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    鈴木貴人選手がNews Zero に出演

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 27日 Saturday

    7/6(月)の日本テレビ系列のNews Zero (22:54~23:58) に元西武プリンスラビッツの鈴木貴人選手を追ったドキュメンタリ番組が放映されます。現役日本代表選手なのに、移籍先が決まってないんだよなぁ、もしかして東北フリーブレイズ?!

    suzuki

    Posted in 01_日本語, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    JPN-KOR Championship to replace the Asia Series

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 26日 Friday

    An idea to replace the money losing Asia Series (since it lost its title sponsor Konami, the Series lost 2-oku yen (approx. $2m) last year, yeah small change for a Hanshin Tigers import suketto) has been floated.

    It will pit the Japan Series champions against the Korea Series champions in an one game showdown at a regional stadium in November (no dome? must be in southern Japan then).

    Japan used to host Korea in an all-star series (similar to the now defunct NPB-MLB all-star series) format back in the 90’s but it got cancelled due to lack of fan interest. But the champion clubs meeting each other in this manner will be a first.

    The problem with this newly and severely reduced format is the exclusion of Taiwan. The Uni-President 7Eleven Lions made it to the Asia Series final last year and only lost to the depleted Saitama Seibu Lions in a sayonara walkoff fashion. The Taiwanese clubs have been putting up solid efforts, so it’s a shame to lose them. Maybe once Taiwanese baseball is back in order from its current post-scandals shambles, they can host an NPB-KBO-CPBL championship, as their climate suits November ball the most.

    The one game showdown idea will be put forth in July for approval.

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

    Serious Seibu Scrimmage

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 8日 Monday

    The former members of the now defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits (formerly Kokudo and Seibu Railway ice hockey teams) will face off in an apparently all out scrimmage as a final farewell to Higashifushimi, Tokyo, the teams’ long time home ice. 

    Date: Tuesday 9 June 2009

    Time: 10:00 – 11:30

    Where: Dydo Drinco Ice Arena, Higashifushimi, Tokyo

    Admission: Free

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

    Asia League player movement

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 7日 Sunday

    A few of the former Seibu Prince Rabbits players have found new homes this offseason after the team was shut down by its parent company Seibu Holdings. All these players so far are national team players.

    Yosuke Kon, Sho Sato (both forwards) to Oji Eagles, joining former Seibu/Kokudo player Kei Tonosaki on the team.

    Daisuke Obara (forward) to Nippon Paper Cranes, he’ll wear #76 with the Cranes, joining former Seibu/Kokudo forward Chris Yule on the team.

    In addition, productive Nikko Ice Bucks defenceman Takyuki Ono (one of the three on the team to notch over 1o points last season) has signed with Korean powerhouse Anyang Halla (Japanese, Korean, and Chinese players do not count as imports in the Asia League).

    The word is still out on the rest of the Rabbits squad (about half are expected to take up regular jobs within the Seibu Group), and of a possible new club team being founded at Higashifushimi, the former home of the Seibu/Kokudo teams, the chances are slim to nil as there is clear lack of a big time financial backer. And there’s still no word yet on how the new entrant in the league, Tohoku Free Blades, are doing to bolster their currently barebones lineup in preparation for their inaugural Asia League season in 2009-10.

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

    Fukufuji next season

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 May 24日 Sunday

    First ever Japanese NHL player and ECHL Bakersfield Condors goalie Yutaka Fukufuji has hinted on his blog that he’s looking outside America for a team to play next season. With his former Asia League team Kokudo/Seibu team folded, I’m not sure whether he means a return to Japan (the newly formed Tohoku Free Blades? Very unlikely), move to Europe (ECHL goalie would translate to second division in an elite nation?), or maybe he’s just yanking our chain and is looking into Canada 😛

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, ECHL, hockey, information, Japan, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    松坂のポスティング費の行方

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 May 3日 Sunday

    な、なんと埼玉西武ライオンズがあの世界のニューヨークタイムズにフィーチャーされました。記事の趣旨は松坂のポスティングによってボストン・レッドソックスがワールドシリーズを勝ちとっただけでなく、西武ドームを改修できてその上に2008年の日本シリーズ(そしてアジアシリーズ)に勝ったので、松坂のポスティングは両球団にとって有利な結果だったという結論を出しています。

    記事の中では特にトイレの改修・増築と日本のウォッシュレットの素晴らしさについて触れています(笑)が、その他にも費用が人工芝の張替え、クラブハウス改修、電光掲示板のリニューアル、フィールドシートとテラスシートの設置、新売店の設置、選手の補強にも使われたと書かれています。

    気になる当時約60億円($51m)のポスティング費の内訳は、なんと40%以上の約26億円が税金で、約28億円が球場の改修、そして約6億円が選手補強にあてられたそうです。

    Read the rest of this entry »

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

    Blades the newest AL team!

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 14日 Tuesday

    The Tohoku Free Blades have been tentatively accepted into Asia League Ice Hockey starting with the upcoming 2009-10 season!

    The Blades currently only have 12 skaters and 2 goalies on contract, but now they can start their work in earnest to strengthen the team by signing more experienced players (probably some former Seibu Prince Rabbits) and imports, now that they’re more or less officially part of the AL. This is great news for hockey in the Tohoku area (north eastern part of the main Honshu island). The timing is great as most seasons in hockey playing countries are starting to wind down, and players and coaches will be looking for employment for next season. The plan is to play 8~10 games in Hachinohe, Aomori, and other games in the Tohoku area such as Koriyama, Fukushima where the team will be based.

    Edit: The team is expected to operate on an annual budget of 150 million yen = $1.5m (much closer to the Nikko Ice Bucks budget than the Seibu Prince Rabbits’ 500 million yen = $5m), and is going to work to draw an average attendance of 1,500 per game.

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, press releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    2008-09 AL Season Review

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 9日 Thursday

    I’m currently lacking both the brain cells and the time to do this properly, so the 2008-09 Asia League Ice Hockey season will be reviewed in bullet point style.

    • Nippon Paper Cranes reign supreme again! Asia League power house returns to the top after fighting through 3 rounds of playoffs, and going the full 7 in both the semi and finals. The Cranes last won the trophy 2 seasons ago, so it was a short absence from the top.
    • Seibu Prince Rabbits fold. The tin foil hat says that this is part of Seibu Group’s attempt to rid of Tsutsumi colours (including the baseball team’s uniform colour, literally). There’s hope of the team being resurrected as an independent pro club team as seen in an earlier post on this blog.
    • Anyang Halla is back, but High1 falls back. Anyang Halla added quality imports, got its sniper Song Dong-Hwan back from 2 years of military service (he didn’t miss a beat, being 4th in league scoring 3 seasons ago as well as this past season), and rookies who immediately contributed by finishing top 10 in scoring (Kim Ki-Sung and Park Woo-Sang who were just from universities drafted in the offseason). High1 was 2nd in the 2007-08 regular season, but fell down to 5th place and immediately got swept in the first round play in against the Cranes. 1st to 4th this year was a complete toss up, but then there was a big gap to High1 in 4th. High1 will be looking to climb back up to the top half of the table next season, and especially not to finish the season below their Korean rivals Halla.
    • The bottom of the table was occupied by the usual suspects, the Nikko Ice Bucks and the Chinese entry, the China Sharks. But things were upside down this past season with the Sharks crawling out of the basement thanks in large part to Wade Flaherty’s Herculian efforts (he won the Best Goalie Award) and kicked the troubled Bucks down into the basement. 
    • Since there were no double digit blowouts like in previous seasons when teams could run up the score on Chinese teams, finally for the first time, stats in the Asia League is actually quite credible (no need to sift through strength of schedule, opponents, and run a query). So let’s take a look at the scoring board:
    • 0809_al_scoring
    • High powered offence of Halla has 5  players ranked in the top 11, including a rookie in Kim Ki-Sung, and sniper Song Dong-Hwan who returned to the league after missing the last 2 seasons due to mandatory military service for all Korean adult males (except big time celebrities and sports figures it seems, if they can win exemptions or wiggle their way out). There are many of the usual suspects on the list including Suzuki and Prpic of Seibu, but who knows what their future holds for now. And Chris Yule showed his former team that he was still an offensive force. 
    • Additionally, defenceman Jon Awe (AHL 12+17=29) finished on top of scoring for defencemen ahead of Asia League and national team vet Aaron Keller (OJI 5+19=24) and AL sophomore Richard Rochefort (SPR 7+17=24), and Halla’s other import Brad Fast (7+27 = 34) ranked high in league scoring, prompting an unprecedented move by an AL team when Anyang Halla re-signed all their imports to multi-year deals with scoring leader Brock Radunski signing a 3-year contract and the others to 2-years.
    • This was in part prompted by Halla’s awesome offence as they became the first non-Japanese team to win the regular season (and were one win away from becoming the first non-Japanese team in the playoff finals). The awesome Halla offence racked up 150 goals in 36 games for a very impressive 4.17 G/G with and converted astonishing 38% of their power play chances for 54 goals. I’m sure Halla is glad to have their offence intact for next season, as they were only a win away from reaching the finals.
    • While all other teams allowed 95 goals or more, the finally nicknamed Oji Eagles impressively only let in 77 goals, and were also 2nd in the league in both the power play and the penalty kill.
    • Finally, since Deanna brought her big camera with her to game 7 of the finals, we have some good pictures of the final game for the Seibu Prince Rabbits.

    (Photos courtesy of Deanna)

    Cranes celebrate first goal of the game by Darcy Mitani.

    186-goalscored

    Seibu Prince Rabbits and Japan national team captain Takahito Suzuki who almost singlehandedly won the championship for Seibu, scoring the game winner with 45 seconds left in game 6, then both of Seibu’s goals in game 7.

    037-suzuki1

    Cranes goalie Hisashi Ishikawa, the playoff MVP, who unbelievably stopped 54 of 56 shots for the game 7 victory.

    284-ishikawa

    Cranes with the Asia League trophy, congratulations!! (and let’s hope there are at least 7 teams in the league again next season..)

    460-trophy

    more photos after this break:

    Read the rest of this entry »

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

    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)

    Scoring:

    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:
    http://www.jihf.or.jp/jihf/data/schedule.php?id=160

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

    ライオンズの色

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 8日 Wednesday

    lions_batting

    西鉄時代の黒と、西武時代の空色を混ぜて(濃い)紺のレジェンドブルーが埼玉西武ライオンズの新しいチームカラーなんだけど…ヘルメットは何故か黒。なんでだろう?

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