Winnipeg South the First Association to be “RBI Approved”

  • May 05, 2008

OTTAWA, ON – Since Baseball Canada launched the Realizing Baseball Ideals (RBI) initiative this spring, the office has been flooded with requests to accredit their association as “RBI Approved”. Now, Baseball Canada announces that the Winnipeg South Minor Baseball Association (WSMBA) is the first in the country to receive the RBI seal of approval. “I think it’s something that we can be very happy with.  It indicates we got a stamp of approval from Baseball Canada which is always a good thing,” says WSMBA President Ian Wise. Winnipeg South implemented the Rally Cap program in its association in 2007 and currently have 97 players registered on 16 teams at that level.  Girls make up 15 percent of players registered at that level, which is the highest percentage at any level in its association. “The objective has always been to get kids into baseball earlier,” explains Wise.  “The Rally Cap program allows us to do that and we’ve been pursuing it and so far has been very successful.” Also, the association requires that at least one coach be certified at the initiation level of the NCCP as well as encourage all other coaches to pursue to complete the initiation certification. This year will also be the first season that Winnipeg South will implement the pitch count.  Other that a few concerns with some coaches, Wise says the implementation was an easy process. “We certainly had no qualms in incorporating (the pitch count).  I think it’s something that coaches can develop some strategies.” For 2008, RBI accreditations are awarded to local baseball associations that comply with the minimum operating standards in these four areas: Development Programs Membership with Baseball Canada Coaches Training Accessibility An Association can become a Baseball Canada RBI Approved Association in 2008 by meeting these following criteria: The Association is a member in good standing with the Provincial Baseball Association (as recognized by Baseball Canada) and with Baseball Canada through the registration of all players, coaches and umpires participating in the local Association. The Association is fully utilizing the Rally Cap program as the main Initiation program for kids between 5 and 8 The Association is providing support to its coaches by driving them to the Baseball Canada NCCP Programs ensuring that all Rep level coaches are properly certified as per Baseball Canada requirements and that all house league/community programs have at least one coach per team who have completed the Initiation Coach level at minimum The Association is providing access to all programs to boys and girls at any age The Association is in support and using the Baseball Canada pitch counts for the Mosquito and Pee-Wee divisions In order to become a RBI Approved association for 2008, simply send an email to rbi@baseball.ca addressing all the criteria mentioned above.  Baseball Canada will contact you to approve your Association or to ask additional questions.

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Baseball PEI Adds to Staff with Technical Director

  • May 02, 2008

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – The PEI Amateur Baseball Association announced the hiring of Desi Doyle as Technical Director, a newly created post within the association. Doyle is a native of Fort Augustus, PEI, just east of Charlottetown, and will hold a number of responsibilities including; organizing players and coaches’ clinics for the local associations, assisting with coaching clinics, and working with the VP High Performance on the development of the Provincial team program. “The Associations are extremely excited to have Desi on board,” says Don LeClair, President of Baseball PEI.   “This hiring will allows us to expand our services to our local associations,” adds Kelsey McIntosh, Executive Director of Baseball PEI. Doyle, who is a sixth grade teacher at Morell Consolidated Elementary School, will also assist with the implementation of the Winterball program in the province.  His connections with the various schools in the province will make him an excellent representative for the program. “He is tied in with the Physical Education contact list in the province which puts him a good go to guy for the Winterball initiative,” explains McIntosh. Doyle is also an accomplished athlete and coach.  On the athletic side, he has participated in two Canada Games with the PEI baseball team in 1993 and 1997.  He was a past member of a PEI team which participated in the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League.  He was selected to the NBSBL All-Star team for a matchup with the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League All-Stars and was the game’s MVP.  He currently plays in the Kings County Senior Baseball League with the Morell Chevies where they are the defending champions and Desi the reigning league playoff MVP. On the coaching side, Doyle is a Level 3 Certified coach.  He will be balancing his new position and his teaching position with his coaching responsibilities as an assistant coach with the PEI Midget team, the PEI Canada Games team.

