Thursday, November 26, 2015

And the Leagues Are Changing Logos Too

Three leagues have changed logos for the upcoming 2016 season.

The most relevant to me is the change in the Appalachian League. This is the league that is close enough that I can attend several games and it had a crummy logo. In fact, if you turned in a receipt proving you bought honey this summer they would give you a free hat with the old Appy League logo. I bought honey; I declined to get the free hat. With the new logo I might very well next year (assuming the honey-hat deal still exists).

The Southern League (AA) changed their logo so that it has a classier look to it. Their old logo wasn't terrible, but this one is clearly a step up.

The Texas League (AA) has also come up with a new logo. In this case, it is replacing an acceptable, but terribly generic, logo with one that is actually a solid step or two up.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Best Logo Change for 2016


So far, the best logo change has been the West Virginia Power which didn't do a complete revamp, but just added a new letter based logo to all the rest which is pretty cool. In fact, it's so cool that I am considering a trip up to Charleston just so I can get the new hat and wear it legitimately (gotta go to the game to wear the cap legitimately.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mediocre Logo Changes for 2016

There have been several logo changes which are in the mediocre range.


The best of the mediocre is probably the Hickory Crawdads who have a great name, but never have come through with a good logo. Their redesign didn't hit it out of the park, but it is clearly a step up from the old logo.

The worst of the mediocre is probably the Kane County Cougars who went from having a unique logo that was kinda cool because it was so uncool to having a more generic logo that won't stick out at all in the crowded cartoonish logo market. In between - in no particular order - are the
Riverdogs,
Hot Rods,
Fireflies, and






Missions.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Worst Logo So Far for 2016

Today the Louisville Bats became the latest team to change its logos and it instantly became a contender for worst new logo.The old logo had a kind of cool Batmanish vibe to it in the old purple and green colors. The new logo is kind of a washed out red and blue with really poor letter design. The "LB" and "BATS" designs are poor designs and the cartoon bats are almost Japanese level goofy. The "Louisville" design with the cute little bats dotting the i's looks like it belongs on a young girls' softball jersey. The only halfway decent design is the circle logo and it rates a mediocre.

This means Louisville has displaced the former worst logo for the 2016 season the Hartford Yard Goats. At least Louisville didn't move and change its name to something obnoxious.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Best Baseball You Aren't Watching

The semi-finals of the Premier 12 baseball tournament are in progress and if you are in the good old USA the odds are you haven't watched a second of the tournament. The first game was in Japan and then the round robin was played in Taiwan and now they are back in Japan (at the Tokyodome) for the last three games. The games have been fun to watch, the fans have (at least when the home country team is playing) been amazing, and Japanese have looked invincible throughout.  The US team is theoretically the second best team, but since the MLB has banned anyone in their major league 40 man rosters from playing and is holding the Arizona Fall League for its best lower level players at the same time it is a theoretical second best. In actuality, I think that Korea and Canada are better than the team the US is fielding, but Canada got its only loss against number twelve Mexico and is out (USA plays Mexico tomorrow in a semi).

It's on Youtube for free on the WBSC channel. Here's the best game so far: Cuba v. Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)


Watch it and see what you wish was going on at your local minor league - or even major league - stadium.

Or watch the second Japan - Korea game (stay to the end):


Tune in and watch the last two games. At the very least pull up the championship game after its done and watch it. Go back and pull up either of the Japan- Korea games and watch Ohtani pitch: ready for the MLB now if they could pry him away from Nippon Professional Baseball.

You're missing it and shame on you for it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

WBSC Premier 12 : Japan v. Korea

I watched the first game of the Premiere 12 last night between Japan and Korea. It was an interesting game, although it was a bit surreal watching two teams from Japan and Korea play while the game was being announced by an Australian(?). Korea scrapped, but it was clearly outmatched. The Korean team looked like it was somewhere between a AA to AAA team and the Japanese team lived up to where just about everyone lists Japanese baseball (AAAA - not quite MLB, but not a minor league either). In the end Japan coasted to a pretty easy 5-0 win.

 A few notes:

 Japan is ranked #1 in the tournament and if last night was any indication it may win on pitching alone. Ohtani looked like he would smoke AAA players and might be ready for MLB. He certainly handled Korea.

 The field was terrible. It was a multi-use stadium with astroturf everywhere except for islands of dirt at the mound and around each base. There were no dirt base paths and not even any lines other than the foul lines. The ball bounced off the astroturf like a ping-pong ball and just slid over top of it without any friction. Now I remember why these things have been banished in the U.S.

 Japanese fans cheer all the time. They don't stop over there just because the pitcher is getting ready to pitch (at least the other team's pitcher). Drums. Drums. More drums.

 As someone who grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, I approve of Korea's blue uniforms with white K on their hats.

 It sounds wrong to hear someone speaking the Queen's English while announcing a baseball game. The Australian(?) announcer did a fine job, but it was so weird hearing him say "in the fourth innings", "in the fifth innings", "in the sixth innings", etc.

 In Japan they do not appear to have any of the time concerns that everybody over here is obsessed with. The game went over 4 hours and nobody cared. As it should be.

 Next game: Netherlands v. Chinese Taipei in Chinese Taipei.

Friday, November 6, 2015

AFL Fall Stars & The Premier 12 in Asia

The Arizona Fall League is at its halfway point and is having its Fall Stars game this Saturday. It's actually something of a mix of a Stars of the Future game and an All-Star game. It should be a great game and it will be available on mlb.com.

Perhaps more interesting is the Premier 12, which is a tournament in Japan and Taiwan in which the top 12 baseball countries participate. As I understand it, Japan is favored to win. It will start on the 8th of November and have selected games available on WBSC in Youtube.