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  • Archive for June, 2008

    イーモバイルの選挙型CM、人種差別的として放送自粛

    Posted by simon c on 2008 June 30日 Monday

    まだ日本のニュースサイトでは報道されてないみたいだ(それとも報道する必要が無い、サミット直前で日本が注目されるからどこかから圧力がかかったのか??)が、イーモバイルがソフトバンクの白犬に対抗して立てた日本猿君主演の一番新しいCM が選挙でイーモバイルへ「CHANGE!」を呼びかけるものだが、これが今アメリカの大統領選の民主党のバラック・オバマ氏のスローガンと同じ(彼の場合はもちろんアメリカを変えるという意味合いでだが)、そしてアメリカでは長く黒人を猿扱いしてきた暗い歴史があるので、このCMは「オバマをサルで真似るなんて、なんて人種差別的なんだ日本人は!!」とネットで大炎上(YouTubeのコメントもなかなか)。国際的な視野を持つイーモバイルの社長はこのCM の放送を自粛(英語Reuters)(皮肉にも戦中は日本人も猿扱いでしたがね…)今回の件に関しては、イーモバイルは選挙路線に行かなければ大丈夫だったでしょう、犬に対抗した猿だったんだし。だから自業自得といえばそうなんですが、炎上しすぎるネット社会は万国共通といえばそうでもあるみたい。

    ついでに最近のネットで炎上→自粛というパターンでは、毎日のウェブサイトの英字部分にWaiWai という日本の週刊誌の記事を「クリエイティブに」英訳して(主にスキャンダラスな)記事を載せている部分がありましたが、これが2ちゃんに目をつけられ、何故かその「クリエイティブな」(お遊び的に7年間続いてた)英訳を、今度は日本人がその英文を日本語に直訳してしまいその内容のあまりの酷さに大炎上(そもそも週刊誌から拾ってきた記事だから毎日新聞じゃないし…)→毎日がWaiwai を閉鎖+責任者を処分…という事も起きました。毎日.jp の英文のお詫び文。で、たまにスクープも載せるけど、よく根も葉も無い話をでっちあげてるような週刊誌自体に何か処分するのかというと、日本語なら外国人は読めないと思っているのか、何もしないらしい(まあ、結構なスケールの産業だし…)

    イーモバイル、Waiwai と共に文化の狭間に落ちちゃってネットで炎上した良い例なのかな?

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

    Kimutaku Gatsby Ad

    Posted by simon c on 2008 June 30日 Monday

    So, there’s a new Kimura Takuya (like the popularest SMAP dude) Gatsby deodorant ad that’s totally metrosexual (this is not surprising considering that’s what many Japanese women prefer anyways) but rather homoerotic no matter how you take it. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say  😛 )

    But this product’s targeting young men. I know women like to look at other beautiful women (can’t blame ’em). But I thought that even in Japan, half naked Kimutaku would attract women more than men, but somewhere in Tokyo a Mandom (the maker of Gatsby products) advertising exec must’ve thought differently. Is it just my North American trained mind playing tricks on what I see in Japan?

    Posted in 02_English, culture, random, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    やきゅつくDS、軽くレビュー

    Posted by simon c on 2008 June 28日 Saturday

    まだ半シーズンくらいしかプレーしてないけど、なんかゲームバランスが少々変な気がしてならない、やきゅつくDS。


    初めてこのシリーズを本格的にプレーしてる(PS2版は面倒になってすぐ挫折した)けど出塁率、長打率、OPS、WHIPとかが含まれていて、スタッツの扱いが今までの国産野球ゲームで一番頼りになりそうに見える。でも、選球眼+長打力重視の初期マネーボールタイプの球団を、1シーズン目という限定された環境の中で構築したはずなんだけど、なかなか四球を選んでくれない(それともピッチャーが現実よりストライクを投げすぎるのか、球数が現実よりかなり少なめに感じられるのは、ストライクゾーンコントロール重視のチームとしては不満…)。

    でもホームランはポンポン打ててるから、それは得点と共にリーグ1位。でもダントツで投手陣がヘボすぎるので(他チームは皆防御率3.00以下なのに、自分のヤクルトだけ何故か4.50前後)なので、チームも当然ビリ。まあ、来シーズン投手にテコ入れすれば、一気にプレーオフ(クライマックスシリーズね)を目指せそう。他の人のレビュー読んでると、なんかやきゅつくシリーズの中では、難易度が易しい方らしい。まあ、DSだからってのもあるだろうけど、 PS2版よりはとっつきやすい印象(携帯機というのにも合っている種類のゲームだと思う)、サクサク進むので軽くハマってしまいました。うー、でも打てるキャッチャーも欲しい、一年目でいきなり田淵とか長嶋がドラフト候補として現れてきた…

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

    John Koronka to Orix?

    Posted by simon c on 2008 June 27日 Friday

    Yeah, well, I didn’t know about the guy either, but Orix conitinue to scrape the bottom of the barrell with their attempts to sign some import pitchers (some tryouts earlier in the season didn’t work out, if I remember correctly). Koronka’s career minor league stats are 4.36 ERA, 6.75 K/9, and 3.94 BB/9. His cumulative MLB record from 2005-07 (mostly accumulated in 2006 when he was part of the Texas Rangers rotation for part of the season) is an avert your eyes 6.02 ERA, 4.35 K/9, and 3.58 BB/9 (though with a small sample size warning of 151 IP). If he manages to earn some playing time with the big club I expect his numbers to fall somewhere between his minor league and MLB numbers, as generally NPB is regarded to be about AAAA level.

    The Buffaloes continue to grasp at straws after their Jeremy Powell fiasco (JP officially signed with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks while Orix management were twiddling their thumbs with an informal offer), but then again what can you expect from talent that’s available midseason, and also the Orix bumbling management. But, there is a chance that Japanese waters suit Koronka so well that he succeeds (or at least be useful) in NPB. So, if he’s a cheap signing (likely will be) then I guess it’s a low risk scenario (though I have about 95% doubt that it’ll pan out).

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

    NPB Power Rankings 08.6.26

    Posted by simon c on 2008 June 26日 Thursday

    Interleague games officially ended on Monday but the title was clinched by the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks on Sunday, even though they tied with the Hanshin Tigers with 15-9 records. The silly tiebreaker rule doesn’t take head to head record into account, if that were the case the Tigers would’ve won the (still) rather meaningless Interleague crown because they took 3 of 4 from the Hawks (also won 3 against the PL leading Saitama Seibu Lions). Anyways, after a few days off (scheduled as reserve dates for rainouts), regular intraleague play resumes tomorrow with a full slate of 6 games.

    Anyways, here are how things shook out following the conclusion of the Interleague period.

    1. Hanshin Tigers(1) 43-22-1 .662

    Tied for best record in Interleague without having the advantage of playing against the sorry Yokohama BayStars, and beat up on the PL leading Lions and Interleague Champs Hawks. Most balanced team in the league with an on base juggernaut offense (top 3 CL OBP leaders, and only hitters to have OBP over .400 in CL are Kanemoto, Akahoshi, and Arai, and Toritani checks in at 8th with .362) So the Tigers lead the league in runs scored (273) despite homering the least (35), and their shutdown bullpen helps prevent runs big time and they lead the league in this category too (218). The complete package.

    2. Chunichi Dragons(3) 36-28-3 .563

    Regains the penultimate position in this ranking largely thanks to the Lions tailspin at the end of Interleague, as the Dragons only had a .500 record against PL teams, but managed to take 3 of 4 against Seibu.

    3. Saitama Seibu Lions(2) 39-30-1 .565

    Ended Interleague campaign on a horrible note, losing 6 straight and 9 of the last 12. Even losing both games to the lowly BayStars. This is still a strong team and PL race has just gotten really interesting with the slumping Lions and soaring Hawks as the top 4 teams are now bunched together within 4 games of eachother. Lions are probably thankful that what turned out to be a dreaded Interleague season is finally over.

    4. Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters(5) 39-32-1 .549

    Was in the hunt for the Interleague title going into the final weekend, the team continues to win close games as the Fighters have only outscored their opponents by 4 runs for the season.

    5. Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles(4) 35-34 .507

    A team with very good fundamentals (310 – 256, RS – RA) sits in 4th place in the PL standings but definitely has the capability to be in a playoff position and should be there sooner rather than later. Had first ever winning Interleague season in its history with 13-11 record.

    6. Fukuoka Softbank Hawks(6) 38-34 .528

    Interleague champions nudged their way up to claim the 3rd and final playoff position in the PL. The team seems to have woken up, it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep this up in their own league.

    7. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants(8 ) 34-33-1 .507

    Solid Interleague campaign of 14-10 has the team back in black. Good pitchers Takahashi and Uehara are returned to the big club after rehabbing from injury. The former should go into the rotation and the latter in the bullpen where he was a successful closer last season. Beneficiary of the new Free Agency rules agreed upon between NPB and the Senshukai (Players’ Association) reducing the number of years of service until domestic FA to 8, a quirk in the rule allows FA eligible imports to not count as imports, meaning that slugger Alex Ramirez will not count against the import quota starting next season.

    8. Hiroshima Toyo Carp(7) 30-32-2 .484

    A decent 13-11 record in Interleague. The dog days of summer may be very helpful to the Carp this year as all of NPB’s best will be at Beijing while the Carp will likely not lose anyone to the Olympics. They’ll just have to hang on until then, as a 3rd place finish and a seat in the playoffs is needed for Marty Brown to extend his contract as the manager of this feisty club that lost its cleanup hitter (Arai) and ace (Kuroda) to FA after last season. (Though Colby Lewis is doing a fine job filling in for Kuroda with 10-5, 2.28 ERA on a mediocre team playing in a hitters park.)

    9. Tokyo Yakult Swallows(9) 30-34 .469

    Norichika Aoki is back and has been his awesome self with a slash line of .331/.391/.506. NPB hitters may be getting wise to the ways of the Lim though, as the closer has given up 5 runs (4 earned) over his last 5 appearances. Aaron Guiel’s rehab seems to be going well, as he’s played 2 games in the minors recently (going 0-3 with a walk), hopefully he’ll be fully recovered soon and back with the big club. An Aoki – Hatakeyama – Guiel cleanup could be pretty awesome.

    10. Chiba Lotte Marines(10) 31-41 .431

    10. Orix Buffaloes(11) 31-40 .437

    Both teams had uninspiring Interleague season (10-14 and 11-13). Still no end in sight to their woes, but neither of them are even close to the patheticness of…

    12. Yokohama BayStars(12) 19-45-1 .297

    Only team to win less than 10 games (.417) in Interleague, the sad BayStars went 6-18 (.250), their saving grace was the sweep of the slumping Lions at the end of Interleague. U-G-L-Y.

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

    NYレンジャーズAvery選手 Vogue誌でインターン

    Posted by simon c on 2008 June 26日 Thursday

    はい、あの超有名なファッション誌のVogue です。

    アメリカのVogue の記事(英語)ですが、なんとNYレンジャーズの変わり者Sean Avery 選手(28)は、今なんとVogue 誌で最低賃金でインターン生をやっています。記事の内容からすると、いつもファッションに興味があったAvery 選手(中田ヒデみたい?)は主にファッション撮影の現場を「手伝っている」らしいのですが、今週はmensvogue.com のゲスト編集者も経験したそうです。どうやってインターン生になったのかというと、プレーオフが始まる前に「レンジャーズが優勝した後に、Vogue 誌でインターンできますか?」とVogue編集長のAnna Wintour さんに書いたそうです(そしてレンジャーズがペンギンズに敗れプレーオフ敗退した後にすぐVogue でインターンを始めたそうです)。いつも意外性と話題性には欠けない男(プレーオフでNJデビルズの名ゴーリー・ブロデューアの顔の前で、手を振り回してあからさまに視界を邪魔してたのは、ついこないだですからね)ですが、またレベルアップしましたね。

    Thank God for Day Two and Shoot Two. The photographer was shooting a pop band in a studio. The production lasted for hours and hours, but I had a smile plastered on me all day. This was the first time I was able to have real input into something I love — yes, clothes. Aside from the selfish part, though, it was incredible to watch a shoot unfold with a cast of stylists and assistants and fashion editors all working toward a common vision. I added a few ideas that ended up in the photos — try to spot the leopard-print Alexander McQueen vest that pulled the outfit together.

