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  • Archive for October, 2008

    All-Korea Championship after Group Play

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 31日 Friday

    63rd All-Korea Ice Hockey Championships

    Day 3 (10.30)

    High1 2 (1-0, 0-1, 1-0) 1 Yonsei U

    Anyang Halla 3 (1-1, 0-0, 2-0) 1 Korea U

    The two best college hockey teams gave the pro sides scares as both games were tied heading into their 3rd period. And Halla’s 3rd goal seems to be an empty netter, so essentially the two pro clubs barely managed 1 goal wins over university teams. The pro sides are allowed to dress imports for this championship, and by looking at the goal scorers, it seems like these games were played with full squads (though maybe not at full effort).

    Anyways, standings after the group stage:

    Group A: High1 (2-0), Yonsei U (1-1), Hanyang U (0-2)

    Group B: Anyang Halla (2-0), Korea U (1-1), Kyunghee U (0-2)

    Semifinals:

    11.6 14:30 High1 – Korea U / 17:30 Anyang Halla – Yonsei U

    Finals is on the next day.

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

    Sadaharu Oh by Robert Whiting

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 30日 Thursday

    A great look back on homerun king and baseball martial artist Sadaharu Oh’s 50 year pro baseball career by renowned English language writer of Japanese baseball, Robert Whiting. This is part 1.

    Joining the Yomiuri Giants in 1959, he was adjudged to have lost the pop on his fastball and converted to first base to take advantage of his natural power at bat. However, Oh experienced a lengthy period of adjustment because of a serious hitch in his swing. He went hitless in his first 26 at-bats as a professional and put up mediocre statistics during his first three years.

    In 1961, for example, he could hit but 13 home runs with a .253 batting average. Said Hiroshi Gondo of the Chunichi Dragons, a 30-game winner that year, “Frankly, it was easy to get him out. He could not hit a fastball. You could just blow it by him.”

    To overcome Oh’s defect, the Giants hired a batting coach named Hiroshi Arakawa, who was also a martial arts sensei. From January 1962, the portly, moon-faced Arakawa began working with Oh every morning at his aikido dojo and devised a most unusual remedy.

    “Oh’s problem,” said Arakawa, “was a tendency to stride too soon and open up his body. I devised a one-legged stance to focus his center of gravity on a smaller area. I got the idea from watching batters like Kaoru Betto of the Hanshin Tigers, who also lifted his foot somewhat before swinging. But I made Oh lift his leg higher, to waist level, and stand there like a flamingo as he waited for the ball.

    “At first, Oh found it very difficult to do. We practiced and practiced and he slowly got better, but he was afraid to use it in a game for a long time.”

    But then came the time he had to try — a rain-soaked game versus the Taiyo Whales at Kawasaki Stadium on July 1, 1962. The Giants had been in a slump. The team had lost six games in a row and fallen back in the standings. Many were blaming it on Oh, who was hitting .250 with nine home runs and had killed many rallies by striking out.

    The name “Oh” meant “king” in Japanese and the sports dailies had begun to derogate Oh by labeling him the “Sanshin Oh” or “Strikeout King.”

    Giants manager Tetsuji Kawakami despaired Oh would ever step up to the next level. In desperation, he decided the moment had come to try his new stance in a game. He stepped into the batter’s box against Whales wiry right-hander Makoto Inagawa for his first at-bat, raised his right knee as high as he could, and stood there, waiting.

    Out on the mound Inagawa thought to himself, “What the hell? He’ll never hit me with that stance.”

    Inagawa wound up and fired a fastball, which Oh promptly lined into right field. Arakawa watched from the sidelines like a proud father. In his second at-bat, Oh slammed an Inagawa fastball into the right-field stands.

    Arakawa leaped to his feet cheering. Oh finished the night with three hits and a beaming Arakawa told him afterward, “That’s it. You’ve got it. You’ll never go back now.”

    Indeed, from then on, Oh was off and running. Using his bizarre new stance, Oh hit 10 homers in July, and 20 more after that, finishing with 38 to win the Central League home run crown. 

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

    All-Korea Championships after Day 2

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 30日 Thursday

    63rd All-Korea Ice Hockey Championships

    Day 1 (10/28)

    14:30 Hanyang U 0 (0-2, 0-2, 0-0) 4 High1

    17:30 Kyunghee U 2 (1-0, 1-3, 0-4) 7 Anyang Halla

    Kyunghee took the lead in the 13th minute, held onto it to the end of the period. Then after having the game tied up at 27:43, they came right back to retake the lead at 28:59, but then just got pummelled by the pro side Halla.

    Day 2 (10/29)

    14:30 Yonsei U 7 (3-0, 2-1, 2-0) 1 Hanyang U

    17:30 Korea U 4 (1-0, 1-0, 2-0) 0 Kyunghee U
    Standings after Day 2
    Group A: Yonsei U (1-0), High1 (1-0), Hanyang U (0-2)
    Group B: Anyang Halla (1-0), Korea U (1-0), Kyunghee U (0-2)
    Although the schedule is unfavourable, it’ll be interesting to see how the stronger university teams, Yonsei U and Korea U do against the pro clubs on the 3rd and final day of group play today.

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

    ひかりTV、AL配信プレビュー

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 30日 Thursday

    めでたく、光回線インターネットのひかりTVがアジアリーグの試合の中継を配信する事になりました。

    新サービスに先駆けて、10/5の西武-ハルラの試合の良質ダイジェストがアップされています。

    メディアの露出が増える事はとても良い事です。でもひかりTVってどれくらい普及するんだろ?

    Posted in 01_日本語, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Hikari TV to broadcast AL games

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 30日 Thursday

    Hikari TV (a fibreoptic internet TV service) will start broadcasting AL games. As a preview of the service, they have a nice stream of the Seibu-Halla game highlights from 5 Oct 2008.

    This is good news as any additional exposure is good for the fledgling league.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Olympic qualifier Japan national teams announced

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 27日 Monday

    Japan Ice Hockey Federation has announced the national teams for the upcoming Vancouver Olympics qualifying tournament on 6-9 November. The men’s team will train in Germany from 29 Oct, and will enter Poland on 3 Nov for the tournament against Great Britain, Romania, and the hosts Poland. The women’s team will play in Shanghai against Norway, the Czech Republic, and China.

    Men’s team.

    Goalies:

    Masahito Haruna (35) Oji Eagles

    Hisashi Ishikawa (27) Nippon Paper Cranes

    Naoya Kikuchi (33) Seibu Prince Rabbits

     

    Defencemen:

    Jun Tonosaki (24) Cranes

    Fumitaka Miyauchi (35) Seibu

    Hideyuki Osawa (29) Cranes

    Ryuichi Kawai (24) Seibu

    Ryota Minami (22) Oji

    Takafumi Yamashita (20) Oji

    Aaron Keller (33) Oji

     

     

    Forwards:

    Katsuya Ogawa (23) Oji

    Masato Domeki (24) Oji

    Yosuke Kon (30) Seibu

    Toru Kamino (29) Seibu

    Masafumi Ogawa (24) Oji

    Go Tanaka (24) Seibu

    Daisuke Obara (27) Seibu

    Takahito Suzuki (33) Seibu

    Takeshi Saito (27) Oji

    Darcy Mitani (34) Cranes

    Kei Tonosaki (26) Oji

    Tetsuya Saito (24) Oji

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, Japan, olympics, press releases | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

    63rd All-Korea Ice Hockey Championship schedule

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 23日 Thursday

    63rd All-Korea Ice Hockey Championship
    Dates: 2008.10.28 (Tu) ~ 11.7 (Fr)
    Location: Mokdong Ice Arena, Seoul
    Participating teams
    Group A: High1, Yonsei University, Hanyang University
    Group B: Anyang Halla, Korea University, Kyunghee University
    Schedule:
    10.28(Tu) 14:30 Hanyang U – High1 / 17:30 Kyunghee U – Anyang Halla
    10.29(We) 14:30 Yonsei U – Hanyang U / 17:30 Korea U – Kyunghee U
    10.30(Th) 14:30 High1 – Yonsei U / 17:30 Anyang Halla – Korea U
    11.6 (Th) 14:30 Semifinal A1 – B2 / 17:30 Semifinal B1 – A2
    11.7 (Fr) 18:30 Finals
    Yonsei University played great in the preseason Anyang Cup in 2007 when they beat High1 2-1 and barely lost to Seibu 3-4.
    Interesting scheduling note: Japanese teams are on a national break from 10.27 to 11.14 due to the national team participating in the Olympic qualifier tournament in Poland. In the mean time Korean and Chinese teams trudge on with the schedule, and High1 even has a 3 game series against the Sharks in Shanghai in between the group games and the final tournament of the All-Korea tournament.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, Japan, olympics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Akinori Iwamura 2008 spring training quotes

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 23日 Thursday

    I had read about improvements in the Rays team heading into the 2008 season, but didn’t believe they’d be this good going from finishing last almost every season to suddenly winning the toughest division in baseball, AL East, and winning the ALCS (by defeating defending WS champs the Boston Red Sox) to reach the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

    When I initially read these Akinori Iwamura (converted from 3B to 2B for the 2008 season) quotes during spring training, I thought it was typical athlete optimism mixed in with a media face, but Iwamura turned out to be right.

    「オフの間もチームが本腰を入れて補強に入ったなと感じた。(キャンプ)初日に集まった時に、選手だけでなくスタッフの顔色も違うという感覚があった。投打が噛み合えば面白いチームになると思うし、ヤンキースとかを本気で倒しにいけるんじゃないかな。ここまでこのチームに興奮しっぱなしです」

    “The team was really dedicated during the offseason to strengthen the squad. When we got together in the first day (of spring training), I felt that not only were the players’ expressions different, I could also feel it from the team staff. This will be an interesting team if the pitching and hitting click together, and I think that we can really beat the Yankees and other teams. I’m really, really excited to be here.”

    「いい意味で(自分たちは強いんだと)勘違いしてもいいと思う。みんなで勝ちにいこうという姿勢は大きいし、勘違いしているうちにだんだん実力もついてくる。今年は一味違うというのを少しずつ出していかないといけないし、それをシーズン中に癖にさせるのが大事。オープン戦なんですけど、勝ち癖をつけていかないといけない」

    “I think that we are allowed to delude ourselves, in a good sense (that we are strong). It’s important that we’re all in this together to win, and mistaken confidence will lead to real strength. We have to gradually show that we’re different this year, and turn that into a good habit during the season. Even though this is still spring training, it’s important for us to get in the habit of winning.”

    Some times when athletes talk, sometimes they’re not just merely paying lip service or being a bland quote machine but instead they’re telling rather interesting nuggets of truth. Not that Iwamura called the Rays’ reaching (or winning) the World Series or anything, but I should have given his quotes more credit than I did at the beginning of the season.

    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), baseball, information, MLB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Slava Fetisov’s Asian Dreams

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 22日 Wednesday

    Straight from the horse’s mouth (from the excellent NY Times Slapshot blog): 

    Tuesday was a special day in the K.H.L. Vyacheslav Fetisov, already the Russian Minister of Sport and as of last week a senator in the upper house of the federal legislature, was elected chairman of the league board of governors. The 50-year-old ex-CSKA, U.S.S.R., Devils and Red Wings star promptlytold the K.H.L. Web site, “We should develop in the direction of the Far East, and make the league not only European but also Asian.” He said there was interest in joining the K.H.L. from businessmen in Japan, South Korea and China.

    Given the 50 percent drop over the last three months in the price of oil — the basis of the Russian economy and of the Gazprom-funded league’s wealth — K.H.L. expansion into other countries seems more and more like a pie-in-the-sky proposition. Falling oil prices and a domestic financial sector hard hit by the current credit crisis have already forced the Russian government to rethink budget and foreign policy initiatives, as the Times’Clifford J. Levy reports. Given such circumstances, does Fetisov really believe that the Continental Hockey League will soon be icing teams in Seoul and Beijing?

    He’s said this before, so I guess Slava’s really got KHL’s eyes on Asia, but chances are slim to nil for many reasons, including the ones in the blog post, but if the KHL is interested in Asia, they’re (or is it just he, as in Fetisov) more likely interested in absorbing the Asia League with existing franchises and fanbase (however small) rather than creating new franchises in the Far East. Then again with the level of play in the Asia League, the teams would get slaughtered in the KHL without heavy reinforcements, and that wouldn’t work out well in terms of fostering home grown talent and interest in the game.

    But this is most likely just old man talking crazy without having read through any reports or thought through the logistics. Asia League games draw anywhere from a few hundred spectators to a couple of thousand fans at best, far cry from attendance numbers KHL is trying to put up to compete with the NHL. Hockey just isn’t a major sport in North East Asia. (But I’d love to see something like Amur Khavarovsk’s 2nd team play in the Asia League again, that’d be neat and good for Asian hockey development.) 

    Here’s a fun old time Fetisov and Larionov photo for kicks.

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

    Alexei Cherepanov 選手

    Posted by simon c on 2008 October 21日 Tuesday

    10月13日のロシアKHL の試合で、ロシア代表とAvangard Omsk の新星スターであり、NY レンジャーズのドラフト1位選手だったAlexei Cherepanov 選手(19) が試合終了直前に、ベンチで心臓停止で倒れて帰らぬ人となってしまいました(現場での緊急医療対応不足等いろいろ問題もあったそうですが、とても残念な事です)。

    Avangard Omsk によるトリビュート・ビデオ(高画質版):

    ご冥福をお祈りします。

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