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    Japan-Korea atmosphere videos

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 13日 Friday

    The atmosphere at the Japan-Korea I went to see (Japan won 14-2 in 7 innings on the mercy rule, the first time either country’s done it to each other… of course, the Koreans came back 2 days later to shut down Japan 1-0 in its usual nail-biting fashion) was absolutely electric, probably the best sporting event atmosphere that I’ve been in.

    Here are some videos from that day (7 Mar 2009, Tokyo round of 2009 WBC).

    Taiwanese fans doing the Atlanta Braves tomohawk chop-like cheer against China in the day game.

    Ichiro’s at bats, crazy camera flashes in his first plate appearance, bunt single in his second, and crowd going crazy after his 3rd hit of the evening.

    More videos after this break.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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

    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 »

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

    WBC Opens

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 6日 Friday

    But Japan only beats China 4-0 (Japan Times) (box score).

    murata

    Some thoughts:

    • China’s definitely improving, their pitchers seemed much less like batting practice pitchers this time around, but their play on the field was still sloppy from time to time. Japanese baserunning was sloppy too though.
    • Darvish was pulled with less than 50 pitches so he’s eligible to pitch again in the Asia Round.. but unless he manages to gain command of some of his breaking pitches with the WBC ball, he’s not going to be too useful just with his fastball.
    • Murata bashed a homerun, and he’ll be useful in the Asia Round in the friendly confines of the Tokyo Dome, but his big swings aren’t gonna become homeruns in Petco Park and Dodger Stadium which are pitcher’s parks. Ideally I’d like to see Hara try Uchikawa at first and Ogasawara at third, but this probably won’t happen unless Murata is a total disaster, and with this homerun he’s secured third base for himself even if he’s useless once the team travels across the Pacific.
    • Nakajima and Fukudome showed great plate discipline, but they needed guys behind them to drive them in. Super free swinger Johjima also managed to draw a walk. Japan left 24(!) runners on base, so even though they had the same number of hits as the Chinese, the game wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
    • Ichiro went 0 for 5 and looked horrible at the plate. But then again he didn’t start hitting in 2006 until the games moved to the States, and he’s a notorious slow starter even in regular MLB seasons (he seems to really start hitting in June).
    • Kyuji Fujikawa closed out the game, but his fastball wasn’t up to his usual velocity. If he doesn’t gain velocity, he’ll be an easy target for the sluggers from the Americas (but not A-Rod).
    • Japan now awaits the winner of the Taiwan-Korea game tonight. Taiwan has a depleted roster with major leaguers and half the CPBL players missing (2 of 4 teams didn’t release the players). So, it should be Korea pulling through, but stranger things have happened in baseball (China pulling a fairy dust extra innings upset over Taiwan at the Beijing Olympics, for one).
    • Koreans are going to get to see WBC games on free TV thanks to a last minute deal between the rights holder and TV stations. Korea seems to take a similar approach to big ticket sporting events where multiple TV stations share broadcasting rights. This time around TV Asahi has exclusive rights for the Tokyo Round, and TBS has exclusive rights from round 2 to the finals (though pay sports channel J Sports will show all WBC games). In 2006, NTV was also in the mix, and it’s surprising that they’re not this time around considering that Yomiuri is a sponsor for the event and a group company.
    • If the over/under for tonight’s Korea-Taiwan attendance is 20,000, I’ll take under  😛

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

    WBC warm up games for Asian teams

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 December 18日 Thursday

     

    2/24(Tu) 19:00 Japan vs Australia Kyocera Dome Osaka Goes on sale 

    17 Jan 10am~

    2/25(We) 18:00 Japan vs Australia
    2/28(Sa) 12:00 China vs Yomiuri Giants Tokyo Dome
    19:00 Japan vs Saitama Seibu Lions
    3/1(Su) 12:00 China vs Saitama Seibu Lions
    19:00 Japan vs Yomiuri Giants
    3/2(Mo) 12:00 Korea vs Saitama Seibu Lions
    19:00 Taiwan vs Yomiuri Giants
    3/3(Tu) 12:00 Taiwan vs Saitama Seibu Lions
    19:00 Korea vs Yomiuri Giants
     

     

    World Baseball Classic 2009, Asian teams warm up games that take place in Japan has been officially announced.

    Interestingly Australia will play 2 games early against Japan (in 2006 it was Japan vs PL and Japan vs CL at Fukuoka, if I remember correctly).

    Also, Japan seems to have set up the warm up games and tournament schedule with full control of the schedule, giving Team Japan 3 days rest between the last warm up games while Korea and Taiwan only get 1 day of rest. And Japan gets the first of 2 wins needed to enter round 2 of WBC out of the way early with its opening match against China all but guaranteed. It’s obviously rigged in Japan’s favour as hosts for the Asia round, but this tournament is still in its infancy and this is one of the kinks that needs to be worked out in the future ensure better fairness.

    Giants and Lions are rewarded(?) with the right to play against the 4 Asian WBC teams in warm up games. Well, Yomiuri’s involvement is obvious what with Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper being a WBC sponsor.

    tournament

    Posted in 02_English, 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 »

    63rd All-Korea Ice Hockey Championships Finals

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 10日 Monday

    The 63rd All-Korea Ice Hockey Championship concluded in Seoul last week with the semifinals and the final after playing its group round the previous week.

    Semifinals (2008.11.6)

    14:30 High1 4 (0-0, 3-3, 1-0) 3 Korea U

    17:30 Anyang Halla 3 (0-0, 3-2, 0-0) 2 Yonsei U

    Both university teams gave the pros a run for their money, but the pros managed to squeak into the finals to face each other the very next day.

    Final (2008.11.7)

    18:00 High1 3 (0-0, 1-0, 2-0) 0 Anyang Halla

    35:42 High1 Brent Gauvrearu (Ryan Haruo Kuwabara) +1
    41:30 High1 Ryan Haruo Kuwabara (Tae-An Kwon) EQ
    56:15 High1 Ryan Haruo Kuwabara (Chi-Young Benedict Song, Brent Gauvreau) +1

    High1 took home its 3rd straight All-Korea title.

    Individual awards

    MVP: Hyun-Seung Eum (High1 G)

    VP: Ho-Seung Son (Anyang Halla G)

    Fine Play: 조민호 (Korea University) and 정병천 (Yonsei University)

    Most Points: Chi-Young Benedict Song and Ryan Haruo Kuwabara (both High1 F)

    Best Coach: Hee-Woo Kim (High1)

    Best Referee: 이병철

    (I studied Korean for a bit, but I was no good at it, so I’m not going to transliterate the transliteration of Korean names into Japanese.)

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

    Kick Ass Korean Drummer!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 7日 Friday

    Is this band even still active (the image looks old, the song sounds old – Korean enka? -, except for the drums), who is he drumming for now, does he have his own band, who is this mystery Korean drummer? He’s the Korean Neil Peart, better than Yoshiki. You gotta take a look.

    He totally steals the show despite being the drummer tucked away behind the singer, awesomzz! The drums totally don’t go along with the rest of the song, but it doesn’t matter because the mismatch totally enhances the effect.

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

    All-Korea Championship after Group Play

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 October 31日 Friday

    63rd All-Korea Ice Hockey Championships

    Day 3 (10.30)

    High1 2 (1-0, 0-1, 1-0) 1 Yonsei U

    Anyang Halla 3 (1-1, 0-0, 2-0) 1 Korea U

    The two best college hockey teams gave the pro sides scares as both games were tied heading into their 3rd period. And Halla’s 3rd goal seems to be an empty netter, so essentially the two pro clubs barely managed 1 goal wins over university teams. The pro sides are allowed to dress imports for this championship, and by looking at the goal scorers, it seems like these games were played with full squads (though maybe not at full effort).

    Anyways, standings after the group stage:

    Group A: High1 (2-0), Yonsei U (1-1), Hanyang U (0-2)

    Group B: Anyang Halla (2-0), Korea U (1-1), Kyunghee U (0-2)

    Semifinals:

    11.6 14:30 High1 – Korea U / 17:30 Anyang Halla – Yonsei U

    Finals is on the next day.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    All-Korea Championships after Day 2

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 October 30日 Thursday

    63rd All-Korea Ice Hockey Championships

    Day 1 (10/28)

    14:30 Hanyang U 0 (0-2, 0-2, 0-0) 4 High1

    17:30 Kyunghee U 2 (1-0, 1-3, 0-4) 7 Anyang Halla

    Kyunghee took the lead in the 13th minute, held onto it to the end of the period. Then after having the game tied up at 27:43, they came right back to retake the lead at 28:59, but then just got pummelled by the pro side Halla.

    Day 2 (10/29)

    14:30 Yonsei U 7 (3-0, 2-1, 2-0) 1 Hanyang U

    17:30 Korea U 4 (1-0, 1-0, 2-0) 0 Kyunghee U
    Standings after Day 2
    Group A: Yonsei U (1-0), High1 (1-0), Hanyang U (0-2)
    Group B: Anyang Halla (1-0), Korea U (1-0), Kyunghee U (0-2)
    Although the schedule is unfavourable, it’ll be interesting to see how the stronger university teams, Yonsei U and Korea U do against the pro clubs on the 3rd and final day of group play today.

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

    63rd All-Korea Ice Hockey Championship schedule

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 October 23日 Thursday

    63rd All-Korea Ice Hockey Championship
    Dates: 2008.10.28 (Tu) ~ 11.7 (Fr)
    Location: Mokdong Ice Arena, Seoul
    Participating teams
    Group A: High1, Yonsei University, Hanyang University
    Group B: Anyang Halla, Korea University, Kyunghee University
    Schedule:
    10.28(Tu) 14:30 Hanyang U – High1 / 17:30 Kyunghee U – Anyang Halla
    10.29(We) 14:30 Yonsei U – Hanyang U / 17:30 Korea U – Kyunghee U
    10.30(Th) 14:30 High1 – Yonsei U / 17:30 Anyang Halla – Korea U
    11.6 (Th) 14:30 Semifinal A1 – B2 / 17:30 Semifinal B1 – A2
    11.7 (Fr) 18:30 Finals
    Yonsei University played great in the preseason Anyang Cup in 2007 when they beat High1 2-1 and barely lost to Seibu 3-4.
    Interesting scheduling note: Japanese teams are on a national break from 10.27 to 11.14 due to the national team participating in the Olympic qualifier tournament in Poland. In the mean time Korean and Chinese teams trudge on with the schedule, and High1 even has a 3 game series against the Sharks in Shanghai in between the group games and the final tournament of the All-Korea tournament.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, Japan, olympics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »