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  • Archive for September, 2008

    The Subprime Primer

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 30日 Tuesday

    So, that’s what’s happened  😛

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

    Saitama Seibu Lions lower playoff ticket prices!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 29日 Monday

    When the Saitama Seibu Lions clinched 2nd place (and the right to host some of the Climax Series playoff games) earlier in the season they announced several efforts to ramp up their ability to draw larger crowds to the Seibu Dome, which due to its inconvenient location at the border of Saitama and Tokyo isn’t primed for big crowds, especially on weekdays when they’ve drawn only about 14000 people up until the recent potential 1st place clinching games which had drawn 26000-33000 people. The Lions backed into clinching 1st place recently when the 2nd place Orix Buffaloes lost enough games, this means that the Lions are going to host the PL finals (or Climax Series 2nd stage) with a 1 game advantage, and Saitama gets to host the entire series of up to 6 games (Oct 17-19, 21-23).

    The two major efforts in their campaign are:

    • Host Game 1 at Omiya Stadium. They had already hosted a game there on June 27, the stadium is more centrally located within Saitama and this was in line with Seibu’s efforts to more firmly plant its roots in Saitama. Hosting the first playoff game there was an unexpected surprise and should help the team in this endeavour.
    • Lower ticket prices! Ticket prices have been dramatically slashed in an effort to draw strong home team support and to not be an embarrassment. The Lions have also designated much of the third base side (traditionally for the away team supporters) for Lions fans, they better turn up in droves though I’m sure other fans won’t shy away from buying the “Lions cheering section” seats on the third base side. Anyways, here are the prices.
    • Regular season: Special S 10,000 yen, Infield S 4000 yen, Infield reserved 3000 yen, Infield unreserved 2500 yen, Outfield unreserved 1800 yen.
    • Climax Series: Backstop Special 7500 yen, L Infield reserved 2000 yen, L Infield unreserved 1500 yen, L Outfield unreserved 1000 yen, Visitor outfield unreserved 1500 yen.
    So, basically the team halved ticket prices and are trying to fill the stadium with Lions fans. I plan on being there to take in a few games. Despite these efforts though, tickets are still available for all 6 games.

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

    Eating in Asia

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 26日 Friday

    When you live in Asia, you naturally come across many food stuffs that are considered inedible in North America (European cuisines are more inclusive). Then there’s of course the old adage about how the Chinese will eat anything on four legs except for tables and chairs. But this story from Mongolia tops a lot of what I’ve read or heard before.

    Anyways, let’s go through a check list, partially supplied by the article:

    • Live octopus tentacles – No
    • Baby octopii – Yes
    • Duck brain – No
    • Fresh sashimi of fish just knocked unconscious (ikizukuri) – Yes
    • Snake blood – No
    • Fried scorpions – Yes (Chinese restaurant in Tokyo, crunchy and salty)
    • Horse, yak, or camel milk – No
    • Horse sashimi (raw) – Yes (tasty, with ginger)
    • Whale meat – Yes
    • Stinky tofu – Yes (Taipei night market, foul smelling, tastes great)
    • Mongolian “cheese” – No
    • Vodka with beetles – No
    • Bright blue and red tropical fishies – Yes (Okinawa, silver fish taste better) 
    • Awamori (Okinawan distilled liquor) with habu snake – Not yet
    • Dog meat – No (it’s a check list after all)
    • Cow innards – Yes (quite popular here, actually, and tasty at the right restaurants, like many other ingredients)
    • Chicken innards – Yes (also quite popular, on skewers)
    • Chicken sashimi (raw) – Yes (no salmonella concerns in Japan, of course law doesn’t require sashimi/sushi to be frozen before serving, and chefs don’t need to wear plastic gloves either)
    • Entire sheep innards for breakfast – umm, Not even close
    • Sheep head – No
    • Fish head – Yes (some of the tastiest part of certain fish are around the eyes)
    • Fish eyes – Yes
    • Entire fish, head to tail fin (at most middle finger sized) – Yes 
    • Fried larvae (small) – Yes (Thai restaurant in Tokyo, crispy like kappa-ebisen)
    • Boiled larvae (medium) – Yes (Korean restaurant in Tokyo, squishy, me no like)
    • Arctic char (fish, semi-jerkey?) – Yes (up in Nunavut, it’s a whole different country up there)
    • Caribou – Yes (very gamey, also in Nunavut)
    • Poutine – Yes! (the real artery-clogging fries-cheese curds-gravy beauty in Montreal. A special entry, just because, for the Canadian content(?) There’s actually fake poutine available at the Becker’s burger-coffee joint, it kinda does the job when the craving hits)
    Not a very impressive list at all because I tend to stay away from slimy things, but anyways, here’s the good part of the story:

    On our very last morning on the road, the mutton problem became a crisis. At fault was our dear driver, Bimba, who decided it was time to celebrate the trip by buying a whole sheep and slaughtering it. As we went into a local ger to eat breakfast, I noticed that the sheep’s head had been removed, and the internal organs were being poured into a giant pot, the same way you might empty a can of beans.

    Surely this was to feed the dogs, I thought. No one really wants to eat the lungs, stomach, and intestines of an aged sheep.

    Au contraire. I’m sorry to say that we had to watch the whole mess boiling for a while on the dung fire, yielding bubbles of brownish-gray scum. Afterward, a giant steaming bowl of internal organs was placed before us with some ceremony. Out came knives and a mixture of anatomy lesson and breakfast as we sampled one organ after another. I must stress the degree to which our dear friend Bimba considered this the way to cement our friendship. There was no backing away from trying each and every organ and making a good go of the whole thing. Even fearless Miki looked a little pale.

    Anyways, I enjoy Slate’s Well-Traveled series as they tend to go to far flung places where regular people can’t/won’t go for budgetary/time/safety constraints/concerns, but the travelogues aren’t amateur drivel of random traveblogs.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, food, opinion, random, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    2008-09北米でプレーする日本人選手

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 25日 Thursday

    福藤豊選手は、またECHL のベーカーズフィールド・コンドルズで開幕します(多分正ゴーリー)が、チームがアナハイム・ダックスの傘下に入ったという事もあって、活躍したらAHL に登れるチャンスの年です。(一休.comで4部に渡るのインタビューがあります。)

    昨シーズン同じECHL のユタ・グリズリーズでプレーした高橋一馬選手は、今カナダでトレーニングをしていて、チーム探しをしている状況です。NHL が開幕するまでは、下のリーグのロースターがなかなか決まらないものなので、こればかりはいつもの辛抱なのでしょうか。またECHL でプレーできれば良いです。

    西脇選手は一年だけの留学でECHL でプレーしていたのですが、今年は北米ホッケー界に新しい日本人選手が現れました。家族でホッケーしにチェコに行っている桐渕家の長女の絵理さん(19)が、その年代では世界トップのNCAA ディビジョンI の大学・ミネソタ州のBemidji State に入りました(経歴が長いw)。チームにゴーリーは3人いて、皆1年生だという事で、いきなり正ゴーリーになるチャンスです!(このレベルでプレーした日本人は過去にいないので、間違いなく将来の日本代表候補でしょう。福藤選手の女版みたいな存在ですね。)

    あと、昨シーズン、カナダのメジャー・ジュニアの決勝トーナメントのメモリアル・カップに出場した河合選手が、オーバーエイジなので、フリーエージェントとしてどこかのチームと契約かトライアウトしているはずですが、情報が掴めません。

    皆さん、頑張って下さい、期待してます!!(^^

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

    Dinamo Riga English Website and KHL Team Budgets

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 25日 Thursday

    Dinamo Riga (Latvia) of the upstart KHL (Kontinental Hockey League, mostly Russian league with ambitions to rival NHL in the future, or even now what with the Alexander Radulov signing) has an English website now! (And it looks great too, coming from a web-savvy Baltic nation maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise.) This is great news, as Riga and KHL info, stats, and news are now available in English.

     

    And KHL team budgets are now available and there is quite the gap between the richest and the poorest clubs. This seems to be total operating budgets that include player salaries, but nonetheless very interesting.

    1. AK Bars Kazan – $55 mill. 

    2. -4. Salvat Ulaev Ufa, SKA St. Petersburg, Avangard Omsk – $50 mill.

    5. Metallurg Magnitogorsk – $45 mill.

    6. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl – $40 mill.

    7. Atlant Moscow – $35 mill.

    8. -9. Dinamo Maskava, Sibir Novosibirsk – $25 mill.

    10. CSKA Moscow – $22 mill.

    11.-12. HK MVD Balashikha, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod – $20 mill.

    13. Spartak Moscow – $18 mill.

    14. Amur Khabarovsk – $17 mill.

    15. Dinamo Minsk – $16 mill.

    16.-17. Severstal Cherepovets, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk- $15 mill.

    18.-19. Metallurg Novokuznetsk, Vityaz Chekhov – $13 mill.

    20. Lada Togliatti – $12 mill.

    21.-22. Dinamo Rīga, Traktor Chelyabinsk – $11 mill.

    23.-24. Barys Astana, Khimik Voskresensk – $10 mill.

    For a team with such a lot budget, Riga is off to an awesome start leading the Kharlamov Division right now with 5 wins, 2 OT/SO losses, and 2 losses in 9 games, good for 17 points.

    Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, NHL, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    China Sharks Update

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 25日 Thursday

    The only team to not have opened their 2008-09 Asia League campaign, the China Sharks, will start their season on the road with a game against the Nikko IceBucks tonight.

    The team made a fairly bland press release on 17 September, but in it is a video of an in depth 20 minute press conference. And contained in it are some nuggets, like how:

    • The Sharks will instantaneously have, by far, the largest capacity arena in the league now as the brand new Shanghai arena seats 6000, I hope they do a hell of a marketing job to get enough butts into those seats to create some atmosphere and excitement. The Sharks management actively seeked out this arena, so they seem ready, let’s hope the Shanghai citizens are ready for some hockey!
    • The Sharks organization will, in effect, run the Chinese national hockey program through coaching, player selection, etc. (This is the Sharks side of the story, not sure if it’ll completely match up with the Chinese Ice Hockey Association’s story.)
    • China is going to make a run for the 2018, or more likely the 2022, Winter Olympics, and want to make sure that they have a competitive hockey team, and that is one of the reasons for the Sharks involvement.
    The new China Sharks uniform (home darks, I assume) was also unveiled. But ugh, the Chinese red completely clashes with the Sharks black and teal. Guess we’ll see what colours their helmets, pants, and socks will be from tonight’s Bucks game photos.
    Also, Kato “Kataribe” Jiro interviewed China Sharks head coach Derek Eisler and he said even though he is confident with the team, and found some good Chinese and import players through tryouts (as well as signing known quantities in Steve McKenna, Wade Flaherty, and Adam Taylor, and Harvard grad Kevin Du, and keeping Jason Beeman and Kevin Korol from last season, the former was a one man wrecking crew of the otherwise pathetic Sharks offense last season), playing coaches McKenna and Flaherty will see more time as coaches in the latter half of the season depending on how the season is progressing. (Sharks season opening roster)

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

    エディー・ヴェダーのカブス応援歌

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 25日 Thursday

    一世を風靡したパール・ジャムのボーカリスト、エディー・ヴェダーは実はシカゴ・カブス(とブルズ)の大ファンなんですね、知りませんでした。シアトルのグランジシーンからメジャーになったバンドだったから、てっきり北西部出身だと思っていましたが、実はシカゴがあるイリノイ州出身なんですね。

    という事で、カブス球史100周年にワールドシリーズを制覇できるように、新たなカブス応援歌Someday We’ll Go All The Wayを新しく書き下ろしました。

    初期パール・ジャムの王道と、応援メッセージが上手く盛り込まれていて、なかなかの傑作です。

    さて、NL中地区を制した福留のカブス、ヴェダーとシカゴの希望を乗せてワールドシリーズまで辿り着けるのか?

    ポストシーズンがますます面白くなりましたね。

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

    ベニーの首投げ

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 25日 Thursday

    やっちゃいましたね、お互い様で。

    西武の投手3人がロッテの打者5人のうち3人に死球。

    最後に死球を食らったベニーが、止めに入った西武の捕手細川に対して横綱顔負けの首投げで一本!

    http://sumo.goo.ne.jp/kimarite/28.html

    4:00からの映像をご覧あれ。

    北米のホッケーファンは乱闘見ると血が騒いじゃうんだよね、しょうがないw

    でも、日米どっちの野球でも乱闘がここまでエスカレートするのは珍しいね、普通はまともなパンチや投げなんてしないのに。

    細川の肩脱臼で1ヶ月戦線離脱は西武にとって痛いですね、なんとかCS 2nd ステージには間に合いそうだけど、体調は万全に戻せないだろうし。

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

    Joel Prpic’s ceremonial first pitch at Seibu Dome

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 24日 Wednesday

    Long time Seibu Prince Rabbit (well, the team was named Kokudo before) and former NHLer Joel Prpic threw out the ceremonial first pitch (with a nifty intro video) at Seibu Dome where group company team and Daisuke Matsuzaka’s former team the Saitama Seibu Lions play. The event happened two weeks ago on 10 September before the game against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, so this is way after the fact, but it’s a fun video nonetheless. 

    This promotional gimmic seemed to have gone fairly unnoticed (well, the stadium was more than half empty at the time too) because the Rabbits season opener against the Nikko Ice Bucks at their home Dydo Drinko Arena in Higashifushimi only drew 1475 spectators, well below capacity with lots of empty seats.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, baseball, hockey, information, NPB, random, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Anyang Halla forfeits a game

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 22日 Monday

    The new season has just begun for the Asia League, and already there is already controversy with more potential trouble brewing (maybe).

    The issue is Anyang Halla forfeiting their game against High1 in only the second game of the season after High1 scored an apparently controversial goal late in what must’ve been an entertaining match up to that point. But the Halla coach disputed this goal and refused to continue with the game, thus forfeiting the game. 3 points for a regulation win will be awarded to High1, and all individual records from the game will not be counted. The finalized decision will come from the rules committee of Asia League on a later date. (Loosely translated and added more facts to the last paragraph from this AL press release covering Sunday’s actions which briefly exlains the forfeited game. Looking at the game sheet the 59:59 goal was an empty netter, and Halla coach received a delay of game penalty at 60:00 presumably for not putting his team back on the ice, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what actually transpired, we’ll need some solid firsthand information from the rink.)

    The original brief explanation on the forfeited game in the press release:

    ■「High1 対 アニャンハルラ」 高陽アイスリンク/韓国

    この試合は、試合終了間際のHigh1 のゴールを巡り、ハルラが試合続行を拒否したため、没収試合となりました。

    High1 を勝利扱いとなります。個人記録は全て無効です。

    審議委員会の競技結果等は後日、お知らせいたします。

    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, press releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »