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    Posted by japanstats on 2009 September 16日 Wednesday


    2009年8月16日  スポスタ  台湾出身のサウスポーチェンの物語   出演:陳偉殷  故郷の大先輩 郭源治  二軍時代の恩師 小林聖始  元同僚 樋口龍美  協力:チェンの家族   スポスタは企画自体もそうですが、編集もなんつーか面白いですね 。


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


    Posted by japanstats on 2009 July 24日 Friday



    メジャー上位はキープできてるんだけど、CT出場が合計1回、しかも初戦敗退… そろそろ引き際かな。


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

    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 »

    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 »

    Japanese baseball SI Vault

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 7日 Sunday

    More for my archival purposes than anything, the link to all Japanese baseball related Sports Illustrated articles going back to the 50’s! You can read how Japanese baseball itself and how it is viewed by Americans have gradually and significantly changed over the decades. (via Japanesebaseball.com)

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

    Canseco v Daimajin

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 May 25日 Monday

    Prior to the start of the interleague game at Yokohama between the BayStars and the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles on Sunday 24 May, infamous former slugger Jose Canseco faced off against former BayStar and Seattle Mariner closer Kazuhiro “Daimajin” Sasaki in a ceremonial “at bat”.


    Because Canseco wanted to launch a homerun into the stands at the expense of Daimajin, he repeatedly asked for “one more pitch” resulting in a 9 pitch ceremonial at bat (which is reminiscient of Tsuyoshi Shinjo’s ceremonial first at bat against Hichori Morimoto last season in Fukuoka), but the attention seeking PED whistleblower could not reach the short porch of Yokohama Stadium.


    Canseco had faced Sasaki 3 times during their MLB careers, and after the ceremonial at bat Canseco commented that “Sasaki’s fastball and forkball were just as I remembered from our playing days, I should’ve practiced more for this occasion”.

    (Canseco is in Japan to participate in his first MMA tournament (aside from celebrity boxing matches), the DREAM Super Hulk Tournament in Yokohama Arena on Tuesday 26 May, his first match will be against former MMA novice and Korean giant Choi Hong-man who stands 218cm (7’2″) tall.)

    Original Japanese article after the break

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), baseball, information, MLB, NPB | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Yakyu-Tsuku Online Review

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 May 11日 Monday

    “Pro Yakyu Team wo Tsukuro Online 2” (Yakyu-Tsuku Online) is an online NPB card collecting and simulation game by Sega. It can be played for free, but you also have an option of paying 980 yen per month in order to earn more in-game points to use and unlock some goodies such as “legend” players like Boomer Wells, Koji Yamamoto, and Taigen Kaku (sorry, no Sadaharu Oh or Shigeo Nagashima in the game). The interface is entirely in Japanese, but you probably don’t need to be a Japanese wiz to enjoy the game. There’s even a handy wiki site (Japanese, obviously) answering almost any question that arises.

    Yakyu-Tsuku Online is not an in-browser game like CSFBL, so you’ll need to download what seems to be unnecessarily heavy and glossy client program to play the game. The client allows you to manage your team, as well as watch how your team plays out its games (you can’t make any in-game managerial decisions, that’s left up to the rather stupid AI manager, but your opponents online are in the same bag).

    Here’s how the game works, more or less.

    • You’re given some random player cards to initially start the game. Each player has a “cost” that mostly matches their ability on the field. And you have a total cost (salary cap), so even if you randomly draw all these awesome player cards you can’t play them all at the same time (usually), so this actually makes the lineup decision making process more interesting, as you’re forced to decide between going with stars and scrubs or a more balanced team.
    • You get to compete against other managers of your calibre, as there are tiered leagues on each server with the competition getting tougher and total costs rising as you rise up in ranks from Beginner to Rookie to Minor to Major to Premier leagues.
    • Each player card expires after 2 cycles. Each “cycle” consists of 3 pennant races each followed by a Champions Tournament (playoffs) all topped off by a World Tournament day at the end of each cycle. Each pennant race is 10 days long with 12 games per day that are simulated from 7:30 to 24:00 every hour and a half (120 game pennant race). Top 6 teams from Rookie leagues move up to Minor leagues, top 4 teams from Minor leagues move up to the Majors with the bottom 4 dropping down to Rookie, the bottom 6 Major teams drop down to the Minors. It makes sense to save up your points by not buying player cards during the 3rd pennnant of a cycle as newly acquired player cards then will have limited shelf life.
    • In-game points are earned mostly by playing games, you earn more points by winning games, and for accomplishments like shutouts, no-hitters, homeruns, flashy defensive plays, etc. These points are then used to buy player cards, baseball card style by opening packs, among other in-game aids like “skills”, “game cards”, etc. But initially the most important thing will be to get a solid set of cards so that you can run out a good lineup and rotation no matter in what level league you’re in.
    • This guy has a very useful and concise blog entry (Japanese) about how to build a moderately successful team without spending real life yen. Emphasize the rotation as starting pitchers are the most important part of the game, and don’t skimp on defence up the middle. If you can, set up your entire starting rotation with over 70 stamina (体力) pitchers so that you won’t have to tap into the relatively weak bullpen (when total cost is low). As for “skills” purchase all the skill packs when they are for pitcher control (制球力), since D level control skills can be combined to form B level skills which are useful. 

    Enough with the game overview, here’s my thoughts after playing for about a month (1 cycle).

    • The game has been fun so far. Low cost players tend to be low profile players (except for rookies and other young guns) so I’ve gotten rather well acquainted with some players who aren’t ready for the big show in NPB yet, and this has been neat as an NPB fan (same with learning pitchers arsenals).
    • Yakyu-Tsuku is an old school baseball franchise (it’s a long running series on consoles), so you won’t be able to find OBP, SLG, K/9, K/BB, or WHIP (or even doubles!) which is kind of annoying. And player abilities are rated on factors such as “spirit” (精神力) and plate discipline is lumped together with bat control (巧打力). To the credit of the game, it does have a decent selection of sortable stats by which you can make lineup decisions. Player performances are also dependent upon “chemistry” which is enhanced if they’re from the same team, prefecture, etc. for batteries, lineup protection, etc. If you can get past all these funky old school stuff, then you can enjoy a decent baseball simulator that really pays off because of real life NPB players.
    • This is not a grass roots text based in-browser game like CSFBL, instead it’s a glossy and heavy game created by a famous publisher. This comes with the benefit of NPB licensing, but also the inflexibility of needing to download a client program to play the game. As much as I enjoyed in-browser sims like hockeyarena.net, official licensing really adds flavour to the sims. And watching your own team (you can design the team logo and uniforms, some are classy while some others are total roadkill) in 3D game sims adds to the fun as well.
    • The total cost rises by 1 every day after the final midnight sim. This means that you can be tinkering with your roster every day if you want to stay competitive. This is a great feature that keeps you logging back into the game every day.
    • The in-game stats seem to reflect real life stats fairly well although the number of strike outs seem to be on the low end, but the number of walks is not maddeningly low like it was in the initial DS version of the game that I’ve played before. 
    • I’m playing on the Foster (フォスター) server and my team’s currently in the Major league ranks, so let me know if you create a team, we can eventually play exhibition games (open-sen) against each other and may even end up in the same league! (Only teams on the same server have the possibility of playing in the same league.)

    Here’s what the game client looks like. The lineup screen of my team. (Players like Yu Darvish, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Michihiro Ogasawara each cost 10 which makes lineup juggling challenging when total cost is low if you’re lucky enough to have drawn these superstars):


    And the 3D game simulation screen (you can skip this and go straight to the box score, and you can also see a hideous uniform on display here, my team’s got a more classic look):


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


    Posted by japanstats on 2009 May 3日 Sunday




    Read the rest of this entry »

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

    BayStars games online

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 22日 Wednesday

    In addition to Yahoo! Japan broadcasting all Pacific League games online, all Yokohama BayStars home games at Yokohama Stadium have also become available online starting this season. The PL games are IP restricted, so you need to work around that if you live outside of Japan (myp2p.eu is one option), I’m not sure about the BayStars home games.

    EDIT: The BayStars online service seems to only provide video by half-inning (which is a pain) and appears to be tape delayed by 20 minutes at least. Then again, if you avoid Japanese sports news, then this might as well be live on gameday.

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