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    Posts Tagged ‘International’

    Korea 9 – 0 Taiwan

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 7日 Saturday

    The non-story in the WBC today was Korea thrashing Taiwan 9-0. Well, the Taiwanese starter could not find the strike zone. Taiwan starter C. Lee had one of the wildest outings I’ve ever seen with a 0.1IP 2H 6ER 3BB 1HBP 1GrandSlam (and he seemed to only hit the strike zone about 10-20% of the time).

    Game 2 of the Asia Round determines the winners and losers brackets. Saturday, Japan will face Korea in the nightcap in the Japan/East Sea rivalry and depleted Taiwan will attempt to avenge their Beijing Olympics loss to China in the day game in the battle of the Taiwan strait. 

    The announced crowd was a little north of 12,000, I should’ve set the over/under at 15,000 instead of 20,000, but I got it right nonetheless  😛

    Both the Korean and Taiwanese crowds were small in number but pretty loud, creating decent atmosphere. Attendance for non-Japanese games seems to be better than the Asia Series. Must be the marketing and the national teams factor.

    There seemed to be a couple of nationalistic incidents where both Korean and Taiwanese fans displayed large banners and were told by security to withdraw them. The Taiwan banner (we were sitting in the Taiwan section) clearly spelled out “Taiwan” (台湾) in Chinese characters (hanzi), so this may have had something to do with the no politics in the WBC policy.

    Photos after this break:

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, olympics, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    WBC2009 強化試合日程

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 December 9日 Tuesday

    WBC2009の強化試合の日程が続々と発表されているようです。

    2月末-3月初旬(東京ドーム)

    Japan vs Yomiuri Giants
    S. Korea vs Yomiuri Giants
    Taiwan vs Yomiuri Giants
    China vs Yomiuri Giants

    3/3
    Dominican Republic vs. Florida Marlins
    Panama vs. Atlanta Braves
    Canada vs. Toronto Blue Jays
    United States vs. New York Yankees
    Puerto Rico vs. Minnesota Twins
    Italy vs Washington Nationals
    Venezuela vs Detroit Tigers

    3/4
    Italy vs. Florida Marlins
    未定 vs. Seattle Mariners
    未定 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
    Dominican Republic vs. Baltimore Orioles
    United States vs. Toronto Blue Jays
    Puerto Rico vs. Tampa Bay Rays
    Panama vs Detroit Tigers

    3/5
    未定 vs. St. Louis Cardinals
    未定 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
    未定 vs. Texas Rangers
    未定 vs. Oakland Athletics
    Australia vs. Milwaukee Brewers
    Canada vs. New York Yankees
    Puerto Rico vs. Boston Red Sox
    Venezuela vs. Atlanta Braves
    オランダ vs. Minnesota Twins

    3/6
    Australia vs. Chicago White Sox

    3/11
    未定 vs. San Francisco Giants

    3/12
    未定 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
    未定 vs. Chicago Cubs

    日程未定
    オランダ vs Pittsburgh Pirates

    未定
    Venezuela vs 中米球団 
    Foro Sol にてメキシコダービーの可能性有

    開催国だからか、前回チャンピオンだからか、日本はまず中国と当たって確実に1勝できる有利なスケジュールが組まれていますね。あとは韓国か台湾に勝てば、第2ラウンドへ進出できます。

    37127145_250

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

    2008 Asia Series

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 13日 Thursday

    The 2008 Asia Series has opened with an upset resembling the Beijing Olympics as the Uni-Presidents Lions of Taiwan (CPBL) lost 3-4 to the Tianjin Lions of China (CBA). The nightcap features the third Lions team in the NPB champs Saitama Seibu Lions hosting the powerful KBO champs SK Wyverns (who defeated Chunichi Dragons once in the previous edition of this championship). (Correction: Uni-President won the game 7-4 on a 3 run walkoff “sayonara” homerun, the official Asia Series site update puts a 0 in the scoreboard while the inning is still in progress, hence my mistake.)

    The Asia Series narrowly missed out on being a Four Lions affair, as the Korean Samsung Lions bowed out in the Korean postseason semifinals, ah well. It’ll be good to see the full squad of the SK Wyverns, they could very well take this tournament as the Saitama Seibu Lions are missing half the key players from the regular season and postseason due to contract obligations (import outfielder Hiram Bocachica and closer Alex Graman), injuries (shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, catcher Toru Hosokawa, outfielder GG Sato, and first baseman Craig Brazell), and veteran non-participations (starting pitchers Kazuhisa Ishii and Fumiya). Seibu may even drop a game against the Chinese or Taiwanese Lions.

    Anyways, with the total lack of coverage and promotion for this event, it makes you wonder whether the NPB brass are trying to kill the series. Japan is in much the similar situation with the Asia Series as the US is in with the WBC. Nothing to gain and everything to lose. But both events are useful tools for international baseball promotion and NPB and MLB should really get behind these events.

    There’s the issue of playing baseball in mid-November, but this is because the Japan Series is now played in early November due to the Climax Series playoffs implemented in both leagues. But with a 6 games a week schedule, I don’t see why NPB can’t reschedule make up games for rained out games on many of these days off instead of dragging the season on with meaningless make up games right through October. There’s something with Japanese labour law that requires employees not to be working for so many consecutive days, so maybe that is the cause…

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

    Japan v Cuba impressions and Olympic baseball

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 August 14日 Thursday

    Olympic baseball has started. Canada trounced hosts China 10-0 (Canada has both Tim Burton and Stubby Clapp on its roster, how awesome is that!?… namewise), Taiwan breezed by the Netherlands 5-0, and Korea came from behind in the bottom of the 9th and scored 2 runs to win dramatically against the US 8-7 after allowing 3 runs in the top of the frame (EWC’s take on the game). That must’ve been one dramatic game. (Game results and rosters for all games.)

    Japan lost to Cuba 2-4 (boxscore, many photos of Darvish looking displeased with himself here). Some impressions:

