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    Archive for June 19th, 2008

    Pink baseball merchandise

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 June 19日 Thursday

    From the AOL FanHouse post, MetsGrrl.com writes

    “No real female baseball fan I know wears a pink hat,” wrote Caryn Rose, a writer living in Greenpoint, on her blog about the Mets, called MetsGrrl.com. “The pink hat exists so that boyfriends or husbands (or heck, lesbian partners of girly girls), who feel guilty that they have dragged their girlfriend to the game, can go to the team store and buy something to placate them: ‘Oh, it’s pink, it must be for a girl.’ Give me a break.”

    Of course things are very different here in Japan. Not only are there pink hats, there is pink everything for the female fans, and they’re not designed just for the casual/bandwagon/unwillingly-accompanying-the-bf-to-the-park female fans either, but then again pink is the national colour for Japanese women, and being cute is everything. So, there are hardcore female fans in Japan in the bleachers with the oendan cheer squad who stand on their feet and constantly cheer for their hitters while their team is up at bat.

    Here, a couple of Hanshin Tigers fans in their pink jerseys. I bet they’re not fairweathr fans, but I could be wrong.

    Do Japanese female fans like pink merchandise because they’re cute? Sure. Are Japanese women oppressed in society? Well, there is definitely still a glass ceiling, but Japanese wives and moms completely rule the household, controlling everything in the household from finance (holding the hammer on what to buy for the house, or receiving the husband’s entire pay cheques only to give him small montly “allowances”) to other matters like deciding on which school to send their kids to. This behind the scenes power sort of balances thing out in Japanese society where women don’t try to compete with men by becoming more like men, but are very good at controlling men anyways.

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

    The Sac Bunt and NPB

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 June 19日 Thursday

    Another great article on the Tokyo Yakult Swallows blog where I wrote a rather lengthy comment, so I’ll post that here too.

    I previously did some NPB v MLB offensive numbers comparisons here for 2005-07 and PL teams bunt just as often as CL teams (and way more than MLB teams).

    Now, I don’t think the sac bunt is completely useless, but NPB teams overuse it to the point of being detrimental to their offense. Then again, Trey Hillman’s Fighters repeated as PL champs and they bunted often. Hillman noted the psychologically calming effect that bunting has on Japanese players (because it’s ingrained in Japanese baseball culture), which leads to better performance. Pull up various Hillman interviews and you’ll find him saying that.

    But in general, I think the optimal strategy is to go for the big innings early in the game (ie. don’t sac bunt). But if it’s late in the game and 1 run would tie or bring a lead to the team, then I think sac bunts are valid (especially against tough pitchers where chances of big innings is very low, which is not unusual in closely fought games).

    Actually, bunting early in the game might even be justifiable when facing true aces like Darvish (especially with the low scoring Fighters lineup), as every run is precious and chances scoring 3-4 runs off of him in an inning is very slim. Then again, this may just be a truism, teams don’t tend to have big innings against aces because they bunt early and often. Hmm…?

    Anyways, I think MLB teams bunt more often in the postseason (don’t have stats with me though) when the opposing pitchers are often ace quality, both starters and relievers, instead of the dreg that they often get to face during the regular season.

    Of course, pitchers should bunt with the runner on first, this is the same in the NL, unless you’re Micah Owings or Carlos Zambrano.

    This whole thing is similar to why NFL teams shouldn’t kick until late in the game, because the rewards of a TD (equivalent to a big inning in baseball) is often greater than the higher percentage 3 points from a FG or better field position gained from punts, even with the probability of TD is not as high as FG.

    I might’ve forgot something, but that’s more or less my thoughts on bunting and NPB.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, football, MLB, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »