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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Scouting report on Japanese star Shohei Ohtani | MLB.com

“I saw Griffey in the Minor Leagues and A-Rod as an amateur,” one international scouting director said. “The buzz about Ohtani is similar to those guys and guys like Strasburg. Compared to Griffey and A-Rod, he isn’t as polished a hitter and probably doesn’t have the same upside. But he does have the chance to be a Strasburg. What is unique is that he does both.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 19, 2017 at 11:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: international players, japanese baseball, shohei ohtani

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Japanese star Shohei Ohtani might play in 2018 | MLB.com

Ohtani, 23, doesn’t meet MLB’s definition of a foreign professional under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, since he’s not 25 years old with six years of service in a recognized foreign league. As such, he’ll be subject to international amateur spending limits if he moves from NPB to MLB this winter, limiting the amount an MLB team must invest in order to acquire him.
The MLB team would pay the Fighters a release fee—likely the maximum of $20 million—and then a signing bonus to Ohtani. The bonus must fit under a hard cap, typically less than $6 million per team, although it can increase through the acquisition of additional slot allocations in deals with other teams.

Ohtani told MLB Network earlier this year that the Rangers, Dodgers and Giants were the teams that pursued him most aggressively when he was 18 years old, before he decided to begin his pro career in Japan rather than jump straight to MLB.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 12, 2017 at 10:40 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, shohei ohtani

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Fangraphs: Lars Anderson Discovers Japan

I loved everything about this article. The umpires, the practice players, Manny Ramirez givin’ out nicknames.

“What is lacking in profanity between umpires and players is made up for by the music that is played during batting practice and the game. Apparently, all of the music with English lyrics is unedited.
 
“The other day, they played Eminem’s seminal hit, ‘My Name Is.’ This track was pre-sobriety Eminem, when his work delighted the kids while horrifying the parents. The song touches on a variety of topics that you can explore more if you’re feeling froggy, but suffice to say, it probably should be edited while played in public.
 
“I was standing in left field in mild shock, listening to Em introduce us to his crazy-ass self, and I had an interesting question pop up regarding his drug use and sobriety. With his sobriety came a seriousness in his tone and lyrics. To my ear, his music just isn’t as fun or interesting anymore. His new records don’t interest or excite me like his first couple of albums.So as the song played, I wondered, ‘What’s ruined more artist’s careers: drug abuse or sobriety?’  Not totally serious, but not totally joking, either.

 

villageidiom Posted: August 02, 2017 at 04:49 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: international baseball, japan, japanese baseball, lars anderson

The Complicated Life and Death of Hideki Irabu

No one had noticed anybody come or go for days when, just after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, 2011, a man emerged from a tidy three-bedroom house near the end of a cul-de-sac in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. His screams pierced the suburban idyll of the affluent neighborhood, with its hilltop homes and panoramic views up toward Los Angeles and out over the Pacific. Deputies from the L.A. County sheriff’s department arrived quickly. In one of the bedrooms, they found the friend the man had come to check on.

He was wearing a white T-shirt and dark shorts. His body, which a coroner measured at 6’ 5” and 236 pounds, hung suspended from a half-inch-thick white rope. Judging by the state of him, he had died several days before—perhaps on Sunday, the last time he was known to be alive. He left no note for his wife and two young daughters, and though his computer was set to Japanese, a deputy determined that no document had been recently created. No one suspected foul play. “The manner of death is suicide,” concluded the autopsy report, filed two mornings later. Fourteen Julys after he had debuted on the mound at Yankee Stadium in front of 52,000 fans, and nine years after he’d thrown the last pitch of a major league career that had tailspinned from promising to punch line, Hideki Irabu, 42 years old, had died desperately alone.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Man Who Brought Sabermetrics to Japanese Baseball

An interesting look at Japan’s version of Bill James.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 26, 2017 at 08:24 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, sabermetrics

Monday, July 17, 2017

NPB should do more to spice up All-Star experience

If NPB officials need any ideas, there’s already a blueprint in South Korea, where the Korea Baseball Organization has done something similar for several years.

This year, in addition to one home run derby held across two days, the KBO held a Perfect Pitcher competition, a timed event where hurlers tried to knock down bats, and a Perfect Hitter event, where batters aimed for targets while hitting off a tee. The league also held its minor league All-Star Game as part of the All-Star weekend.

“The KBO has been having these All-Star events for quite awhile now,” Dan Kurtz, who runs mykbo.net, told The Japan Times. “I believe that a majority of the fans that watch KBO enjoy these events and consider them ‘Fan Service’.

“I think the events such as Perfect Hitter/Pitcher complement the Home Run Race quite nicely. I also think that the players themselves enjoy these events, since it often allows some players who don’t often get a chance to bat/pitch to participate in these events. For example, this year’s Perfect Hitter winner was a pitcher.

“In the past, pitchers have also participated in the Home Run Race and non-pitchers in the pitching events. The one event that was not held this year that seemed to have caught the eye of fans outside of Korea was the Bunt King (who can place Bunts on certain targets for points).”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 17, 2017 at 09:39 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: all-star game, japanese baseball, korean baseball

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Former White Sox infielder Tadahito Iguchi announces retirement plans

A Chicago World Series star who was not ready for DWTS .... until now.

Japanese infielder Tadahito Iguchi, who helped the Chicago White Sox win the World Series in 2005, will retire at the end of the 2017 season.

The 42-year-old Iguchi, the oldest active player in Nippon Professional Baseball, currently plays for the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League.

“I’ve been thinking when would be the right time to quit,” Iguchi said Tuesday. “I want the fans and those who supported me to come and watch me as much as they can.”

Greg Franklin Posted: June 21, 2017 at 10:35 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: japan, japanese baseball, white sox

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Scouting Shohei Otani

A fairly detailed look at Shohei Otani:

Do scouts for MLB teams think Otani can be a two-way player? For four out of five scouts, there was some hemming and hawing. They all like him as a batter – especially the left-handed power. They all love him as a pitcher. The fifth scout, though, is willing to dream.

“I’ve never said this about a player, but I believe he can be a two-way player,” the scout said. “There are good-hitting pitchers like Madison Bumgarner and Greg Maddux, but this guy is a legitimate offensive threat. How you balance his pitching and his hitting … that’s where it really comes down to a general manager and a manager and ownership. How much do you want to risk your ace pitcher running the bases or taking at-bats? But from an evaluation standpoint, this guy … if he was on my team, he’d be the fastest baserunner, he’d have the most raw power. I absolutely feel this guy can hit on a daily basis. Or if you wanted … you can pick-and-choose when you’d DH him or pinch hit him. But absolutely, this guy can be a two-way player. If anyone can do it, he’s the one.”

Lots of interesting stuff, but all anonymous. RTFA.


Tuesday, April 04, 2017

“There Are Very Few Individuals as Fascinating as Lefty O’Doul”

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?”

gehrig97 Posted: April 04, 2017 at 09:14 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dimaggio, japanese baseball, lefty o'doul, macarthur

 

 

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