Japanese Baseball Newsbeat
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.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
None of these players is a star (they only threw 19 innings in 2015 between the three of them), but having members of Japan’s most famous team banned for gambling is a big deal. Oh, and they were gambling not only on NPB games, but MLB ones. They can apply for reinstatement in five years - they avoided permanent banishment because they weren’t found to have fixed any games.
Nippon Professional Baseball will ban three Yomiuri Giants pitchers indefinitely for their involvement in a gambling scandal and fine the team ¥10 million, NPB Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki said Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, sources said Tokyo police have interrogated the players, Satoshi Fukuda, Shoki Kasahara and Ryuya Matsumoto, who have admitted betting on baseball games.
During the questioning, which was conducted on a voluntary basis, all three confirmed that they wagered on games, the sources said.
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
I don’t need to see the translation of his stats to know he profiles as a bench guy at best.
The 33-year-old DH/corner infielder, 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, has been a productive player in Japan over two years with the Orix Buffaloes and the past two seasons with SoftBank.
He is a .293 hitter in Nippon Pro Baseball and is coming off a season in which he hit .282 with 31 longballs—his highest power total during his time in Japan.
His upside includes his ability to get around on fastballs, and he figures to see more of those in the big leagues. The downside is that big league scouts back in 2012 told ONE World Sports Lee wasn’t really a candidate for the majors because of his lack of impressive marks in his overall game.
They also said his power wouldn’t play the way it does in the vastly different ballparks in Asia.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks only needed five games to win the Japan Series and show everyone they were the best team in NPB last season.
Almost exactly one year to the day, Softbank proved that nothing had changed.
Lee Dae-ho capped his outstanding series with a two-run home run (which required a replay review) and the Hawks won their second consecutive Japan Series title with a 5-0 win over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Game 5 on Thursday night at Jingu Stadium.
Friday, October 16, 2015
For those not familiar with Japanese baseball, the second and third place teams in each league play a series for the right to then play the regular season winner to decide the league representative in the Japan Series. But the regular season winner gets a) a one game advantage before the series starts, and b) gets to play all the games at home. Something tells me this wouldn’t go down well in the US…
Where else but Japanese baseball can a team lose Game 1 of a playoff series and show up at the ballpark the next day down 0-2?
That was the reality for the Chiba Lotte Marines Wednesday after their 10-inning, 3-2 loss to the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Game 1 of the Pacific League Climax Series final stage. It was almost the same for the Yomiuri Giants, but the Kyojin managed a 4-1 victory over the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in the Central League’s final-stage opener. Of course, instead of being up 1-0 the Giants went back to Jingu Stadium with the series tied 1-1.
This wacky math has been the norm in Japanese baseball since 2008, the first season both the CL and PL began giving pennant winners a one-game advantage in each league’s championship series. So far, the 2010 Marines and 2014 Hanshin Tigers are the only teams to dig out of the hole and advance to the Japan Series.
Friday, October 02, 2015
From worst to first. It’s always good when anybody other than the Giants wins the Central League…
The Swallows fans packed into the stands at Jingu Stadium had already been cheering about as loud as they had all season for the past four hours
But when Yuhei Takai hit a ball that squirted past the first-base bag and into right field, they found the strength to kick it up another notch.
Takai hit a sayonara single in the 11th and the Tokyo Yakult Swallows captured the Central League pennant with a 2-1 victory over the Hanshin Tigers on Friday night in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 33,986 at Jingu Stadium.
for his generous support.
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