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  • Posts Tagged ‘2008’

    WBC uniform watch

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 3日 Friday

    I’m sure many people noticed this, but some WBC uniforms are alarmingly similar to MLB uniforms. Guess that’s template at work (and lack of creative colour schemes due to flag colours, though not every nation adheres to their flag stripes). Anyways, without further ado, here they are:

    Australia

    wbc_australia_h

    South Africa

    wbc_sa_h

    It was difficult to tell them apart on quick glance, especially since they played in the same pool in Mexico City.

    wbc_sa_v

    Oakland Athletics

    mlb_oak_h

    mlb_oak_v2

    Different font, obviously, but pretty similar otherwise.

    Canada (home)

    wbc_canada_h1

    LAnaheim Angels

    mlb_laa_h

    Canada has the faux vest thing going.

    Canada (away)

    wbc_canada_v

    Arizona Diamondbacks

    Cardinals Diamondbacks Baseball

    Reverse the font colouring, and you’re basically there.

    Dominican Republic

    wbc_dr_h

    wbc_dr_v

    Future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez pitching for his homeland, earning a job with the Mets in the process.

    Texas Rangers

    mlb_tx_h3

    mlb_tx_v

    There’s that annoying underarm panel in many WBC jerseys, and the helmet bill’s different colour, but otherwise…

    Italy

    wbc_italy_v2

    LA Dodgers

    mlb_dodg_v3

    (Immortal Manny at work)

    Obviously. Was this done because of the Piazza-Lasorda connection from the first WBC?

    Netherlands (the Cinderella!)

    wbc_ned_h

    Baltimore Orioles

    mlb_bal_h

    Cap colours need to be reversed, and MLB teams seem to be fond of cursive fonts while WBC unis tend to use block fonts.

    Now for the more far fetched connections after this jump

    Read the rest of this entry »

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

    Honkbal!!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 11日 Wednesday

    Hot on the heels of the Dutch baseball team’s second triumph over the superstar studded Dominincan Republic team in the last four days in the WBC, I’ve been busy for the last couple of hours reading the Canadutch blog by the Netherlands team pitcher and Vancouver native Leon Boyd… instead of working on my taxes. Yeah, procrastination. Anyways, an interesting behind the scenes athlete blog for those interested in baseball where its played as a minor sport, with a little Canadian flavour, and if you go back far enough the Beijing Olympics and their pre-Games preparation in Korea posts are neat too.

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

    スティーブン・ストラスバーグ

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 7日 Saturday

    今年のメジャードラフト全体指名1位(ワシントン・ナショナルズ)間違いなしで、去年の北京五輪アメリカ代表唯一のアマチュア選手だったサンディエゴ州立大学のスティーブン・ストラスバーグは、今大学シーズン3回登板しています。そして、その成績が

    20.1回 13安打 5失点 4自責点 4四球 45奪三振(!) 1本塁打 3勝0敗

    20.1IP で45/4 K/BB ですよ、天文学的にロケットでアフォな数字です。

    ただ、モーションがプライアー、スモルツ、ボンダーマン、バーネット他似だそうなので、将来怪我の心配はかなりあるそうです。

    それにしても、また楽しみな若手が出てきましたね。

    おまけに先週の試合では7回も102マイル(164キロ!)を記録してるそうです。

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

    WBC Opens

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 6日 Friday

    But Japan only beats China 4-0 (Japan Times) (box score).

    murata

    Some thoughts:

