Ni Hao from Beijing

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Hello, MLBloggers! Am over here at the Summer Olympics and back at the end of August, so hold down the fort while I’m away. Got here a couple of days before Opening Ceremony, am with the USA Baseball Team the whole way. So Wukesong Stadium is pretty much my office. What you notice most are the volunteers — about 100,000 kids mainly college-age, wearing the familiar uniforms with blue “Beijing 2000” tech shirts, khakis and yellow-striped running shoes. They are everywhere. My “Taxi Cards” are a lifeline — just show what you want/where you want to go, and each has Chinese lettering symbols on the card as well as my phonetic pronunciation. Gradually learning some Mandarin that I will forget in a few weeks, and yesterday spoke the universal language when I went on a 2-hour training run along Badaling Expressway and stopped 1:30 into the run to watch 5-on-5 hoops (basketball is huge here thanks to Yao) at a park. A man asked me if I want to play (he didn’t really ask, he gestured), and I said by all means I would love to with all my heart (I didn’t really speak, I gestured). They were great games and at the end I did a Cal Ripken lap around shaking every man’s hand. In that moment everything was perfect in the world, and we all spoke the same and believed in sports. You can find my coverage around the clock at MLB.com, as our “Baseball at the Olympics” writer over here. Keep the blogging going strong, and pardon the interruption in watching it all happen but I’m following a quest for the gold and seeing the sights. Remember to leave lots of comments here with your URL as another way for people to find your blog. I am looking forward to seeing the Men’s Marathon on the final day, I am still looking forward to a scrumptious Peking Duck, I still have to see the Great Wall and compare it to the Green Monster, and the two things that have struck me most are (a) how much BS the overblown hype about air pollution was as I am marathon training just fine in it, and (b) they actually grew ivy outside the building structure of Wukesong Field 2 because our friend Murray Cook told them about Wrigley ivy. By the way, get to know Murray — he’s one of our four original MLBloggers circa April 2005, and he is the person who created the baseball experience here in Beijing, turning a parking lot into Major League caliber ball fields and teaching people who didn’t know what “base” meant how to groundskeep. My BlackBerry has smoke coming out of it because of the constant updates from MLB clubs about their latest announcements as well as every USOC event update from Michael Phelps to pistol to rowing…and I am loving it. As they say here: “Bye-Bye” (I had a hard time learning that one).

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13 Comments

Hi Mark,

I’ve just read your article “Olympic game similar, but not identical” and wondered if you could comment on a few scoring differences that I believe are part of Olympic/IBAF baseball.

In the IBAF Scoring Manual (c 2005-2006) a scorer is instructed to charge a GDP (ground into double play) against a batter if he grounds into a force or reverse-force double play “OR WOULD HAVE DONE SO HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR AN ERROR” (the error would be either the muffed catch at the back end of a force DP or failing to touch the bag or runner on the front end of same). I can see their reasoning for this, but it does bug me that the IBAF OBR are the same as MLB, however they don’t apply this statistic in the same way.

Other things they do differently are crediting a”Game Winning RBI” (that stat went out ages ago, didn’t it?), and they also assign pitching credits in a weird way (eg, a pitcher is only credited as a starter if he isn’t credited with a win or charged with a loss!).
I’d appreciate hearing what you know or can find out about the scoring/statistics at the Olympics or generally in IBAF.

p.s
great pictures!

Mark
What a wonderful experience for you! What could be cooler than being at the Olympics?
Enjoy your stay and be careful what you eat.
Come home well.
Noni

Jason, thanks for the heads-up…am waymegatotally out of touch over here but will email someone to look at it…thanks everyone else for the comments (Jeff, will check out those foods, sorry Jenn), will be posting more from here. make sure to catch my daily show on baseballchannel.tv – my stories and show clip are on MLB.com homepage. – mark (ps I ran into my first encounter with dog meat on menu last night, such is the world, don’t mind ’em Winthorpe they know not).

Sorry to leave this lengthy post here Mark, but I wasn’t sure what your e-mail address is. I thought you should know that one of your new bloggers plagiarized the post from j-Boogie from Baseball and the Boogie-Down. You may want to let this plagiarizing blogger know that he’s stealing the work from someone who is actually doing thoughtful work and may not appreciate having it stolen.

Yankees In Need Of A Performance Enhancer…

I just read that the Red Sox picked up Paul Byrd, whom by the way is very much marching into a great second half pitcher’s profile. He’s 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA since the All Star break.

Meanwhile (Back In The Bronx) the front office is still asleep and full of high hopes that both Pavano and Hughes will pull off some late magic for us down the stretch.

Girardi’s stunt in last nights shutout lost against the Twins was not only inexplicable but also very inexcusable…

Why in the world was Damon out of the lineup last night? the man has been about the only thing that is still in tact on this team. Girardi was very well aware of his mistake and hopefully tonight and for as long as he’s leading the League in Batting AVG. he remains in the lineup.

The Yankees are 6-11 since aquiring Nady and Marte but are they really to blame for what’s been going on?

As a Yankee fan i remain optimistic and feel that the wrath of the Yankees is yet to come and although time is running out and deficits are getting steep it will all come in a timely manner.

With Bonds still available and willing to play at the League minimum i believe the Yankees need to pull the trigger.

why????

If the Yankees were to sign Bonds, they can easily option Christian back to the minors. If i’m Girardi I then park Melky’s rump on the bench, move Damon to CF, put Nady in LF, and have Bonds DH. Damon needs a day off? Fine. Put Melky in CF. Nady needs some rest?? put Damon in LF and put Melky in CF. Oh, Abreu tired? Put Nady in RF, Damon in LF, Melky in CF. Melky basically would become the 4th outfielder with the acquisition of Bonds. which truthfully is all he should be.

