On a bright and beautiful Sunday afternoon, November 4, 2023, the No. 1 Softball Diamond at Up Park Camp headquarters of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) witnessed a delightful exhibition baseball game that would be remembered for years to come. The home field of the Jamaica National Softball team served as the backdrop for this unique event, where the Pioneer Select U16 baseball team faced off against Jamaica's formidable softball team.

The Pioneer Select U16 team, comprising talented individuals such as Damion Robinson, Joel Scott, Javier Grant, Francisco Williams, Odeen Afflick, Kira Cooper, Jayshaun Campbell, Noel-Lee McKen, as well as Jasmine Benjamin and Caleb Dixon, took the field with enthusiasm, setting the stage for an exciting showdown. From the very first inning, it was evident that these young athletes meant business.

Robinson, leading off the batting order, showcased his skills by scoring the first of three runs for his team. Team Captain Grant and U12 substitute player Dixon followed suit, crossing home plate and narrowing the score to 3-8 in favour of the seasoned National Softball team.

The exhibition match posed a unique challenge for the U16 team as they had to adapt swiftly to the different rules, ball, and bat sizes of softball. Despite the unfamiliar territory, the young athletes embraced the experience with determination and resilience.

Grant, holding down first base, displayed his defensive prowess with swift tags on National Team runners, keeping the pressure on the opposition and thrilling the spectators in attendance.

On the pitcher's mound, McKen, exhibited remarkable composure, leading her team's offensive efforts. Despite her softball debut, she adapted quickly to the underhand throw, demonstrating her potential to excel in the world of softball.

Behind the plate, female catcher Cooper showcased exceptional skills in handling the larger-sized softball. Her swift and accurate tags on unsuccessful runners attempting to score added an extra layer of defense for the Pioneer Select team.

In the outfield, Campbell, making his U16 debut after advancing from U12, admirably held his own. His presence in the outfield testified to his dedication and commitment to his athletic development.

National Team Technical Director Troy McCaw, who attended the exhibition match, was visibly impressed by the talent displayed by the U16 team. He identified four standout players from the Pioneer Select U16 team, acknowledging their potential for success in the sport.

This remarkable opportunity for the Pioneer Select U16 team reflects their dedication and hard work, with many of their members training in St. Thomas, Jamaica, under the guidance of Coach Kerry Ann Cooper.

Under her guidance, the team actively seeks opportunities to scrimmage and attend clinics with other teams, such as the upcoming clinic in August Town on Sunday, November 12, 2023, all in preparation for the 2024 tournaments.

 

The Los Angeles Angels have appointed veteran former Texas Rangers boss Ron Washington as their new manager, the Major League team have announced.

The 71-year-old succeeds Phil Nevin, whose contract was not renewed after the Angels failed to reach this season’s play-offs.

Washington, who had been on the coaching staff at Atlanta, led the Rangers to back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011 in his last frontline job.

The Los Angeles Angels are turning to a veteran to lead their ball club, hiring the 71-year-old Ron Washington to be their manager on Wednesday.

Washington, who becomes the old manager in major league baseball, hasn't managed a team since 2014, with the Texas Rangers.

His only previous experience as a manger in MLB came with the Rangers from 2007-14, as he directed the team to AL pennants in 2010 and 2011. He went 664-611 during his eight years at the helm in Texas, and also reached the playoffs in 2012, losing a one-game wild-card series to the Baltimore Orioles.

Washington spent the past seven seasons as the Atlanta Braves' third base coach, helping the franchise to the 2021 World Series title.

He becomes Los Angeles' fourth manager in the last six years and replaces Phil Nevin after the Angels decided to part ways with him after 1 1/2 seasons.

Despite having three-time AL MVP Mike Trout and 2021 league MVP Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles finished fourth in the AL West this past season with a 73-89 - its eighth consecutive losing season. 

It's been nine seasons since the Angels last made the play-offs, the longest postseason drought in MLB.

