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    Asia League Update

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 July 4日 Saturday

    Asia League Ice Hockey office has announced the tentative 2009-10 season schedule (pending Tohoku Free Blades approval into the league in the September general counsel, which seems backwards). The Blades basically take the place of the now defunct Seibu Prince Rabbits, and the league will operate just like last year with 4 Japanese teams, 2 Korean teams, and 1 Chinese team as a 7 team league. The teams will play 6 games against each other for a 36 game regular season that opens on 19 September in Korea and Hokkaido.

    Due to (cost cutting? and) to avoid clashing with the Vancouver Olympics, the playoffs have been shortened from 2008-09 and will only feature 4 teams playing two rounds of best of 5 series to determine the champion (last season included a best of 3 play-in round between 4th and 5th place teams, then best of 7 series).

    The expansion Tohoku Free Blades will open the season against the defending champion Nippon Paper Cranes in Kushiro. And the Greater Tokyo area will host a few games as the four Japanese teams will play doubleheaders in Shin-Yokohama on 14-15 November, in Sapporo on 19-20 December, and in Nishi-Tokyo (Higashifushimi) on 6-7 February.

    The Tohoku Free Blades will play half its home games at the Tohoku hockey hotbed of Hachinohe, Aomori, and will play the rest of the games in various cities around Tohoku including Koriyama, Fukushima.

    In addition to the officially announced player transfers, China Sharks have acquired tall scoring pest Joel Prpic (Seibu 35GP 43P 174PIM, he managed to score and draw a penalty simultaneously twice in one game I went to see) and Bin Ishioka (Seibu 36GP 8G+10A=18P). Though this alone won’t keep the Sharks up with the newly powerful Bucks, it is a step in the right direction (Prpic is a Japan/Asia vet that knows the league well with a long and successful career, and Ishioka won’t count as an import because Japan/Korea/China nationals do not count against imports in this league). (Thanks Martin!)

    Posted in 02_English, Asia League Ice Hockey, hockey, information, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Canseco v Daimajin

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 May 25日 Monday

    Prior to the start of the interleague game at Yokohama between the BayStars and the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles on Sunday 24 May, infamous former slugger Jose Canseco faced off against former BayStar and Seattle Mariner closer Kazuhiro “Daimajin” Sasaki in a ceremonial “at bat”.

    canseco1

    Because Canseco wanted to launch a homerun into the stands at the expense of Daimajin, he repeatedly asked for “one more pitch” resulting in a 9 pitch ceremonial at bat (which is reminiscient of Tsuyoshi Shinjo’s ceremonial first at bat against Hichori Morimoto last season in Fukuoka), but the attention seeking PED whistleblower could not reach the short porch of Yokohama Stadium.

    canseco2

    Canseco had faced Sasaki 3 times during their MLB careers, and after the ceremonial at bat Canseco commented that “Sasaki’s fastball and forkball were just as I remembered from our playing days, I should’ve practiced more for this occasion”.

    (Canseco is in Japan to participate in his first MMA tournament (aside from celebrity boxing matches), the DREAM Super Hulk Tournament in Yokohama Arena on Tuesday 26 May, his first match will be against former MMA novice and Korean giant Choi Hong-man who stands 218cm (7’2″) tall.)

    Original Japanese article after the break

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), baseball, information, MLB, NPB | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    BayStars games online

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 22日 Wednesday

    In addition to Yahoo! Japan broadcasting all Pacific League games online, all Yokohama BayStars home games at Yokohama Stadium have also become available online starting this season. The PL games are IP restricted, so you need to work around that if you live outside of Japan (myp2p.eu is one option), I’m not sure about the BayStars home games.

    EDIT: The BayStars online service seems to only provide video by half-inning (which is a pain) and appears to be tape delayed by 20 minutes at least. Then again, if you avoid Japanese sports news, then this might as well be live on gameday.

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

    2009, Homerun Heaven?

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 18日 Saturday

    It seems like we’ve seen a lot of homeruns so far in the 2009 NPB season what with all the 3 homer games (with Kanemoto doing it twice in 3 days!). Is the ball livelier this season? And if so why would Japanese baseball go in the opposite direction from international standards?

    Anyways, it’s still early going, but I compared the number of homeruns with last year’s figure and here’s what I got (before today’s games).

    CL 2009: 37 Games 71 HR = 1.92 HR/G

    PL 2009: 37 Games 69 HR = 1.86 HR/G

    CL 2008: 1.69 HR/G

    PL 2008: 1.74 HR/G

    So, CL has seen a whopping 14% increase in homeruns (with the bigger park in Hiroshima to boot!), and PL has seen a 7% increase. 37 games is still too small a sample size, so we may see the homerun rates regress to 2008 levels, but we are definitely seeing more homeruns in early 2009. Are teams ordering more tightly wound balls? Who knows. It’s interesting that more homers were hit in the bigger PL parks last season than the CL with a couple of bandboxes (Hiroshima, Yokohama) and a homer friendly Tokyo Dome. This probably needs deeper digging before making any conclusions.

