Our family is enjoying a little sun and relaxation in Hawaii this Thanksgiving break. We arrived earlier this week just a day after the scheduled conclusion of the Hawaii Winter Baseball League, a gem of a winter league on the island of Oahu. The league attracts top prospects from the MLB and the Japanese leagues. The Honolulu Advertiser reported the afternoon we arrived that the previous night's championship game had been rained out. The final game was to be between two of Japan's top pitchers, Kyohei Muranaka for the Waikiki Beach Boys against Shinya Nakayama of the North Shore Honu.
Kyle Galdeira, the sports information director for HWB, reported in an email I received for baseball writers that Honu was declared the champion of the washed out game. Coaches and players needed to leave for the holidays and so the game was not played.
For those of us who follow the summer league on Cape Cod, Brett Sinkbeil (Falmouth Commodores) was a standout this winter in Hawaii. Sinkbeil was 5-1 with a 2.38 ERA with the 2005 Commodores. Baseball America declared Sinkbeil this month as the Florida Marlins' number two prospect, projecting him as the Marlins' number 4 starter by 2011.
Sinkbeil pitched 33 innings this winter for North Shore. He finished the short season 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 24 strike outs.
HWB consists of 4 teams: Honolulu Sharks, Waikiki BeachBoys, North Shore Honu (turtles) and hte West Oahu CaneFires. All of these teams are on the island of Oahu but there are rumors the league might expand to the island of Maui, which is where our family tends to stay. I attended a summer league game here in Maui a few years ago. There is a nice baseball stadium near the airport here called Ichiro "Ironman" Maehara Stadium.