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2008 Provincial Preview: Manitoba

  • May 01, 2008

It has been business as usual for Baseball Manitoba.  Selection camps will soon be underway for the provincial Selects team, Local associations are in the middle of player registrations and the province is preparing to host one of the Baseball Canada National Championships. As far as registration numbers are concerned, they have been on the rise in Manitoba, especially at the grassroots level. “The Mosquito and Pee-Wee levels are doing really well. We’ve seen some good increase at those levels and we anticipate an increase again this year,” says Executive Director of Baseball Manitoba, Morgan de Peña. One of the reasons for the increase has been the implementation of the Rally Cap and Winterball programs in the province.  The Rally Cap program has been very popular de Peña says but he admits that there are still some hurdles to overcome. “It’s tough because of the number of sports that have grown over the last few years.  You don’t want to say that we’re in competition with each other, but in a sense we are.  That makes it tough on everybody.” One tough competition will be the Baseball Canada Senior Championship in Brandon from August 21 to 24. This is not the first time that the city of Brandon has played host to a baseball championship.  This will be the fourth time that the city will host the senior nationals, the last time being in 2006.  They have also hosted the 1989 Baseball Canada Cup, the 1991 World Junior Baseball Championship and the 1997 Canada Games. “The organizing committee has been working really hard.  They have a good frame of reference having hosted in 2006.  They know what works, what doesn’t and they go from there.” It's just business as usual for Baseball Manitoba.

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2008 Provincial Preview: Newfoundland & Labrador

  • April 29, 2008

Despite having a population that continues to decline, Baseball Newfoundland continues to find ways to keep its registration numbers at a fairly elevated level.  With so many Newfoundlanders migrating west, it can be difficult to find players every year.  But the people at Baseball Newfoundland keep finding them. “The local associations really worked hard on keeping our registration numbers fairly stable,” says Baseball Newfoundland President Tom Devine. “The game sells itself here.  We’d love to get the numbers up, but we just don’t have the bodies here.” Keeping registration numbers steady is not the only challenge for Baseball Newfoundland; the weather plays a big factor.  While other provinces would be starting their seasons this time of year, Players have yet to be on the field in Newfoundland. “We have late summers over here; therefore it’s hard to get anybody on the field.  In central Canada, spring sprinkles a little earlier so they can go out and do stuff, but here by the time we get started as far as programming we’re in June.” But the coaches and players do not wait until June to pick up a baseball.  Selection camps are already in full swing for provincial teams. Also, coaches for the Newfoundland Selects team have been scouring the province to identify players to assemble for training camps. They use whatever methods at their disposal to keep competitive with the rest of the country. In future plans, Newfoundland and Labrador will play host to the 2009 Baseball Canada Fall Convention.  Baseball Canada delegates will come into St. John’s where Devine says that they will provide the hospitality that only Newfoundland can offer. “We’ll have some Newfoundland flavour where entertainment is concerned.” “People usually enjoy coming here and I expect that when people come here for the convention that we’ll put on a good show.”

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2008 Provincial Preview: Nova Scotia

  • April 24, 2008

Baseball Nova Scotia has a big year ahead of them.  The province will be the host for two Baseball Canada National Championships.  They will play host for the Midget boys in Halifax, as well as the Senior Women in Sydney. On top of that, they have raised their efforts to improve programs at the grass roots level in the province.  For example, the Rally Cap program has been pushed heavily as well as the NCCP coaches’ initiation program. “We’re really focusing on communication through to our local associations so they know the programs that Baseball Canada and we are offering,” says Baseball NS Executive Director Brad Lawlor. The baseball diamonds are also on their to-do list.  The provincial association is in talks with local communities to improve field conditions in order to meet the Baseball Nova Scotia standard requirements. “A lot of the fields throughout the province were built a few years ago and the communities have sort of let them go.  We’re trying to get out there and show them that we have minimum requirements for provincial events.” The new Baseball Canada RBI program is another initiative that Lawlor is trying to push to the local associations. “We’re looking at the RBI program so that we can offer all the Baseball Canada initiatives down to the local associations.” The 2008 season will be a busy one for Baseball Nova Scotia, but Lawlor says that it is not too difficult to see which direction the association is heading. “We’re definitely more grassroots focused, but we also have these national events that are going to come in and create some exposure for our high performance programs.”

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Schedule for 2008 Women’s Baseball World Cup Released

  • April 22, 2008

OTTAWA, ON – The International Baseball Federation announced the schedule for the 2008 Women’s Baseball World Cup which will take place in Matsuyama, Japan from August 24th to 29th. The Canadian women will join Japan, Hong Kong and Korea to form Group B in the tournament.  Group A will consist of the United States, Australia, Chinese Taipei and India. Canada’s preliminary schedule is as follows: August 24, 12:30 pm – Canada vs. Hong Kong August 25, 7:00 pm – Canada vs. Japan August 26, 12:30 pm – Canada vs. Korea The preliminary round will be followed by a second preliminary round on August 27th and 28th.  The top two teams from each group will play two games, one against each team of the other group.  The second preliminary round will decide the medal matchups. The medal games will take place on August 29th, starting with the Bronze Medal Game at 2:30 pm followed by the Gold Medal Game at 6:30 pm. This will be the third edition of the Women’s World Cup, which occur every two years.  The first two installments in 2004 and 2006, Canada won the bronze medal. For the complete schedule of the tournament, click here.

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Braves Come Back to Beat Juniors in Spring Finale

  • April 20, 2008

ORLANDO, FL – In what was a back and forth game, The Junior National Team made a strong comeback late in the game, only to have it spoiled by a ninth inning comeback from the Atlanta Braves’ prospects to fall short in their Spring Training finale by a score of 6-5. The Braves would open the scoring in the first when a single, a ground out and a single against Canadian starter Nick Bucci (Sarnia, ON) put the Braves in the lead 1-0. Atlanta would add to its lead in the second inning on a single and back-to-back doubles to score a pair.  Bucci would cruise the rest of the way, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk with two strikeouts in three innings of work. The Juniors would start their comeback in the fourth inning as Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) would hit a one out triple and would come in to score on the RBI single from Jean-Christophe Paquin (St-Augustin, QC) to make it 3-1. The Canadians would tie it up in the fifth inning.  Brett Sanders (Etobicoke, ON) would leadoff the inning with a single. Ivan Hartle (North Vancouver, BC) followed with a RBI double to score Sanders and reduce the lead to one.  Hartle would move to third on a Greg Densem (Toronto, ON) fly out, which allowed him to score on an error by the Braves, tying the game at 3-3. The Braves however would quickly respond in the bottom half of the fifth when three singles against Nick Fogarty (Thornhill, ON) would bring in a run and give Atlanta a 4-3 lead. Fogarty would shut things down from there. The left-hander allowed only the one run on five hits and a walk while striking out four in his three inning outing. From there, Philippe Charpentier (L’Épiphanie, QC) took over.  Charpentier was solid in his two innings of work, allowing only two hits and a walk with one strikeout, giving the Juniors a chance to once again do some damage. That opportunity came in the eighth inning when Hartle led off the inning with a single then promptly stole second.  With one out, Luke Willson (Lasalle, ON) drove a double to left-centre, scoring Hartle and tying the game at 4-4. The Canadians would grab the lead in the ninth inning as James Kottaras (Markham, ON) drew a walk to lead things off, followed by a one out single from Jeff Hunt (Cambridge, ON).  With both runners on and two out, Skye Irwin (Toronto, ON) delivered with a RBI single to right to score Kottaras with the go ahead run and a 5-4 Canadian lead. However, the excitement would be short lived as the Braves would get two runs on four hits in the bottom of the ninth to spoil the Canadian comeback. The Junior National Team finished its Spring Training camp with a 0-7-1 record.  However the record is not what’s important in Spring Training, it is the gained experience for these young men which counts the most.  The next time the Juniors will reunite will be for the Dominican Summer League Camp, which takes place from May 21st to 30th.

