Nicaragua to Host U-23 WBSC Championship; Panama Under 15

Nicaragua will host the Under 23 WBSC championship in 2018, playing the games at the newly constructed 15,000 seat Dennis Martinez stadium at a date yet to be determined. Despite all the points awarded for this event the No 2 United States and No 5 Cuba will not be playing in the tournament. The United States did not play in the qualifying round, while Cuba did not qualify. Below are the teams who have qualified for the games:

Africa (1) - to be determined

NPB: Chunichi Dragons Fail to Resign Alex Guerrero

An interesting free agent for major league baseball teams may be Alex Guerrero. He caused some headaches for the Los Angeles Dodgers when he played for them a couple years ago but seemed to be quite tamed while playing for the Chunichi Dragons. The Dragons made an attempt to resign him but could not get it done.

Cuban League Update

Myworld has been remiss in our reporting of the Cuban Nacional Series. They have already completed the first half of the season and are now in the round robin portion. With the many defections the power structure of the league has changed. Myworld was not able to get numbers on relievers because many of the websites we normally relied on for stats either have an innings limit for their pitchers or their stats are incomplete or only provide second half numbers. So we did the best with what we could piece together. Below are the standings of the league to date:

Cuban Julio Pablo Martinez Defects

21 year old Cuban outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez left Cuba in search of a major league contract. He will be one of the first Cuban stars subject to the new international rules. He would be eligible to sign this period once he finds a foreign country to list as his place of residence and is approved. Or he could wait until the next July 2 signing period when teams have more money at their disposal.

Japan Still Number One in Baseball Despite United States Dominance

The United States has finished higher than Japan in most of the tournaments the two play in. The main reason Japan is rated higher is they have played in more tournament, two November World Cup age tournaments that the United States chose not to participate in. The voting system tends to favor quantity of tournaments played rather than quality.

Below are the top ten countries in baseball. You can see the complete list at WBSC.org. 

1) Japan - 5598

 2) United States - 5414

 3) Korea - 4908

 4) Taiwan - 3747

Hall of Fame broadcaster Rafael 'Felo' Ramirez dies at 94

Hall of Fame radio broadcaster Rafael "Felo" Ramirez, the signature voice for millions of Spanish-speaking sports fans over three decades, died Monday at age 94, the Miami Marlins announced.

"The entire Marlins organization is deeply saddened by the loss of a great friend, Hall-of-Fame broadcaster and community icon, Felo Ramirez," the Marlins said in the statement. "Since our inaugural season, he brought home practically every magical moment in franchise history to generations of fans. A true broadcast legend ... his extensive contributions to our game will never be forgotten."

57 NS: In Opening Day Villa Clara beat Granma 2-0. Opening Day Results

Norel González went 4-for-5 against Granma.

After a long recess Cuban Baseball’s 2017 regular season has finally arrived, with the Opening Day celebrated last Saturday.

BOXSCORE

The season officially began on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET when the Granma Horses starter César García delivered the first pitch to the Villa Clara Leopards. The Leopards started one of their aces, RHP Alaín Sánchez, but needed extra innings to beat the defending champions, 2-0. It was the first extra innings game in Opening Day since the 2012-13 (52 NS) season.

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