Last week in my weekly column, I went on a minor rant and discussed how the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, gets an extensive amount of media attention at the expense of other National Baseball championships in Canada and globally. However, after the great success of White Rock South Surrey over the past week, it is important to begin with them.
To begin the tournament these impressive 12 year olds from southwestern British Columbia have a record of two wins and zero losses. They have beaten Italy 12-2 and Venezuela 7-3. It is the first time since 1998 that Canada has won their first two games of the tournament. That year a team from Langley went 3-0 before losing to Japan 3-2 in the semi-finals.
It will be very interesting to see how Canada does against Japan on Wednesday. The Japanese, like Canada are 2-0, after beating Australia 8-0 and South Korea 4-1. Even though the Canadians are 2-0, the real test comes from the nations from the Far East. Not until Canada makes noise against the teams from Asia, will they be considered as strong contenders in the tournament.
In other news relating to Canadians in Major League Baseball, Rob Zastryzny of Edmonton, Alberta, was optioned back down to Iowa of the Pacific Coast League on Sunday. Zastryzny had a cup of coffee this past week with the Cubs while starting pitcher Jon Lester was on the disabled list. Zastryzny did not see any action however. His only game in 2017 came on May 6 when he gave up three earned runs in four innings in an 11-6 Cubs loss to the New York Yankees.
Meanwhile, Seattle Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton of Ladner, British Columbia is on the disabled list. Paxton has a strained pectoral muscle and is gone three weeks. It is too bad because Paxton has been outstanding this year. He has a record of 12-3 with an earned run average of 2.78.