The Belgian Baseball season opens its gates this weekend and the eight teams of last year are back. They changed the format of the First Division slightly in comparison to 2008. They are going to play a double round robin regular season with a total of 28 games.
Afterwards the top four clubs (2008: six teams) advance into a playoff round, which also consist of a double round robin, leading to an additional twelve games. The top two teams after this phase advance into the Belgian Series, which will start on the first weekend in October.
The bottom four clubs take part in a similar play down round with the eighth-ranked club getting relegated directly. The seventh has to play a best-of-three relegation series against the second best team from the 2nd Division in Belgium.
The last game day of the round robin phases is going to be held on the weekend of September 26 and 27. Rainouts or other postponements of games do not lead to rescheduling and these matches will be considered as not played and so will not be eligible for classification.
The federation also issued a new rule that allows foreign players only a playing license for the duration of their legal stay, which probably cuts the number of American players in the league and could have an influence on the quality of the play on the field.
The favorite going into the season is the defending champion PORT OF ANTWERP GREYS with Dennis van Hoof and Adam Crabb. Not only did they won the last four championships in Belgium in a row, but they also got a head start into the year with their participation in the European Cup in Nettuno, Italy at the beginning of April, though they only were able to win one of the five games.
The HOBOKEN PIONEERS with Terence Antonacci and TJ Hendricks in the pitching staff want to challenge the GREYS this year, although both Antonacci and Hendricks only can pitch in game two, as Antonacci is considered a foreign player by the federation despite his marriage with Belgian woman and his eligibility to play for the Belgian National team.
Behind these two heavyweights Chris Dassy’s NAMUR ANGELS with new Americans Zachery Potter and Henry Perkins and the MORTSEL STARS also hope to advance to the semi-final round with the BRASSCHAAT BRAVES and the BORGERHOUT SCQUIRRELS their biggest competitors. The BRUESSELS KANGAROOS with our friend John Miller and the MERCHTEM CATS round up the league.
Past Champions since 2000:
2000 Mortsel Stars
2001 Brasschaat Braves
2002 Brasschaat Braves
2003 Brasschaat Braves
2004 Brasschaat Braves
2005 Royal Greys
2006 Royal Greys
2007 Royal Greys
2008 Port of Antwerp Greys
|Dates and Times are subject to change! In case of doubt check with the responsible national federation!|
|Saturday, April 18 2009|
|15:30||Hoboken Pioneers||Brasschaat Braves||Hoboken Pioneers|
|15:30||Namur Angels||Port of Antwerp Greys||Namur Angels|
|15:30||K. Borgerhout Squirrels||The Merchtem Cats||K. Borgerhout S...|
|15:30||Brussels Kangaroos||K. Mortsel Stars||Brussels Kangaroos|
|Sunday, April 19 2009|
|15:30||Port of Antwerp Greys||Namur Angels||Royal Greys|
|15:30||The Merchtem Cats||K. Borgerhout Squirrels||The Merchtem Cats|
|15:30||Brasschaat Braves||Hoboken Pioneers||Brasschaat Braves|
|15:30||K. Mortsel Stars||Brussels Kangaroos||K. Mortsel Stars|