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  • Archive for March, 2008

    似音:NIN & Luna Sea, Jeff Mills & A Hundred Birds

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 21日 Friday

    あと、Fugees & Enya 笑

    iPod nano を無くして、80GBにClassic を買ってじゃんじゃんCD をリッピングし始めたから、自然と確認できた事…

    ずっと思ってたんだけど、何故か似てる曲たち。

    ルナシーの91年のセルフタイトルのデビューアルバムの1曲THE SLAIN

    ↑92年だからか、かなり画質悪いけど、92年にもうデジタル動画を撮ってた人がいたって事か?アナログから落としたら、ノイズは入るだろうけどもっと良い画質のはずだし…

    Nine Inch Nails のThe Downward Spiral(94年)からのヒットソングwのHurt

    イントロが似てません?まあ、ああいうシンプルなメロディーだと、似ちゃう事もあるんだろうけど。初めてHurt を聞いた時からずっとそう思ってました。好きな曲調なんで両方とも好きです。

    これはデトロイトテクノの巨匠Jeff Mills 先生のThe Bells の豪華オーケストラバージョン(ジャンルクロスオーバー好きとしては、大当たり)

    そして大阪のDJ がリーダーの大所帯ビッグバンド・ハウスミュージックのA Hundred Birds のJaguar(Rolando のカバー)

    たまにやる大編成のストリングス6人、ブラス4人、ドラム2人、パーカッション2人、キーボード、ギター、ベース、指揮者、コーラス3人、シンガー3人にDJの約25人の時の方が音が似てるんだよね。小編成も悪くないけど、やっぱり鳥百羽の醍醐味はポストモダンビッグバンドだね、オススメです。人数多すぎるからA&R に敬遠されて(メンバー全員と契約しなきゃいけないからコストが…)メジャーになれないのかな?

    でも、これってJeff の原曲のThe Bells

    のアッパー版がRolando のJaguar という印象が拭えない(彼もデトロイトだが…だから?)

    4つ打ちにあのメロディーフレーズだから、似てるように聞こえるのかな。Birds のJaguar を初めて聞いた時(ライブだった)、てっきりThe Bells のカバーだと思ってた。

    なんだかんだいって全部好きですよ♪

    。。。

    前はよく音楽聴いてたなー。Fugees がEnya に訴えられる前に友達の家のハウスパーリーでReady or Not を聞いた時に、真っ先に「Enyaだ」て思って、それから「あれ、違う」てなったくらいだからね。そしたら案の定、その数ヶ月後には詐称事になってた。そんなベタなサンプリングを許可取らずにやるからだよ。

    Fugees – Ready or Not

    Enya – Boadicea

    サンプリングは大好きだよ、でも元ネタの有名な部分を大胆にサンプリングするのは大嫌い。だって、それって原曲が作り出した雰囲気にほぼタダ乗りしてるだけだから。逆に元ネタがなんだか分からない程短かったり、変えられてるサンプリグは立派に楽器の一つだね。この辺の区別を音楽業界が出来ないのも、サンプリング命のヒップホップとかが苦しんでる理由の一つかな(一サンプルの許可費は高くなくても、一曲で軽く10曲以上のサンプル使ってたりするからね)。

    Posted in 01_日本語, culture, music, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Vice TV in North Korea

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 21日 Friday

    Yes, North Korea is a decrepit hermit kingdom, and there are countless travelogues all showing the same photos and stories because the only way to see North Korea is via their government’s regimented tours. This Vice TV documentary is no different, but the presenter Shane Smith makes things interesting in his gung ho ways (gonzo journalism) and these are moving pictures! (Often shot under duress, as the guards kept on telling them to stop filming and threatening them NK jail time. Now, there aren’t many other things that rank lower on normal people’s todo lists.)

    Just getting into North Korea turned out to be an incredibly bizarre ordeal, as reported by Smith:

    A BRIEF NOTE FROM SHANE SMITH ON THE BYZANTINE NORTH KOREAN VISA PROCESS

    Getting into North Korea was one of the hardest and weirdest processes VBS has ever dealt with. After we went back and forth with their representatives for months, they finally said they were going to allow 16 journalists into the country to cover the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang. Then, ten days before we were supposed to go, they said, “No, nobody can come.” Then they said, “OK, OK, you can come. But only as tourists.” We had no idea what that was supposed to mean. They already knew we were journalists, and over there if you get caught being a journalist when you’re supposed to be a tourist you go to jail. We don’t like jail. And we’re willing to bet we’d hate jail in North Korea.

    But we went for it. The first leg of the trip was a flight into northern China. At the airport the North Korean consulate took our passports and all of our money, then brought us to a restaurant. We were sitting there with our tour group, and suddenly all the other diners left and these women came out and started singing North Korean nationalist songs. We were thinking, “Look, we were just on a plane for 20 hours. We’re jet-lagged. Can we just go to bed?” but this guy with our group who was from the LA Times told us, “Everyone in here besides us is secret police. If you don’t act excited then you’re not going to get your visa.” So we got drunk and jumped up onstage and sang songs with the girls. The next day we got our visas. A lot of people we had gone with didn’t get theirs. That was our first hint at just what a freaky, freaky trip we were embarking on…

    If this doesn’t whet your Nork appetite, nothing will   😀

    All 14 episodes are online now. Thanks EWC for introducing this program.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, information, opinion, random | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Larry Bigbie, the ratty BayStar?

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 20日 Thursday

    An interesting Yahoo article on the new Yokohama BayStar outfielder Larry Bigbie about his involvement in the Mitchell Report (he was featured on only 1 less page than the Rocket!) He plans on burying his baseball bones here in Japan. I haven’t bothered looking into how many years he used steroids and HGHs, but his career lines of 267/331/395 in the majors and 292/368/421 in the minors aren’t very inspiring. Though the fact that he didn’t see too much of a drop off in the minor to major transition is somewhat promising, and playing home games in the bandbox Yokohama Stadium (308’/93m to both poles and 387’/117m to centre) in a hitters league (Tokyo Dome, helped by its peculiarly straight power alleys, and tiny Hiroshima Stadium are both notorious hitters parks as well) may be his saving grace (the Tamura effect?) especially if he’s used at CF.

    An interesting excerpt from the article:

    Larry Bigbie’s name appeared 93 times in the Mitchell Report. Seven full pages were devoted to him, one fewer than Roger Clemens. Mitchell attributed much of the information accusing Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts of steroid use to Bigbie, his former roommate, and did the same with Jack Cust, the slugging outfielder now with Oakland.

    In news reports, Bigbie was placed alongside Brian McNamee and Kirk Radomski as Mitchell’s informants. He stewed. He had talked, yeah, but says he brought up neither Roberts’ nor Cust’s name and only confirmed information with which Mitchell’s investigators confronted him.

    “They had everything,” he says. “They knew. It wasn’t like I had to sit there and spit names to them.”

    I’ve read somewhere that borderline major leaguers are most likely PED abusers, and this makes sense economically because the the financial incentives to stay in the majors is astronomical, with the crevasse sized gaps between major league and minor league salary as well as in the pension system.

    And I guess he won’t be seeing Cust in person when he arrives in Tokyo for a pair of exhibitions against the Tigers and Giants, and the season opener agaist the Red Sox.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Oji wins 2008 AL Finals!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 20日 Thursday

    Congratulations to Oji Paper Ice Hockey Team, the 2008 Asia League Ice Hockey champions!

    3rd place finisher in the regular season, Oji convincingly won the championship, going undefeated in the playoffs reeling off 9 straight victories. Oji let in 2 or less goals in every game but 1 (the 10-5 shootout semifinal win over High1). Goalie Haruna was outstanding throughout the playoffs, and it was no different in the deciding game as he stopped 33 of 35 Cranes shots in the 3-2 win. With a 1.89 GAA, only allowing 17 goals on 221 SOG for a very solid 92.3% save percentage, he probably deserves the finals and playoff MVPs. He outplayed McLennan in the finals, Jamie had been having an excellent playoffs up until that point with a 92% save percentage going into the finals and he had singlehandedly won games for the Cranes, but in the end Haruna was the man.

    This was the first AL championship for Oji (every final before this year featured the Cranes v. Seibu/Kokudo), and the last time Oji won the league was the Japan Ice Hockey League way back in 1994. Congrats Oji!

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    痛いゴール集

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 20日 Thursday

    ゴーリーの凡ミスや、ゴール周りの攻防でのオウンゴールはさほど珍しくはないけれど、これらは結構痛いなぁ…

    つい先日トロントのToskala が、なんと相手ゴールラインからのクリアシュートをトンネル(?)してしまう。NHL史上最長のゴール?

    これもまた今月、ワシントンのスーパールーキーBackstrom がゴール前のパックをクリアミスしてオウンゴールしてしまう(ホッケーもオウンゴール制度を取り入れればいいのに、スコア上はこっちの方が正確なんだから)。

    11月にはかのJeremy Roenick が通算500ゴール目を決めた。これがまた凄いw

    おまけ:

    エドモントンがアルバータ州のライバルにプレーオフで負けた原因となったSteve Smith の絶対やってはいけない攻めだし…

    オウンゴールを決めて喜び始めてから自分の大失敗に気づく日本代表選手、あちゃー。

    Posted in 01_日本語, hockey, International, NHL, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Knuckleballers

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 19日 Wednesday

    Many baseball fans tend to have a soft spot for knuckleballers, and I’m no different.

    It looks like R.A. Dickey will make the Mariners opening day roster with his successful spring training and AAA season. Let’s hope he makes the roster, knucklers are always fun to watch. EWC article and amusing video here.

    NPB had a knuckler last year with Jared Fernandez of the Hiroshima Carp. Unfortunately for him, the Carp, and all knuckleball fans, his stint in Japan was unsuccessful. His numbers were worse across the board (ERA, H/9, HR/9, K/9, BB/9) than during his minor league career. They were even worse than his MLB numbers, except for BB/9. Though small sample caviat obviously applies here, I wonder what the cause for his lack of success here. Then again some people can throw better knucklers than others, so maybe Japanese batters were better able to hit his not-so-good knuckleballs. As pitching in Japan is less about power and more about deception, so the batters might be better at hitting slower pitches, perhaps. Or it could just be that he didn’t adapt well to NPB, that happens to many imports every year.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    2008 Pacific League preview (NPB)

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 19日 Wednesday

    Since Japanese baseball sites lack in depth statistical data and analysis, and because I don’t have much time, this is more or less just a poorly written cursory glance at the upcoming 2008 Pacific League season in NPB.

    Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
    2007 Record: 79 – 60 – 5 (.568)
    2007 RS – RA: 526 – 489
    Coming: Shugo Fujii, Hajime Miki, Terrmel Sledge
    Going: Satoru Kanemura, Yoshitaka Hashimoto, Takehiko Oshimoto, Keizoh Kawashima

    Unlike last year when the team faced the great unknown with the departure of their best hitter (Michihiro “Guts” Ogasawara to the Giants) and their wacky team leader Shinjo (retirement), the Fighters go into 2008 defending their second consecutive PL crown without losing any significant pieces from their roster. In fact, the team has added a major league calibre bat in the terrifically named Terrmel Sledge. But it looks like he has a thing for pitchers parks, as he has gone from Washington’s JFK to San Diego’s Petco to now the Fighters’ cavernous Sapporo Dome. He has hit significantly better on the road than at his pitchers park homes in each of his past 3 seasons (a difference of at least .180 in OPS), but his move to the pitcher friendly PL instead of the hitter friendly CL may do him in. It will be interesting to see.

    The Fighters can still finish in 1st without significant contribution from Sledge, as long as he’s not dragging the team down, as shown in last year’s championship run thanks to its superior pitching (and probably defence), despite being the lowest scoring team in the league. The value of airtight pitching and defence surely increases in the postseason, though at the same time it can be easy to see difficulties for the Fighters if the offence remains last in the league, even though pitching and defence can repeat its success of allowing the fewest runs in the league two seasons running. The team outperformed its Pythagorean expectation of .536 (77-67) but that is not a surprise with its strong tactical, pitching, and defensive games in a pitchers park. This is a team that won the league while scoring the fewest runs, after all.

    Chiba Lotte Marines
    2007 Record: 76 – 61 – 7 (.555)
    2007 RS – RA: 629 – 525
    Coming: Brian Sikorski, Winston Abreu
    Going: Yasuhiko Yabuta, Masahide Kobayashi, Soichi Fujita

    2 seasons removed from the glorious 2005 Japan Series championship under the guidance of Bobby Valentine, the Marines have dismantled their famed YFK relief corps of Yabuta, Fujita, and Kobayashi with the first man going to the Kansas City Royals via free agency and the second going to the Yomiuri Giants via untendered contract and the last man going to the Cleveland Indians also via FA. Out of the 3, Yabuta may be missed the most as Kobayashi had become known for creating unnecessary drama in the 9th and his ERA climbed to 3.61 after 2 seasons of about 2.5, and Fujita completely lost it last season with a 12.64 ERA over 31 appearances (logging only 15.2 IP) and reports out of Giants camp this season indicates that he still hasn’t found it.

    The two newcomers of significance are Brian Sikorski and Winston Abreu. The former is a known commodity in Japan and is expected to be productive providing about a 3.00 ERA in relief, and Winston Abreu figures to be similarly effective if he can successfully translate his recent AAA game that gave him 2.48 and 1.20 ERA in the last two seasons (and not the his 6.81 ERA in limited major league service).

    Solid pitching is led by Yoshihisa Naruse (an amazing 16-1 and 1.82 ERA) and Hiroyuki Kobayashi (2 consecutive seasons of 10+ wins and ~2.7 ERA). The offense is forced to rely on Julio Zuleta, Jose Ortiz, and Benny Agbayani for power. Ortiz came was signed in June last season to cover for Zuleta’s injury and it will be beneficial to the team to have them both in the lineup, even if all 3 players are only good for about .800 OPS.

    The Pythagorean expectation of the 2007 club was .589 (85-59) so the team underperformed their expectations slightly and is fully capable of making a repeat visit to the playoffs, the question is, are they capable of winning the pennant?

    Fukuoka Softbank Hawks
    2007 Record: 73 – 66 – 5 (.525)
    2007 RS – RA: 575 – 508
    Coming: Shota Ohba, Tetsuya Matoyama, Jeremy Powell, Dennis Houlton, Michael Restovich
    Going:

    This is another team that underperformed their Pythagorean expectation in 2007 (.562, 81-63) and is fully capable of winning it all this year. The Hawks have a slew of arms and Ohba, the coveted first round draft pick won out of 6 teams, and Powell, somehow being punished for the continued incompetence of the Orix front office by being banned until June, will only add to their depth. Houlton (3.83 minor league ERA) and Restovich (.862 minor league OPS) are rather uninspiring, but the team is capable of advancing far in the postseason without them.

    The parade of arms continues with ace materials Nagisa Aragaki (7-10 and 3.60 ERA after a 13-5 and 3.01 ERA in 2006 from this 2003 second round pick), Tsuyoshi Wada (12+ wins each in the past 3 seasons, along with sub-3.00 ERAs in the last 2 seasons, 1st round pick in 2003), Kazumi Saitoh (fantastic 2006 with 18-5 and 1.75 ERA, battled injuries but still posted 2.74 ERA in 72.1 IP last season, had off season shoulder surgery) and Toshiya Sugiuchi (recently had 2 sub-2.5 ERA 15+ win seasons sandwiched by a 7-5 and 3.53 ERA season). Though, Saitoh and Wada are coming off surgeries so whether they’ll return to form and when that’ll be are some questions.

    The offense has some definite question marks. The fragile Hitoshi Tamura lost his power stroke somewhere along the way from Yokohama to Fukuoka. But this should not come as a surprise when a player moves from one of the most extreme hitters parks to one of the most pitcher friendly stadiums. Nobuhiko Matsunaka saw a huge drop off in his power numbers (his OPS since 2004 are 1.179, 1.075, .981, .798) he’ll need a rebound to be a useful useful on firstbase. But having registered his lowest BA/OBP/SLG since his rookie season, pitchers may have figured out that they can now challenge him without paying too high a price. Hiroki Kokubo had a revival season hitting .277/.338/.494 in 2007 after returning home to the Hawks from the Giants where he hit .256/.325/.458 in his last season in hitter friendly Tokyo Dome and CL. But his numbers still can’t hide the decline that comes with his age, 36.

    Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
    2007 Record: 67 – 75 – 2 (.472)
    2007 RS – RA: 575 – 676
    Coming:
    Going: Kazuo Fukumori

    The Eagles have been making steady improvements ever since joining the league in 2005, being forced to construct their roster out of the Kintetsu-Orix merger scrapheap (winning percentage over the last 3 seasons are .281, .356, and .472 and the team finished out of the cellar in respectable 4th place in only its 3rd season). The team should get better as sophomores Masahiro Tanaka (11-7, 3.82ERA, 9.47 K/9, and 3.28 BB/9 in 186.1 IP) and Satoshi Nagai (7-7, 3.61ERA, 6.94 K/9, and 3.61 BB/9 in 127 IP) both had solid rookie seasons in 2007. If former aces Hisashi Iwakuma (5-5, 3.40ERA, 8.4 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9 in 90 IP) and Yasuhiro Ichiba (5.37 ERA in 2007 in 58.2 IP after 4.37 ERA in 193.2 IP the year before) can regain their health, along with the growth of former Kintetsu 1st round high school pick Hideaki Asai (8-8, 3.12 ERA, 6.67 K/9, and 2.49 BB/9 in 144.1 IP, his first 100+ IP season), the Eagles should have a solid rotation.

    Closer Fukumori was signed away by the Texas Rangers, but the 31 year old struggled to a 4.75 ERA 17 save season in 2007, so he may not be missed. It will be interesting to see how much the 39 year old Takeshi Yamasaki will see a drop off in his numbers after his best season in 11 years with .261/.359/.577 and 43 HR 108 RBI in 2007 (his best year since 1996 performance of 39 HR 107 RBI and .322/.382/.625), a realistic expectation might be something north of .800 OPS as he has fluctuated .784, .690, .867, .764, and .936 over the last 5 seasons in the PL (last 3 with the Eagles).

    Saitama Seibu Lions
    2007 Record: 66 – 76 – 2 (.465)
    2007 RS – RA: 564 – 585
    Coming: Kazuhisa Ishii, Shinya Okamoto, Hitoshi Taneda, Mattew Kinney, Craig Brazell, Hiram Bocachica
    Going: Kazuki Fukuchi, Alex Cabrera, Kazuhiro Wada

    The club has added the prefectural name of Saitama to their name starting this season, along with other local activities, in an effort to lay better roots down in the local community.

    Lions lost the big bats of Cabrera and Wada, even though they’re power numbers have been declining as the greybeards aged in their late 30s, their bats were most productive ones in the lineup and their .370+ OBP and near .500 SLG will be missed. The team has attempted to plug these holes with the signings of Brazell and Bocachica. The former is absolutely crushed AAA pitching to the tune of .307/.337/.605 but he lacks plate discipline and will get into deep funks during the PL seasons while adjusting to Japanese pitching. Bocachica OPSed at over 1.000 in his last 2 AAA seasons, and knows how to get on base, so he carries more hope of becoming the next Cabrera. But of course, this depends on if they manage to adjust to Japanese baseball, and that remains to be seen.

    Seibu also added a serviceable league average arm and veteran presence in Ishii who will dependably eat up innings. And depending on the performance of the imports, a breakout season by Takeya “Okawari” Nakamura (22 HR and .603 SLG in 2005, .359 OBP in 2006) will be required if the team wants to contend for a playoff spot.

    Orix Buffaloes
    2007 Record: 62 – 77 – 5 (.446)
    2007 RS – RA: 536 – 585
    Coming: Osamu Hamanaka, Katsuaki Furuki, Alex Cabrera, Eric Junge
    Going: Tetsuya Matoyama, Hiroaki Ohnishi

    The Buffaloes remain the sole truly corporate team in the league, not embracing the local hometown spirits displayed by the remaining PL teams. However, this befits the owner Miyauchi, who is responsible, along with reviled Giants owner Watanabe, for trying to contract NPB down to 10 teams in an effort of cost cutting without putting in significant efforts to better market the product first to increase revenue, a small minded man.

    The aging squad added oft-injured Hamanaka (collapsed to .598 OPS after .845 in 2006) and Cabrera (steady decline in OPS over the last three seasons with 1.013, .968, .889, but he should still be useful). The club signed Junge, who is totally uninspiring with a career minor league line of 4.11 ERA, 6.86 K/9, and 3.24 BB/9, but he is a true band-aid late signing after the team had botched the Powell contract and lost him to the Hawks.

    Mamoru Kishida, Yoshihisa Hirano, Chihiro Kaneko, and Tom Davey provide a pretty solid pitching core, and the cleanup of Greg LaRocca (29 doubles, 27 HR, and .891 OPS last season), Dusty Rhodes (42 HR and 1.006 OPS after being out of NPB for a year), and Cabrera will instil fear into any pitcher. Come to think of it, this team can improve this season.

    With no significant additions or subtractions to their lineups, we’ll probably see the same 3 teams in the playoffs again in 2008. That’ll be the Fighters, Hawks, and Marines, though the order in which they finish will probably depend a lot more on injuries, breakout performances, and the number of players over- or underperforming their expectations, than the strength of these teams on paper. The growth of the Eagles is intriguing, but now that they have a good arsenal of arms, they’ll need to start acquiring quality bats to compete with the big boys. The Lions and Buffaloes are relying on stop gap veterans, both domestic and imports, to bolster their teams, not very encouraging, but it looks like the Buffaloes improved more and might battle the Eagles for 4th. In retrospect, since this is a pitchers league, using ERA+ probably would’ve been a better indicator than being caught up with all the ERAs around or below 3.00, oh well, too late now, I don’t have time to re-research and rewrite 😛

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, statistics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    2008 IHWC Div I Group B in Sapporo

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 18日 Tuesday

    It’s amazing that this all East European (except for Japan) tournament is being held in Japan at all. I wonder what went down in the host city nomination and the subsequent voting process.

    The tournament will run from 13-19 April at Tsukisamu Arena in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan and the other participating teams are Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, and Hungary.

    This is Japan’s best chance to win the dvision and qualify for the top group, playing in front of the home crowd, and having ECHL regulars G Fukufuji (unimpressive .891 save percentage this season, but he’s on one of the worst teams in the league so all goalies at Bakersfield are sporting a sub-.900 mark after posting better numbers in previous seasons) and F Nishiwaki (14+16=30 pts in 54 games so far, but was one of the leading goal scorers in the AL the two previous seasons) on the national team with their ECHL clubs slated to miss the playoffs. ECHL season runs to the first week of April, so these two will be able to join the national team for this Div I tournament at home that’ll run from 13-19 April. Oji goalie Haruna has been having a fantastic AL playoffs, posting 1.88 GAA and .924 save % so far in 8 games, and he’s had some success in international tournies if my memory’s correct. And Seibu’s Kikuchi, who is always solid in Asia, is also available, so Japan should be solid in goal, hopefully the porous defense from last year’s tournament has somehow been improved, but I don’t see how.

    Other interesting candidates remaining on the Japan team selection squad (down to 30 now, but there will be further cuts before the start of the tournament to get down to regulation size) are D Okubo playing for High1 of the Korean entry to the AL, he totally drove their offense this past season, and led AL defensemen in assists and points. University kids D Haga of university champs Toyo University (who scored a hat trick in the university championship finals), D Yanatori of finalist Meiji Univ., and F Kuji of Waseda University are also included in the selection camp. Other players are the usual suspects from AL teams including naturalized Canadian born veteran players (all Japanese descent Nikkeis) D Aaron Keller (Oji), F Ryan Kiyoshi Fujita (Seibu), and F Darcy Mitani (Cranes).

    Interestingly, the national team will play two warm up games again Amur Khavarovsk (the B team, I assume). 1 April at Tomakomai Hakucho Arena, and 3 April at Sapporo Tsukisamu Areana, both games start at 19:00.

    The 30 man selection camp squad (in Japanese).

    IIHF website for this tournament.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information, International, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    KHL: コンチネンタル・ホッケー・リーグ

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 17日 Monday

    ロシアで来季から始まる予定で、近いうちNHL のライバルリーグになろうとしてるKHL ことコンチネンタル・ホッケー・リーグ(全24球団の予定。各球団のサラリーキャップが25億円くらいで、NHLの約半分の予算。ヨーロッパスポーツとしては珍しく、戦力均衡の為ドラフトを取り入れる。ロシアスーパーリーグの全球団に加え外国チームとかの受け入れも行う。リーグ発足に当たってロシア連盟と対立関係になっている)に、カザフスタンのクラブの確実な参加に加え、最近フィンランドのJokerit Helsinki, Karpat Oulu, そして今シーズン開幕前にLAキングスと交流戦を行ったオーストリアのRed Bulls Salzburg から、加盟申請があったそうです。ロシア・メディアの情報が信用できれば…w 何はともあれ面白いリーグになりそうで、今から来年のKHL が楽しみです。無事立ち上がれますように、ロシアの石油バブルが弾けないうちは大丈夫かな…?

    Posted in 01_日本語, hockey, information, International, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Lohse’s 1 year 4.75 mil contract

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 March 17日 Monday

    Kyle Lohse signs a 1 year 4.25 million dollar (with 500k in performance bonus) contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. Similarly replacement level pitchers like Carlos Silva and Jeff Suppan have been getting something like 4 year $40m contracts in recent off seasons, but something changed. Maybe a critical mass of major league teams have finally realized the value of replacement level performance, as suggested in the timely USS Mariner article (via EWC). Also it’s probably ironic that the ever rising salaries of free agents brought on this shift in player valuations sooner than later (though, it’s the future replacement level free agents that will miss out on free money, the current batch have already laughed their way to the bank at least once).

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, opinion, Sabermetrics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »