Tag Archives: Pan-Am Games

Oregon baseball thoughts

The University of Oregon announced on July 13th that they were bringing back baseball to the Eugene school after a 26 year absence. The school ended up dropping the wrestling program and adding competitive cheerleading to the athletic program. The reason that was quoted by the Oregon athletic department to add baseball was that the sport is seeing increased growth across the country.

I believe that this is true in the suburbs but Baseball has seen a major decrease in urban areas. The main reason is the increasing cost in competing on select teams which in some communities start before the age of 12 when a kid in the city of Miami can go play a game of basketball for weeks on end at the playground for 20 bucks with a decent basketball. I would like my readers to drive by a baseball field this weekend and see how many kids are playing on their local Little League field. Also, look at the Little League World Series and see how many African-American kids participated in the final eight. There was a report on Say Hey which is one of the top sports blogs on the internet that only two out of the eight US teams had any African American kids. (Click here for article). The other experiment is to look at a MLB baseball game and see how many players are minorities from United States. You will be surprised with how low it actually is.

The other problem I see with Oregon adding baseball is that the wrestlers at the school now will have to transfer to continue their athletic careers and possibly make the Olympic team. Baseball has been removed from the Olympics starting in 2012 due to the lack of interest in the sport around the world. We did see a very well attended World Port Tournament in Holland this summer with over 3,000 people attending some of Team USA games but we also saw the debacle which was the Pan-American games. During that tournament, we saw multiple delays with the field due to poor drainage and even had the tournament readjusted a day before it started due to insufficient lighting.

The final problem I have with Oregon is that they couldn’t support baseball 26 years ago. What has changed in Eugene to say they can support a Pac-10 team? They currently have no stadium and need to build a brand new facility.

I also think that the Oregon Athletic Department is aiming way too high with the help of Phil Knight for a new head coach. The Oregon Athletic Department has already interviewed Tim Corbin and planned on bringing in Dave Serrano before he backed out. There was some reports on the Internet that Phil Knight had earmarked so much money that whoever took the job would be one of the top five coaches in the nation in terms of salary. Why has Oregon not looked at some of the top assistants on the West Coast instead of a current head coach? How many top head coaches are going to leave a successful place to restart a program which will not have the full usage of scholarships until 2011-2012 season?

I just felt like sharing my thoughts on the situation in Eugene and hope that the Oregon program will be a success but they need to overcome the obstacles I have outlined above.

Team USA Articles

Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com checks in with an article about Team USA and how successful the team has been this summer. They are currently in the midst of a five-game set against China coming off a silver medal finish in the Pan-Am Games. Before the Pan-Am Games, Team USA dropped a five game series to Japan which is the first time the National team had dropped a series to Japan. They will head to the World Port Tournament in Holland after finishing their series with China, Netherlands, and Russia over the next three weeks.

Team USA Article

Starting Pitcher Tyson Ross (Cal-Berkeley) of Team USA is having a solid summer with a 2-0 record and a 1.19 ERA. The Cal Sports Quarterly has written an excellent article about how Ross came through the Cal Baseball Camps as a youngster and is now pitching for his favorite team.

Cal Sports Quarterly Article

Adiel Palma leads Cuba to the Gold

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL— Cuba’s Adiel Palma struck out 19 over two starts at the Pan American Games, including nine Americans on Friday morning, to lead Cuba (4-1 Pan Am) to a 3-1 win and gold medal over Team USA (15-6, 4-1 Pan Am).

Palma gave up just four hits over eight and two-thirds, as Cuba won its 12th gold medal since the start of the games in 1951, while Team USA won their ninth silver medal. Palma retired the final eight batters he faced, facing just three over the minimum.

“It was a tough loss, but I thought we played well,” said Manager Mike Weathers, who has won three silver medals against Cuba, as a player (1970), assistant (2003) and manager (2007). “ We couldn’t solve their pitching. Both teams played very well. We should be very proud to win a silver medal. We overcame a lot and accomplished many things. These guys will take home a lot of memories.”

Closer Pedro Lazo struck out three in a row, before Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) came through with a two-out base hit in the ninth. Justin Smoak (South Carolina) then flew out to center to end the contest.

Jordan Danks (Texas) broke up Palma’s perfect game to lead off the fourth inning after the U.S. trailed 3-0. Danks scored on a two-out single by Smoak to cut the lead to 3-1.

A two-out double by Alex Mayeta in the third gave the Cubans an early 2-0 lead. A two-out infield single in the fourth plated another run to give Cuba a 3-0 advantage.

American starter Jacob Thompson (1-2, Virginia) last just the first four innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, surrendering his first earned runs of the summer. Four U.S. pitchers did not allow a run the rest of the way.

Team USA won their only gold medal in 1967 in Canada and have medaled in 16 of 18 games… Team USA came into the final game batting .303 as a team in Brazil, managing just five hits in the final game.

The Americans return to the U.S. later today as they begin a five-game series with China starting on July 22 and 24 in Mobile, AL… Team USA will then head North to Birmingham, Rome, GA and Ft. Mill, SC before finishing off the nine-game American trip with the Netherlands and Russia in North Carolina… the team closes out their schedule at the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands starting on August 2… Mexico and Nicaragua were awarded dual bronze medals, not playing the consolation game.

USA to forfeit Gold Medal to Cuba?

The AP is reporting that the United States might have to forfeit their Gold Medal Game against Cuba that is supposed to be played Friday morning due to the fact that the USA team has to leave Rio de Janeiro Friday evening to get back to the States to take on China. It is possible that Friday’s game could be pushed back till Saturday or Sunday because the field is in horrible condition and is not usually used for baseball as Brazil is still an up and coming country in baseball.

AP Article

Team USA to take on Cuba for Gold Medal

Press Release

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL— Cody Satterwhite (Ole Miss) saved both ends of Team USA’s (15-5, 4-0 Pan Am Games) doubleheader at the Pan American Games, defeating Brazil 7-5 in the play-in game and then moving onto the Gold Medal Game following a 2-1 victory over Mexico. The Americans, who have won one gold medal (1967) and eight silver medals since 1951 at these Games, will face Cuba, who won their pool following a 4-0 victory over Nicaragua.

“Our goal for the summer was to play for a goal medal, and that’s where we are at,” said Manager Mike Weathers. “To win a double header in international play, is very difficult, and I’m proud of our guys today and the obstacles they had to face. We will be ready to go tomorrow.”

Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) had two multi-hit games today, giving him four for the Games, as he went 3-for-4 with the game-winning RBI against Mexico, after going 2-for-3 with a key two-run single against Brazil.

“I felt good today. Playing for a gold medal means a lot,” said Satterwhite. “Good hitting got us into the finals, and we continue to play well.”

Brian Matusz (1-0, San Diego) threw six and one third innings in the semifinal win, giving it over to the bullpen with a 2-1 lead after giving just three hits and five strikeouts. Francisco Campos countered with two runs on seven hits, pitching into the seventh, taking the loss for Mexico.

“It was exciting to pitch in a semifinal game, maybe outside the gold medal, our most important game,” said Matusz. “I didn’t know a lot about Mexico, but I knew they had some power by the way they swung the bat. My off speed pitch was not great, but I was spotting my fastball and my changeup was getting grounders and popups.”

USA reliever Brett Hunter retired six in a row and two and one-third overall, before Benjamin Gil hit a two-out double in the ninth. Satterwhite, after walking a batter, got a lineout of Ivan Terrazas to pick up his third save of the summer.

Team USA took a 2-1 lead on Mexico in the fifth with an RBI double by Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) and an RBI single from Forsythe.

The Americans guaranteed the No. 1 seed in Pool A earlier in the day, holding on for a 7-5 win over host Brazil, thanks to a five-run seventh inning.

Joe Kelly (1-0, UC Riverside) got the win in relief, as Satterwhite came on with the bases loaded and no outs with a three-run lead in the ninth and got the save.

Claudio Yamada, the third of four pitchers in the seventh, threw eight-straight balls to walk the go-ahead run in for the Americans to ignite the inning. A Forsythe two-run single followed, before a Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) double made it 7-2.

Ryan Berry (Rice) gave up four hits and two runs over five and one third innings, but walked five, as the Americans tied the game in the sixth and second innings.

The Americans have won a medal in 14 out of the previous 16 games since the games started in 1951. They won their only gold medal in 1967 in Canada, and finished a runner-up another eight times. In their last series in 2003, when Manager Mike Weathers and assistant Mark Scalf were assistants, Team USA finished with a silver medal to Cuba… Team USA’s pitching staff was called for 12 walks on Wednesday, after averaging just under three per game over the first 18 games.

With Mexico winning the continued game over Venezuela 3-2 in 10 innings, Cuba earned the No. 1 seed in Pool B and Mexico was the No. 2 seed…. Nicaragua defeated the Dominican Republic 2-0 in the other play-in game, giving Nicaragua and the Dominican 1-2 records in Pool B, and guaranteeing the Americans a medal game about 90 minutes prior to USA’s final pitch against Brazil.

Team USA Rescheduled

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL— Team USA’s scheduled Pan American baseball game with host Brazil was pushed back yet again. The Americans (13-5, 2-0 Pan Am Games) are now set to begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Mexico-Venezuela 2-2 tie, which ended after nine innings on July 14. That game, part of pool B play, is set for Wednesday on Field One of the Cidade do Rock at 9 a.m. Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic were also delayed by a day, due to poor field conditions, as they will play on Field Two at 9 a.m.

The USA, Brazil, Nicaragua and the Dominican were all slated to resume play on Tuesday at 10 a.m., but rain in the Rio de Janeiro area last night pushed the game back to 1 p.m. At around 2 p.m. the game was cancelled due to an accumulation of water. This is the second setback for the quartet, as Cidade do Rock’s lights were in antiquate for night games and pushed games in pool A back a day.

The semifinals between the top two teams in each pool, will begin at approximately 1 p.m. The gold medal game between the winners will be on Field One at 9 a.m. on Thursday, while the bronze medal game will be 30 minutes afterwards between the two losers.

A win for the U.S. guarantees a spot in the semifinals.

(home team last)
Mexico vs. Venezuela, continued at 9 a.m. (2-2 tie after 9 innings)
Brazil vs. USA (30 minutes afterwards)
Semifinal Game, approximately 1 p.m. (1 vs. 2, Pool TBA)

Dominican Republic vs. Nicaragua, 9 a.m.
Semifinal Game, approximately 1 p.m. (1 vs. 2, Pool TBA)

Gold Medal Game, 9 a.m.
Bronze Medal Game, 30 minutes afterwards

Team USA knocks off DR

Team USA picked up a 5-1 victory over the Dominican Republic to open up pool play. Tyson Ross (Cal) started on the mound and kept the Dominican offense off balance with solid off-speed stuff and a good fastball. He lasted 6.2 innings while giving up four hits and one run while striking out seven batters. Logan Forsythe (Arkansas) went 3-4 with an RBI while Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) went 2-5 with an RBI to lead Team USA offense. The Dominican team consisted of former major league players in Jose Offerman, Raul Mondesi, Delvi Cruz, Enrique Wilson, and Luis Polonia.

Team USA will be back in action on Monday when they play Nicaragua and will play Brazil on Tuesday in the final game of group play.

Team USA Recap
Ryan Flaherty Diary Entry