Archive > 15 June 2009

Giants Sign Shingo

» 15 June 2009 » In mlb prospects » 4 Comments

One year ago, I started this blog with a post about Shingo Takatsu signing with the Woori Heroes of Korea. Interestingly, year two of NPB Tracker starts (partially) with the news of Shingo’s minor league contract with the Giants.

According to reports published by Sponichi and Nikkan Sports, Shingo hung around in the Giants extended camp in Arizona after his May tryout with the team. After a physical and some other checks, the Giants signed him to a minor league contract. After the visa paperwork clears he’s expected to join AAA Fresno.

Nikkan Sports quotes Shingo as saying: “the number one thing is that I’m relieved. I don’t feel any differently, but at this age it’s difficult to challenge (a comeback) without the cooperation of those around me. I’ve caused a lot of bother so I want to do my very best for those who have supported me”.

The Giants also have Keiichi Yabu in their AAA bullpen.

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Igarashi Qualifies for Free Agency

» 15 June 2009 » In mlb prospects, npb » Comments Off

Sanspo reports that Yakult fireballer Ryota Igarashi has now officially met the service time requirements for international free agency. Cue standard remarks from Igarashi: “Right now I’m only thinking about staying in shape and winning. I want to think it (free agency) over carefully in the offseason”… and from Yakult’s front office: “it’s his decision so we don’t know what will happen, but he is one person that is needed on our team”.

In any event, expect Igarashi to get a raise from the 8.4m yen ($840k) he’s making this year.

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A Year of NPB Tracker

» 15 June 2009 » In NPB Tracker » 11 Comments

It’s now been a year since my first post on NPB Tracker.

It’s been a fun year of blogging, it’s gone by quickly. I’ve been able to reach far more people with the site than I expected, and the response I’ve gotten has been overwhelming positive. NPB Tracker is a tiny pixel on 200-inch HDTV that is blogosphere, but considering the nichieness of the content, I’m happy with the audience the site has built. I hope to continue to produce content that people will enjoy.

The positive reaction I’ve gotten to the site has motivated me to write more. When I started this site, I anticipated posting three to five times a week, but looking back now we’ve published over 400 articles. I say “we” because Ryo has contributed a couple dozen posts – Thanks Ryo!

Another unexpected outcome of this blog is that I’ve gotten to see my work and occasionally my name in some more mainstream media outlets. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Both Rob Neyer and Will Carroll picked up my news about Ichiro pitching earlier in the year. I’ve enjoyed reading both Rob and Will for years so it was very exciting having them link to NPB Tracker.
  • The baseball blogger at the Washington Post mentioned my work a number of times, including this blurb about Junichi Tazawa.
  • The Boston Score asked me some questions last autumn, also on Tazawa.
  • My busted translation of a Nikkan Sports piece on Hideki Irabu’s comeback got picked up by NBC New York. This was one of the best because the writer gave EWC a nod as well.
  • Links to NPB Tracker have started showing up on Wikipedia.

I think my overall favorite was my interview with Ted Berg of sny.tv. An inaccurate article that Ted wrote back in 2007 was part of my motivation for starting the site, and I shared the story in a thread on EWC, which Ted then found and contacted me after reading. Getting to take part in that interview was like coming full circle in a way.

I hope this doesn’t come across as self promoting; the attention this site has gotten has definitely exceeded my expectations and it’s a great honor to have been acknowledged by this group of people.

So, what does the next year hold for NPB Tracker? Mostly more of the same. The majority of the content will still be about Japanese baseball, and it will mostly be in English. I’m planning to have some content on baseball in other countries as well. Outside of that, I’m hoping to find some time to add some additional functionality to the site, mostly with the goal of making it more interactive (suggestions are always welcome).

So thanks for reading everyone, the pleasure has been all on this side of the ‘net.

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