The USA returns to first in late January Continuum Rankings Update

It’s the Continuum Baseball Rankings! Thanks to good performances in basically every tournament that wasn’t the WBC, the United States went to number one in the IBAF’s world rankings, and that helped them also move to the top in the Continuum Rankings. Japan and Cuba also benefited from international play results that the IBAF rankings follow (but I don’t always follow), and Japan further benefited from a 3-game sweep over Taipei in November. This caused the Dominican to fall to fourth, mainly because they didn’t play much after the WBC and weren’t in the best of positions in the IBAF ratings.

Similar things happened to other Latin American teams, and that leads to another issue I’ll have to figure out: due to those country’s baseball systems, which often have financial problems outside of the WBC as far as going overseas. I’m going to try and figure out a way to try and counter this without bringing back in the number of MLB players and MLB Win Shares.

Anyway, these ratings include the 2013 end-of-year IBAF World Rankings, the three games “Samurai Japan” and the Chinese Taipei national team played, games between “professional or equivalent” teams in the East Asian Games and the entirety (since all teams in it were “professional or equivalent”… which is to say, they were all each country’s best players, in this case amateurs) of the West Asian Baseball Cup.

The next update will be after the Caribbean World Series in February.

Go below the jump to see it:

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A Change in The Continuum Baseball Rankings method

As I mentioned yesterday, the latest installment of the Continuum Baseball Rankings is coming up.

However, there will be one major difference: I will not be taking into account the number of MLB players and Win Shares for each country, instead using only the input of the IBAF World Rankings and results from international tournaments in which a country’s “professional or equivalent” team took part.

There are a few reasons for this.

For one, using MLB players and MLB win shares in it heavily skews it towards the USA, Dominican Republic, etc.

For another, it skews away from countries that have their own leagues, such as Japan and Korea, as well as an isolated nation like Cuba.

Finally, they are at times incomplete, as the site I use to find the numbers for it goes by place of birth, not necessarily nationality, leading to, for example, Donald Lutz being listed as an American and not a German.

So, when the next Rankings update comes up, it’ll have used a different method for things that happened after July of this past year.

Britain moves up and Russia shows up on Continuum Baseball Rankings after European B-Levels

(For information on the Continuum Rankings and how they are figured out, go here.)

Over the past month or so, there have been qualifiers for Europe’s baseball championships that will take place next year, with two qualifying competitions in Europe’s “B-Level” of baseball competition. Great Britain and Russia won their pools, and they benefited from it greatly in the Continuum Baseball Rankings, with the British jumping from 20th overall to 18th overall, and Russia entering the rankings at 32.

If you are curious, the countries that had not been in the rankings before today were given initial scores based on how far back they were of Indonesia and France in the IBAF world rankings.

Anyway, to see the latest ratings/rankings, go below the jump.

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Expanding on my idea for future WBCs

Awhile ago, I briefly had some thoughts on how the World Baseball Classic could change and expand in the future. I figured I would expand a bit on that for this, the BASEBALL CONTINUUM 1ST ANNIVERSARY SPECTACULAR (or, rather, the overflow from it). This is something of a lengthy post, so go below the jump for it.

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Continuum Global News (Week leading up to April 21): News from Japan, Korea, Mexico, Europe and More

News and Standings from across the wide world of baseball (THIS IS A BIG POST SO THERE IS A JUMP AFTER THE FIRST FEW PARAGRAPHS):

Asia:

In Asia, baseball season is now in full swing, with Japan, Korea and Taiwan all in motion.

In Japan, home of Nippon Pro Baseball, the standings currently look like this (from Yakyu Baka):

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 11.44.28 AMAs you can see, the teams have already started to spread out a bit, forming into de-facto groups of great, good and bad. The cream of the crop in the NPB, once again, seems to be the Yomiuri Giants, who have 14 wins, 4 losses, and two ties (there are ties in NPB). Only two teams are within five games of them. The Giants, winners of 22 Japan Series and the current defending champions, have several names that would be familiar to baseball fans in North America. Shinnosuke Abe, the team’s captain, is a long-time mainstay of the Japanese national team at the WBC, and former Major Leaguers like John Bowker, Jose Lopez, D.J. Houlton and Scott Mathieson have played for the Giants this season as well. Hayato Sakamoto (another member of the 2013 WBC team) and Shuichi Murata are among the Central League’s HR leaders.

It’s a bit closer over in the Pacific League, but like in the Central League, one team has clearly gotten off to a very good start: The Seibu Lions. Based out of Torozawa, the Lions are being paced at the plate by former MLBer Esteban German, 22-year-olds Hideto Asamura and Yuji Kaneko, and outfielder Takumi Kuriyama. The pitching has also been excellent, and features 2013 WBC pitcher Hideaki Wakui and a young lefty named Yusei Kikuchi, who is 2-1 with a 1.03 ERA in 4 starts.

Also, some interesting news: NPB will open the 2014 season with games in the LA area.

(JUMP FOR MORE)

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Continuum Global News for 4-11-2013

News and Scores from around the world of baseball:

NPB (Japan, from games of 4-10-2013):

Seibu Lions 4, Chiba Lotte Marines 1

Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 7, Orix Buffaloes 6

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 4, Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 1

Hanshin Tigers 3, Yomiuri Giants 0

Chunichi Dragons 4, Yakult Swallows 1

Yokohama Bay Stars 6, Hiroshima Toyo Carp 2

KBO (Korea, games from 4-10-13):

Samsung 9, Hanwha 3

NC 4, LG 1 (This is the first regular season victory in the history of the NC Dinos)

Doosan 9, KIA 0

Nexen 4, SK 3

Mexican League (Games from 4-10-13):

Reynosa 8, Minatitlan 2

Campeche 14, Puebla 11

Laguna 9, Oaxaca 3

Monclova 5, Veracruz 3

Aguascalientes 4, Yucatan 2

Quintana Roo 17, Saltillo 8

Ciudad Carmen 4, Monterrey 3

Tabasco 6, Mexico City 4

Sources: Yakyu Baka, MyKBO, MiLB.com