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Snake Bytes: 11/09 - Winter Ball

Baseball winter depression? You can find some distraction south of the equator where Latin American baseball teams are suiting up for winter ball.

BASEBALL-CARIBBEAN-SERIES Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images

Diamondbacks news

[AZ Central] Kole Calhoun hoping Arizona Diamondbacks’ roster gets second chance next year

Calhoun acknowledged players need to “look into the mirror” and find ways to improve as they head into next year. But he also pointed to how many irregularities there were this past season, including noting how his hot stretch late in the year changed the perception about his season: “This is not a two-month game. This is a six-month game. It’s a grind.” Nice Dodger pun, Kole.

[Bleacher Report] The Contract Every MLB Team Wishes Could Vanish from Its 2021 Payroll

Wait, we just got rid of Yasmany and now we already have a new contract we want to get rid of? Besides Bumgarner, there are also 3 former D-Backs on this list. Guess we could have been worse off.

[ESPN] One great moment of the 2020 MLB season for all 30 teams

I get all pumped up when reading about the Diamondbacks: “they led the majors in “productive” outs. They took the fifth-most “extra” bases as baserunners, and they made the third-fewest outs on the bases. They hit well with runners on base and drove in a higher percentage of their baserunners than all but six other teams. They got the runner in from third with less than two outs, better than 20 other teams did.” Oh, hell yeah! 2021 playoffs: here we come!

Around the MLB

[CBS Sports] Yankees move minor-league teams from Trenton, Staten Island; owner feels ‘misled and abandoned’

“This move by the Yankees removes a key source of income for Trenton. Despite repeated assurances that the Thunder would remain its Double-A affiliate over the last 16 months, the Yankees betrayed their partnership at the 11th hour.” Says a statement from Trenton Thunder owner Joseph Plumeri. Maybe the D-Backs have a surprise for the Reno Aces as well.

[MLB Trade Rumors] Jeff Luhnow Sues Astros For Breach Of Contract

Former Astros president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow has filed a lawsuit against his former team for breach of contract, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Luhnow’s lawsuit claims the contract was worth “more than $31 million,” and that Luhnow’s firing cost him “more than $22 million in guaranteed compensation” as well as other benefits. Yes, we Astros haters want blood.

[Sports Illustrated] Nationals to Host President-Elect Joe Biden for First Pitch on Opening Day 2021

Shortly after President-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time since winning the 2020 presidential election, the Washington Nationals have extended him an invite to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day 2021. Patrick Corbin is reportedly not amused.

Across the Pacific

[Japan] Japanese Olympic softball catcher Emi Inui becomes first woman to work as NPB scout

Another small step to gender equality was accomplished when the Orix Buffaloes announced the incorporation of former top softball player Emi Inui as the first woman to be hired as a scout for a NPB team. Before joining the scouting department, Inui worked with developing players at the Orix Buffaloes Youth Academy.

[Iran] Iran has a jewel of a baseball stadium near capital Tehran

A stadium in Karaj, the 1.6-million people metropolis located 20 kilometers west of capital Tehran, is the first dedicated baseball/softball facility in Iran. The president of the Iran Baseball Softball Association (IBSA). Houman Mansourian, believes it is “the most advanced and modern baseball stadium in the Middle East.” With their currently 62nd-ranked Iran National Baseball Team, Iranian Baseball and Softball Association leaders are hoping to attract a winning bid to host a future Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA) West Asia Cup.

[China] China Baseball partners with Tianjin University to establish elite player academy and strengthen national team programme

With billions of people living in China, it should be of no wonder that China intends to become a recognized power in all kinds of sports. Its latest intent is the promotion of baseball throughout the country which has led to a recent minor boom in China, pushing the number of youth baseball teams to nearly 700 across the nation. The Chinese Baseball Association plans for the best talent to initially develop through regional training centres before they move to the academy to complete their elite development. The final goal is to build a core of talented baseball players to boost the level of Chinese baseball on the international stage.

[Taiwan] Lions win Taiwan Series before another sell-out crowd

It is the Lions’ league-leading 10th CPBL title, as they overcame a three-games-to-one series deficit. Former Boston Red Sox prospect Teddy Stankiewicz allowed four runs over 6.2 innings, before Canadian and former Astros prospect Brock Dykxhoorn came on in relief to secure the win and the series for the Lions. CTBC Brothers starter and former Mariners pitcher Ariel Miranda was charged with the loss. All seven games of the series sold out. Due to COVID-19 safety measures, games were played at 78% stadium capacity.

Across The Wall

[Mexico] LMP shuts down 11 days to battle virus surge

Following an uptick of Wuhan virus cases that led to series delays and postponements or cancellations of games (including two entire series), the Mexican Pacific League held an emergency Assembly of Presidents meeting late last week, where it was decided to close the season down for eleven days, beginning Friday, November 6. It should be of no surprise it has come this far with players, officials and fans not respecting guidelines ever since the preseason started.

[Dominican Republic] Joel Payamps says he will relieve with Estrellas

D-Backs prospect Joel Payamps will not start games as an opener in the Dominican winter leagues for Estrellas, since the Diamondbacks have granted him permission to play only until December 12th, and with a pitch limit. Payamps said his focus this winter will be on improving his change of speed.

[Puerto Rico] Yasmany Tomas to showcase his talents in Puerto Rico

We could joke around about what talents that could be, but writer and player obviously refer to his power when talking about a possible redemption for the Cuban multimillionaire. “My goal is to demonstrate that I’m healthy and give it my all in the LBPRC. When I show the doubters that I am still a big league caliber hitter, then we will sit down and listen to offers. We are open to anything.” The power hitting native of Havana will suit up with the Cangrejeros of Santurce. When asked, he clearly holds no grudge towards the Diamondbacks organization: “When I met up with the team I was given minimal at-bats in Miami and one start in New York. When I was finally finding my rhythm I was sent back down to Reno. None of this made any sense.” What does not make any sense is you expecting a big league offer.

[Venezuela] baseball begins season on November 15

The home country of stars like Ronald Acuña Jr. and Salvador Pérez announced that the national baseball league will begin on November 15, according to a message from the country’s president Nicolas Maduro. The country plagued by COVID is considering if and how many spectators will be allowed to attend league matches that normally take place between October and January. In 2019 the league faced near empty stadiums when professional baseball players in America were not allowed to play in the league after the MLB had to comply with sanctions against Venezuela.

Your random Diamondback

Former MLB Pitcher Barry Enright’s Dreams of Playing Professional Golf Have Become a Reality

“Do I suck at baseball or am I that good at golf” is what former MLB pitcher Barry Enright used to ask himself when those closest to him suggested he give up baseball to pursue golf. As a teenager, Enright carried with him a very specific plan for his future — a career in Major League Baseball until he turned 40. Then he wanted to spend the next 10 years honing his golf game so he could make a run on the Champions Tour. Back in May, Enright won his first professional golf tournament, the TPC Champions Classic. When Enright picked up his cell phone after his round, he found 306 text messages from family, friends, former teammates, former coaches, and even some of his teammates with the Diamondbacks.

Enright retired from professional baseball in 2019 after playing four seasons in the major leagues, two with the Arizona Diamondbacks and two with the Los Angeles Angels before a string of minor league stints and time spent playing in the Mexican Baseball League. In those four seasons, he recorded a 7–13 record with a 5.57 ERA. While technically no longer a player, Enright retired only a year ago and now coaches in the Diamondbacks organization for the Hillsboro Hops.

And did you know that the Diamondback...

... is since 1921 also the name of an independent student news paper of the University of Maryland?