 

The Chicago Cubs still had a manager under contract, but that didn't stop the club from firing him and hiring one of MLB's top managers in a surprise move.

The Cubs fired David Ross on Monday and hired Craig Counsell away from their NL Central rival Milwaukee Brewers.

To lure Counsell away from the Brewers, the Cubs emptied their wallets, making the 53-year-old the highest-paid manager in MLB history, signing him to a five-year, $40million contract.

"On behalf of the Cubs organization, we express our deep gratitude for David's contributions to our club, both on and off the field," President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer said in a release. "First as a player and then as a manager, David continually showcased his ability to lead. David’s legacy will be felt in Chicago for generations and his impact to our organization will stack up with the legends that came before him.

"Going forward, our major league team will be managed by Craig Counsell. We look forward to welcoming Craig at Wrigley Field early next week."

 

Counsell spent the last nine seasons managing Milwaukee, leading the franchise to five play-off berths. Prior to Counsell's arrival in Milwaukee during the 2015 season, the Brewers made a total of four play-off appearances.

The Brewers only won play-off series under Counsell, but many experts believe he is one of the smarter managers in baseball and was able to accomplish more with less for a small-market team that didn't spend a lot of money.

His contract expired at the end of this past season, and he became one of the biggest free-agent managers in recent years.

Counsell led the Brewers to three NL Central titles and went 707-625 as Milwaukee's manager, establishing franchise records for wins and games managed.

The 46-year-old Ross went 262-284 in four seasons with Chicago.

Beloved in Chicago as a member of the Cubs' 2016 World Series championship team, Ross took over as manager following the departure of Joe Maddon.

In his first season at the helm in 2020, the Cubs won the NL Central, but that marked their only play-off appearance under Ross. Chicago overachieved for much of this past season and was in position to make the playoffs before collapsing over the final few weeks.

The Brewers went on to win the 2023 NL Central title, and following the season, Counsell interviewed for the open managerial position with the Cleveland Guardians and was also being pursued by the New York Mets.

Both of those teams ended up naming new managers earlier Monday.

The Guardians hired former catcher Stephen Vogt to replace Terry Francona, while the Mets named Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza to take over for the fired Buck Showalter.

Mendoza, who turns 44 this month, spent the past four seasons as a bench coach with the Yankees and has never managed above Class A in the minors.

He becomes the fifth Mets manager since the start of the 2018 season, and takes over a club that finished fourth in the NL East in 2023 at 75-87 - 29 games behind the division-winning Atlanta Braves.

Vogt was the Seattle Mariners bullpen coach last season and has no managerial experience.

A two-time All-Star, the 39-year-old Vogt played for six teams over a 10-year MLB career before retiring in 2022.

The Guardians finished third in the AL Central in 2023, but won four division titles and made the play-offs six times during Francona's 11 years as the franchise's manager.

Nathan Eovaldi and two relievers combined to five-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers won the franchise’s first World Series title with a 5-0 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday.

The Rangers finished the postseason a major league-record 11-0 on the road, capping the first title in their 63-year history with three straight wins in Arizona.

Mitch Garver broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the seventh and Marcus Semien capped Texas’ four-run ninth with a two-run homer.

Eovaldi walked five in six innings but wiggled out of trouble each time to improve to 5-0 with a 2.95 ERA in this postseason.

Aroldis Chapman got two outs before Josh Sborz fanned four over the final 2 1/3 innings for his first save in the playoffs. 

The Diamondbacks had plenty of chances to score but went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on.

Arizona starter Zac Gallen took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Corey Seager led off with an opposite-field single.

Evan Carter followed with a double and Garver’s single gave Texas all the offense it would need.

Seager became the fourth player in history to win two World Series MVPs, along with Reggie Jackson, Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson.

The Texas Rangers have won baseball’s World Series for the first time after clinching a 4-1 series victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A 5-0 win in game five sealed the series, capped off by a two-run home run from Marcus Semien in the ninth inning.

Mitch Garver’s RBI single in the seventh inning opened the scoring after Corey Seager had claimed the Rangers first hit of the night, following six innings without one against Diamondbacks starter Zach Gallen.

They stretched that to 3-0 in the ninth inning before Semien added the final blow.

After splitting the first two matches of the series, the Rangers won all three of the games in Arizona as they went through the entire postseason unbeaten in 11 games on the road.

Starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who won a World Series ring with the Boston Red Sox in 2018 and moved to the Rangers before the start of the season, threw six scoreless innings and the bullpen completed the job.

Corey Saeger became just the fourth player ever to win the World Series MVP award twice, alongside hall of famers Reggie Jackson, Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson.

The series win comes after 63 years of trying and 12 years after they were twice one strike away from winning against the St Louis Cardinals.

It is a fourth success for manager Bruce Bochy, who won three World Series in charge of the San Francisco Giants – including victory over the Rangers in 2010.

The Texas Rangers are just one win away from their first World Series crown after a dominant 11-7 game four win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Marcus Semien hit a two-run triple and a three-run home run for the Rangers, who opened a 10-0 lead after just three innings.

The Rangers now lead the Diamondbacks 3-1 in the seven-game series having stretched their unbeaten away record in the postseason to 10 games.

They became the first team in World Series history to have consecutive five-run innings with all-star pairing Corey Seager and Semien continuing their hot form, both players batting in six runs apiece during the series.

Saeger hit his third two-run home run of the series while Jonah Heim got in on the action in the eighth inning with a home run to stretch the lead further.

After scoring one run in the fourth, the Diamondbacks fought back with six more across the final two innings, but the gap was too big to bridge.

Arizona’s second baseman Ketal Marte recorded two more hits, sending his record postseason hitting streak to 20 games.

Texas can clinch their first MLB crown on Wednesday night in Arizona, but they will have to do it without veteran pitcher Max Scherzer and star outfielder Adolis Garcia who were injured in game three.

The last team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series were the Chicago Cubs in 2016, but 42 of the last 49 teams up 3-1 have gone on to win.

Marcus Semien hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs as the Texas Rangers moved within one win of their first World Series title on Tuesday with an 11-7 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Corey Seager added a two-run home run and the Rangers won their 10th straight postseason road game, extending their MLB record.

Texas scored five runs in the second and third innings, becoming the first team in World Series history with consecutive five-run innings.

Texas can wrap up the World Series in Game 3 on Wednesday.

Only seven of the last 49 teams to take a 3-1 lead in the World Series failed to win. The most recent team to overcome a 3-1 deficit was the Chicago Cubs against Cleveland in 2016.

Seager’s third two-run homer of the Series capped the five-run second and Semien’s blast punctuated the third.

The Rangers learned before the game that slugger Adolis Garcia and pitcher Max Scherzer will miss the rest of the World Series.

Garcia, the ALCS MVP, has a moderate strain of his left oblique and Scherzer, who was in line to pitch a possible Game 7, has a muscle spasm on the right side of his back.

Garcia hit .323 with eight homers and a major league-record 22 RBIs in these playoffs.

Travis Jankowski took Garcia’s spot in right field and had two hits and two RBIs in his first Series at-bats.

The Diamondbacks were held in check by Andrew Heaney and the Rangers’ bullpen before scoring four runs in the eighth, three on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s home run off Chris Stratton.

Heaney allowed one run and four hits in five innings.

Gabriel Moreno added a two-run single in the ninth to draw Arizona closer, but Jose Leclerc retired Christian Walker for the final out.

Arizona’s Ketel Marte extended his postseason-record hitting streak to 20 games with a first-inning single.

Corey Seager's two-run homer helped the Texas Rangers withstand a pair of key injuries and regain the upper hand in the World Series with Monday's historic 3-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 3.

Texas bounced back from a 9-1 home loss in Saturday's Game 2 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Fall Classic and become the first team in MLB history with nine consecutive road victories in a single post-season. The Rangers, now 9-0 away from home in these playoffs, had shared the record with the 1996 New York Yankees and 2019 Washington Nationals.

