Felix Hernandez

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Eighth inning rally powers Team USA over Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic

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The U.S. team was down 2-1 to Venezuela heading into the eighth inning in San Diego last night. Then Adam Jones and Eric Hosmer took over and helped power the hometown squad to victory.

The United States was down 2-0 heading into the seventh, unable to get any work done against Felix Hernandez. They scratched one run on the board via a sac fly in that frame, but the real damage came in the eighth. That’s when Adam Jones hit a solo shot to tie things at two. Then Christian Yelich singled and Eric Hosmer took Hector Rondon deep to make it 4-2. That’s where things would end up when it was all said and done.

Pool F play continues tonight as Venezuela takes on the Dominican Republic. Tomorrow the U.S. will face Puerto Rico.

The A’s and Mariners Twitter accounts are throwing down

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It began innocently enough. The Mariners, as they do every spring, have released their promotional videos for the upcoming season. And, as they are every spring, they’re pretty clever and amusing.

One of them celebrated “Felix Day,” which is when M’s Nation — assuming there is such a thing as M’s-Nation — celebrates the day on which Felix Hernandez pitches:

As you can see in the video, there is an instance in which a man gives a woman a baseball-themed ring. Which prompted this from the division rival Athletics:

And on it went:

I think the Mariners will be pretty good this year, but really, the A’s and M’s fighting for supremacy is like a match between Iron Mike Sharpe and, I dunno, S.D. Jones or Sam Houston circa 1986. Maybe it’s entertaining and maybe they fight real hard, but the Rangers are the real headliners (Ric Flair), the Angels are not great, but they have more star power (Dusty Rhodes) and the Astros are being given the push by the bookers (Sting).

This feud feels pretty undercard to me.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.