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    Posts Tagged ‘CPBL’

    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.

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

    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 »

    The Four Lions of Asia

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 October 18日 Saturday

    The possibility is remote, but it is there.

    The Four Lions Asia Series (official site – Japanese).

    Let’s take a look at the 4 leagues that participate in this Asian club baseball championship and how their Lions are faring as this post is being written.

    CBL (China)

    The Tianjin Lions have won the championship series 3-1 over the Beijing Tigers, thus being the first Lions team to clinch their spot in the 2008 Asia Series. In 2008, the CBL is being represented for the first time by a club team instead of the China Stars selects team, thus enabling the possibility of this Lions Battle Royale.  

     

    CPBL (Taiwan)

    The match fixing scandal tainted league’s 2008 regular season 1st place team is the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions. The Lions must win the upcoming Taiwan Series against the Brother Elephants – LaNew Bears (1-0 right now in the best-of-5 series) semifinal winner.

     

    KBO (Korea)

    The Samsung Lions defeated the Lotte Giants in the first round of the playoffs, and are now tied 1-1 against the Doosan Bears in the best-of-7 semifinals. The Lions must win this series first before challenging the powerful SK Wyverns in the Korea Series.

     

    NPB (Japan)

    The Saitama Seibu Lions are currently leading the Pacific League championship series (or Climax Series stage 2) by a margin of 2-0 in a best-of-7 game series with the 10-3 thrashing of the 3rd place Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters yesterday. The series can only go maximum 6 games due to the first place Lions having entered the series with a 1-0 advantage. The Lions must defeat the Darvish-armed Fighters by winning 2 of the next 5 games, then win agaist the Central League champions (reigning Japan Series champs Chunichi Dragons, slumping Hanshin Tigers, or red hot Yomiuri Giants) in the Japan Series.

     

    Now, if you’re a neutral baseball fan, or a Lions fan, or your team’s already out of the playoff picture in any of these countries, how could you not cheer for the King of the Jungle Royal Rumble Asia Series? Now seriously, it would be so much fun. Oh the possible headlines, in all these languages!  😛

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    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 »