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  • Posts Tagged ‘homerun’

    2009, Homerun Heaven?

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 18日 Saturday

    It seems like we’ve seen a lot of homeruns so far in the 2009 NPB season what with all the 3 homer games (with Kanemoto doing it twice in 3 days!). Is the ball livelier this season? And if so why would Japanese baseball go in the opposite direction from international standards?

    Anyways, it’s still early going, but I compared the number of homeruns with last year’s figure and here’s what I got (before today’s games).

    CL 2009: 37 Games 71 HR = 1.92 HR/G

    PL 2009: 37 Games 69 HR = 1.86 HR/G

    CL 2008: 1.69 HR/G

    PL 2008: 1.74 HR/G

    So, CL has seen a whopping 14% increase in homeruns (with the bigger park in Hiroshima to boot!), and PL has seen a 7% increase. 37 games is still too small a sample size, so we may see the homerun rates regress to 2008 levels, but we are definitely seeing more homeruns in early 2009. Are teams ordering more tightly wound balls? Who knows. It’s interesting that more homers were hit in the bigger PL parks last season than the CL with a couple of bandboxes (Hiroshima, Yokohama) and a homer friendly Tokyo Dome. This probably needs deeper digging before making any conclusions.

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

    ジョシュ・ハミルトンのHRダービー

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 15日 Tuesday

    メジャーのオールスター・ゲームの前日に行われるホームラン競争での出来事。

    薬物・アルコール中毒から3年間のブランクを空けてカムバックを成功させたテキサス・レンジャーズのジョシュ・ハミルトン選手、なんとオールスター休憩の時点でもう95打点。

    そしてバッティングピッチャーを務めたのが彼の高校の恩師であり71歳のClay Counsil氏。ヤンキースタジアムには生涯に一度しか訪れていた事は無かったが、その日はなんとドン・ラーセンがワールドシリーズで唯一の完璧試合をブルックリン・ドジャース相手に投げた1956年10月8日。野球って面白いですねー。

    肝心のHRダービーは特に8アウトからの連発(しかも外野観客席上段に軽々と放り込んでる!)でニューヨークのファンも凄く熱気的になっているこの映像に注目!ちなみに1ラウンドでの28本は、ボビー・アブレイユの24本を抜いて新記録。でも、何が凄いかっていうと、とにかくハミルトンの打球の飛距離とキレイなフォーム。あと、レフトとライトスタンドの前の席に新しい席を追加したみたいだけど、あれはダービー用だったのかな?それもHRとしてカウントしてたけどw

    普段はHRダービーやオールスターにほとんど興味の無い自分ですが、ヤンキースタジアム最終年のこれにはさすがに鳥肌が立ちました。

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

    Ichiro in the homerun derby?

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 10日 Thursday

    EDIT2: Now Sports Navi is reporting an Ichiro quote that his participation in the homerun derby is unlikely. This is a more credible source (Kyodo News) than the Sports Hochi original report who often jump the gun, and it contains an up to date Ichiro quote. He is quoted as saying his participation in the derby is “tabun nai” (多分ない) meaning “unlikely”. 2 out of the 4 HR derby spots are still unfilled for the AL, which spawned this rumour. The man makes news without doing anything.

    EDIT: Looks like this might’ve been the creative works of Sports Hochi paper’s writer. We’ll see, but no other source is reporting this story, so it seems unlikely, I’ll reprint the original Japanese article below, just for record keeping.

    The greatest batting practice slugger in the majors (by many eye witness accounts both on and off the field) has reportedly entered this year’s homerun derby which will take place on the 14th, the day before the All Star Game (which counts for World Series home field advantage! But is still lame nonetheless). Anyways, the slugger is of course Ichiro Suzuki. Yes, the slap happy 200+ hits per year hitter who has all of 70 HRs in 1208 career games, and only 3 so far in 90 games this season. Then again, Ichiro himself claims that he can hit 40 homers per season, if him and the team don’t mind that he hits for .220 average. He has steadfastly refused to enter the homerun derby (for fear of messing up his swing mechanics, etc.) but has made an exception this year, probably due to the combination of this being the Yankee Stadium’s final year, his appreciation of NYC fans, and the Mariners absolutely sucking so this is the least he can do to please baseball fans.

