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  • Archive for June, 2009

    MLB equivalencies for NPB players

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 30日 Tuesday

    Nothing remotely close to data crunching here, just observations over the years (so, obviously, there will be mistakes and omissions).

    The art of predicting can be tricky. Nobody knows exactly how to predict the future. I was curious how some Japanese pitchers would project to MLB so I created an index based upon past Japanese pitcher performances.


    There’s of course the big x-factor, the cultural and environmental and mental adaptation process that players crossing the Pacific (in both directions) have to endure. Some thrive (Nomo, Okajima, Saito, etc. with the latter two outperforming their NPB records), some fail (Kobayashi, Fukumori, Igawa, etc.), some fluctuate (Irabu, Matsuzaka, etc.), some thrive then fade (Sasaki, Takatsu, etc. though this might be due to more age and wear and tear) and others meander (a little early to tell but Kawakami and Uehara seem to be adapting well). I don’t think there’s a large enough sample size yet for reliable equivalencies when it comes to pitchers.

    Position players, on the other hand, are more predictable creatures, so their production are more predictable when making the NPB=>MLB move. BA/OBP drops somewhat, HR gets cut in half (and SLG drops accordingly), defence is usually above par (except whatever happened to Kaz Matsui), and many hitters change their approach at the plate (Godzilla not swinging for the fences, Iwamura exchanging power for on base ability, Little Matsui exchanging power for speed, Ichiro becoming more or less a slap hitter, etc.)


    So, predicting Darvish? Well, he pitches half his games in the most pitcher friendly park in Japan (Sapporo Dome) in front of a solid defence, so right there are strikes one and two against him if he makes the move across the pond, unless he ends up in Petco with the Pads, Safeco with the Mariners (only possibility?), or at the Coliseum with the A’s, since most modern and ancient MLB parks are of the hitter friendly variety.

    So, as the usual caveat goes, pitching is much less predictable than hitting, on a season by season basis.

    Just my rambling 2 yen late at night when I should be sleeping.


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

    Seibu Lions Classic

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 29日 Monday

    This season’s Lions Classic games have begun with Seibu wearing its home uniforms from the dynasty era. (Koji Akiyama #1 and Hisanobu Watanabe #41 flanking Kazuhiro Kiyohara #3.)


    Well, the uniform design was used until quite recently as it can be seen here with a young Daisuke Matsuzaka wearing it.


    However, the Lions were unable to replicate their success of the awesome uniforms as the team has lost its first two games wearing it against the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks managed by former Lions star Koji Akiyama. Incidentally, another former 80’s Lions star, Hisanobu Watanabe, is currently managing the Lions, so the ceremonial first pitch for Sunday’s game was old teammates Watanabe facing off against Akiyama, and Koji fouled the pitch off to the third base side.


    Saitama Seibu Lions looking great (except for the lack of stirrups and addition of the Nike logo) in losing the first two games wearing these classic uniforms 3-10 and 5-7.


    You can see the ceremonial first pitch here, Akiyama’s front foot slips but he still makes contact with NabeQ’s pitch.

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

    Bucks acquire 6 Seibu veterans

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 28日 Sunday

    The Nikko Ice Bucks of Asia League Ice Hockey has acquired six veterans from the now defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits. The new players include Japanese national team captain Takahito Suzuki, national team goalie Naoya Kikuchi, defencemen Kazuyoshi Yamaguchi, Tomohito Okubo, and Masahiro Kawamura, as well as forward Tomohiko Uchiyama.

    This basically gives the Bucks an entirely new and capable first set with a national team goalie and makes them instant playoff contenders instead of fighting to escape the cellar with the China Sharks. No word on what the new players will get paid but they are likely taking a significant pay cut as the Bucks operate at about 2-oku yen ($2m) budget while Seibu ran with about 5-oku ($5m).

    All the newcomers are 29 or older, so the Bucks will be looking for immediate results. Suzuki had received offers from other teams, but settled with the Bucks who are coached by his childhood friend and former Toyo University teammate Tadahiro Murai. Okubo and Yamaguchi had previous stints with the Bucks, four and six years ago, respectively. All but Okubo have national team experience, this instantly increases the number of national team players on the Bucks from zero to five.

    2008-09 regular season stats

    Suzuki 36GP, 16G+29A=45P (6th, 4th, and 4th in the league)

    Uchiyama 36, 7+8=15

    Okubo 36, 4+18=22 (expect this offensive defenceman to quarterback the powerplay)

    Yamaguchi 35, 1+2=3

    Kawamura 22, 4+9=13

    Kikuchi 32GP, 90.5 SV%, 2.85GAA

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    ユニクロがGAP を買収?

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 28日 Sunday

    世界最大の衣料品ブランドを目指しているユニクロの柳井会長が、低迷している米GAP の買収の可能性を否定していないそうです。

    uniqlo gap_logo

    Posted in 01_日本語, information | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Go Tanaka to Germany

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 27日 Saturday

    Japanese national team and former Seibu Prince Rabbit forward Go Tanaka has signed a one year contract with ESV Kaufbeuren (his picture’s already on the team roster page), a team that apparently just got promoted to Bundesliga 2nd division. Since this is only one level removed from the DEL, an elite European league, Tanaka figures to be closer to elite level play than Yutaka Fukufuji who has just signed to play in the Netherlands. Look for both players to represent Japan in the IIHF World Championships next year though.


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

    鈴木貴人選手がNews Zero に出演

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 27日 Saturday

    7/6(月)の日本テレビ系列のNews Zero (22:54~23:58) に元西武プリンスラビッツの鈴木貴人選手を追ったドキュメンタリ番組が放映されます。現役日本代表選手なのに、移籍先が決まってないんだよなぁ、もしかして東北フリーブレイズ?!


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

    JPN-KOR Championship to replace the Asia Series

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 26日 Friday

    An idea to replace the money losing Asia Series (since it lost its title sponsor Konami, the Series lost 2-oku yen (approx. $2m) last year, yeah small change for a Hanshin Tigers import suketto) has been floated.

    It will pit the Japan Series champions against the Korea Series champions in an one game showdown at a regional stadium in November (no dome? must be in southern Japan then).

    Japan used to host Korea in an all-star series (similar to the now defunct NPB-MLB all-star series) format back in the 90’s but it got cancelled due to lack of fan interest. But the champion clubs meeting each other in this manner will be a first.

    The problem with this newly and severely reduced format is the exclusion of Taiwan. The Uni-President 7Eleven Lions made it to the Asia Series final last year and only lost to the depleted Saitama Seibu Lions in a sayonara walkoff fashion. The Taiwanese clubs have been putting up solid efforts, so it’s a shame to lose them. Maybe once Taiwanese baseball is back in order from its current post-scandals shambles, they can host an NPB-KBO-CPBL championship, as their climate suits November ball the most.

    The one game showdown idea will be put forth in July for approval.

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


    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 26日 Friday

    二人乗り自転車(タンデムバイク)で足がけ3年かけて世界一周した夫婦のブログです(J-Wave版)。普通の旅行記とは一味も二味も違うので、なかなか読み応えあります。タンデムバイクなのに旦那さんが漕いでる負担の方が多くて奥さんが後ろの席から景色を眺めてるのは最初なんだかなぁと思ったけど、こういう関係で二人上手くやってるんですね。今日J-Wave のインタビュー聞いて知りました。


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

    福藤選手のチャリティーイベント 6/21千葉

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 15日 Monday




    「1人が社会のためにできることは小さいが、まずははじめの一歩を踏みだそうよ」という彼の思いにちなんで「Take The First Step 」と名付けたこの組織は、アイスホッケーを通して世界の子どもたちを支援するために活動してまいります。 


    「FACE OFF 2009 ~自分にできる最初の第一歩~ in千葉」 


    ①JR総武線稲毛駅(西口)5番バス停 アクアリンクちば行き終点 約18分 
    ②JR京葉線稲毛海岸駅(南口)2番バス停 アクアリンクちば行き終点 約8分 

    ① 東京方面からご利用の方は東関東自動車道、湾岸習志野ICをご利用ください。 
    ② 市原・木更津方面からご利用の方は京葉道路穴川ICをご利用ください。 
    ③ 国道14号・同357号 
    *駐車場無料 合計440台 

    ① アイスホッケーのアジアリーグや海外リーグでプレーしている現役日本人選手OB選手数名と一般から公募して集まったプレーヤーとチャリティーホッケーゲームを開催する。 
    ② チャリティーホッケーゲーム実施会場にて募金活動を実施する。 









    【持ち物】アイスホッケー防具一式、黒色か白色のユニフォーム及び練習ジャー     ジ 

    Take The First Step事務局 
    TEL: 03-3400-8305【(有)アスリートバンク内】 

    ① 住所 ② 氏名 ③ 電話番号(自宅・携帯) ④ Eメールアドレス(パソコン・携帯) ⑤ 年齢 ⑥ 性別 ⑦ アイスホッケー歴(例:5年) ⑧ 所属チーム ⑨ ポジション 


    以下の選手たちが、「Take The First Step」の活動理念に賛同し参加を決定してくれました。 

    福藤 豊(フクフジ・ユタカ(:デスティル・トラッパーズ(オランダ) 
    白鳥 洋(シラトリ・ヒロシ):日光アイスバックス 
    池田 豊(イケダ・ユタカ):元日光アイスバックス 

    大久保 智仁(オオクボ・トモヒト):元西武プリンスラビッツ 
    山口 和良(ヤマグチ・カズヨシ):元西武プリンスラビッツ 
    尾野 貴之(オノ・タカユキ):アニャン・ハルラ(韓国) 
    萩原 優吾(ハギワラ・ユウゴ):日光アイスバックス 

    田中 豪(タナカ・ゴウ):元西武プリンスラビッツ 
    増子 秀司(マスコ・シュウジ):元西武プリンスラビッツ 
    佐藤 画(サトウ・カク):チャイナ・シャークス 
    佐藤 正和(サトウ・マサカズ):チャイナ・シャークス 
    小林 弘典(コバヤシ・ヒロノリ):日光アイスバックス 
    瀬高 哲雄(セタカ・テツオ):日光アイスバックス 
    衣笠 伸正(キヌガサ・ノブマサ):元日光アイスバックス 
    *上野 拓紀(ウエノ・ヒロキ):元西武プリンスラビッツ【早稲田大学出身】 
    *河合 卓真(カワイ・タクマ):元西武プリンスラビッツ 
    【ガティーノー・オリンピック(QMJHL カナダ)出身】 




    Take The First Step (テイク・ザ・ファースト・ステップ) 
    TEL: 03-3400-8305【(有)アスリートバンク内】

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


    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 14日 Sunday


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