do it this way,” said Bob Gillis, a technical representative with Baseball Nova Scotia. “It just makes it much easier to get people on board and begin the process of being an effective coach. That and you can have an unlimited number of people doing the courses all at the same time, which previously wasn’t possible. The Initiation Coach Program now also allows coaches to essentially better tailor their instruction to the level of competition at which they wish to coach. The new system features two different branches: “Regional Coach” and “Provincial Coach”. For example, an individual seeking to simply coach a Pee-Wee team in the local baseball league would follow the Regional Coach branch while those interested in coaching at the provincial or national levels would follow the Provincial Coach branch. The new training module will also distinguish between coaches who are “In Training”, coaches who are “Trained” and coaches who are fully “Certified”.  “In Training” designates a coach who is currently taking courses. Once the coach completes the courses in question, he become “Trained.” In order for that coach to become “Certified”, he must then pass an evaluation process, which includes a module on making ethical decisions, a review of the coach’s portfolio and an observation session with a trained evaluator. “I think that’s something extremely important that has kind of been swept under the rug in the past,” said Saskatchewan Baseball Technical Director Greg Brons of the emphasis the Initiation Coach Program places on ethics. “Now, in this day in age with bullying and other such issues, it’s something that we definitely need to address because we need to be prepared for a multitude of scenarios that we may very well come across on any given day.” Furthermore, certified coaches will have to demonstrate a willingness to further their own education, keep learning, and stay up-to-date with new coaching methods in order to maintain their certification, which will come up for renewal every three years. All of the changes, says Baseball Canada Manager of Operations André Lachance, place a positive outlook on the future of Canadian Baseball. “This is only the beginning because we’re going to continue to improve many of the other coaching programs currently in place,” he said. “All of this is possible thanks to Baseball Canada’s Coaching Committee, which worked extremely hard over the last couple of years in order to allow us to introduce these more effective measures of training coaches.” Anyone interested in becoming a baseball coach at any level is encouraged to visit http:nccp.baseball.ca. Registration is only $37.45. Along with the registration, coaches will receive access to hundreds of videos and materials related to drills, practice plans and skill development tools over the NCCP website.  

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Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball continues to be a significant contributor to the growth and development of Baseball Canada and its associated programs. Events such as the World Baseball Classic provide exposure for Canada’s top professional players while generating invaluable media coverage and associated revenue for developmental programming initiatives such as Winter Ball and National Championship tournaments. Visit them at: www.mlb.com


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Russell Martin

Current MLB Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Hometown: Montréal, QC

Umpire of the Week

Week of July 9, 2018

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Shaped by our Game

Baseball Canada is pleased to introduce Shaped by Our Game, a new initiative on baseball.ca that will profile people who have used our sport to achieve success later in life. Baseball is a sport that provides great life lessons and teaches skills that are applicable for future success in life whether on the baseball field or not.

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 Isabelle Higgins

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

What is LTAD?

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a systemic approach being developed and adopted by Baseball Canada to maximize a participant's potential and involvement in our sport. The LTAD framework aims to define optimal training, competition and recovery throughout an athlete's career to enable him / her to reach his / her full potential in baseball and as an athlete.