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    Posts Tagged ‘dodgers’

    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 »

    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 »

    Kuroda’s MLB debut

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 5日 Saturday

    For a back of the rotation guy (on an admittedly very strong rotation) Kuroda faced less pressure than many other Japanese starting pitchers faced in their major league debuts, but he came up way ahead, being super efficient with a 77 pitch 7 inning performance for his first MLB win. It’ll be interesting to see how the opponents adjust to him as the season goes along, and how Kuroda will readapt himself once opposing hitters start to target his weaknesses.

    EWC has a great wrap up on Kuroda’s debut with quotes from a variety of sources around the league. I’m coming off an all-nighter, so this is about the best I can offer for tonight. 

    Posted in baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

    Some random MLB Japan Opener traveblogues

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 3日 Thursday

    It’s always good to hear what others think about their visits to Japan and Tokyo, along with experiencing some some pro-yakyu (NPB) ball.

    Japan vet Sal Paradise sent in a report to Baseball Musings with some interesting and amusing observations:

    Despite my loud protestations (you’re cheering for the wrong team!) in Japanese, followed by angry glares from the wife, there’s no stopping the mob, so until Matsuzaka was finally yanked, there was no method to the cheering madness.

    I’m torn, really. In Japanese games between Japanese teams, there is a cheering section for each team who conduct a full brass band and sing the songs of each individual player on the team (which change every year, written by committee or somesuch). It’s a unique aspect to Japanese baseball games, but it gets tiring the 5th time that player comes up to bat. However, at least they’re cheering for the right team, and there’s no confusion.

    I think the cheer sticks were more obnoxious, but I haven’t been to a Japanese game yet this year, so it may be a case of the grass being greener…

    Japan newbie and a former Athletics Nation contributer has a good 3 part series on his Japan visit:

    A jet-lagged Stomper trudges through the infield as MLB and Tokyo Dome drones prepare the pre-game extravaganza, which had no known relation to baseball. Part of the extravaganza was a phalanx of hot girls in short, short, short hotpants, which Kevin Youkilis spent the entire show ogling while pretending to jog back and forth in front of the Sox dugout.

    Hahaha, classic!!

    Oh, and he keeps on noticing that the pitchers (Harden, Matsuzaka, and others) are throwing 2-3mph (3-5kph) slower than they usually do and gets rather worried about their conditions, but I think this is probably attributable to the difference between the radar guns in Japan and stateside. It’s a fairly well known fact here in Japan that, American guns seem to be tuned 2-3mph faster, Japanese fans have noticed that Japanese pitchers tend to gain about 3mph in their pitches when they go over to the majors, and that’s probably not just training. ESPN, I think, is especially notorious for cranking up its gun, recording some pitchers throwing over 100mph (like Zumaya).

    About Harden, because I know your heart skipped a beat when I used the words “Harden” and “troubling” in the same sentence. You went to mlb.com this morning and saw Harden’s line – 6 IP, 3 H, 9 Ks – and you figured that at least for now, all is right in Hardenland. So what’s the problem? Maybe nothing, but Rich topped out at 155 km/h on the stadium gun. That’s 96 to you and me. He only got that high once. (A first inning ball to Youkilis way up out of the strike zone.) Most of his fastballs were in the low to mid 90s, and he threw more breaking pitches than I can ever remember seeing him throw.

    I need to get my act together and post my Hanshin – Boston game review with photos and videos… soon.

    And a random note that a Dodger farmhand Frenchman is a product of the MLB European baseball academy in Italy!

    The player, Joris Bert, is one of more than 100 men in the Dodgers’ minor league system, but the only one who started playing baseball only because he missed a soccer game in Louviers. A dozen years later, Bert has found himself in the United States happily nicknamed Frenchie, with his eyes fixed on the more immediate horizon of the major leagues.

    “I’m not very good, but I know I have good potential,” said Bert, a center fielder who last June became the first Frenchman selected in the major league draft. “I don’t have enough experience in baseball to be good.”

    The Dodgers want to give it to him, and also disagree with that “not very good” assessment. They consider Bert potentially a Brett Butler-type of leadoff man, a slap hitter who forces action with his speed. Although draft picks are occasionally fanciful — spent on Heisman Trophy winners and once a general manager’s daughter — the Dodgers chose Bert in the quite legitimate 19th round.

    “This guy has tools — he was not a token selection,” said De Jon Watson, the Dodgers’ assistant general manager in charge of player development. “He has a chance to do some quality things for us.”

    Bert, 20, is the crown jewel of the European academy run by Major League Baseball in Italy. Growing up in Louviers, about 90 minutes outside Paris, Bert said he had never heard of baseball when, at age 10, he showed up late to a soccer game and saw other children playing on the next field. He gave the game a try, immediately enjoyed it and later played on a local club team in a makeshift league.

    I didn’t even know MLB had an European baseball academy, wow.

    Posted in baseball, culture, MLB, NPB, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »