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    Archive for the ‘football’ Category

    Champions Hockey League のユニフォーム

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 4日 Thursday

    Reebok 社が欧州王者を決めるChampions Hockey League (CHL) のユニフォーム提供社と発表されました

    7ヶ国代表の14チームは、サッカー(フットボール)のチャンピオンズ・リーグみたいに、9月12日から21週間で33試合を行い覇者を決定します。

    リーボックのユニフォームを見ると、どうやらスポンサー無しで行くみたいですね。これはヨーロッパ・ホッケー界にとっては、かなり斬新なのでは?経済的にはどんな影響があるんだろう?あと、テンプレートが複数用意されてあったので、単調になりすぎず、これは良いですね。

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

    Spain still doesn’t get it

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 August 15日 Friday

    The Spanish just can’t get enough of making slanty eye gestures to show that they’re in Beijing, China! (I saw this first reported at EWC, and now on Gen’s blog.) The tennis team got into the action as well as the well publicized basketball one. Then again, open racism in Spain’s top soccer/football league La Liga seems pretty common, so something like this coming from the Spanish delegation is ugly, but not totally unexpected.

    Last season Eto’o threatened to walk off the pitch after being racially abused by fans in a match at La Romareda in Zaragoza. Real were fined after the incident.

    A number of other Liga clubs, including Atletico Madrid, Malaga, Racing Santander and Getafe, have been fined over the last two years after fans directed racist abuse at visiting players.

    Outbreaks of racist abuse have become a common occurrence in Spanish football matches in recent years, with leading clubs such as Atletico Madrid, Real Zaragoza and Getafe receiving fines because of the behaviour of some of their fans.

    National coach Luis Aragones caused an uproar in 2004 when he racially insulted Arsenal’s French international striker Thierry Henry.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, football, information, olympics, opinion, soccer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    バイエルン・ミュンヘンの新ユニフォーム発表会

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 30日 Wednesday

    ありえへん!こんなの見たことな~い。なジャンルから、ドイツの名門サッカーチームFC バイエルン・ミュンヘンの新ユニフォーム発表会からの一シーン

    常にマッチョな北米スポーツファン達からすると、唖然、絶句らしいけど、日本に住んでる自分から見ると日本のチームもどっかやりかねないなぁ、て感じ。あと、モデルはまだいいとしてあの超ドイツなカクカクダンスをなんとかすれば、意外といけるかも?w でも、これをTechno Dance と呼んじゃってるとこも北米らしいなぁww

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

    =ホッケー?

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 June 22日 Sunday

    必要以上にカフェイン摂取をして、今ロシア対オランダのユーロ準々決勝を見てるんだけど…

    ロシア顔のアスリートを見ると、どうしても勝手に脳内変換してホッケージャージと防具一式を着用、そしてスティックを持たせてしまうw

    いや、だってこういう国なんだからしょうがないw↓

    でしょ?

    Posted in 01_日本語, football, hockey, random, soccer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    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 »

    No ties in Korean baseball

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 June 17日 Tuesday

    From JoongAng Daily, KBO has virtually eliminated tied games starting this season, unlike Japan’s NPB where ties aren’t uncommon.

    Last Thursday, the Woori Heroes edged out the Kia Tigers 2-1 in the bottom of the 14th inning. The game began at 6:32 p.m. and ended at 12:49 a.m. 

    With a 55-minute rain delay in between, the official elapsed time was five hours and 22 minutes. It was the first KBO game ever to end after midnight and the longest game of this season by nine minutes. There were close to 7,000 fans on hand at the beginning of the game at Mokdong Stadium in western Seoul but fewer than 1,000 stayed on until Kang Jung-ho’s walk-off single in the 14th. 

    Starting this season, the KBO abolished the tying rule, whereby a tie would be called after 12 innings in the regular season and 15 innings in playoffs. Ties will still be allowed, however, if a tie game is rained out after five innings or if teams are tied after nine innings of the first game of a double header.

    Hmm.. I’ve of two minds about ties. On one hand, the baseball (and North American sports) tradition of playing endless extra innings (and overtime) until a winner is decided is charming (maybe not quite the right word  😛  ) 

    But the obsession with eliminating ties brought in the stupid shootout in the NHL. Are ties that evil? Of course, with the NHL, you can’t have the playoff style endless overtime during the regular season because the sport is so taxing on the body, but really, what’s wrong with a draw at the end of hockey or football (soccer or gridiron) matches? (Basketball is a high enough scoring sport that it’s easy to break ties in overtime.)

    So, we return to baseball in Asia. Although it’s fun to see how managers deal with never ending extra inning games, and to see the hardcore fans sticking it out, at the same time I don’t feel that ties in regular season baseball are an abomination. Maybe this is because of my exposure to non-North American sports leagues and my hatred for NHL shootouts to break up ties (Asia League Ice Hockey, thankfully, doesn’t use shootouts and accepts ties after 5 minutes of OT). There can be well fought out ties, it’s not always a matter of just settling for them.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, baseball, culture, football, hockey, information, MLB, NFL, NHL, NPB, opinion, soccer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    人間時計

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 June 8日 Sunday

    スポーツ大会の開会式とかって普段ほとんど興味無いんだけど、ユーロ2008のスイスでの開幕式に牛、雪、アルプス、スキーヤー、そして時計がたった10分の式で登場すると読んで、見てみたくなった。ようつべアリガタス。特に気に入ったのが5:15からの人間時計、最初は何してんのかと思ったよw さすが個人主義のヨーロッパ、北朝鮮のマスゲームと真逆で、結構動きがズレてたりしてるのも面白い。

    あ、もちろん大会も楽しみです…が、仕事とホッケーと野球に追われて最近サッカーには付いていけてなく、この大会の下調べも全くできてない。まあ、見れる試合は楽しもう。間違いなくチーム力の差が一番少なく、かつレベルの高いチームスポーツの大会なんで。優勝できる力を持ってるチームが予選で敗退しちゃう団体競技なんて、他には思いつかない。

    Posted in 01_日本語, culture, football, opinion, soccer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    MLB in Japan

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 June 2日 Monday

    This is not news, since the ESPN Jim Caple story was posted a few days ago (following his great piece on Yu Darvish), EWC covered it, and Michael Westbay of Japanese Baseball had a conversation about it a few weeks ago with Jim Allen and Robert Whiting, both extremely knowledgeable veterans covering Japanese baseball (would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall there).

    All the ideas that are bandied about are still pure speculation, but it’s interesting that the ideas of MLB putting team(s) in Japan or MLB absorbing NPB have gained more traction with the coming of the new NPB commissioner Ryozo Kato who is a former diplomat to the US, and absolutely loves MLB. The thought of him being a great improvement over bumbling Negoro was my initial reaction, but Kato’s US ties does bring up interesting MLB possibilities.

    Caple’s comparisons with the Dodgers and Giants moving to the west coast is interesting. Having Yomiuri (who, let by grumpy old former “owner” Watanabe, threaten to leave NPB to form their own league from time to time) and Hanshin (the 2 reliably profitable NPB teams with some financial clout), and maybe 1-2 teams from Korea and Taiwan who are similarly financially stable form the “Asia Division” of MLB might be an interesting and possibly feasible idea that hasn’t been mentioned yet. Yomiuri Newspaper did sponsor the MLB season opener which clashed with the Pacific League season which had already opened, so there’s another jab.

    Then again, neither the owners or players in the States will ever let something like this happen. Jet travel has become more accessible than back when the teams relocated to SF and LA, but it hasn’t shrunken travel time across the Pacific enough to seriously merit this idea… until a new generation of supersonic airliners are developed  😛  Even then, the time difference and jet lag will be balked at, as TV money is key in the States, and major leaguers are more delicate than normal human beings who regularly cross the Pacific and go to work the next day.

    Another pie in the sky scenario that I’ve always envisioned is the Asian Baseball League. We can include all existing NPB, KBO, and CPBL teams here, that’ll be 12, 8, and 6 for a total of 26 teams. Not bad. The problem here is that NPB (and KBO and CPBL) depend on gate receipts, and the country is small enough that teams usually count on visiting fans to boost attendance (especially in the more geographically compact Central League). Then again, up in Hokkaido and down in Fukuoka, the Fighters and Hawks seem to do pretty well drawing fans despite their geographic isolation from the Japanese mainland of Honshu, but overall the economic situation of NPB teams are much unhealthier than their MLB counterparts where they work together to promote MLB as a whole instead of NPB where the owners bicker with each other and only look after their own team’s interests, but NPB teams tend to be advertising arms of corporations so being in red ink isn’t seen as being too much of a big deal (though obviously it would be better to be a profitable entity on its own, like the Giants and Tigers).

    Incidentally, I thought the more progressive Pacific League forming an Asian League with KBO and CPBL while leaving the staunch Central League in the dust would’ve been interesting, this popped up a few years ago before CL relented to interleague play. But this still faces the same attendance problem. Asia League Ice Hockey (4 teams in Japan, 2 in Korea, 1 in China) games have much lower attendance figures for international matches than domestic matches, again because of fans of the visiting teams tend not to travel overseas (even though it’s now affordable in this region). And another thought that crossed my mind was that if Yomiuri and Hanshin tried to join MLB on their own, that move sort of mirrors the Rangers and Celtic trying to join the English Premiership from their Scottish Premier League, leaving aside obvious geographical differences, this is the big fish in small pond thing, at least financially.

    Now I’m just rambling, so I’ll stop here. Nothing will change in the short term, but the increased mainstream media attention and the new NPB commissioner does bring an interesting twist to this MLB in Japan story that reanimates itself every now and then. But for Asian baseball development, an expanded Konami Cup/Asia Series or some interlocking scheduling between NPB, KBO, and CPBL would be more beneficial than MLB rolling in as an 800 pound gorilla.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, baseball, culture, football, hockey, information, MLB, NPB, opinion, soccer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Diving stars

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 28日 Monday

    Sidney Crosby, NHL’s newest superstar, is a well known diver which his opposing fans often points out, and it’s currently causing some commotions among New York Ranger fans as Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins are up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals thanks to some controversial penalty calls involving Sid the Kid.

    I used to abhor the dive, or simulation as it’s known in football, but this great article on Slate changed my mind on the matter. It’s a rather valid form of self-protection for the smaller, more skilled players in these sports. And who would you rather see on the ice or the pitch, the hulking untalented brutes, or the uberskilled superstars?

    Consider the classic matchup between a skilled dribbler and a big, tough defender. The attacker must use his quickness and wit to get by. The bigger man, though, can always resort to a “professional foul”—an intentional foul in which there is no attempt to play the ball. The defender will give away a free kick, but that will hurt only in certain parts of the field. So, what is the attacker to do? If he finds a flailing leg in his way, he can do nothing except barge right into it. And maybe writhe around on the ground for a bit, encouraging the referee to hand out a card, thus discouraging the brutish defender from trying such rough tactics in the future.

    Far from being a sign of corruption, diving is, in certain ways, a civilizing influence. Divers are usually quicker, smaller players. As athletes get bigger and stronger, the little guy gets nudged aside. If professional fouls and brute force reign supreme, creative play and joyful improvisation will suffer.

    There is nothing more depressing than a player who goes to the ground when he might have scored. Ronaldinho and Thierry Henry, arguably the world’s best players, will stay on their feet at all cost for the sake of a beautiful pass or a brilliant run at the goal. But the next time you see an artful dribbler derailed by a clumsy oaf, take a minute to think about whose side you’re on. Doesn’t the dribbler deserve a somersault or two to remind the world that the only way to stop him is through violent and graceless means?

     

     

    Posted in 02_English, culture, football, hockey, information, International, NHL, opinion, soccer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    レゴ建築

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 6日 Sunday

    これは凄い!

    レゴで忠実に再現されたサッカー場。

    共に2006年ドイツワールドカップで使用された、Kaiserslautern Stadion 

    Allianz Arenaのレゴ模型

     

    Posted in 01_日本語, culture, football, random, soccer, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »