Archive > 09 June 2009

Nippon Ham vs Yokohama

» 09 June 2009 » In npb » 7 Comments

Here it is on

Watch live video from athletics channel on

Question for users of the NPB Live page: do all the channels work regularly? I only tend to watch on the weekends.

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The New Face of the Marines

» 09 June 2009 » In international baseball, npb, sports business » 2 Comments

19 Year-Old Yuuki Karakawa is inching toward the status of being the face of the Chiba Lotte Marines. His voice will be used as the announcement inside the Keisei Shuttle Busses that run from the train stations to the stadium on game days.

From the spring of 2006, the Keisei Busses used voices of Chiba Lotte Marines, Bobby Valentine, Shunsuke Watanabe, and Toshiaki Imae. The face of the franchise each have their turns and now the baton will be passed to the young pitcher Karakawa.

Front office personnel states: “Not only this year’s record, but looking back from last years stats is a big part. He is a home grown player and we hope he continues to succeed.”

Teams can sometimes be hesitate in giving young players the spotlight too early in their career, but the Chiba Lotte Mariners seem confident that Karakawa will not be pressured, and will continue to make him the center of their marketing strategy.

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Hanshin Notes: GG Sato, Brazell

» 09 June 2009 » In npb » 2 Comments

Here’s an interesting rumor: Sanspo is reporting that Hanshin wants to acquire Seibu’s GG Sato. I would be pretty surprised if this happened, not only because I don’t know if Sato is expendable for the Lions or if Hanshin is willing to give up what it would take to him, but also because only Sanspo is reporting this. Sanspo is probably the most gossipy of the sports papers I pay the most attention to, so I’ve learned to take this type of news from them with a grain or two of salt.

Still, I’m putting it up here because it begs a question of my more knowledgable readers: has a “blockbuster” trade ever happened in-season in NPB? Of the very few recent in-season trades I can recall off the top of my head, none have involved regular players. Can anyone think of one?

Meanwhile, Craig Brazell has gone 6/14 in his first four games with Hanshin, three of which the Tigers have won. I got to see a couple of his at bats over the weekend, and looked remarkably comforable at the plate considering he was just off the plane and had been in the Northern League. Even been for Hanshin is that the Brazell replica jersey is flying off the shelves at the Koshien Tigers Shop. Of the 22 player jerseys available, only Brazell’s is selling out.

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