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    Seibu Lions Classic

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 June 29日 Monday

    This season’s Lions Classic games have begun with Seibu wearing its home uniforms from the dynasty era. (Koji Akiyama #1 and Hisanobu Watanabe #41 flanking Kazuhiro Kiyohara #3.)

    seibu_80s

    Well, the uniform design was used until quite recently as it can be seen here with a young Daisuke Matsuzaka wearing it.

    matsuzaka

    However, the Lions were unable to replicate their success of the awesome uniforms as the team has lost its first two games wearing it against the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks managed by former Lions star Koji Akiyama. Incidentally, another former 80’s Lions star, Hisanobu Watanabe, is currently managing the Lions, so the ceremonial first pitch for Sunday’s game was old teammates Watanabe facing off against Akiyama, and Koji fouled the pitch off to the third base side.

    watanabe

    Saitama Seibu Lions looking great (except for the lack of stirrups and addition of the Nike logo) in losing the first two games wearing these classic uniforms 3-10 and 5-7.

    seibu

    You can see the ceremonial first pitch here, Akiyama’s front foot slips but he still makes contact with NabeQ’s pitch.

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

    09 Seibu Lions Uniforms

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 January 29日 Thursday

    They have officially been unveiled in the camp opening ceremony held yesterday. The navy looks much closer to Nishitetsu black than the old Seibu sky blue. I like the simple design, though the minimalist simplicity of the home uniform (right) with just the L looks almost like a high school team uniform  😛  The away uniform (left) is pretty much straight up Nishitetsu throwbacks from last season. And here’s yet another team going to an off white (or light gray) colour for their road uniform (Giants ditched their ugly black tops and used their interleague off white unis as road uniforms for most of last season, not sure what’s happening with them this season). NPB’s gonna look a lot like high school baseball in 2009. What’s up with this trend?

    lions_uni

    new_uni

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

    09 Seibu Lions Away Uniform

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 January 27日 Tuesday

    Illustration of the 2009 Saitama Seibu Lions away uniform has been leaked. It’s base colour is gray, spells out “LIONS” across the chest in the Nishitetsu Lios era font (or in the 2008 Nishitetsu throwback uni style), and the font is the “legend blue” navy colour that is supposed to be a mixture of Nishitetsu era black and Seibu era light blue. The uniform will be unveiled on 28 January at the training camp opening press conference, and will be worn first in the season opener against the Chiba Lotte Marines at Marine Stadium on 3 April. 

    lions_v

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

    China Sharks Update

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 25日 Thursday

    The only team to not have opened their 2008-09 Asia League campaign, the China Sharks, will start their season on the road with a game against the Nikko IceBucks tonight.

    The team made a fairly bland press release on 17 September, but in it is a video of an in depth 20 minute press conference. And contained in it are some nuggets, like how:

    • The Sharks will instantaneously have, by far, the largest capacity arena in the league now as the brand new Shanghai arena seats 6000, I hope they do a hell of a marketing job to get enough butts into those seats to create some atmosphere and excitement. The Sharks management actively seeked out this arena, so they seem ready, let’s hope the Shanghai citizens are ready for some hockey!
    • The Sharks organization will, in effect, run the Chinese national hockey program through coaching, player selection, etc. (This is the Sharks side of the story, not sure if it’ll completely match up with the Chinese Ice Hockey Association’s story.)
    • China is going to make a run for the 2018, or more likely the 2022, Winter Olympics, and want to make sure that they have a competitive hockey team, and that is one of the reasons for the Sharks involvement.
    The new China Sharks uniform (home darks, I assume) was also unveiled. But ugh, the Chinese red completely clashes with the Sharks black and teal. Guess we’ll see what colours their helmets, pants, and socks will be from tonight’s Bucks game photos.
    Also, Kato “Kataribe” Jiro interviewed China Sharks head coach Derek Eisler and he said even though he is confident with the team, and found some good Chinese and import players through tryouts (as well as signing known quantities in Steve McKenna, Wade Flaherty, and Adam Taylor, and Harvard grad Kevin Du, and keeping Jason Beeman and Kevin Korol from last season, the former was a one man wrecking crew of the otherwise pathetic Sharks offense last season), playing coaches McKenna and Flaherty will see more time as coaches in the latter half of the season depending on how the season is progressing. (Sharks season opening roster)

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

    2008.8.5 Koshien Update

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 August 5日 Tuesday

    The 90th Koshien Summer Tournament is chugging along as we’re now in day 4 of first round games.

    11 games have been played so far and powerhouses Chiben-Wakayama (Wakayama), Kagoshima-Jitsugyo (Kagoshima), Chiben (Nara), Hotoku-Gakuen (East Hyogo), Kanto-Daiichi (East Tokyo), Kisarazu-Sogo (East Chiba), and Urasoe-Shogaku (Okinawa) have all won their first round games, and young Honjo-Daiichi (North Saitama) with a starting lineup consisting seven 1st and 2nd years (with a 1st year 1st baseman slugger hitting cleanup, most unusual as most teams lineups are loaded with 3rd year students as they’re more physically and technically developed at this age) is currently tied with Kaisei (Shimane) 4-4 in the first game of the day right now. (Update: Okuda Pedro just won the game for Honjo by leading off the bottom of the 9th with a walkoff homerun to deep centre on a difficult pitch.)

    Some other notes of interest:

    • Baseball exchange students are on some teams. Iizuka (Fukuoka) had Kim Dong-Ming(? 金東民) from Korea as it’s leadoff hitter and starting shortstop, as a 2nd year, definitely the core of the team. Magario Mike(?) is a Japanese-Brazilian 2nd year outfielder and 187 cm tall slugger for the powerhouse Aomori-Yamada (Aomori). And Honjo-Daiichi (North Saitama) also features two Japanese-Brazilians, ace Ito Diego and starting shortstop Okuda Pedro. They have both gone through the “Centro Trainament Yakult”(?) baseball academy before going to Honjo-Daiichi. Ito Diego (left) and Okuda Pedro
    • Urasoe-Shogaku’s (Okinawa) cap is designed like the Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap, and this is probably intentional as Urasoe is the Okinawan city where the Swallows hold training camp every spring.                   Urasoe-Shogaku         Tokyo Yakult Swallows
    • Pitch counts are often mentioned during game commentary, mostly as how it wears down pitchers, and some teams even talk about a walk being just as valuable as a hit (not true, but close, and way better than discounting the walk). The tides are slowly changing even in high school ball.

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

    Rare Kuwata and Kiyohara Photos

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 29日 Tuesday

    Living legend and recently retired Masumi Kuwata (173-141, 3.55 ERA in NPB) threw 38 batting practice pitches today to almost-retired-but-still-rehabbing slugger Kazuhiro Kiyohara (.272/.389/.521, 525 HR, 1527 RBI) at Kobe’s Skymark Stadium. The interesting twist? Kuwata was in his Pittsburgh Pirates uniform which he wore briefly in 2007-08 while Kiyohara wore his Orix Buffaloes uniform. The two formed the core of the mighty PL Gakuen high school baseball team in the mid-80s (made it into all 5 possible Koshien tournaments, Spring and Summer, during their 3 years from the extremely competitive Osaka prefecture, won their way to 4 finals and won the whole thing twice), and were reunited on the Yomiuri Giants from 1997-2005. The image of Kiyohara tears before the final pitch of the 1987 Japan Series as his  Seibu Lions clinched the series over the Kuwata’s Yomiuri Giants is legendary. Will Kiyohara make a full come back and add to his magnificient career homerun total (5th all time and 11 behind 4th place Carp Koji Yamamoto), we can never predict with his now shattered body.

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