    • China’s definitely improving, their pitchers seemed much less like batting practice pitchers this time around, but their play on the field was still sloppy from time to time. Japanese baserunning was sloppy too though.
    • Darvish was pulled with less than 50 pitches so he’s eligible to pitch again in the Asia Round.. but unless he manages to gain command of some of his breaking pitches with the WBC ball, he’s not going to be too useful just with his fastball.
    • Murata bashed a homerun, and he’ll be useful in the Asia Round in the friendly confines of the Tokyo Dome, but his big swings aren’t gonna become homeruns in Petco Park and Dodger Stadium which are pitcher’s parks. Ideally I’d like to see Hara try Uchikawa at first and Ogasawara at third, but this probably won’t happen unless Murata is a total disaster, and with this homerun he’s secured third base for himself even if he’s useless once the team travels across the Pacific.
    • Nakajima and Fukudome showed great plate discipline, but they needed guys behind them to drive them in. Super free swinger Johjima also managed to draw a walk. Japan left 24(!) runners on base, so even though they had the same number of hits as the Chinese, the game wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
    • Ichiro went 0 for 5 and looked horrible at the plate. But then again he didn’t start hitting in 2006 until the games moved to the States, and he’s a notorious slow starter even in regular MLB seasons (he seems to really start hitting in June).
    • Kyuji Fujikawa closed out the game, but his fastball wasn’t up to his usual velocity. If he doesn’t gain velocity, he’ll be an easy target for the sluggers from the Americas (but not A-Rod).
    • Japan now awaits the winner of the Taiwan-Korea game tonight. Taiwan has a depleted roster with major leaguers and half the CPBL players missing (2 of 4 teams didn’t release the players). So, it should be Korea pulling through, but stranger things have happened in baseball (China pulling a fairy dust extra innings upset over Taiwan at the Beijing Olympics, for one).
    • Koreans are going to get to see WBC games on free TV thanks to a last minute deal between the rights holder and TV stations. Korea seems to take a similar approach to big ticket sporting events where multiple TV stations share broadcasting rights. This time around TV Asahi has exclusive rights for the Tokyo Round, and TBS has exclusive rights from round 2 to the finals (though pay sports channel J Sports will show all WBC games). In 2006, NTV was also in the mix, and it’s surprising that they’re not this time around considering that Yomiuri is a sponsor for the event and a group company.
    • If the over/under for tonight’s Korea-Taiwan attendance is 20,000, I’ll take under  😛

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

    Asia Series in financial trouble

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 17日 Monday

    There’s a brief article in Sankei Sports explaining how the poorly attended Asia Series (all group games drew less than 10,000 and the final less than 20,000, had a popular NPB team made it to the Series, attendance figures would’ve been quite different) is in financial trouble, its future may be in jeopardy, and of course the current financial climate does not help. Here goes the rough translation:

    Asia Series Lack of Sponsor Means Trouble

    17 November 2008 Sankei Sports (via Yahoo news)

    The NPB commissioner Ryozo Kato commented on November 16th that he wanted the Asia Series to “continue no matter what” beyond next season, indicating the NPB’s stance on the Series’ future.

    The title sponsor the for the first 3 incarnations of the Series, Konami, withdrew their sponsorship which was a 3 year 3-oku yen (approximately $3 million) deal. There was no terrestrial television coverage of the Series either. Therefore, the 1-oku yen prize and operational costs (Ed: including airfare and accommodation for the foreign teams) were all paid for by the NPB. There are dissenting voices among the 12 NPB teams, endangering the future of the Series.

    Commissioner Kato further commented that “the Asia Series is a necessary step for Japanese teams to aim for the world in the future. I want Japan to take leadership on this issue and continue with the Series”. The future of the Series will be under discussion within the executive committee, where issues such as finding new sponsors and decreasing the prize money will be raised.

    Original article (Japanese) preserved 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, NPB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    2008 Asia Series

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 13日 Thursday

    The 2008 Asia Series has opened with an upset resembling the Beijing Olympics as the Uni-Presidents Lions of Taiwan (CPBL) lost 3-4 to the Tianjin Lions of China (CBA). The nightcap features the third Lions team in the NPB champs Saitama Seibu Lions hosting the powerful KBO champs SK Wyverns (who defeated Chunichi Dragons once in the previous edition of this championship). (Correction: Uni-President won the game 7-4 on a 3 run walkoff “sayonara” homerun, the official Asia Series site update puts a 0 in the scoreboard while the inning is still in progress, hence my mistake.)

    The Asia Series narrowly missed out on being a Four Lions affair, as the Korean Samsung Lions bowed out in the Korean postseason semifinals, ah well. It’ll be good to see the full squad of the SK Wyverns, they could very well take this tournament as the Saitama Seibu Lions are missing half the key players from the regular season and postseason due to contract obligations (import outfielder Hiram Bocachica and closer Alex Graman), injuries (shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, catcher Toru Hosokawa, outfielder GG Sato, and first baseman Craig Brazell), and veteran non-participations (starting pitchers Kazuhisa Ishii and Fumiya). Seibu may even drop a game against the Chinese or Taiwanese Lions.

