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    2009 All Japan Championship details

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 8日 Wednesday

    Not all of them but here they are. 

    Thu 12 Feb. Round 3
    Tomakomai-Komazawa U 7 – 1 Vanguards (Higashifushimi)
    Kansai U 3 – 0 Toyota Hokkaido Centuries (Higashifushimi)
    Waseda U 3 – 1 Hachinohe Kodai1 High School (Shin-Yokohama)
    Meiji U 6 – 1 Tomakomai City Hall (Shin-Yokohama)

    Fri 13 Feb. Quarterfinals
    Seibu Prince Rabbits 7 – 0 Tomakomai-Komazawa U (Higashifushimi)
    Kansai U 0 – 2 HC Nikko Ice Bucks (Higashifushimi)
    Oji Eagles 6 – 2 Waseda U (Shin-Yokohama)
    Meiji U 2 – 4 Nippon Paper Cranes (Shin-Yokohama)

    Sat 14 Feb. Semifinals
    Seibu Prince Rabbits 5 – 4 HC Nikko Ice Bucks (Higashifushimi)
    Oji Eagles 2 – 4 Nippon Paper Cranes (Higashifushimi)

    Sun 15 Feb. Finals/Bronze game
    Bronze: HC Nikko Ice Bucks 2 – 5 Oji Eagles (Higashifushimi)
    Finals: Seibu Prince Rabbits 6 (1-0, 2-4, 3-1) 5 Nippon Paper Cranes (Higashifushimi)


    Seibu 18:02 Ishioka
    Cranes 27:45 Haratake
    Seibu 30:33 Tanaka
    Seibu 30:43 Prpic
    Cranes 30:59 M. Ito
    Cranes 32:42 Nishiwaki
    Cranes 38:37 Iimura
    Cranes 45:49 Mitani
    Seibu 47:46 Suzuki
    Seibu 52:03 Obara
    Seibu 57:09 Prpic

    Tournament MVP: Go Tanaka F (Seibu)

    This year, all quarterfinalists who got to play the Asia League teams were university teams. On the way to the quarters, the uni teams beat a couple of senior amateur teams (Toyota and Tomakomai City Hall) and a high school team from Hachinohe! The high school team beat a Hokkaido senior amateur squad Tadano to get to the quarters, though the high schoolers were seeded above a couple of senior amateur teams. It all concluded with an exciting high scoring final that saw the teams trading leads, and Joel Prpic cashing in with the championship winner with less than 3 minutes remaining in regulation.

    Here’s the full results (the JIHF tournament page) in Japanese:

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, Japan, JIHF, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Sidearm knuckler Eri Yoshida likely to pitch on 24 Mar

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 13日 Friday

    17 year old high school student, sidearm knuckleballer, and the first female Japanese professional baseball player Eri Yoshida is likely to see her first game action in the pre-season game for her Kobe 9Cruise on the road against the Kishu Rangers at the Kimiidera Stadium in Wakayama scheduled on March 24. Manager of Kobe, Yoshihiro Nakata, had mentioned that he wanted to test Eri in a game in the latter half of March, and this recently scheduled match against Kishu fits the bill.

    He’s also declared that Eri will pitch in the season opener on the 27th, this seems kinda gimmicky but it’s the independent Kansai League’s first year, so whatever gets the press eh. The season opener will be against the Osaka Villicanes at the sure to be cavernous for indie ball Kyocera Dome (!) at 18:15.


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

    Submarine knuckleballer… and it’s a she!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 17日 Monday

    This story is full of goodies for the obscure baseball lover.

    The newly formed Kansai Independent League, which will begin play in 2009, has just held its draft. This is the 3rd independent league in Japan to start operation this decade, after the pioneering Shikoku-Kyushu Island League and the Baseball Challenge League (Hoku-Shinetsu region).



    The Kansai league features the first female owner of a pro ball club in Japan as the Kobe 9Cruise (yes, that’s the team name) is owned by Kazuyo Hirota who runs a local mineral water company. The league held an open combined tryout on 4 November, and the draft on 16 November where Kobe selected Eri Yoshida, a 16 year old high school girl who is a submarine knuckleball pitcher (got all that?), with one of its picks after they saw what they liked in the tryout. Yoshida passed the first and second tests of the tryout, then pitched an inning where she struck out the first batter on a knuckler, walked the second batter, then got the next two batters to ground out to second and pop out to short.

    She received a compliment from a former Yomiuri player and new Osaka pitching coach that her knuckler and fastball both have the same delivery. Her fastball is in the high 60s, so I assume she relies almost entirely on the knuckler. It’s reported that she’s considering transferring to a Kobe high school, and indie games tend to be played on weekends, so I guess this could somehow all work out, it’ll an interesting story to follow as Yoshida becomes the first professional female baseball player in Japan (in a men’s league, there was a women’s league for 2 brief years following the war).

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, high school, information, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

    2008.7.23 HS Baseball East Tokyo Quarterfinals

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 23日 Wednesday

    Went to see two games of high school baseball at Jingu Stadium today. They were quarterfinal games in the East Tokyo tournament (which started with 144 teams) to qualify for the Koshien summer tournament in August which crowns the national champion.

    Game 1 (9am): Kanto Daiichi 3 – 1 Nittai Ebara

    9am start time is actually necessary this time of the year (as you’ll see in the game 2 summary). Kanto wasn’t seeded in this tournament, but is one of the powerhouses nonetheless as it knocked off No.1 seed Teikyo in an earlier round (18 July). Ebara was simply overmatched, even though their submarine pitcher Ozawa valiantly kept them in the game, the lineup was no match against the two lefties thrown at them by Kanto, Ohki and Shirai as they almost evenly split the workload bringing in Shirai in the 5th inning and he simply overpowered the Ebara hitters. Thankfully, Chris of Box Office Japan showed up during the 9th inning of this game with some brew to beat the heat.

    Here’s the Ebara submariner:

    And one of Kanto’s cheering songs which for some reason is “Tequila!”  😛

    Game 2 (11:30am): Kokushikan 12 – 4 Tokyo Adachi Nitta

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, information, music, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

    NPB draft system

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 6日 Sunday

    The NPB draft system is really screwed up.


    Firstly, the high school draft and the draft for the rest of the players are held separately.


    Secondly, in both drafts, the 1st round is not a straight up waiver based on previous year’s team records. But instead, teams stake claims on certain players that they want to pick. If there are multiple teams for the same player, then their names are tossed into a box and the winner is drawn out of the hat in a true lottery style, no weighing based on season records (rather stupid, IMO).


    Thankfully, NPB abolished the right for first rounders to pick the teams they wanted to be “drafted” by, after under the table payment scandals. The Giants already have everything skewed in the leagues in their favour already. NPB really needs to adopt a straight up waiver draft (maybe with the bottom 4-6 teams in a weighed lottery) for the sake of clarity and fairness.

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

    Okinawa Shogaku wins it all!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 4日 Friday

    Okinawa Shogaku high school won the Koshien Spring Invitational Tournament with a resounding 9 – 0 thumping of Seibo high school from Saitama in the tournament’s final today. This is the school’s 2nd Spring championship, they won for the first time 9 years ago. The game even featured an inside the park homerun, so it was pretty entertaining for a blowout. shogaku1.jpgThe organizing committee chairman (or someone in a similar position) droned on in his post-tournament speech, and congratulated kids from all the participating teams on a great tournament, but chided that there were too many runners being picked off and that there were too many called third strikes. Why he’s trying to dictate the style of play, I’m not sure. And I never really listen to these speeches so I was kind of surprised about how detailed he was in his talk about the tournament, surely putting anyone below the age of 50 to sleep.Anyways, congrats Okinawa Shogaku on the 2nd championship in a decade, and good luck in the Okinawan qualifiers for the summer Koshien tournament! 

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

    Okinawan Schools at Koshien

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 3日 Thursday

    Okinawa Shogaku made it into the semifinals of the 2008 Spring Invitational Koshien High School Baseball Tournament by beating powerhouse Tenri high school from Nara in a hard fought 4-2 win in the semis, along with Himeji. And today, Chiba (having just won the first semifinal played this morning by 4-2 over Seibo of Saitama) have made their ways into the finals. Okinawa Shogaku is playing the Himeji right now in semifinal game 2 (yup, games on consecutive days, Okinawa was trying to preserve its ace Higashihama yesterday, but had to bring him in midway through the game. This is how promising kids arms get blown out at young age, but also how monster rubber arms like Matsuzaka and Kuwata emerge.)

    There’s always a special place in my heart for Okinawan schools, heck I just like Okinawa. The subtropical islands were an indepent nation for a centuries (though paying tributaries to China and later the Satsuma clan, part of Tokugawa shogunate in the Edo era) before being completely annexed by Japan shortly after the Meiji Restoration. Imperial Japan ordered mass suicides in Okinawa, after using it as a last line of defence, then gladly handed it over to the States for a few decades following the war. Its citizens have long received second class treatment by the national government, while having significant US military presence on the main island. No wonder they’d be weary of outsiders.

    Okinawans have always received the short end of the stick, typical for minority groups in most nations, and has most of the American military bases in Japan, and US bases occupy a significant chunk of the land. But at the same time, time movers slower there, like in many tropical locales, it has beautiful beaches, friendly laid back people, unique music, and tasty food. Much like Hawai’i, the islands economy relies mainly on the military presence and tourism, and some sugar canes. It has all the trappings of tropical paradise without the usual accompaniment of price gouging, shady characters, and crime (though a segment of miliatry personnel have been a constant source of problems). It’s like taking the best parts of Japan and South East Asia and putting them together.

    Anyways, that was longer than what I intended to write. I’m cheering for Okinawa Shogaku high school through the semifinals and finals (hope they make it). Anyways, another treat about the Okinawan schools at Koshien is that they have distinctively Okinawan fight songs complete with Okinawan tunes and whistling, instead of the usual stuff strutted out by the rest of the schools in the country. Watch this clip from the 2:00 mark and the 5:00 mark (from the 2006 summer tournament, amazingly a neighbour island school made it to the tournament and turned in some heroic performances).

    Another footage, amazingly this is the 1982 Okinawan high school tournament finals, someone digitized their VHS tape! The now familiar Okinawan fight songs aren’t heard here. I’m not sure if that’s special for Koshien (to show Okinawan pride) or the fact that song styles changed significantly over the past 25 years. It’s more likely the latter. I remember NPB games in the 80’s having similarly simple fight songs, they’re sometimes elaborately complex these days (too much, some would say, and many agree, as they’re difficult for new fans to learn and enjoy, which is usually the point of attending games, after all).

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, information, music, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »