Posted by simon c 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: a's, athletics, baystars, canseco, ceremonial, choi hong-man, daimajin, dream, first pitch, Japan, jose, kazuhiro, mariners, mma, oakland, ped, sasaki, seattle, steroids, super hulk, yokohama | 1 Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2008 November 16日 Sunday
クローザーのヒューストン・ストリート他2人をコロラド・ロッキーズにトレードし、スター選手のマット・ホリデー外野手を獲得しました。近年のホリデーは毎年OPS .900 超えで、確実にチームの打撃力はアップします。そして、マネーボールで言っていた通り、ビーンは去年また下投げ新クローザーのブラッド・ジーグラーを一年かけて作り上げ、見事ストリートをトレードに出してスター選手を手に入れました。が、ホリデーの契約には1年しか残っていないので、シーズン中にトレードされる可能性もあり、もしそうでなくてもFAで他球団へ行けばドラフト指名権を保障として獲得できる。相変わらず抜け目の無いGM です。
Posted in 01_日本語, baseball, information, MLB, opinion | Tagged: a's, athletics, beane, billy, brad, holliday, huston, matt, oakland, street, ziegler | Leave a Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2008 July 1日 Tuesday
野球選手の宝庫ドミニカ共和国から16才Michel Inoa 投手を、ドラフトにかからない国際新人としては新記録の破格の425万ドルで契約。（日本人FA選手も新人扱いされますが、これは違いますからね…）なんと体格が既に201cmと95kg、そして95マイル（153キロ）前後の球を投げれるそうです。
今までの記録はWilly Mo Pena 選手の244万ドル、でも彼はメジャーでは控えレベルの選手にしかならなかったので、かなりのギャンブルです。でもA’s は今年一気に総年俸が安くなったから、使えるお金はあったんだね。
Posted in 01_日本語, baseball, information, MLB | Tagged: a's, athletics, アスレチックス, オークランド, ドミニカ, メジャー, 野球, inoa, oakland | Leave a Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2008 June 25日 Wednesday
One season he’s a recently converted submarine reliever for the Oakland A’s writing regular diary entries to the great A’s blog A’s Nation, giving us insight into how minor leaguers live and play, as well as how (great) baseball organizations are run from the inside.
Next season, he’s called up to the big club, and has not allowed a single run in any of his appearances since being called up at the end of May.
The man is unheralded Brad Ziegler. A’s have just successfully cloned Chad Bradford. Amazing. I’ve picked him up in both of the competitive fantasy leagues I’m in 🙂
And then there’s Brad Ziegler. He’s a side-arm reliever for the A’s, and his fastball tops out at about 86 MPH. It’s basically his only real pitch – he throws it 89% of the time, mixing in a below average slider just to keep hitters occasionally off balance. Just based on velocity, his stuff could charitably described as marginal. If he was a lefty, he’d be described as crafty, which is code for can’t-break-glass-with-his-fastball.
But what he lacks in velocity, he makes up for in movement and deception. His fastball has so much sink, in fact, that in his first 11 1/3 innings of major league pitching, he’s posting a 73.5% GB% and an 8.33 GB/FB rate. He’s faced 40 batters since the A’s brought him up from Triple-A, and a whopping three of them have managed to hit the ball in the air.
Apparently, Billy Beane missed having Chad Bradford in the bullpen, so they decided to create another one. Until 2006, Ziegler was a traditional over the top pitcher, but given his limited chances to make the majors as a “normal” pitcher, the A’s convinced him to become a side-arming reliever. It’s worked wonders, as he hasn’t given up a home run since at any level, and he’s run a GB% of 60% or higher at every stop along the way.
Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB | Tagged: a's, beane, billy, bradford, fantasy, oakland, pitcher, sidearm, submarine, ziegler | Leave a Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2008 May 27日 Tuesday
Athletics Nation posted part I of a great Billy Beane interview:
Beane: I don’t think people come out on a regular basis to see individuals. I think people come out to see a team. We have no other way to operate. We could operate where we have a whole generation of players well beyond its prime but there would be even less people here. For every one we lose because we don’t keep their favorite player, we’re going to keep two if we win. And the reverse is true. The thing that’s always been interesting about being here is that there is always excuses about why people don’t come out. The fact is that we don’t draw. The blame has always been on this thing or that thing. There is always something new. I mean we went to the ALCS in 2006 and in an era when baseball attendance was shooting up 26 percent or something, we wound up drawing less people the next year. Explain that. Over the last decade, we’ve put a pretty good product on the field. We have a group (of fans) here that’s been here since the first year we came here. The fact remains is that we’re still well behind the curve when it comes to attendance and some of it is probably the organization’s fault. Not everyone is completely blameless. You can understand that when you’re having that kind of turnover you’re going to lose some of that loyalty. Again the flip side for us, given everything that we have to balance, is that we’re going to maintain that loyalty with the hardcore people by putting the best product we can on the field and having to err on the side of making good business decisions instead of making emotional decisions. Believe me, my life would be a lot easier if we could just stamp a team down for the next six or seven seasons.
He’s still way ahead of most GMs in how he directs the franchise, always looking into the future. He probably didn’t expect the A’s current success, so that must be a nice bonus.
Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB | Tagged: a's, athletics, billy beane, GM, oakland | 1 Comment »