    Anyways, with the total lack of coverage and promotion for this event, it makes you wonder whether the NPB brass are trying to kill the series. Japan is in much the similar situation with the Asia Series as the US is in with the WBC. Nothing to gain and everything to lose. But both events are useful tools for international baseball promotion and NPB and MLB should really get behind these events.

    There’s the issue of playing baseball in mid-November, but this is because the Japan Series is now played in early November due to the Climax Series playoffs implemented in both leagues. But with a 6 games a week schedule, I don’t see why NPB can’t reschedule make up games for rained out games on many of these days off instead of dragging the season on with meaningless make up games right through October. There’s something with Japanese labour law that requires employees not to be working for so many consecutive days, so maybe that is the cause…

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

    Lions Win Lions Win!!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 10日 Monday

    The Saitama Seibu Lions are the 2008 Japanese champions having won a thrilling game 7 against archrival, and the New York Yankees of Japan, Yomiuri Giants 3-2 in the deciding game. The guys at the Tokyo Yakult Swallows blog has what I know as the fastest championship game write up

    The Lions overcame many obstacles, like missing sluggers GG Sato and Craig Brazell (well, the latter was an OBP black hole so I don’t think he was missed much) from September on, and losing the starting catcher with some pop in Toru Hosokawa and having 5 tool shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima injured in game 5 where the team outhit the Giants but were unable to come up with any clutch hits or extrabase hits (except for a late solo shot).

    Some photos and movies from game 5 at the Seibu Dome on Thursday 6 November.

    Cheering for Nakamura in a scoring opportunity:

    “We are the Lions” (the flags give a neat crowd effect when cheering):

    Reliever Chikara Onodera warming up:

    pb060584

    Dude sitting in front of us with a creative “hyaku-ju no oh” (rhymes with 100 10 0) meaning “king among beasts” Lions uni:

    pb060590

    7th inning stretch jet balloons:

    pb060594

    Game 6 swung the other way as the Giants were unable to capitalize on numerous opportunities, and Seibu in a desperate move brought in game 4 starter Takayuki Kishi on 2 days rest in the 4th inning to put out the fire. He went on, incredibly, to finish the game. It was like watching high school baseball with the ace always ready to pitch in any game. Hopefully Kishi’s arm hasn’t received any permanent damage from this, many Japanese pitchers have their careers ruined by overuse, but then again some have genetically freaky rubber arms like erstwhile Lion and current Boston Red Sox Daisuke Matsuzaka. 

    Game 7 was a thriller from start to finish, with declining veteran and long time team ace Fumiya Nishiguchi being handed the ball to start off the game. He was shaky and gave up 2 runs in 2 innings and was substituted for pinch hitter Akira Etoh. Then the Lions pitchers proceeded to shut down the powerful Giants lineup with 2 innings each from starters Kazuhisa Ishii and Hideaki Wakui, an inning from reliever Tomoki Hoshino, then 2 innings from closer Alex Graman, all perfect in relief not allowing a single runner on base.

    On the offensive side, the second pinch hitter in the game Hiram Bocachica hit a homerun to make it a 1-2 game (then he proceeded to swing for the fences on succeeding at bats being easily struck out by high fastballs out of the zone, but that’s here nor there). Then in the 8th Giants reliever Daisuke Ochi became shaky in his 2nd inning of work and hit leadoff hitter Yasuyuki Kataoka (who was delighted to be able to get on base and even clapped his hands after being hit) who promptly stole 2nd on the very next pitch, then Takumi Kuriyama bunted him over to 3rd and Nakajima drove him in with a grounder to short to tie the game. Inexplicably (but luckily for the Lions) Ochi was left in the game to walk cleanup hitters Takeya “Okawari” Nakamura and Taketoshi Goto before allowing the hit by Hiroshi Hirano to drive in the game winning run, and that’s all Seibu needed to seal the deal (though driving in Shogo Akada from 3rd with no outs in the 9th would’ve been a nice insurance).

    Kishi took home the series MVP having won 2 games. His first win was an absolutely impressive complete game shutout in game 4, then he went on to save the day in game 6 on 2 days rest.

    Anyways, congratulations Saitama Seibu Lions, you are the 2008 Japanese chamions!!

    Japan Series banner sign:

    japan_series

    Series MVP Kishi being tossed high into the air by teammates:

    doage_kishi

    More portly manager Hisanobu Watanabe’s doage:

    doage_watanabe

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

    2008 Japan Series Game 7

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 9日 Sunday

    The 2008 version of the Japan Series went the distance and game 7 will start at 18:15 JST. The Yomiuri Giants have the firepower, but misfired during game 6 where Saitama Seibu Lions pitcher Takayuki Kishi came into the game in the 4th inning on 2 days rest and managed to silence the Giants bats for the rest of the game. The lack of clutch hitting did the Lions in on game 5, so the fortunes had just reversed, karma, I suppose. The Lions are, unfortunately, rather short on arms and the all important game 7 starter is expected to be either struggling veteran Fumiya Nishiguchi (5.03ERA during regular season) or Kazuhisa Ishii who got lit up earlier in game 2. Expect to see those two pitchers and also game 1 and 5 starter Hideaki Wakui used in the game as well, the bullpen will be used only after that, the Lions Manager Watanabe just doesn’t seem to trust his relievers at this point at all (being a former star starting pitcher may have something to do with it). For those of you outside of Japan, you should be able to watch a live streaming of the game from here:

    http://www.myp2p.eu/broadcast.php?matchid=22301∂=sports

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

    Oji Eagles win 2008 Anyang Cup

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 7日 Sunday

    We’re missing results from action on 5-6 Sept, but Oji Eagles have won the 2008 Anyang Cup with their win over hosts Anyang Halla earlier today.

    Sharks kept things respectable in the 0-3 loss to the Cranes with former Dayton Bomber and Team Japan member Nishiwaki scoring one and assisting on another. Oji cruised their way to their victory over the hosts with a hat trick by Kei Tonosaki.

    9.7

    CRANES 3-0 SHARKS
    1(1P)0
    2(2P)0
    0(3P)0
    19:54(NPC) G24 A11 A7
    24:11(NPC) G11 A24 A17
    30:07(NPC) G47 A16 A14

    HALLA 4 – 7 EAGLES
    0(1P)4
    1(2P)3
    3(3P)0
    06:50(OJI) G5 A9
    10:12(OJI) G16 A6 A7
    17:15(OJI) G82 A12
    19:18(OJI) G82
    24:42(OJI) G9 A12
    26:27(OJI) G34 A7 A3
    27:45(AHL) G36 A1 A25
    32:54(OJI) G82
    48:51(AHL) G1 A25 A36
    53:04(AHL) G25
    58:52(AHL) G36 A79

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Japan’s WBC 2009 Manager

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 3日 Wednesday

    It looks like the new NPB commissioner, and former diplomat, Ryozo Kato is doing the sensible thing to avoid appointing Senichi Hoshino as the manager of Team Japan for the World Baseball Classic 2009. Hoshino failed miserably in player selection (taking along too many injured players or those having subpar seasons like Abe, and not taking players who were in top form such as Matsunaka and Iwakuma) and ingame management (unfathomable dedication to Iwase who is clearly starting his decline or having an off year, but he was used in high leverage situations, playing many players out of position, hardly using Darvish or Uehara, etc.) Hopefully this means that someone other than Hoshino will become the manager, anyone’s got to be better than him (well, maybe not Nakahata).

    From Kyodo via Japanball.com:

    ”We all agreed it is necessary to have a strong team that can
    win in the WBC,” said Kato, adding that he plans to get opinions
    from several sources in the selection process, including Softbank
    Hawks skipper Sadaharu Oh.

    There has been some talk of Senichi Hoshino leading the national
    team, but Japan finished in a disappointing fourth place with Hoshino
    at the helm at this summer’s Beijing Olympics.

    And from Yomiuri:

    “It’s important for me to seek the opinion of knowledgeable and respected people, take that into consideration and then make the decision as soon as possible,” Kato told reporters after a meeting of Nippon Professional Baseball’s board of directors.

    Japan Olympic manager Senichi Hoshino had been the front-runner for the job, but the position is now up for grabs after his team finished a disappointing fourth in Beijing.

    Oh is not in the running because of health reasons.

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