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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Former Carp, Eagles manager Brown gets best of both worlds through scouting for Nationals | The Japan Times

“I’m really here to see everybody, but I thoroughly enjoy watching Otani play, whether he is in the lineup hitting third or if he’s pitching. He’s got electric stuff and exciting velocity, but he’s got to become more of a pitcher than a thrower,” Brown said of the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters two-way star player.

“Fujinami I’ve seen in his two years a pro, where he’s been indecisive on the mound with not much poise, working really slow, and then I’ve seen him with a great tempo overpowering hitters. He’s a young guy, tall with leverage on the ball down,” said Brown about the Hanshin Tigers right-hander.

He added, “They are two exciting young arms, but how and when they might have the opportunity to go to the States, obviously health would be a question with guys who throw that hard.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2015 at 07:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Friday, May 22, 2015

5 things MLB can learn from baseball in Japan. | SportsonEarth.com : Molly Knight Article

This.

1. Really make hitters stay in the batter’s box.

Sorry Bryce Harper. I love you forever, because you’re the best, but you were wrong Wednesday night when you argued balls and strikes, took a leisurely stroll toward your dugout, and then flipped off MLB’s new “stay in the batter’s box” rule by tapping the chalk with your toe after the home plate umpire told you to get your ass back in there.

At first I was against this particular pace of play rule change, because I thought it would be awkward and rush epic confrontations that require as many mental gymnastics as fast-twitch muscle fibers. But in the Giants/Swallows game, the innings flew by, in part because batters only left the box if they fouled a pitch off into the crowd, and that was so they could give the home plate umpire time to retrieve a replacement ball from his side pouch and toss it back to the pitcher.

MLB made this a rule before the season, but hitters mostly ignore it, with Harper himself explaining after he was tossed yesterday: “I’ll take the fine, because it’s not a priority for us to get in the box unless we really need to.” Um, Bryce, you really need to. Trust me. The sport needs you to move it along, and may have to do so by making the batter’s box rule stricter than it is now. You may be annoyed, but on the bright side you won’t have to wait as long to hit again. And reducing the time between your at-bats, and Mike Trout’s at-bats, and Joc Pederson’s at-bats, would only make the game that much better.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2015 at 07:52 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Will two-way player Shohei Otani be Japan’s next MLB export?

How about a pitcher who can swing for the fences? San Francisco Giants ace and reigning World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner—who has two career grand slams and homered four times last season—is one such dual threat.

So is Shohei Otani. If you haven’t heard about the 20-year-old Japanese sensation, you will soon. He plays for the Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball, the highest level of baseball in Japan, but he has designs on playing major league baseball. His current team could “post” him in three or four years and allow him to sign with an MLB franchise.

Otani for is 20-4 with a 2.71 career ERA and 274 strikeouts in 259 innings over two-plus seasons in the NPB. He throws a 100 mph fastball—and he looked almost effortless while hitting that speed multiple times in this video from the 2014 All-Star Game. When he is in the lineup as a DH or outfielder, Otani hits with equal power. He has hit .251 with 15 home runs in 443 career at-bats.

Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: May 21, 2015 at 05:26 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dh, japanese baseball

Thursday, April 09, 2015

A Very Stylish Ceremonial First Pitch

Seen on Intentional Talk this afternoon.

Sudo is a mixed-martial-artist-turned Buddhist-internet-dancing-sensation that has wowed the world with choreographed robotic moves.

pthomas Posted: April 09, 2015 at 08:17 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Nippon Ham ordered to pay ¥41.9 million for failing to shield spectator from foul ball

The woman in her 30s sued the team, Sapporo Dome Co. and Sapporo city for their failure to prevent her from being hit by the foul ball, which resulted in her losing sight in her right eye, while she was in the infield stands during a game at Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido on Aug. 21, 2010.

I feel like there’s a tasteless joke somewhere in here about how ham is a poor substitute for steak in preventing black eyes, but please don’t be tempted to make it. Instead discuss whether this establishes any precedent for other leagues.

 


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Japan’s Shohei Otani Hits 99 MPH, Strikes Out 10 To Outduel Kenta Maeda - BaseballAmerica.com

Facing Hiroshima ace Kenta Maeda today, 19-year-old Nippon-Ham Fighters righthander Shohei Otani held the Carp to one run over five innings, striking out 10 with no walks while hitting 99 mph. Otani’s fastball was overpowering, sitting at 94-98 mph and hitting the upper end of that range consistently. His lone run allowed came on a hanging slider to Brad Eldred, who crushed Otani’s mistake for a home run.

Otani, who’s 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, overmatched hitters with his fastball, though his 84-88 mph splitter was a solid pitch at times. He also throws a 78-81 mph slider and a curveball that he manipulates speeds on, ranging anywhere from the mid-60s to the mid-70s. Otani would have pitched longer, but he sprained his ankle sliding into home to score a run in the bottom of the fifth (he’s also an outfielder batting .283/.343/.457 in 102 plate appearances), which ended his outing. On the season, Otani has a 3.13 ERA with 59 strikeouts and 17 walks in 54 2/3 innings.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2015 at 06:17 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, kenta maeda, shohei otani

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Global buzz surrounds debut of Team Europe against No. 1 Japan Tuesday in Tokyo

The international stage is set for Tuesday’s opening of the historic two-game series where newly established “Team Europe” will make its world premiere against the top-ranked Japanese National Team at the iconic Tokyo Dome on 10-11 March.

There will be a live broadcast of the two-game series (Game times: 18:00 Japanese Standard Time). The games will be televised free-to-air nationally across Japan by the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS). In Europe, Eurosport 2 will broadcast the games live across their platforms to potentially 73 million households in over 50 European nations.


Monday, March 09, 2015


 

 

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