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Thread: Does anyone have any info about this new Australian baseball league?

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by DownUnderDodger View Post
    That is more or less because they are encouraged not to represent their country in baseball, at least the Americans.....as witnessed when they failed to qualify for the Athens Olympics. In most sports it is an honour to represent your country and is something that most sports people strive for, and as you say, one day....well beyond our lifetime.....the WBC will be the pinnacle for all players, and the so called "World Champions" will not be a USA club baseball franchise.
    I'm not aware of a single player, American or otherwise, who doesn't consider it an honor to represent his country. But when the IBAF continually schedules allegedly-important tournaments at the same time MLB is operating, it's absurd to blame the players or MLB because those players can't play.

    Further, the U.S.'s failure to qualify for the '04 Olympics was an aberration caused by a one-game loss in the Panama qualifier. It was hardly due to a lack of patriotism or participation by players under contract to MLB.

  2. #52
    I endorse everything Agente Libre's said here. But I would note that American fans are not as caught up in international sports as sports fans in other countries. Just look at the WBC attendance for Team USA games: In the second round double-header in Anaheim, the Japan-USA game drew 10,000 fewer fans than Mexico-Korea.

    For what it's worth.

  3. #53
    Agente Libre's right. The MLB is a business. And its business is franchise club baseball in the United States and Canada. It isn't the governing body of world baseball. I wouldn't consider the MLB any more at fault for players not going to international tourneys than it would be the Premier League's fault that some players don't get to participate in international soccer because of club matches. That usually inspires more anger on the part of the nation's players since international soccer is (or used to be) the more popular form of the game, but its not the Premier League's job. Any scheduling of international tournaments by the IBAF is probably going to run into some problems somewhere since the domestic season differs from country to country.

    It's strange that American fans aren't as caught up in international sports as fans from other countries but at the same time the FIFA World Cup in the USA was the most highly attended FIFA World Cup on record. I guess it's because of all the tourists, world-wide immigrants and long-time local fans (a combination few other countries could match). Apart from the (now defunct) Soviet Union in ice hockey and some other sports at the Olympics I can't think of any country with which the USA has a proper sporting rivalry akin to England-Argentina (soccer), Argentina-Brazil (soccer), England-Germany (soccer again), New Zealand-Australia (rugby) or India-Pakistan (cricket and hockey). Could this be partly due to the fact that most of more popular sports in America (American football, basketball, ice hockey and baseball) are either not really played elsewhere (American football) or had developed an early internal inter-city or inter-state (or just inter-team) rivalry in the US?

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnC View Post
    It's strange that American fans aren't as caught up in international sports as fans from other countries but at the same time the FIFA World Cup in the USA was the most highly attended FIFA World Cup on record. I guess it's because of all the tourists, world-wide immigrants and long-time local fans (a combination few other countries could match). Apart from the (now defunct) Soviet Union in ice hockey and some other sports at the Olympics I can't think of any country with which the USA has a proper sporting rivalry akin to England-Argentina (soccer), Argentina-Brazil (soccer), England-Germany (soccer again), New Zealand-Australia (rugby) or India-Pakistan (cricket and hockey). Could this be partly due to the fact that most of more popular sports in America (American football, basketball, ice hockey and baseball) are either not really played elsewhere (American football) or had developed an early internal inter-city or inter-state (or just inter-team) rivalry in the US?
    The only international sports rivalry involving the USA that I can think of is in Soccer against Mexico. The fact is that many American baseball fans are just not really concerned with the International game, they just follow their favorite team. We do have to remember that the International game has only recently been getting a little more attention from the media. Before the WBC came to fruition, I remember some ESPN reporters discussing a possible baseball World Cup;not knowing that there was already such an event.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnC View Post
    The MLB is a business. And its business is franchise club baseball in the United States and Canada. It isn't the governing body of world baseball. ?
    They seem to think they are!! Did it not require MLB sanction, particularly for the timing and player availability, for the WBC to actually take place as it did?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnC View Post
    I wouldn't consider the MLB any more at fault for players not going to international tourneys than it would be the Premier League's fault that some players don't get to participate in international soccer because of club matches. That usually inspires more anger on the part of the nation's players since international soccer is (or used to be) the more popular form of the game, but its not the Premier League's job?
    In most of the international leagues there is a written rule that contracted players at clubs must be freed for a certain number of games to represent their countries, and that is why the World Cup of Football (soccer) is such a successful event - players are allowed to play in qualifying matches for their respective countries. Australia has a large proportion of its football players playing in Europe and the European clubs are required to release these players for World Cup qualifying games, as has occured this latest week when Australia played China in a qualifier. I don't see why that can't happen in baseball, because the Premier League (and other world football leauges) are no different to the MLB in that they are professional bodies whose teams hold players to a contract.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnC View Post
    Any scheduling of international tournaments by the IBAF is probably going to run into some problems somewhere since the domestic season differs from country to country.?
    The same exists with the world cup of soccer but the importance of that tournament means that all countries make allowance in their schedules for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnC View Post
    It's strange that American fans aren't as caught up in international sports as fans from other countries but at the same time the FIFA World Cup in the USA was the most highly attended FIFA World Cup on record. I guess it's because of all the tourists, world-wide immigrants and long-time local fans (a combination few other countries could match). Apart from the (now defunct) Soviet Union in ice hockey and some other sports at the Olympics I can't think of any country with which the USA has a proper sporting rivalry akin to England-Argentina (soccer), Argentina-Brazil (soccer), England-Germany (soccer again), New Zealand-Australia (rugby) or India-Pakistan (cricket and hockey). Could this be partly due to the fact that most of more popular sports in America (American football, basketball, ice hockey and baseball) are either not really played elsewhere (American football) or had developed an early internal inter-city or inter-state (or just inter-team) rivalry in the US?
    USA and Australia have a very intense rivalry in swimming, and I am sure that USA has intense rivalries in Ice Hockey as well. I remember the elation when USA beat USSR in that Olympic Final years back. Seems however that USA only seems to show any intensity in international sport when they are on top - the Dream team was the talk of the country when they first went to the Olympics and cleaned up in the basketball, but since then other countries have come to match the USA in that sport and the interest in the international level seems to have waned if what you say is correct. Does that mean that USA sports fans only like a winner when it comes to international sport. They don't care for international sport if their team is not winning all the time? Of course we all love it when our team wins but most other countries still support their teams when they are at the bottom of the pile, and in fact try to inspire the teams to lift.
    Last edited by DownUnderDodger; 03-28-2008 at 07:56 PM.
    "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

    No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by DownUnderDodger View Post
    The same exists with the world cup of soccer but the importance of that tournament means that all countries make allowance in their schedules for it.
    Right, and the WBC is now the world's #1 international baseball tournament, and MLB requires its teams to allow their players to play.

    You seem to take this argument too far, though, by suggesting MLB-contracted players should be able to ditch their MLB teams any time the IBAF schedules some meaningless tournament somewhere.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by DownUnderDodger View Post
    In most of the international leagues there is a written rule that contracted players at clubs must be freed for a certain number of games to represent their countries, and that is why the World Cup of Football (soccer) is such a successful event - players are allowed to play in qualifying matches for their respective countries. Australia has a large proportion of its football players playing in Europe and the European clubs are required to release these players for World Cup qualifying games, as has occured this latest week when Australia played China in a qualifier. I don't see why that can't happen in baseball, because the Premier League (and other world football leauges) are no different to the MLB in that they are professional bodies whose teams hold players to a contract.
    I totally appreciate that, but the thing about football (soccer) is that far more international games are played than in baseball. Football has numerous friendlies, how often do you see friendlies in international baseball? For the friendlies (and even for regional tournaments such as the African Cup of Nations) there is a lot of disagreement (and downright hostility) between the countries and clubs because as far as the clubs are concerned, when they release players for the World Cup and the World Cup only (but not necessarily for World Cup qualifiers) they've done their part and after that the players need to fulfill the club contract (international friendlies be damned). In baseball where international play is not as numerous, it doesn't seem surprising that the major clubs think of themselves first.

    Quote Originally Posted by DownUnderDodger
    The same exists with the world cup of soccer but the importance of that tournament means that all countries make allowance in their schedules for it.
    Well that depends on the countries you are looking at. A number of countries have relatively meaningless domestic seasons anyway since most of their domestic players will not be selected for the starting squad of any World Cup team (a number of countries have essentially outsourced their sport development to Europe and to a lesser extent to the United States, Canada and South America and select players who are based in clubs in those regions). And although no problems exist with the scheduling of the FIFA World Cup, other international tournaments (especially the African Cup of Nations) do experience problems of scheduling due to the tournament usually being held in the middle of the club season in Europe (the outsourcing centre). You mentioned the rule that clubs have to release players for international soccer, but is there such a rule for baseball? If there isn't then the MLB cannot be at fault since no sane franchise club is going to voluntarily give up potentially key players that could be the difference between a loss (both pecuniary and sporting-wise) and a win if they don't have to. Perhaps the IBAF should work with the major leagues around the world to get such a rule instituted (I would not hold my breath in expectation though). Such a rule might be backfire however since the MLB might be less willing to pick up players that they know might become unavailable at some crucial point in the season (basically anytime during the season or even training) due to international commitments. Why pick players from Australia or the Dominican Republic if there is a 90% chance they will be unavailable when those countries compete in some international tournament in Taiwan or the Netherlands? Although Agente Libre calls these tournaments meaningless (I wouldn't call them meaningless in and of themselves), but he is right that they are meaningless from the point of view of the MLB (just as how the African Cup of Nations, Copa Libertadores, Euro 2008 and even the FIFA World Cup are relatively meaningless to European football clubs - they don't get any money from them or didn't until FIFA agreed to pay the European clubs for their players in the FIFA World Cup, and the results of the FIFA World Cup don't do diddly-squat for their standings in the various leagues).


    Quote Originally Posted by DownUnderDodger
    USA and Australia have a very intense rivalry in swimming, and I am sure that USA has intense rivalries in Ice Hockey as well. I remember the elation when USA beat USSR in that Olympic Final years back. Seems however that USA only seems to show any intensity in international sport when they are on top - the Dream team was the talk of the country when they first went to the Olympics and cleaned up in the basketball, but since then other countries have come to match the USA in that sport and the interest in the international level seems to have waned if what you say is correct. Does that mean that USA sports fans only like a winner when it comes to international sport. They don't care for international sport if their team is not winning all the time? Of course we all love it when our team wins but most other countries still support their teams when they are at the bottom of the pile, and in fact try to inspire the teams to lift.
    Right, but the USA-Australia rivalry in swimming isn't that major. There isn't anything behind it other than the close performance of their individual athletes (and besides, swimming is not a major team sport). It isn't anything like England-Australia (classed society v. open society and former mother country v. former colony), England-Argentina (dispute and war over the Falklands), Brazil-Argentina (footballing performance, plus the historical tensions which almost lead to war at times, disputes over what would become Uruguay, competition for dominance within South America and so on), India-Pakistan (three or four wars, competing foundation theories, etc.), England-Germany (two world wars) or USA-USSR (the Cold War, former allies becoming bitter rivals in ideology and the search for influence and so forth, democracy/freedom/capitalism v. dictatorship/tyranny/communism). Even a USA-Cuba rivalry in baseball would be more tense (and just look at the match when USA played Iran in football/soccer in '98) and back in the 1910s-1920s a USA-DR match might have had some kind of significance outside of baseball (due to the US interventions in the region at the time). The only rivalries I can think of in ice-hockey for the USA are with the former USSR (and the rivalry with Russia is nowhere near as intense) and Canada (also nowhere near as intense as with the USSR). Your right in that ever since other countries caught up in basketball, the hype around the USA team (and international basketball) seems to have faded. I don't know for sure if this is as a result of US fans only showing interests if their team is at the top (or very close to toppling the ones at the top), but if that is so then the MLB, IBAF and WBCI better pray that the USA doesn't get knocked out in the first round of the 2009 Classic (or any subsequent Classic for a couple of decades) - which would lead to the USA needing to possibly qualify for the next event.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agente Libre View Post
    Right, and the WBC is now the world's #1 international baseball tournament, and MLB requires its teams to allow their players to play.

    You seem to take this argument too far, though, by suggesting MLB-contracted players should be able to ditch their MLB teams any time the IBAF schedules some meaningless tournament somewhere.
    Unlike you and seemingly most Americans, I don't see a qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games a 'meaningless' tournament. I see that tournament more important than the first week of spring training in MLB, given that the players concerned would have missed about a week of spring training to try to qualify to play for their country in a world wide competition that is contested every 4 years.
    Last edited by jalbright; 04-03-2008 at 02:15 PM. Reason: calling anyone or any group names is prohibited
    "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

