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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Electronic sign stealing: A scandal two decades ago in Japan

TOKYO (AP) — If anyone thought that using technology to steal catchers’ signs had only blemished Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros — or it’s something new — think again.

Japan went through a similar scandal just over 20 years ago. The Japanese revere baseball as much as Americans and have straddled the same thin line between gamesmanship and cheating.

In a widely covered scandal in 1998, a camera in the Fukuoka Dome was discovered to be focused on the catcher. Officials of the Daiei Hawks — now the SoftBank Hawks — reportedly monitored the signs and relayed them by walkie-talkie to fans in the stands, who then used signals to batters to indicated the coming pitch.

There was no trash-can banging, as the Astros did. Instead, a fan would hold up a megaphone in front of their body to indicate, say, a fastball. Holding it to the right meant curve. On the left was, say, a change up.

A discussion of a current scandal from an international perspective.

 

QLE Posted: January 22, 2020 at 01:07 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, sign-stealing, softbank hawks

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Pair of Japan players made available to major league teams

NEW YORK (AP) — Two players from Japan, Shun Yamaguchi and Ryosuke Kikuchi, have been made available to major league teams through the posting process.

Clubs have until Jan. 2 (5 p.m. EST) to negotiate with them, Major League Baseball said Tuesday.

Yamaguchi, a 32-year-old right-hander with the Yomiuri Giants, was 15-4 with a 2.91 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 170 innings. He led the Central League in wins and strikeouts, helping Yomiuri to its first Central League pennant in five years.

Kikuchi, a second baseman who turns 30 in March, hit .261 with 13 homers, 48 RBIs and 14 stolen bases for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.

Another type of off-season signing to follow, for those with an interest in it.

 

QLE Posted: December 03, 2019 at 10:32 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, posting rules, ryosuke kikuchi, shun yamaguchi

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Justin Bour agrees to play for Japan’s Hanshin Tigers, report says

TOKYO—The Hanshin Tigers of Japan’s Central League are set to acquire major league free agent Justin Bour.

Per the Kyodo News agency, Tigers general manager Osamu Tanimoto said this week the team has reached a basic agreement with the 31-year-old Bour, who played first base for the Los Angeles Angels last season.

Free agents running off to foreign countries in response to current conditions are the new market inefficiency.

QLE Posted: November 30, 2019 at 10:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hanshin tigers, japanese baseball, justin bour

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Gerardo Parra Signs With Japan’s Yomiuri Giants

Veteran outfielder Gerardo Parra has reached an agreement to sign a contract with the Yomiuri Giants of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, the Giants announced Wednesday (hat tip: Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, on Twitter). The Giants have announced the move in a press release on their official web site. It’s a $2MM deal that includes a $3MM vesting option for 2021, per Jose Rivera of ESPN Deportes (via Twitter).

The 32-year-old Parra, a client of Octagon, won a World Series ring with the Nationals and will now head overseas for the next chapter of his career. He signed a minor league contract with San Francisco last offseason but ultimately landed with the Nats after being cut loose by MLB’s Giants.

No word yet as for where Baby Shark has signed.

 

QLE Posted: November 20, 2019 at 01:07 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: gerardo parra, japanese baseball, yomiuri giants

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Hiring 2005 White Sox is the hottest managerial trend in Japan

In Major League Baseball, the hottest managerial trend is hiring guys with no experience, grabbing them out of the front office or broadcast booth to helm World Series contenders.

In Japan, the hottest managerial trend is hiring members of the 2005 White Sox.

Last week, the Yakult Swallows named former White Sox reliever Shingo Takatsu their latest skipper. He joins Tadahito Iguchi as a manager in Japan’s NPB. The former White Sox second baseman managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in each of the last two seasons.

All kidding about White Sox connections aside, obviously these guys have every reason to be managing in their home country. Takatsu pitched for the Swallows for 13 seasons before coming to the U.S. to pitch for the White Sox and another two seasons after returning from the big leagues. He first managed way back in 2012, when he was a player-manager in an independent league in Japan. He spent the past three years as the manager of the Swallows’ farm team.

Somewhere, Ozzie Guillen is wondering if he should consider such a trip….

QLE Posted: October 10, 2019 at 01:16 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: 2005, japanese baseball, white sox

Monday, October 07, 2019

Japan’s all-time wins leader Masaichi Kaneda dies at 86

the lefty was known for his fastball and big breaking curve, and won at least 20 games for 14 consecutive seasons starting from 1951.

In addition to the most wins in Nippon Professional Baseball, Kaneda owned career records with 365 complete games, 298 losses, 5,526⅔ innings pitched, 1,808 walks and 4,490 strikeouts.

 

DanG Posted: October 07, 2019 at 03:19 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: japanese baseball, masaichi kaneda, yomiuri giants

 

 

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