Japanese Baseball Newsbeat
Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Lefty O’Doul had an extraordinary baseball career. Blessed with blazing speed and preternatural hitting ability, O’Doul nonetheless failed to stick in the majors until the age of 31. It was partially his own fault: Despite repeated entreaties by coaches, managers and teammates to focus his attention on hitting, O’Doul insisted he was a pitcher, not the man who would eventually retire with a .349 lifetime batting average (fourth-best of all-time).
After his playing days came to a close, O’Doul was appointed “Manager for Life” of the legendary San Francisco Seals (a position he held for 17 years); established a reputation as the best (and most cerebral) hitting instructor in the game; and, through sheer force of will and personality, did more than any other person to promote baseball in Japan, where it remains a national obsession (and where O’Doul is still revered).
“Maybe I was a ham…but what’s the use in doing something when no one’s looking?”
Monday, February 27, 2017
Starting with Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Hideo Nomo in 1995, every major league season – 22 years in a row – has featured at least one Japanese player making his major league debut. After an offseason in which no major Japanese players migrated to the majors, Nakaushiro represents the best chance – perhaps the only realistic chance – at keeping that streak alive this year.
Cool stuff about his slider in the article
Posted: February 27, 2017 at 11:22 PM | 4 comment(s)
Thursday, February 02, 2017
It’s worth noting that Otani could still appear in the tournament as a hitter. The odds of that are uncertain, however, given Nippon-Ham’s concern that Otani’s condition could require surgery if it worsens.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
One roster spot is being left open. I wonder if they are leaving room for a MLB player to decide at the last moment. Masahiro Tanaka announced a couple of days ago that he won’t be pitching in the WBC.
Samurai Japan mostly filled out its roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic on Tuesday, adding eight players, but no major leaguers, to the 19 names released in December…
...Currently, Japan’s lone MLB player will be Houston Astros outfielder Norichika Aoki.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
MLB is an increasingly dominant hegemon on the American and the global baseball scene. That hegemony affects almost every pitch that is thrown in the United States, from youth baseball all the way up to the World Series. It is a product of a confluence of events largely outside the realm of baseball, including such developments as the civil rights movement and population shifts following World War II. MLB’s domination of the sport was not inevitable, but that is what has happened over the past fifty or sixty years. Just as it was not inevitable, it is also not irreversible.
Friday, December 16, 2016
From what I can read in the CBA a team can’t sign Otani to a one-year contract which makes him a free agent the following year. Does anyone know if my reading is correct?
Friday, December 09, 2016
Randy Marsh is not amused.
Such a move would be viewed as another unorthodox appointment by Trump, who named former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon to serve as the administrator of the Small Business Administration Wednesday.
Yet Valentine’s history, and connections to Trump and Japan, make the possibility of such a decision very real.
The former Red Sox manager has known both Trump and his brother, Bob, since the early 1980’s. He is also very close to Anthony Scaramucci, who is part of the Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee. And it was New Jersey governor Chris Christie who, according to a source, first surfaced Valentine’s name for the position.
The connections don’t stop there.
Valentine is still very popular in Japan, having managed the Chiba Lotte Marines for seven seasons, becoming the first U.S. born manager to win the Japan Series with a championship in 2005.
During the former big leaguer’s time in Japan, the Ambassador to Japan was Tom Schieffer, who also was president of the Texas Rangers during Valentine’s tenure as manager with the team. (Caroline Kennedy is the current ambassador, having been appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013.)
Valentine is friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like the former All-American, attended the University of Southern California.
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
This is a problem for NPB teams.
If Otani comes next year and the rules are not changed, an MLB team would not be able to offer him a contract a lot more than $5 million. The amount varies from team to team.
The change makes a mockery of MLB’s agreement with NPB, because Otani would be able to freely negotiate—provided he accepts a contract far below his market value.
“This is ridiculous,” an official with one NPB team told Kyodo News upon being asked about the report. “This is something that needs to be discussed with us.”
“Just when Otani was about to come over, they changed the rules,” he said, remembering that Otani had been very close to signing directly with an MLB club out of high school.
“This is great for MLB, because it could encourage players who want to play in MLB to go directly to the States instead of to NPB. That might have been the intention.”
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
“He’s the modern-day Babe Ruth,” a Pacific Rim scout from an American League team said. “He’s a top-of-the-rotation pitcher and the middle-of-the-order hitter. We haven’t seen anything like him in modern times. Whenever he comes to America, he’s going to break the bank. There has never been anybody in free agency who could ever market themselves as a two-way player before.”
Players cannot become free agents in the NPB until they accumulate nine years of service time.
However, there is talk that the Fighters will allow him the opportunity to come to the major leagues next winter via the posting system. They would almost certainly gain the maximum $20 million posting fee from the major-league team that would sign Otani.
Some major-league executives believe Otani could possibly command a contract of at least $200 million if posted and some suggest he could even reach $250 million.
Otani throws his fastball in the high-90s and has been clocked as high as 103 mph. He complements it with a low-90s forkball that appears to “fall off the table” as it reaches home plate.
Though his changeup is still in the rudimentary stages, the scout said “it doesn’t matter because his other pitches are so good.”
Otani is also an outstanding athlete, who played a combined 62 games on the outfield corners in his first two NPB seasons. However, a sprained ankle sustained early in the 2014 season caused the Fighters to use exclusively as a DH the past two seasons.
The scout believes Otani would be able to handle major league pitching.
“His power is just starting to develop and he has a good eye,” the scout. “I’m sure there would be an initial adjustment period, more than it would be for him as a pitcher, but he has great talent.”
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero has signed a one-year deal with the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League.
The deal is worth $1.3 million plus incentives, the Central League club announced on its website.
Friday, November 11, 2016
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