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Juniors Fall at the Hands of the Tigers

  • April 19, 2008

ORLANDO, FL – The Junior National Team had no answer for the Detroit Tigers offence in Spring Training action.  The Tigers’ prospects took advantage of their chances while the Canadians only scored a couple of runs as they would fall to the Tigers by a score of 9-2. The Tigers’ youngsters opened the scoring with a bang on a two-run home run to take a 2-0 lead in the second inning.  They would follow that up with a walk, a stolen base and a RBI single to make it 3-0 after two innings. In the third inning, the Tigers added to their lead without registering a base hit.  Two Canadian errors would lead to another run and a 4-0 lead for Detroit. Two singles and a sacrifice fly would add to another run in the fourth inning for the Tigers, while a double and a single would make it 6-0 Detroit after six innings. The Tigers’ prospects would finish of their scoring in the eighth inning the same way they started it, scoring three runs two of which came of a home run. The Canadians made a little noise offensively in the eighth, scoring both their runs in the inning.  Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) continues to tear the cover off the ball, going 2-for-3 in the game.  Jean-Christophe Paquin (St-Augustin, QC) was also 2-for-3 in the contest. Next up will be the Spring Training finale for the Junior National Team as they take on the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, April 19th at 10 am.

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Indians Walk Their Way to Win Over Juniors

  • April 18, 2008

ORLANDO, FL – The Junior National Team let a two-run lead slip away when the Cleveland Indians’ prospects drew seven walks, mixed in with one base hit to score three runs on route to a 5-2 victory over the Juniors. The Canadian pitching staff gave up a total of nine walks in a game they seemed to have well in hand before losing the strike zone. The Juniors had control in the early going as they would score the first run of the game in the first inning.  Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) continued his torrid spring with an RBI single to drive in Carter Bell (Courtenay, BC) and give the Canadians a 1-0 lead. They increased their lead in the second inning when Mackenzie Harrison (St. Thomas, ON) doubled and scored on an Indians’ error to put Canada ahead by two. On the mound, Jake Eliopoulos (Newmarket, ON) frustrated the Indians’ hitters for the first three innings.  The left-hander put together a scoreless effort, allowing only three hits and one walk with two strikeouts in his outing. From there, things started to fall apart starting in the fourth inning.  The Indians’ prospects drew three walks followed by a single to score a pair and tie the game at 2-2. The Indians would take the lead in the sixth inning when they drew four walks to force in what turned out to be the winning run.  Cleveland would add a pair in the eighth on three singles and a passed ball to complete the scoring. The Junior National Team will take on the Detroit Tigers in their next Spring Training matchup on Friday, April 18th.  Action starts at 1 pm. 

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Juniors Suffer Setback Against Astros

  • April 17, 2008

ORLANDO, FL – The Houston Astros were able to capitalize on nine walks and four errors from the Junior National Team as the Astros’ prospects would go on to score runs in every inning except two and come out on top with a 13-3 win over the Juniors. What seemed like relentless offence from the Astros began right away in the first inning when a leadoff walk, a pair of singles and an error made it 2-0 for Houston.  A double and two ground outs to short allowed the Astros to increase their lead by one. The Astros would then score a pair of runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings and put a stranglehold on the Juniors with a 9-0 lead. The Canadians broke out some offence in the sixth inning when Michael Crouse (Port Moody, BC) hit his second home run of the spring to lead off the inning and break the goose egg. The momentum would carry into the seventh inning when Ivan Hartle (North Vancouver, BC) mimicked Crouse with a leadoff home run, his first of the camp.  James Kottaras (Markham, ON) and Brett Lawrie, (Langley, BC) followed up with back-to-back doubles to reduce the lead to 9-3.  Lawrie was 3-for-3 with the RBI double in the game. However, the Astros’ prospects killed the momentum the Canadians generated by scoring two more runs in the eighth inning on a walk, a triple and a wild pitch to make it 11-3.  Houston would add two more runs in the ninth inning to complete the scoring. Next up for the Junior National Team on their Spring Training schedule is a matchup with the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, April 17th at 1 pm.

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