Japanese Baseball Newsbeat
Monday, May 09, 2016
What is the air-speed velocity of a half-eaten fish, Swallows?
The weather in Hyogo, Japan, was mostly sunny with a chance of fish.
A half-digested fish that rained on the outfield of Koshien stadium in western Japan caused a baseball game to be delayed for a few minutes on Sunday.
According to a spokeswoman for the Hanshin Tigers baseball team, the condition of the fish made it clear that it couldn’t have been thrown in from the stands and likely was dropped by a bird that flew over the outfield.
The half-processed fish landed near Tokyo Yakult Swallows slugger Wladimir Balentien, who was playing left field. “The smell was unbearable,” Balentien said of the fish, according to a spokesman for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Pitch counts - we don’t need no stinkin’ pitch counts!
Last week, Seibu Lions right-hander Ryoma Nogami threw 75 pitches before an intrasquad game, 23 during the game, and 304 more in the bullpen afterward, totalling 402 on the day. Elsewhere around Japan this spring, the Chiba Lotte Marines’ Hideaki Wakui has thrown 205 pitches during a bullpen session, while Orix Buffaloes duo Daiki Tomei and Tatsuya Sato have had sessions of 210 and 201, respectively.
Japanese baseball is known for long, hard spring practices. Still, there is an argument to be had about how much is too much. It’s hard to fathom that, even for a professional, throwing over 400 pitches in a single day isn’t a bit excessive.
Friday, February 05, 2016
This isn’t some run-of-the-mill former star getting busted for drug use. Kiyohara was one of the greatest sluggers in NPB history, hitting 525 home runs over 22 seasons from 1986 to 2008. With multiple gambling scandals in NPB this off season, it hasn’t been a good year for baseball’s reputation in Japan.
The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the possibility that the seller of the drug is connected to yakuza. They also plan to learn when and how Kiyohara started using the drug. The police plan to send him to the public prosecutor’s office later on Thursday for suspected violation of the laws to control stimulants…
...“Sometimes I injected it into my arm, and sometimes I burned it in a glass pipe and inhaled,” he reportedly said.
Monday, January 18, 2016
If you haven’t guessed by now, Okada’s play is not particularly straightforward. Possible Ichiro arrives to teach baseball to three people who don’t know anything about the sport. Because this is not the movie “Summer Catch,” there’s another layer here— baseball serves as the metaphor for Japan and South Korea’s relationship with the U.S.
To answer your first question, no, there are no bat flips. But abstract movement rules the play, turning the things we see on the diamond into balletic expressions. The actor who plays Ichiro has never played baseball, but he mimics his swing perfectly.
“He doesn’t know baseball, but he’s a dancer,” said Okada. “So he’s very good at tracing those movements from watching videos. It was very interesting for me to see how well he’s developing his way of imitating Ichiro. I think he’s great … but he probably can’t hit a ball.”
You’ll also see a set meant to remind you of a stadium, with a diamond taped on the floor, complete with bases and home plate. Since the play is in Japanese and Korean, there are screens for English supertitles that look like stadium lights. Before the show, you can even buy Japanese ballpark snacks.
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