    No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by DownUnderDodger View Post
    Unlike you and seemingly most Americans, I don't see a qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games a 'meaningless' tournament. I see that tournament more important than the first week of spring training in MLB, given that the players concerned would have missed about a week of spring training to try to qualify to play for their country in a world wide competition that is contested every 4 years.
    The IBAF had a whopping FOUR YEARS to schedule their qualifier(s) for the 2008 Olympics, so any scheduling screw-ups are the fault of the IBAF, and the IBAF alone.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agente Libre View Post
    The IBAF had a whopping FOUR YEARS to schedule their qualifier(s) for the 2008 Olympics, so any scheduling screw-ups are the fault of the IBAF, and the IBAF alone.
    That has nothing to do with anything.....it did not interfere with the MLB season, and it was at the tail end of the Asian and Australian seasons.....but as usual the MLB ruled the roost. I take it what you are suggesting is that other leagues interrupt their seasons to suit MLB Spring Training?
    "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

    No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by DownUnderDodger View Post
    That has nothing to do with anything.....it did not interfere with the MLB season, and it was at the tail end of the Asian and Australian seasons.....but as usual the MLB ruled the roost. I take it what you are suggesting is that other leagues interrupt their seasons to suit MLB Spring Training?
    Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. These players are under contract to MLB, and thus MLB comes first. I'm not sure why it's such a difficult concept.

    If you have a primary job that pays $1 million per year (or paid you a big signing bonus to start -- e.g., MLB), and an additional part-time job basically for fun (e.g., winter leagues or national teams), which should come first from a logical standpoint?

  12. #62
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    Well I guess we agree to differ so I will leave it at that . We could carry on the debate for ever otherwise.
    "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

    No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

  13. #63
    I do agree, the IBAF should work around MLB. After all, the MLB has the world's best players. Like it has been stated as well, the IBAF has plenty of notice to schedule games, and knows when the MLB season is going to be.

    Now, regarding the Australian Baseball League. Has anyone got any new news? I keep reading there is going to be a new league and it never happens. So what's the deal? Please.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aus Baseball Fan View Post
    Now, regarding the Australian Baseball League. Has anyone got any new news? I keep reading there is going to be a new league and it never happens. So what's the deal? Please.
    I'm not sure if this is a different competition or not but this might help http://www.baseball.com.au/default.asp?Page=37821

  15. #65
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    The Claxton Shield is a different competition to the League that has been planned for the last few years.
    It doesn't sound like the ABL will start up again in 2008 either.

  16. #66
    the MLB based AUST league has been a very large story for a LONG time over here....

    every year we are told this

    "the AUST league is going to be starting up next season"

    we're all still waiting......

    the bottom line is this, MLB do NOT get enough interest or players of the MLB level playing out here to fund a complete league.

  17. #67
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    Still nothing about an Australian League. In fact the Claxton Shield has been launched for this season with the following from the Australian baseball Federation website:

    The 2009 Claxton Shield was officially launched in Sydney on 23 October, in conjunction with Major League Baseball and the American Australian Association's World Series Watch Party.

    Celebrating a 75 year milestone in 2009, Australia’s oldest and most prestigious baseball competition will herald an unprecedented format that many see as a vital step towards a revamped national competition.

    To celebrate the 75th, or ‘Diamond’ Anniversary of the Claxton Shield, the Australian Baseball Federation will select and announce a Claxton Shield ‘Diamond Anniversary All-Star Team’.


    Regarding the 'unprecedented format that many see as a vital step towards a revamped national competition', here is a link to the media release for the tournament.....not sure which media took it on board because I did not see anything in our daily newspaper.
    http://www.baseball.com.au/?Page=476...F21731%2F0%2F0

    Here is the link to the schedule for the 2009 Claxton Shield:
    http://www.baseball.com.au/site/base...dule_FINAL.pdf
    Last edited by DownUnderDodger; 11-08-2008 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Updated/additional info.
    "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

    No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

  18. #68
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    The Australian Claxton Shield Showcase Round starts in less than a week. Here is a link to this week of baseball, being held in Sydney. Note the reference to the Family Day / MLB Roadshow to be held on the final day of the week. Unfortunately I will be in Newcastle to commentate a Surf Boat event otherwise I would check it out.
    http://www.baseball.com.au/event.asp...7&format=popup
    "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

    No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda

  19. #69
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    Apparently, a new Australian national league will be started soon. I saw the story on ibaf.com.

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    http://www.radiosport.co.nz/SportsNe...aspx?id=159591

    Nice to know expansion is on the horizon

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    They want baseball facilities this time instead of playing on rugby or Australian rules football fields like they did in the past. Eventually the league may include some Asian cities. Let's hope it grows.

  22. #72
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    I read somewhere that the time might include teams in Asia. Though travel costs and whatnot make me dubious, it would be cool if they had a team in Jakarta or something.

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