Lineup:

Damon (CF)

Jeter (SS)

Abreu (RF)

A-Rod (3B)

Bonds (DH)

Giambi (1B)

Nady (LF)

Cano (2B)

Pudge (C)

Talk about a sick Lineup. Even if you shake it up, say move Abreu down, Flip-Flop bonds and A-rod, whatever. It’s a billion times better than with Melky in there. If you ask me… It’s a really smart move Considering it will only cost the league minimum. Isn’t that what we’re doing with Sexson anyway? If the Yankees don’t do it some other contender will. they’d all be dumb not to.

Sign him before 9/1 and he’ll be eligible for the playoffs. Rosters also expand on 9/1, so sending down a guy like Christian who gives you late-inning speed on the bases is only temporary!

Desperate times call for desperate measures!

PS… Johnny Damon leads off tonights game with a Homerun after being out of the lineup last night! Way to go Joe!

* Posted on August 12, 2008 at 7:36 PM
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1 Comments

Hey buddy, you plagiarized this post from a friend of mine whose blog I regularly read–“Baseball and the Boogie-Down,” which is through blogspot. The URL is here:
http://boogiedownbaseball.blogspot.com/2008/08/yanks-in-need-of-performance-enhancer.html

For other readers who want to read an actual bog and not someone who plagiarizes other people’s work and treats it as his own, try Boogie-Down Baseball. The text of the post that you plagiarized is below. See for yourself.

Monday, August 11, 2008
Yanks In Need Of A Performance Enhancer

OK, I slept on it. And right now if the Yankees want to make a serious run at the postseason, they need to inject some life into this ballclub. Pitching is a major concern, but the offense is also struggling mightily. I’ve mentioned it before and though I highly doubt it will happen, I think it’s the perfect move. Bring in our favorite big-headed monster, Barry Bonds.

If Bonds truly will play for the league minimum like he’s said he would, than this is a no-brainer. I’m not sure if what the exact pro-rated league minimum is, but I believe it’s less than $200k. This is another one of those low risk, high reward moves. I don’t even think you can put a ceiling on how high that reward would be. Just penciling that name into the lineup makes it infinitely better, even if Bonds strikes out every plate appearance. Who would you rather have in the Yankees’ lineup? Justin Christian, Melky Cabrera, or Barry Bonds? Stupid question if I ever heard one.

If the Yankees were to sign Bonds, they can easily option Christian back to the minors. If I’m Girardi I then park Melky’s rump on the bench, move Damon to CF, put Nady in LF, and have Bonds DH. Damon needs a day off? No problem. Put Melky in CF. Nady needs some rest? Put Damon in LF and put Melky in CF. Oh, Bobby Abreu is tired. Nady in RF, Damon in LF, Melky in CF. Melky basically becomes the 4th OF, which truthfully, is all he should be. Think about this lineup, or something like it:

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
A-Rod 3B
Bonds DH
Giambi 1B
Nady LF
Cano 2B
Pudge C

Talk about a sick lineup. Even if you shake it up, say move Abreu down, flip-flop Bonds and A-Rod, whatever, it’s a billion times better than it is with Melky in there. If you ask me, it’s the smart move, considering it only would cost the league minimum. It’s pretty much what they’re doing with Sexson. If the Yankees don’t do it, some other contender will. They’d all be dumb not to. Sign Bonds before 9/1 and he is eligible for the playoffs. Rosters also expand on 9/1, so sending down a guy like Christian, who gives you late-inning speed on the bases, is only temporary.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. So am I the only one on this Bonds bandwagon?? Feel free to comment and/or cast a vote in the poll in the upper-left.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

I’ll let J-Boogie know that someone is ripping off his work, and I’ll also let Mark from MLBlogosphere know that this problem exists. That’s repulsive and disgraceful. You should be ashamed of yourself.
http://heartlandpinstripes.wordpress.com/
By Jason from The Heartland on August 12, 2008 9:09 PM

Enjoy China ! Post more pictures🙂

-Roberto
http://baseballislife.mlblogs.com/

What a great trip!!! Enjoy, Mark.

-Dan
http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

Mark,
It looks like you are having lots of fun. I also thought the opening ceremonies were cool.

-Chris
The Baseball Collector
http://baseballcollector.mlblogs.com
http://snaggingbaseballs.com

Hi, Mark …

The “Opening Ceremonies” were “AWESOME” !!! … They looked so great on T.V. … I can only imagine how it looked and felt by those actually in the Stadium on that night … I’m sure you are having a great time, as this is a “trip of a lifetime” … So, take care, Mark … Best Wishes and Good Luck, to “Team USA”, especially, the USA Baseball Team !!! … Jimmy [27NYY] …

http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

Wow! I am so jealous! Great pictures…hope you will post some more later! Not sure about all that odd food Jeff suggested…as a general rule, if I can’t pronounce it, I won’t eat it. One more suggestion, if it is still moving, maybe pass on that as well :o) Have a great time!

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

The food is the absolute best part about being in China. Make sure to get some gulao rou, gongbao jiding, beijing kaoya and culiu tudousi! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it…
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Really cool man, I wish I was there now.

How cool were the opening ceremonies in person? Those drums, that paper, Yao Ming and Lin Hao!

I’m still jealous that you’re in China, but I’m getting over it because I probably wouldn’t be able to eat the food there anyways.

Have fun while you work!
-A
http://catchingredsox.mlblogs.com

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