The Rangers prevailed despite both star pitcher Max Scherzer and slugger Adolis Garcia exiting Game 3 with injuries. Scherzer left after three innings with back tightness, while Garcia departed in the eighth after appearing to hurt his left side on a swing in his final at-bat.

Scherzer left with a 3-0 lead after Texas scored all of its runs in the top of the third inning. Nathaniel Lowe led off the frame with a double off Arizona starter Brandon Pfaadt and scored on Marcus Semien's two-out single before Seager launched a long home run into the right-field seats.

The Diamondbacks didn't score until the eighth, when pinch-hitter Emmanuel Rivera doubled off Aroldis Chapman and Geraldo Perdomo followed with an RBI single. Chapman prevented further damage, however, by striking out Corbin Carroll and getting Ketel Marte to hit into an inning-ending double play Seager started with a sliding grab on a hard ball hit to the standout shortstop.

Jose Leclerc then retired Arizona in order in the ninth to record his fourth save of the post-season.

Garcia, whose 22 RBIs in these playoffs are an MLB record, also came through with a defensive gem before leaving, as the right fielder delivered a perfect throw to the plate in the second inning to nail Christian Walker attempting to score on a single by Tommy Pham.

Scherzer held the Diamondbacks to two hits and walked two before exiting after 36 pitches. Jon Gray relieved the three-time Cy Young winner and yielded just one hit over three scoreless innings to earn the win.

Pfaadt lasted 5 1/3 innings and was charged with all three Texas runs along with four hits.

The Diamondbacks managed just six hits, including a sixth-inning single by Marte that extended the second baseman's postseason-record hitting streak to 19 games.

Corey Seager’s second two-run home run of the World Series led the Texas Rangers over the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 to take a 2-1 series lead.

Seager, who hit a ninth-inning home run which took the first game into extra innings, struck in the third inning off Diamondbacks starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt.

The Rangers added a third and it proved enough as their pitching staff kept the Diamondbacks offence quiet to seal a ninth straight-away win in the postseason.

Arizona’s only run came in the eighth inning with an RBI single from Geraldo Perdomo, Christian Walker getting cut down at the plate in the second inning by Adolis Garcia.

Garcia left the game late on after appearing to injure his side, while veteran starting pitcher Max Scherzer threw three innings before departing with back tightness.

Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte stretched his record postseason hitting streak to 19 games.

Game four of the seven-game series is in Arizona on Tuesday night.

The Arizona Diamondbacks bounced back from losing game one in extra innings to tie the World Series with a 9-1 rout of the Texas Rangers.

Pitcher Merrill Kelly proved dominant as he allowed just three hits over seven innings and the Arizona bats completed the job.

Gabriel Moreno put the Diamondbacks – who were two runs up in the ninth inning before losing in extra innings the previous night – ahead with a home run in the fourth and they never relented.

A three-run eighth inning included a two-run single for Ketel Marte, who set a new record of 18 consecutive post-season games with a hit.

Tommy Pham had four hits, rookie Corbin Carroll driving in a pair of runs as Arizona won their first World Series match away from home – their only previous appearance coming in 2001.

Evan Longoria, playing in his first World Series since 2008 at the age of 38, also drove in a run.

Rookie Brandon Pfaadt will pitch for the Diamondbacks when the series resumes with game three in Arizona on Monday night, facing three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer who will be pitching for his third different team in the World Series.

Merrill Kelly shut down the Texas Rangers for seven innings and Ketel Marte extended his postseason hitting streak to a record 18 games as the Arizona Diamondbacks rolled to a 9-1 win on Saturday night, evening the World Series at one game apiece.

Gabriel Moreno opened the scoring in the fourth inning with a solo home run off Jordan Montgomery and Tommy Pham went 4 for 4 with a pair of doubles as Arizona rebounded from Friday’s 6-5, 10-inning loss.

The Diamondbacks went 6 for 14 with runners in scoring position and broke open the game with three runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth.

Marte had a two-run single in the eighth to break a tie for the longest playoff hitting streak with Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez and Hank Bauer.

Kelly pitched three-hit ball with nine strikeouts and no walks and allowed his only run on Mitch Garver’s leadoff homer in the fifth.

Montgomery suffered his first postseason loss after allowing four runs and nine hits in six innings.

The series shifts to Arizona for Game 3 on Monday in the first World Series game in Phoenix since 2001.

A home run in the 11th inning by Adolis Garcia gave Texas Rangers a 6-5 victory in the opening game of the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Rangers, seeking their first World Series crown, had trailed 5-3 in the ninth inning before Corey Seager hit a two-run home run to send the match into extra innings.

After a scoreless 10th inning, Garcia homered for the fifth straight game to spark rapturous scenes at Arlington.

Texas had taken a two-run lead in the opening inning, but Arizona fought back with three runs off starter Nathan Eovaldi – who had only given up five runs in the play-offs – in the third inning.

The home side immediately drew level, but Tommy Pham fired the Diamondbacks – chasing their second World Series title in their first appearance since 2001 – with a lead-off home run to start the fourth inning.

Ketel Marte stretched the advantage in the fifth, his RBI double equalling the post-season hitting streak of 17 successive games.

Trailing by two, the Rangers were down to their last two outs when Seager took closer Paul Sewald deep and Garcia applied the closing touches.

Game two is in Texas again on Saturday night before the series switches to Arizona.

Adolis Garcia continued his record-setting postseason with an opposite field, walk-off home run in the 11th inning to lift the Texas Rangers to a wild 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday in Game 1 of the World Series.

Garcia sent a 3-1 pitch from Miguel Casto over the wall in right field and beyond the glove of a leaping Corbin Carroll for his second RBI of the game, setting a record for most in one postseason with his 22nd.

He has homered in five straight games – tied for the second-longest streak in playoff history.

Garcia’s heroics were made possible when Corey Seager hit a tying, two-run shot in the ninth inning off Arizona closer Paul Sewald, who had converted his first six save chances this postseason.

Ketel Marte had an RBI double in the fifth inning for the Diamondbacks, extending his hitting streak to 17 games. That ties the record for the longest in a postseason, shared by the Yankees’ Hank Bauer (1956-58), the Yankees’ Derek Jeter (1998-99) and Boston’s Manny Ramirez (2003-04).

Tommy Pham’s solo homer in the fourth gave Arizona a 4-3 lead and Marte’s double made it 5-3.

Texas scored twice in the first off Zac Gallen on Evan Carter’s RBI double and Garcia’s single.

Carroll’s two-run triple in the third erased the Rangers’ two-run lead, and he scored on Marte’s failed fielder’s choice.

Game 2 is Saturday night in Texas.

The Arizona Diamondbacks completed a stunning run to the World Series with a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series.

Corbin Carroll went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, two runs and two stolen bases as Arizona – the lowest seed in the NL - advanced to the World Series for the first time in 22 years.

They will face the AL champion Texas Rangers, with Game 1 set for Friday in Arlington.

The Diamondbacks rallied from an 0-2 deficit in the NLCS, winning Games 6 and 7 in Philadelphia, where the defending NL champions had been 12-2 over the past two postseasons – including 11-0 in NL playoff games.

After Brandon Pfaadt allowed two runs and struck out seven in four innings, five Arizona relievers combined to pitch one-hit ball over five scoreless innings.

Kevin Ginkel retired Trea Turner and Bryce Harper on flyouts in the seventh after entering with runners on first and second and one out.

Ginkel then struck out the side in the eighth and Paul Seward pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save this postseason.

Arizona took the lead for good with a pair of runs in the fifth as Carroll singled home a run before stealing second and scoring on Gabriel Moreno’s base hit.

Carroll added a sacrifice fly in the seventh to close the scoring.

Alec Bohm hit a solo home run in the second and the Phillies took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when he scored on Bryson Stott’s double.

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