Japan, Hockey, Baseball, etc.

Mostly about Asian ice hockey, Japanese baseball, other sports, and random tidbits

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    MLB equivalencies for NPB players

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 30日 Tuesday

    Nothing remotely close to data crunching here, just observations over the years (so, obviously, there will be mistakes and omissions).

    The art of predicting can be tricky. Nobody knows exactly how to predict the future. I was curious how some Japanese pitchers would project to MLB so I created an index based upon past Japanese pitcher performances.

    http://www.japanesebaseball.com/forum/thread.gsp?forum=21&thread=59243

    There’s of course the big x-factor, the cultural and environmental and mental adaptation process that players crossing the Pacific (in both directions) have to endure. Some thrive (Nomo, Okajima, Saito, etc. with the latter two outperforming their NPB records), some fail (Kobayashi, Fukumori, Igawa, etc.), some fluctuate (Irabu, Matsuzaka, etc.), some thrive then fade (Sasaki, Takatsu, etc. though this might be due to more age and wear and tear) and others meander (a little early to tell but Kawakami and Uehara seem to be adapting well). I don’t think there’s a large enough sample size yet for reliable equivalencies when it comes to pitchers.

    Position players, on the other hand, are more predictable creatures, so their production are more predictable when making the NPB=>MLB move. BA/OBP drops somewhat, HR gets cut in half (and SLG drops accordingly), defence is usually above par (except whatever happened to Kaz Matsui), and many hitters change their approach at the plate (Godzilla not swinging for the fences, Iwamura exchanging power for on base ability, Little Matsui exchanging power for speed, Ichiro becoming more or less a slap hitter, etc.)

    daru

    So, predicting Darvish? Well, he pitches half his games in the most pitcher friendly park in Japan (Sapporo Dome) in front of a solid defence, so right there are strikes one and two against him if he makes the move across the pond, unless he ends up in Petco with the Pads, Safeco with the Mariners (only possibility?), or at the Coliseum with the A’s, since most modern and ancient MLB parks are of the hitter friendly variety.

    So, as the usual caveat goes, pitching is much less predictable than hitting, on a season by season basis.

    Just my rambling 2 yen late at night when I should be sleeping.

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

    Puyo Puyo

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 December 30日 Tuesday

    A Puyo Puyo (Tetris+Dr.Mario type puzzle game) comedy sketch in Japanese, but you don’t really need to understand Japanese to enjoy the sketch.

    Posted in 02_English, culture, opinion, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Fukudome and the machine translation

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 2日 Wednesday

    Cubs biggest acquisition of the off season, Kosuke Fukudome, had a near-perfect MLB debut opening day at Wrigley Field, getting a double, a single, a walk, and the game tying homerun in the bottom of the 9th. But this being the Cubs, they lost game in extra innings.

    guuzen3.jpg

    In a funny case of mistranslation, it seems like someone had been handing out bilingual “IT’S GONNA HAPPEN” hand held signs to Cubs fans as part of opening day promotions (this is the 100th season since their last World Series win for the Lovable Losers, and they have a pretty good team). But the actual Japanese printed on the signs “偶然だぞ” actually means “You Were Lucky”.

    So, it’s almost ironic that Fukudome had a great night while the home fans were unintentionally telling their newest import that he was just lucky. Hahaha, machine translations. That’s why us translators will still have work for the foreseeable future.

    Google Tranlsate gives “偶然だぞ” for “It’s gonna happen” and I guess that’s what the person used without checking it first with any number of Japanese speakers in Chicago. It’s on par with various Engrish found around Asia and misused Chinese characters in the West. It’s at least kinda funny though.

    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), baseball, culture, information, MLB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Fukufuji in a goalie fight!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 January 10日 Thursday

    Former Asia Leaguer with Kokudo, and the first Japanese born and trained NHL player (though he was called up by the Kings last season because LaBarbera who dominated the AHL would not have cleared waivers under the new CBA when getting called back up) Yutaka Fukufuji got into a goalie fight (probably had no choice what with everyone on the ice going at it) in an ECHL game where he plays for the Bakersfield Condors. He seemed to have fared poorly, not being used to hockey fights at all. But upon closer inspection, he does land the final right and takes down the other goalie. He also hams it up for the crowd for good measure 🙂
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cWFmiu0fKk

    Yutaka Fukufuji in a Kings game last season

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, NHL, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Smile (a Japanese Mighty Ducks movie?)

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 January 8日 Tuesday

    This is basically the Japanese version of Mighty Ducks, without the big corporate backing, as this was a personal pet project of the director Jinnai who fell in love with hockey when he became a hockey dad. It’s amazing that that the project got the go ahead at all, as hockey has been used in major Japanese dramas and movies only once within the last 10 years (weekly TV drama “Pride” with heart throb Kimura Takuya of SMAP who looked like bambi on skates in the starring role.)

    The acting is typical for Japanese dramas and movies that don’t make it overseas (ie. cheesy overacting that seem to mimic manga and anime). But there’s enough entertainment packed into the movie and it’s fairly well edited, so it feels shorter than the actual nearly 2 hour running time. Oh yeah, and one of my new favourite geinoujin (TV personality/actor) Kato Rosa’s in it 🙂
    http://go-smilers.jp/index.html

    One scene in the movie

    Posted in 02_English, culture, hockey, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »