Archive > 11 February 2009

Jays Agree with Noguchi

» 11 February 2009 » In mlb prospects » 3 Comments

Sports Hochi is reporting that Toronto has agreed to terms with another Japanese lefty, former Yomiuri Giant Shigeki Noguchi. Noguchi was once one of the best pitchers in Japan, taking the 1999 Sawamura Award and MVP with 19 wins for the Central League Champion Chunichi Dragons. He’s never recovered his old form since missing most of 2002 with an injury, and didn’t pitch at the top level at all in 2008. 

Noguchi gets a minor league contract and will take part in the minor league camp, and start the season in AA or AAA. Definitely a low risk acquisition for the Jays.

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The 15-Second Rule

» 11 February 2009 » In mlb » 6 Comments

In an effort to get the average time of games down under three hours, NPB has decided to introduce a new rule requiring pitchers to deliver each pitch within 15 seconds. This is part of NPB’s Green Baseball Project, in which the league is trying to do it’s part for the environment by cutting down on energy expenditures associated with playing games. A noble goal with a laughable logo.

This rule change hasn’t gone over well with the players:

Nippon Ham ace Yu Darvish: “That’s not baseball”.

2008 Sawamura Award winner Hisashi Iwakuma: “Darvish is correct. Even now our time is pressed. If the time is going to be compressed, they should be thorough and widen the strike zone. This is how we make our living”.

Rakuten manager Katsuya Nomura: “to have a rule for that is nonsense. Baseball has always been a sport without a time limit. The fans pay a lot of money to come to the ballpark, so we should be in the park as much as possible”.

Darvish again: “I’m not going to take any kind of action. I’ll ignore it.”

Commissioner Ryozo Kato: “you’re pros so get used to it”.

Kyuji Fujikawa was the first take a hit from the new rule, taking three balls in his first spring training practice game appearance. Gotta take the players’ side on this one. I hope this rule doesn’t make it out of spring training.

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Offseason Changes: SoftBank Hawks

» 11 February 2009 » In npb » Comments Off

Coming: Justin Germano, Kameron Loe, Chris Aguila, Arihito Muramatsu, Brian Falkenborg, manager Koji Akiyama

Going: Jeremy Powell, Rick Guttormson, CJ Nitkowski, Jason Standridge,  Michael Restovich, Naoyuki Ohmura, manager Sadaharu Oh

Staying: DJ Houlton

Trending: neutral

Synopsis: SoftBank didn’t get much out of it’s foreign roster in 2008, hence the high turnover. The Hawks had reportedly been after Eric Hinske and Nelson Cruz, but so far haven’t landed either. Germano and Loe should be useful pieces, and a bit more MLB-caliber than the guys they replace. The Hawks did get the worse of the Muramatsu-Ohmura trade with Orix.

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