Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Team Preview: Tianjin Lions

Okay, I'm back in the saddle again. I'm happy I woke up at 4 AM to catch the Red Sox - A's game from Tokyo. It left me pretty groggy all day, but it was well worth the sacrifice. I had to leave for my Econ 432 class right after Manny Ramirez hit his 10th inning double, but, other than that, I was able to watch every pitch. Even though this is officially the shortest winter in the history of Major League Baseball, it feels like it's been the longest. I'm happy that baseball's back!

I've been busy with a bunch of other stuff lately. I've got to revise a paper for my Japanese History class, write another paper for my Economics class, do a bunch of reading for Japanese Political Science, and I still have a big project on the Confucian Analects for when I've got some spare time. But there's always room for DMB!

On to another team preview! Today it's the Tianjin Lions

I've never been to Tianjin, I must admit. I've been close, though. Tianjin is a large city (third largest urban area in China, behind Beijing and Shanghai) just to the southeast side of Beijing. As the above map shows (click to view larger image, or see here), the two cities are extremely close to one another. Yet, Tianjin and Beijing are considerably different, featuring a different dialect (I'll admit, I'm no linguist; Wikipedia is my source for that) and I'm guessing some feelings of local pride. What ballpark symbolizes a large city overlooked by it's big, bad sister? You guessed it, Ebbets Field.

As usual, I renamed this ballpark, this time to Boxer Field, since the Boxers controlled Tianjin for quite some time in 1900.

Starting Pitchers
1. Curt Schilling
2. Stan Coveleski
3. Tommy Bridges
4. Charlie Hough
5. Sam McDowell
SS. Masaki Saito
SS. Mike Remlinger

If you haven't seen it yet (shame on you!), Curt Schilling has a wonderful blog here. It's much better than you'd expect -- he's quite a prolific writer, and he doesn't pull any punches. Come to think of it, I ought to stick it on the list of links. Curt's famous for his passion for APBA baseball, and I've heard that he plays Strat-O-Matic as well, though I can't remember the source. At any rate, there was a big article about him playing APBA in a Diamondbacks program I got back in 2001.

Stanley Coveleski is interviewed, of course, in Lawrence Ritter's classic The Glory of Their Times. He was the pitching hero of the 1920 World Series, and his older brother Harry is best known as "Giant-Killer" for beating the Giants three times in a week at the end of the 1908 season. That's another reason for you to hop on to the Diamond Mind forums and join our 1908 Co-op replay!

Relief Pitchers
Ken Sanders
Stan Belinda
Jeff Shaw

Starting Lineup
1. Barry Larkin, SS
2. Harry Davis, 1B / Fats Jenkins, RF
3. Willard Brown, CF / Norm Cash, 1B
4. John Beckwith, RF / Jud Wilson, 3B
5. Brian Downing, LF / Fred Clarke, LF
6. Tony Lazzeri 2B
7. Ivan Rodriguez C / Richie Ashburn, CF

8. Pie Traynor 3B /
Ivan Rodriguez C

There's quite a few Negro Leaguers in the middle of this lineup, which ought to be interesting. Also, Brian Downing's primary position is listed as DH, but this is the wrong league for that.

Note: I'm not going to continue writing the positions for each bench player, since it takes up way too much time.

Wes Parker
Cesar Tovar
Kazuhiro Kiyohara
Roger Maris

Terry Turner
Derrek Lee
Phil Bradley

It probably doesn't make Kiyohara (who has 525 lifetime homers) or Maris feel good to have to ride
the bench along the likes of Phil Bradley. Seriously, how did that guy get drafted?

Anyway, that's it for me tonight.

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