Can Wong Make It To the BIg Leagues?


One thing about baseball is for sure, the amount of time it will take to actually work your way up through the minor leagues will make it close to impossible to really get a handle on any possibilities about making the big leagues. If he makes it through the Rookie classification and get to A ball, could he get into slump and lose all confidence? Can he consistently hit with wood over an entire season? Will he be able to adjust to better pitching. Could he be on a team that may teach him a different swing that could screw everything up? That would be my biggest worry.
On the flip side, Wong may ascend the minor leagues with rocket speed. I feel he can be a consistent hitter and that skill will be what moves him up. His work ethic will turn him into a good infielder but I feel that his career in the Major Leagues could potentially be as a utility player. This kid can play all positions as he was an outfielder his freshman year, then a second baseman his last 2 years at UH. Keep in mind he was a catcher in high school. His small stature may actually benefit him at the plate with the smaller strike zone.
I think of former local major leaguer Lenn Sakata who was able to play several years in the “Show” as a utility player. Managers want players that can fill in and not let the talent level drop. Don’t you think Wong would also do well as a pinch hitter? Kolten is definately a better athlete than Sakata was.
This guy can hit and he can hit with power. He would make a great leadoff batter with power, ala Tim Raines. He has a keen eye and can get on base and be a threat to steal.
Face it, if he was 6′ 0′ or taller, everyone would be saying that he is a “sure bet” to make it. So why can’t we say that for a player who is shorter than that. I never understood how height can reduce a player’s skill in the eyes of scouts.
Wong will make it to the big leagues with time to spare. I’m sure there will be a place for him.


I thought of TIllman today


On this Memorial Day, I thought about Pat Tillman. Remember him? He was the former Arizona Cardinal safety who turned down a multi-million dollar NFL contract to enlist in the US Army. He would be killed in action in 2004 in Afghanistan.
What comes to mind is not merely what he gave up to enlist in the military. That alone carries enough credibility to the character of this young man. But I was additionally impressed with the fact that this guy didn’t just do things. He challenged himself and bulldozed through all obstacles. He was a 5′ 11″ linebacker at Arizona St. That is too small for big time college football. He earned a scholarship, became the PAC 10 Defensive Player of the Year, maintained a 3.8 GPA, and got drafted.
He also graduated in 3 1/2 years.
Think about this. It is one thing to decide to enlist in the Army. It is another thing to want to be a part of the elite Ranger unit. Tillman never just did things – who wanted to dominate. His legacy motivates me in my life to try to do a lot more and to challenge my self, and dominate.

It is with the utmost respect and appreciation to all the military servicemen past and present, that I say “Thank you”.

Baseball season ends


Isn’t it always the case when it comes down to post season play. Hawaii was the team last year that got hot when the time was right in the WAC Tournament. This season, again, it was Fresno St. That was an offensive buzzsaw. And of course Kitamura and Alamadova had to get food poisoning on the last day when they had a potential double header. For all those who have gone through that hell of everything coming out at both ends, you know that they were down and out. I give credit to Piikea for playing that second game.

The team played above themselves for the most part and that they were able to do this well in the WAC season i s quite a feat. The offense was not consistent and Kolten Wong was at the mercy of the opposing pitchers as he did not have the hitting support around him in the lineup. It was great watching all their fantastic finishes.

Rainbow Baseball Postseason, Howard Dashefsky


This Week 5-18-11

Congratulations to the University of Hawaii Baseball Rainbows for winning the WAC regular season and embarking on their road to defending their WAC Tournament title from last year. They start play today against San Jose St over in Temp, AZ and you can hear it live on ESPN 1420 AM in Honolulu, or online at

On my radio show last week (This Week aired May 18, 2011 on ESPN 1420 AM) I wanted to see what are the changes in the game of baseball when you hit post season play.  Obviously there is the mental pressure and added preparation.  But unlike football or basketball where the physical intensity picks up, baseball is void of that.  They don’t come in contact with each other.  It is still basically the pitcher versus the batter, catch the ball, throw the ball.  So I talked with Howard Dashefsky, former UH baseball player and member of the infamous 1980 College World Series runner up team, and former TV news anchor and current OC 16 broadcaster, and asked this question.

Also on the show:

  • The “Hawaii 5-0” season finale cliffhanger
  • Marketing survey – what makes you go to a game?

Go to link above for podcast.