    Despite his batting practice heroics, he hasn’t fared well in his past 3 appearances in NPB homerun derbies. In 1995 he did alright, hitting 4 homeruns in 10 swings as a PL representative. In 1997 he only hit 1 homerun in 5 swings, and 1999 was the same result as he lost to Roberto Petagine in a mono a mono homerun derby with Petagine hitting 3 in 5 swings. (Japanese homerun derbies have predetermined number of swings, where as in MLB homerun derbies players keep on hitting until they hit into predetermined number of “outs”).

    This will be the most interesting part of the All Star festivities (including the game) for me to see whether Ichiro can live up to his often cocksure approach and hopefully we’ll finally get to see his batting practice slugging glory on a big stage with the world watching, well I guess there might be something about it being Yankee Stadium’s last year or something…

    Read the rest of this entry »

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

    Oh Day

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 6日 Tuesday

    The living legend and current Fukuoka Softbank Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh gets featured in two prominent American publications.

    SI is doing the best baseball players per number, and they chose Oh over the Wizard of Oz for No.1.

    Oh, baby, was he good. In 22 seasons as the Yomiuri Giants’ first baseman, Oh hit 868 home runs, 106 more than Barry Bonds. He led the Japan League in home runs 15 times.

    Runner-up: Ozzie Smith

    And the New York Times also has an interview piece with Oh where he instinctively calculates/makes sabermetrically correct translation of his power numbers had he played in the majors, interesting.

    “It’s not that we haven’t shown our power yet, we simply don’t have it yet,” Oh said. “When I watch the home run derby at the M.L.B. All-Star Game, I can’t believe the way they launch the ball out of the park like a tee shot in golf. Japanese don’t have the power to do that. Diet has a lot to do with it, but that’s changing.”

    Although Oh hit more home runs than Barry Bonds, the major league career leader with 762, Oh said he did not do so with power.

    “I had strong legs that would have made me a good sumo wrestler and I used that to my advantage, but my home runs were achieved by technique,” Oh said. “I competed well with the Americans in those good-will-type exhibition games they used to bring here with M.L.B. all-stars, and I always thought if I had a chance to go to America, I could probably hit close to 30 home runs in a season. But again, it would have been with technique.”

    As a player, Oh could compute his batting average as he sprinted toward first base. He still uses his skill with an imaginary abacus on the bench.

    “It keeps the mind sharp,” he said.

     

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

    Sports(wo)manship at its best

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 4日 Sunday

    So, this is a show of sports(wo)manship at its best. Everyone always talks about being a good sport, but this is just incredible. Congrats to the Central Washington team.

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – With two runners on base and a strike against her, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. Her first home run cleared the center-field fence.

    But it appeared to be the shortest of dreams come true when she missed first base, started back to tag it and collapsed with a knee injury.

    She crawled back to first but could do no more. The first-base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her. Or, the umpire said, a pinch runner could be called in, and the homer would count as a single.

    Then, members of the Central Washington University softball team stunned spectators by carrying Tucholsky around the bases Saturday so the three-run homer would count – an act that contributed to their own elimination from the playoffs.

    Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman, the career home run leader in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, asked the umpire if she and her teammates could help Tucholsky.

    The umpire said there was no rule against it.

    So Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace put their arms under Tucholsky’s legs, and she put her arms over their shoulders. The three headed around the base paths, stopping to let Tucholsky touch each base with her good leg.

    “The only thing I remember is that Mallory asked me which leg was the one that hurt,” Tucholsky said. “I told her it was my right leg and she said, ‘OK, we’re going to drop you down gently and you need to touch it with your left leg,’ and I said ‘OK, thank you very much.”‘

    “She said, ‘You deserve it, you hit it over the fence,’ and we all kind of just laughed.”

     

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