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

    Cloning Chad Bradford

    Posted by simon c on 2008 June 25日 Wednesday

    One season he’s a recently converted submarine reliever for the Oakland A’s writing regular diary entries to the great A’s blog A’s Nation, giving us insight into how minor leaguers live and play, as well as how (great) baseball organizations are run from the inside.

    Next season, he’s called up to the big club, and has not allowed a single run in any of his appearances since being called up at the end of May.

    The man is unheralded Brad Ziegler. A’s have just successfully cloned Chad Bradford. Amazing. I’ve picked him up in both of the competitive fantasy leagues I’m in  🙂

    And then there’s Brad Ziegler. He’s a side-arm reliever for the A’s, and his fastball tops out at about 86 MPH. It’s basically his only real pitch – he throws it 89% of the time, mixing in a below average slider just to keep hitters occasionally off balance. Just based on velocity, his stuff could charitably described as marginal. If he was a lefty, he’d be described as crafty, which is code for can’t-break-glass-with-his-fastball.

    But what he lacks in velocity, he makes up for in movement and deception. His fastball has so much sink, in fact, that in his first 11 1/3 innings of major league pitching, he’s posting a 73.5% GB% and an 8.33 GB/FB rate. He’s faced 40 batters since the A’s brought him up from Triple-A, and a whopping three of them have managed to hit the ball in the air.

    Apparently, Billy Beane missed having Chad Bradford in the bullpen, so they decided to create another one. Until 2006, Ziegler was a traditional over the top pitcher, but given his limited chances to make the majors as a “normal” pitcher, the A’s convinced him to become a side-arming reliever. It’s worked wonders, as he hasn’t given up a home run since at any level, and he’s run a GB% of 60% or higher at every stop along the way.

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

    Koji Uehara at NPB Tracker

    Posted by simon c on 2008 June 24日 Tuesday

    NPB Tracker has a good run down on the 33 year old Yomiuri Giants right handed pitcher Koji Uehara who announced in early April that he was going to the major leagues next season. This was a highly unusual move from Japanese players who are taught not to rock the boat, but not totally unexpected from this vocal character who had repeatedly declared his MLB ambitions while getting his posting requests denied by the team in the past. His career numbers from 1999-2007 are 106-57, 2.96 ERA, 1459.1 IP, 1304 K, 190 BB, and 172 HR.

    He started off this season with an injury, which explains his record of 0-4, 6.75 ERA in 5 games started and 29.1 IP. He’s still rehabbing and hasn’t made an appearance in the minors yet, so his return is still a ways off (Edit: Uehara is back with the big club as of today without making a rehab appearance in a minor league game), and when he returns he’ll go to the Giants bullpen to setup for closer Marc Kroon if things go according to plan. He’s not getting any younger, but being an extreme control pitcher (never having walked more than 28 batters in a season, even though he’s pitched 200+ innings twice in his career and 160+ innings six times) in the mould of Greg Maddux, he could age well and can be a fine pick up for an MLB team as a #3 starter or so.

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

    Kirin Crashed Soniq

    Posted by simon c on 2008 June 23日 Monday

    キリンの新スポーツドリンク・ソニック(SONIQ) のCM、まるでRed Bull Crashed Ice のインライン版。そしてライダーによってはホッケーのヘルメット使ってる人と、ストリートのメット使ってる人がいる。まあ、インラインのパーク・フリーライダー達なんだろうけど(調べてません)、転んだ時は絶対インラインの方が痛いな~。

    Kirin SONIQ

    TVCF をクリック

    そしてRed Bull Crashed Ice

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

    =ホッケー?

    Posted by simon c on 2008 June 22日 Sunday

    必要以上にカフェイン摂取をして、今ロシア対オランダのユーロ準々決勝を見てるんだけど…

    ロシア顔のアスリートを見ると、どうしても勝手に脳内変換してホッケージャージと防具一式を着用、そしてスティックを持たせてしまうw

    いや、だってこういう国なんだからしょうがないw↓

    でしょ?

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