Wladimir Balentien Calls it Quits

Curaçao-born baseball player Wladimir Balentien has announced his retirement. Last year, you could read here that Balentien already hinted at his retirement. Now the word is out. Always known as a hitter with a powerful bat, Balentien broke into the Majors in 2007 with the Seattle Mariners. In that season, he played only three games …

2021 Nippon Series: Yakult Swallows Win First Japanese Title in Twenty Years

Another championship for Tokyo. But not the Giants. No, this time the other team from the Japanese capital is the best of Japan. At a cold Hotto Motto Field in Kobe, the Yakult Swallows on game six of the Nippon Series, clinching their first championship since 2001. In another close game, both teams were kept …

Yakult Swallows One Win Away From Clinching Japanese Championship

In a surprising Nippon Series, in which the two ugly ducklings of Japanese baseball are facing each other, the Yakult Swallows are one win away from clinching their first title since 2001. The Yakult Swallows reached the finals by sweeping the Yomiuri Giants 3-0 in the Climax Series, the semi-finals of the NPB. The opponent …

Watch 2021 Nippon Series Here

Today the Nippon Series takes off. The contestants are rather unexpected: The Yakult Swallows and the Orix Buffaloes. Both teams resided near the bottom of the standings at the half of the season. The Series will be played in a best-of-seven format in which the Buffaloes will play four home games (1, 2, 6, and …

Wladimir Balentien is Talking Retirement

A few weeks ago, Curaçao native Wladimir Balentien posted a somewhat mysterious Tweet about things having an end. Yours truly's first thought was "He is retiring." But from there no new Tweet or answer to the questions that came after that specific Tweet. The specific Tweet, Wladimir Balentien started all confusion with, is shown below. …

Rick van den Hurk Gets No-Decision in Debut With Yakult Swallows

Rick van den Hurk made his debut with the Yakult Swallows today. The circumstances were far from ideal as the rain came down pouring. If it was because of the rain is not sure but of all teams, Rick did not bring his A game against the DeNA Baystars, the team with the worst record …

Rick van den Hurk is warming up, Wladimir Balentien not so much

Still with the Ni-Gun team of the Yakult Swallows, Rick van den Hurk is slowly warming up. With Wladimir Balentien, it is quite the opposite. Until today, Rick had pitched in three games, allowed six earned runs and struck out seven. Today, against the DeNa BayStars, Rick pitched four innings in relief. He was very …

Rick van den Hurk gets no decision in second Ni-Gun start, Balentien makes his presence felt.

For the second time after being presented by the Yakult Swallows, last Monday, Rick van den Hurk took the mound in a Ni-Gun (minor league) game. The Tokyo Yakult Swallows lost to Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 5-4. Two of these runs were given up by Dutch Rick van den Hurk. After pitching three scoreless innings, …

Yakult Swallows Present Rick van den Hurk

It was a perfect day to present some new players. With no games on Monday, the Yakult Swallows had all the time to present their newest (foreign) acquisitions. Next to Dutchie Rick van den Hurk, the club presented pitcher Cy Sneed, outfielder Domingo Santana and infielder José Osuna. Four foreign players presented by the Yakult …

It’s official: Rick van den Hurk is a Swallow

Last week you could read here about the Yakult Swallows chasing Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk to bolster their rotation. Today the news was released that the 35-year old was signed by the "other" team from Tokyo. Rick van den Hurk in a SoftBank Hawks uniform The Swallows signed Van den Hurk for 79 …

Rick van den Hurk likely to stay in Japan

It appears that Rick van den Hurk is to stay in Japan for the 2021 season. According to a Japanese news website, the Dutch hurler is about to be signed by the Yakult Swallows. After forty-three victories for the SoftBank Hawks, Rick appears not to be re-signed by the team from Fukuoka. But luckily the …

Start of the 2020 NPB season at stake

With the rapid spreading of the corona virus, the 2020 baseball season in Japan may be at stake. Two upcoming practice games between the Yomiuri Giants and the Yakult Swallows will be played without fans in an attempt to prevent a further spreading of the virus. The two games are scheduled for the upcoming weekend. …

Balentien opts for Softbank Hawks

According to yahoo.co.jp, Curaçao born Wladimir Balentien has reached a basic agreement with the Softbank Hawks. The Japanese news website states that the news will be announced officially by the Hawks later this year. That Balentien has decided to join the Hawks, doesn't come as a surprise. In the past months, he could not hammer …

Softbank Hawks about to make Balentien a two-year offer

According to several Japanese news outlets, the Softbank Hawks from Fukuoka will make Curaçaoan slugger Wladimir Balentien an offer for a two-year deal worth about $9 million. One of the demands/wishes Balentien has is to play with number four, the number he has worn during his NPB career with the Yakult Swallows. The Softbank Hawks …

Wladimir Balentien not an FA yet

Even though he has the right to do so, Wladimir Balentien didn't use his free-agent rights yet. Apparently, he wants to talk with the club he has spent his entire NPB career with first. Due to this move, the Yakult Swallows will have exclusive negotiation rights until the end of November. If both parties will …

Wladimir Balentien’s new status makes him interesting for other teams

Wladimir Balentien comes off his ninth season in the NPB. The Curaçao-born slugger joined the Yakult Swallows in 2011 and has not left the club ever since. Since his first season in the NPB, Balentien has hit at least 30 home runs per season. He only fell short on that mark in 2015 as his …

Hensley Meulens debuted in MLB 30 years ago

Hensley Meulens, the Curaçao-born bench coach of the San Francisco Giants made his first step in Major League Baseball, today 30 years ago. With the New York Yankees, Meulens became the first player from Curaçao to make it to the bigs. Meulens was signed by the Yankees as an undrafted free agent in 1985. After …

Wladimir Balentien placed on inactive list

According to a tweet by American baseball journalist in Japan, Jim Allen, the Yakult Swallows have placed Curaçaoan outfielder Wladimir Balentien on the inactive list as they worry about the condition of his upper body. Balentien is hitting considerably better than the past four years, when he never topped. 270. So far this season, he …

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