The week ahead

Aside

Due to some other things going on, I didn’t quite get everything written that I wanted to. So the week ahead looks like this:

  • Thoughts on early morning baseball.
  • Another neat link.
  • Maybe a Famous for Something Else.

As always, this is subject to change.

An Alternate History: The 2000 Baseball Dream Team

Previously, I took a look at hypothetical dream teams for USA Baseball in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. Today, it’s time to talk about how a dream team might have looked in 2000, at the Sydney Olympics.

(Go below the jump for more)

Continue reading

Neat Site: CPBL Stats

Taiwan AKA Chinese Taipei AKA Formosa isn’t in this year’s Olympic tournament, but their league remains one of the best in Asia. And while during some research ahead of this Olympics, I came across CPBL Stats.

While not updated daily, it has a good constant stream of news from Taiwan’s top baseball league, as well as (of course) stats and info on how you can watch CPBL baseball online.

Check it out here.

Looking ahead…

Aside

Last month (July) was the most-visited month at the Baseball Continuum since 2019! Thank you!

Here’s what you can expect in the coming days:

  • The “What If?” on the Sydney Olympics baseball dream team.
  • Thoughts on early morning baseball.
  • A neat link!
  • Another neat link!

And, of course, there may be more as well…

An Alternate History: The 1996 Baseball Olympic Dream Team

Way back in 2012, I did a post discussing what a baseball dream team for Team USA would have looked like in an alternate world where MLB stars came to the Olympics when NBA stars did: the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. And while my formatting and grammar wasn’t great (it was the first year of the blog), I still think it was a neat exercise.

So now, with the 2020 (err… 2021) games in full-swing in Tokyo, I got to wondering: What would the dream team have been in 1996? Let’s move forward that clock and assume that Team USA’s Olympic Baseball Team won gold in 1992, although not nearly in such a dominant manner as the basketball team did since international baseball talent in 1992 was better than international basketball talent in 1992. What does the team look like in 1996 in Atlanta?

(Go below the jump for more.)

Continue reading

Introducing “Glick on Gaming”

Back on the 4th of July, I said that that I wanted to start doing some non-baseball stuff on here as well.

This new feature, Glick on Gaming, is one such feature.

As the name suggests, it is about gaming. Video gaming, to be more precise. It’ll be an irregular feature with no real schedule, basically coming along whenever I finish a video game or want to talk about it. The form it will take will also be highly variable: sometimes it could just be a few short lines, other times it may be a long essay, review, or rumination.

Among the games you can expect to see covered in the opening parts of the feature are Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Kingdom Hearts, and Red Dead Redemption II.

So keep an eye out!

Final Olympic Preview/Predictions

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. The 2020 Summer Games were looking to be a throwback Olympics with minimal issues. Sure, it would cost too much, the weather would have been a bit too hot, and there undoubtedly would be some political and/or drug-related issues, but at least it wouldn’t be a case of a city biting off far more than it could chew. There wouldn’t be a seemingly endless number of venues left behind empty, gathering dust as a reminder of games long-since past. The city hosting the games wouldn’t go bankrupt from it all, either. Tokyo was going to have the best-run Olympics since London in 2012.

And while to varying degrees all that is still true, it will be barely a shadow of what it should have been. It’s because COVID-19, of course. So instead of what was looking like one of the best Olympics in history, this may well go down as one of the worst. Or at least one of the biggest bummers of a game.

The Olympics are often a complicated thing. On one hand, the idea of having athletes from all around the world come together in some great global city and then have competitions in over two dozen sports over a two week span is inherently dramatic, appealing, and awe-inspiring. On the other hand, it is run by the IOC, an organization that has shown time and again to be varying degrees of elitist, sexist, corporate, autocratic, out-of-touch, corrupt, and various other unflattering things. Perhaps that’s more true than ever this year, where they are quite literally holding an event in the middle of a pandemic without fans and apparently not even giving Tokyo a make-up date sometime in the 2030s or 2040s where they’d actually be able to see it and get the money from all those fans.

And yet, ultimately, once the games begin, most of us will probably forget it all, because we always do.

Anyway, now that that rumination is done, it’s time for some final predictions on Olympic Baseball. A refresher on the tournament (which is admittedly a bit out of date as far as the COVID precautions in the Olympics) can be found here. As a recap, here are the teams involved, in order of when I did previews of them. Click to go to the previews (please note these do not reflect recent changes due to injuries or COVID tests, I will likely have another update before the start of the tournament):

For gold, I think this is ultimately the homestanding Japanese team’s tournament to lose. Behind them I’m going to say that Team USA will be able to beat out Korea or the Dominican for the silver before falling to Japan. The Dominicans will edge out Korea for bronze. Mexico and Israel, thanks for playing.

However, it should be noted that as always in baseball, and especially during international play where series aren’t things, this is ultimately a crapshoot. If a team’s pitching is clicking and hitting is opportune, any one of these teams, even Israel, could conceivably win gold. On the same coin, some bad days of pitching or dead bats could lead to one of the top teams having an early trip home.

The only way we’ll be sure is when the teams take the field late on July 27.

Olympic Baseball Update (7/20)

Since my previews went up, there have been some changes to the rosters:

  • First off, two members of the South Korean team were removed from the roster as part of a punishment for breaking social distancing. Those players, 2B Min-Woo Park and P Hyun-hee Han, have also been suspended the rest of the KBO season. Their replacements are rookie left-handed reliever Jin Uk Kim and former MLBer Seunghwan Oh, arguably the best reliever in Korea’s history. Jin-Uk is a bit of an odd choice, however, as his stats haven’t been very good this year. Also of note is that they did not add a new 2B to replace Park. Korea is facing other COVID-19 related issues: the first of their warm-up games, which would have been against a team of under-24 KBO All-Stars, has been called off due to pandemic restrictions.
  • Two members of Team Mexico have tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be making the trip. Hector Velazquez and Sammy Solis tested positive on Sunday before the team was set to leave for Tokyo, and now the team is in quarantine while they await further tests. It isn’t clear if Solis and Velazquez are being re-tested in case of a false positive and may end up making the trip, and I haven’t found anything yet to suggest who (if anyone) will replace them. The bigger question is what might happen should a large portion of the team have COVID. Would they forfeit all their games? Would they be allowed to quickly add a bunch of new players? These are some of the issues facing all the sports in this pandemic Olympics.
  • Team USA has been playing exhibition games against the USA National Collegiate Team to prepare for Tokyo. While obviously they are college kids, they are hardly slouches and most of them will likely go on to have professional careers. The Olympians won the 7-inning Game 1 8-3 on Sunday behind good days at the plate by Eddy Alvarez (3-4, HR, 2 RBI, SB) and Patrick Kivlehan (2-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI). Scott Kazmir had 5 IP giving up 3 hits (one a home run to the University of Arizona’s Jacob Berry) and 2 ER while striking out 9. Game 2 was much closer as a pitcher’s duel took place, with Team USA edging the college team 1-0 thanks to a 6th-inning RBI by Alvarez. The teams are set to finish their exhibition series today at 1 p.m.
  • Team Israel, meanwhile, has been barnstorming through the East Coast. They have gone 6-2 against an eclectic bunch of amateur teams ranging from the FDNY baseball team to all-stars from the Cal Ripken College League. They have one more warmup game remaining.

I’ll have more on Olympic baseball as the start of that tournament nears.

The Week Ahead

Aside

It’s time for a look at what you can expect from the Baseball Continuum in the week ahead:

  • Olympic update. There have been some late changes to some Olympic rosters due to things like injury or suspension (two members of the Korean team have been replaced after they were found to have ignored social distancing during a recent increased COVID outbreak, for example), so I’ll note that.
  • Final Olympic preview and thoughts on the Olympics in general: Exactly what it says on the tin, complete with my prediction as to how the medals will turn out.
  • Potentially a “Neat Site” will be shared.
  • Possibly the first of a new feature that isn’t about baseball.

Stay tuned!