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

    Aniki 17 BayStars 5

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 10日 Friday

    Fun with early season statistics. 6 games into the Nippon Professional Baseball’s season, Hanshin Tigers’ Tomoaki “Aniki” Kanemoto has driven in 17 runs (4 HR, 29 TB, with a ridiculous slash line of .583/.593/1.208), and the 41 year old clean up hitter has topped it all off when he hit homeruns on 3 consecutive plate appearances to start off the game Wednesday in a 4 hit game against the Hiroshima Carp and drove in 7 of the team’s runs in the 8-2 win.

    In the mean time, the entire lineup of the Yokohama BayStars have managed to score paltry 5 runs in their first 6 games against the Chunichi Dragons and the Yomiuri Giants. The team is collectively batting a pathetic .176 and the woeful pitching has a 7.24 ERA. No other team in the 12 team NPB has scored less than 25 runs in their first 5~6 games of the season. So, what’s the over/under on Yokohama’s first win of the season? How about a game where they score 5 or more runs? All hail the Aniki the Astonishing!

    kanemoto

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

    76th All Japan Championships

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 December 1日 Monday

    The 2009 edition of the All Japan Ice Hockey Championships will take place in Yokohama (preliminaries) and Tokyo (preliminaries and final tournament) in February 2009.

    Date: 9 (Mon) ~ 15 (Sun) February 2009

    Location: Yokohama (Shin-Yokohama Skate Center), Tokyo (DyDo Drinco Ice Arena, Higashifushimi)

    It’s a knockoff tournament and the preliminaries will take place in both Yokohama and Tokyo from the 9th to the 12th.

    2.13(Fri) Quarterfinals – The 4 Asia League teams enter the tournament here as seeded teams

    2 games each at Higashifushimi and Shin-Yokohama

    2.14(Sat) Semifinals

    2 games at Higashifushimi, Tokyo

    2.15(Sun) Finals/3rd place game

    2 games at Higashifushimi, Tokyo

    Since the tournament starts off with regional, university, and high school champion teams, it’s a great opportunity to see grassroots amateur Japanese hockey in Tokyo. The Shin-Yokohama venue is at the Shin-Yokohama station (it’s the Shin-Yokohama Skate Center, NOT the Yokohama Arena).

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

    内川聖一

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 October 1日 Wednesday

    歴史上に残る凄い事をやってる割には、横浜というチーム事情あまり注目されてないような気がする、横浜ベイスターズの内川聖一選手の9月30日現在の成績。
    124試合 499打席 .377/.414/.529(打率/出塁率/長打率) 35二塁打 1三塁打 11本塁打
    素晴らしいとしか言いようがない成績です。もしこのまま.370超えの打率でシーズンを終えると、なんと次のシーズン打率.370以上のそうそうたるメンバーに名を連ねてプロ野球史上10人目になります。
    1. バース .389 (1986)
    2. イチロー .387 (2000)
    3. イチロー .385 (1994)
    4. 張本勲 .3834 (1970)
    5. 大下弘 .3831 (1951)
    6. クロマティ .378 (1989)
    7. 川上哲治 .377 (1951)
    8. 中根之 .376 (1936秋)
    9. ブルーム .374 (1962)
    長打率と二塁打の数が、彼の中距離バッターとしての成長が伺えます。というのも彼は今26歳で、ここ3年の成績が:
    2005 .274/.332/.385(打率/出塁率/長打率)
    2006 .286/.329/.363
    2007 .279/.337/.457
    なので、もしかしたら青木みたいに年々にスウィングにパワーを付けているかもしれませんね(年齢的にはあってもおかしくない傾向です、打率は意外だから、BABIP も気になるけど)。このまま、.370以上をキープして欲しいですね、そして来年以降の成長にも期待!

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

    Koshien Final and more Olympic Baseball

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 August 17日 Sunday

    Well, my team in Koshien, Okinawa’s Urasoe-Sho, got bombed out 9-4 in the semifinals by hard hitting Tokoha-Kikugawa (Shizuoka) based on their 9 run 2nd inning. The team had engineered 10 and 7 run innings to win their previous 2 games as well, showing the Japanese baseball world how big ball can be played and that, yes, you don’t have to always bunt over a runner every time. Kikugawa will face Osaka-Toin (Osaka) who also won comfortably 9-4 over Yokohama (South Kanagawa) in this final-worthy matchup. Toin has looked stronger as the tournament goes on, defeating better opponents with ever more ease. The finals will pit upstart Kikugawa against hometown Toin in what should be a slugfest (but will probably turn into a pitching duel against all expectations, as these things tend to do) at 12:30pm on Monday 18 August.

    Incompetently managed (both on and off the field) Japan also lost to Korea in Olympic baseball action (boxscore). A pretty resounding 5-3 defeat. I don’t even know where to start on this one, but I’ll list some of the shortcomings of Team Japan as managed by Senichi Hoshino (who has never won the Japan Series as manager, and indeed there might be a reason why).

    • Despite the limited 24 man roster (NPB uses an expansive 28 man roster), the team took injury question marks Kawasaki and Murata with them to Beijing. Nishioka’s injury on top of this didn’t help matters, as the team was down to 11 position players at full health for the Korea game (though Murata played).
    • This forced Hoshino’s hand and he started all glove no bat Araki at second and solid hitting catcher Satozaki at DH. These wouldn’t normally be bad decisions except he let Araki hit second even though he is by far the worst hitter on the team (classic old school baseball move). And for some unknown reason he, yet again, let incompetent Abe catch instead of the defensively superior Satozaki catch, and this cost the team a run when Abe’s errant throw to second scored a Korean run.
    • Hoshino also left pitchers in too long in the game, with pretty good relief corps, he should’ve pulled Wada earlier in the inning, and he has admitted to this mistake. And he also left reliever Iwase in for too long even though he is clearly more hittable this year and is not a shutdown reliever like he used to be (or like Fujikawa, who didn’t get to enter the game).

    Good news is that, despite Hoshino’s bumbling management, the team still has a decent chance of making medal rounds due to Canada always coming up just short (tough 1 run losses to Cuba, USA, and Korea), and Taiwan recording their first ever loss to China in pixy dust extra inning rules (China might be onto something though, as they managed to pull Korea into extra innings as well, though this time they lost 1-0). Korea and Cuba are both unbeaten at 4-0, but Cuba looks like the team to beat. Since Japan still has to play Canada, chances of both teams making it into medal rounds is slim to nil, considering that USA now has a relatively easy schedule having already played the 2 undefeated teams.

    Cuba 4-0

    Korea 4-0

    USA 2-2

    Japan 2-2

    Canada 1-3

    China 1-3

    Netherlands 1-3

    Taiwan 1-3

    This Kuricorder Quartet version of the Imperial March might sum up my feelings pretty well at the moment, after waking up with a hangover from an all you can drink birthday party on the day of those defeats.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, high school, information, olympics, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    2008.8.17 Koshien Semifinals

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 August 16日 Saturday

    Koshien fever is reaching its peak as we see the field wittled down to the final 4 in the quarterfinal action over the last 2 days.

    Urasoe-Sho (Okinawa) won in dramatic fashion as the boys from the south defeated the prestigious Keio (North Kanagawa) boys in a come from behind extra innings victory. Urasoe was down 2-3 after Keio scored 2 in the bottom of the 7th, but Urasoe came right back and scored 1 run each in the 8th to tie, then another run in the 10th to win the game. Ace Iha pitched the final 4 innings for the victory.

    In the first semifinal game tomorrow, Urasoe will be up against Tokoha-Kikugawa (Shizuoka) who outslugged Chiben-Wakayama (Wakayama) 13-10 earlier today to stake their claim in the semifinals. Tokoha had led 13-2 after their monster 10 run 6th inning, but Chiben almost came back scoring 4 runs each in the last 2 frames, but fell short of fulfilling a comeback. But they didn’t give up and made the game interesting. Tokoha plays big ball (hardly bunts) and it shows with their big bats, but their pitching is questionable (won 11-9 in the previous game), so their date with Urasoe should be interesting. Although it’s good to see some teams playing a different variation of ball rather than the usual automatic sacrifice bunt style prevalent in Japanese baseball, Tokoha-Kikugawa is tainted with sexual harassment scandals by its former manager and player which is sort of kept under wraps since they involved female beat writers for the Mainichi and Asahi dailies, the papers supporting the Spring and Summer tourneys, respectively). The deeper you look into Japanese highschool baseball, it starts to resemble NCAA Football or Basketball in many of their uglier sides.

    Osaka-Toin (North Osaka) won comfortably over Hotoku-Gakuen (East Hyogo) 7-4 in the battle of local schools yesterday. And Yokohama (South Kanagawa) is in the process of humiliating Seiko-Gakuin (Fukushima) right now with a 15-1 lead in the 8th inning. The semifinal will pit the powerful Yokohama team against a well balanced Osaka-Toin team. (UPDATE: Game ended 15-1)

    Interestig tournament in that many big hitting teams have advanced further into the tournament than teams relying on a single ace playing small ball.

    8.17 Day 16 (Semifinals)

    11:00 Urasoe-Sho (Okinawa) v Tokoha-Kikugawa (Shizuoka)

    13:30 Yokohama (South Kangawa) v Osaka-Toin (North Osaka)

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