Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

A Japanese feel as Yankees win 27th World Series

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The New York Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 Wednesday to win the World Series.

The 4-2 series victory gave the Yankees their 27th Fall Classic crown and first since 2000.

Hideki Matsui was named Most Valuable Player after batting .615 with three home runs and eight RBIs over the series.

The Japanese slugger drove in six runs in Wednesday’s clincher, tying the World Series record for most RBIs in a game set in 1960 by Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson.

World Series has the best two teams and no fat players…

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It’s 2 a.m. as I enter the subway car at the nearly empty Yankee Stadium stop at 161st Street when a man who looks like he could be homeless proclaims: “They don’t look fat this year.”

I refuse to make eye contact although he’s sitting directly opposite me. We’re two of five people on the car and the only ones awake.

Its baseball star fallen, Taiwan scopes alternatives

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rtr26txvA chain of injuries suffered by New York Yankees star Wang Chien-ming is pushing a pair of more obscure Taiwan-born U.S. Major League Baseball pitchers into the limelight as dejected fans grudgingly seek alternatives.

Fans in baseball-crazy Taiwan, though far from giving up on Wang, say they are looking harder at Ni Fu-te and Kuo Hong-chih. But unlike Wang, a starting pitcher responsible for winning games, the other two are relief pitchers and neither is quite a superhero.

Time to consider warm weather territory for future World Series?

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BASEBALL/Last weekend’s wintry conditions in the Bronx made ear flaps and balaclavas essential gear for some players and contributed to a reel of American League Championship Series fielding bloopers worthy of the old Keystone Kops.

Temperatures dipped into the low 40s and winds whipped a cold rain through Yankee Stadium, only a few degrees short of bringing a flurry of snowflakes.

World Series: Fall classic for the rich?

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If the broadcasting Gods had their way, this year’s World Series match up would feature the New York Yankees versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Then again, the Yankees’ last championship in 2000, dubbed “the subway series by New Yorkers, was derided almost everywhere else as a contest between “payroll #1 (the Yankees) and payroll #2” (the Mets). Where did that leave smaller markets?BASEBALL/

from Tales from the Trail:

Baseball gets Justice — Sotomayor to throw first pitch

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a longtime avid fan of the New York Yankees baseball team, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday's game against the Boston Red Sox.

A child of Puerto Rican parents, she grew up in the Bronx not far from where the Yankees play. Sotomayor, who was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate last month, is the first Hispanic justice on the high court.

from Raw Japan:

Throwing good money after…

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Daisuke Matsuzaka's second trip to the disabled list this season is making some forget the Japanese pitcher's heroics and wonder if he has been worth the investment of his Boston Red Sox team.

The "Dice-K" sweepstakes dominated Japanese baseball in late 2006, as the Boston Red Sox pursued the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka -- who's now sitting -- by commiting over $51 million to his then team, the Seibu Lions, and another $52 million to the pitcher and agent Scott Boras to sign.

House That Ruth Built up for sale — brick by brick

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yankeesSitting on a huge rock outcropping in Macombs Dam Park across the street from the new Yankee Stadium, one can see the stately old home of the Bronx Bombers, which will begin to be torn down in June.

It is hard to imagine ‘The House That Ruth Built’ gone from the landscape, but nostalgia hounds, sports memorabilia collectors and folks that just want to commemorate a visit or hold a tangible piece of New York City history can buy a slice of Yankee Stadium, marketed to the max by the Yankees and their Steiner Sports partners.

Zimmerman streak sets statisticians scrambling

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zim1Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has been wielding a hot bat that has him more than halfway to Major League Baseball’s 56-game hitting-streak record, set by Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees in 1941.

Zimmerman’s streak with a hit in each game reached 29 on Monday, and the pressure has not even begun to ratchet up on the young slugger, who signed a lucrative contract extension with the Nats last month.

Same old Red Sox-Yankees rivalry in new stadium

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The last 773 games in the Bronx between the Yankees and bitter foes the Boston Red Sox had been played across 161st Street in a building that came to be known as “The House That Ruth Built”.

The latest instalment of U.S. sport’s best rivalry was played out Monday in the new $1.6 billion Yankee Stadium (“The House That George (Steinbrenner) Built”) and it is comforting to say that some things hardly change.

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