    • Cuban batters’ control of the strike zone was impeccable, they were exactly the same as Puerto Rican umpire’s zone, coincidentally or not. The batters hardly swung at balls out of the zone, except for one batter trying to hit a sacrifice fly against Naruse. They made the Japanese pitchers throw A LOT of pitches. We’ll see if they’ll take the same approach to other teams (well, I won’t really be able to see them again until the medal rounds, probably).
    • Darvish was far from his sharp self. He had good stuff at times, but his command was often off, leaving pitches hanging down the middle of the plate and the Cubans didn’t miss many of these, or completely missing the zone, seemed to be having a little problem with the game ball that other pitchers in the game seemed to be ok with. Reminded me of this season’s Matsuzaka, getting out of jam after jam, though he was charged with 4 runs in 4 innings and credited with the loss.
    • Darvish was mercifully replaced in the 5th after he had thrown more than 100 pitches. Since he’s likely to pitch on 4 days rest against Canada on 18 Aug, and he was struggling, this was probably the right move.
    • Naruse promptly let in the 2 runners he inherited from Darvish, but then managed to hold his own.
    • Tanaka “Ma-kun” was pretty impressive, able to get strike outs when needed as he struck out the side in the 7th.
    • Japanese bullpen ace Kyuji Fujikawa put down the Cubans in order in his inning of work, but the balls were hard hit and he was lucky to escape unscathed, not dominant at all like he is in NPB.
    • Young OF Alexei Bell was impressive with a couple of extra base hits.
    • Strike zone seemed both narrow and thin, with some inconsistent calls. Guess we’ll see how the rest of the umpires are.
    • Long time closer 99 Lazo’s alive and well (35 year old is in his 4th Olympics). He doesn’t have dominating stuff anymore, but his pitches seem to have late movement, as there were lots of pop ups and fly outs by Japanese hitters against him in his 3 innings of work to save the game.
    • Injured SS Kawasaki had hits in all 3 of his plate appearances despite a visible limp. Perhaps it ironically helped him by changing his weight shift during his swing(?) He should be rested, as Japan’s full of shortstops anyways, and having an player with range limiting injury in the most important defensive position is not advisable. He was replaced by the Lions Nakajima as a pinch runner in the 7th after his third hit. Though Nakajima’s got rather poor range to be the starting shortstop. Morino at second and Nishioka at short might be ideal under current conditions. (Or Araki at second for a defensive configuration, but he’ll be a blackhole in the lineup.)
    • Guess red hot Lions and late additions to the roster OF G.G. Sato and SS/3B Nakajima are going to be platooned against left handed pitchers, otherwise why were they brough along to Beijing.. only to be used when some “trusted” players are in an obvious slump? I say, replace DH Abe with one of these guys, at least. But Hoshino is loyal, this trait better not be too costly.
    • Japan was unable to get an extra base hit when in need, and grounded into lots of double plays into the hands of slick Cuban middle infielders.
    • Veteran Cubans were very wily, often disrupting the rhythm of the game with unnecessarily stepping out of the box, taking extra long between pitches, and taking their time putting on body armour, and generally delaying the game (this is nothing new for them). This seemed to have distracted the younger Japanese team who are coddled mainly with domestic competition.
    • Manager Senichi Hoshino almost got ejected from the game for disputing a Satozaki check swing (didn’t look like the bat went around). But he has to realize that only in NPB can managers really get in the face of umps and pressure them psychologically. (Japanese umps don’t have the same authority that American (and international?) umps seem to have.)
    • Cuba looks like a lock for the playoffs, so Japan, Korea, USA, Taiwan, and Canada should be battling out for the other 3 playoff positions, with Taiwan and Canada being underdogs, but they can upset any of the top teams on any given day.
    • Tomorrow (14 Aug, Day 2), Americans will breeze breeze by the Dutch, Korea will pummel China, Taiwan has a legitimate chance against Japan but they are looking to avenge today’s loss, and Cuba looks too strong for Canada.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, information, NPB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    French Baseball

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 May 17日 Saturday

    An interesting article about a minor sport in a major country, baseball in France. It kinda mirrors ice hockey in Japan where the sport’s development was largely driven by one man (now jailed Tsutsumi who supported the sport nationally through the Seibu-Kokudo group companies, otherwise hockey would’ve been still confined in Hokkaido which is very Canadian in climate). (Via Dodger Thoughts)

    Completed in 1995, practically in the center of town, the field was the country’s first artificial turf park and instantly became coveted by baseball clubs everywhere. It also was used for national championships and international competitions between high schools from all over Europe, and for soccer and other sports by local schools. Over the years it also helped increase, if only slightly, local interest in baseball and inspired legends such as Frederic Hanvi. 

    Hanvi started playing in Montigny when he was 6, and last year as an 18-year-old became the second Frenchman selected in a Major League Baseball draft after he was recruited as a catcher (called a “receiver” here) by the Minnesota Twins. (The first was Joris Bert, an outfielder drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and now with one of their minor league teams.)

    Christophe Herard, president of the Montigny baseball club, talks proudly about Hanvi, noting that his parents and friends eagerly watch his career. He is finishing school in France before he heads off in June for training in Florida. 

    “The [American recruiters] were placing a kind of bet on him,” Herard says. “The road is still very long and tough . . . but we are going to follow him in Montigny.” 

    But baseball remains a marginal sport in Montigny. Last year the town’s gymnastics club was the most popular, with 1,100 members, followed by soccer with 850. With just 160 members, the Montigny baseball club may be one of the largest in France, but it’s still smaller here than fishing and badminton.

    Even when the championships for the top-level teams (equivalent to Class-A baseball in the U.S.) were played in Montigny, they drew only 100 people to the 230-seat stands.

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