The greatest challenge, as an American, to announcing the debut of the Australian Baseball League (ABL) is restraining oneself from making even the offhandedist of references to criminals, Vegemite, or 1986 box office smash-hit Crocodile Dundee. So, instead, I’ll mention all those things, slyly, while making a great show of how I’m totally above doing such a thing.
Sound like a plan? Good.
In any case, it’s not a lie: Australia has a professional baseball league now. The six ABL teams are as follows: the Adelaide Bite, Brisbane Bandits, Canberra Cavalry, Melbourne Aces, Perth Heat, and the Sydney Blue Sox.
The first game, played on November 6th, saw Sydney beat Canberra 1-0 in what must have been a rousing pitcher’s duel. (As an aside, note the unorthodox pitcher usage from Canberra manager, ex-MLBer Steve Schrenk: four pitchers, two innings each. That’s exciting in the nerdiest way.)
Americans will recognize some names, like Travis Blackley and Justin Huber. Former awesome Brewer Dave Nilsson (i.e. Ryan Doumit before Ryan Doumit) manages the Brisbane team. Brave reliever Peter Moylan will join Melbourne in January.
H/T: Ash Vasudevan