NPB Bullet Points: Interleague & FA Status
News and notes from around NPB, mostly in Japanese this time around.
- Orix took this year’s Interleague title, and a with it a 50m yen ($500k) award for the team. The emergent T-Okada was credited as the hero of yesterday’s game, but stalwart slugger Alex Cabrera was 3-4 with two rbi’s and is hitting .394 on the season. Orix is now 32-30-1 in what I thought would be a rebulding season.
- Hichori Morimoto has racked up enough service time for international free agency. When asked about it, he responded in jest “I’m interested, you know, in America”, then added, “I care about how other teams evaluate me, but playing for the Fighters is the best.”
- Hisashi Iwakuma has also qualified for domestic free agency, but that’s a bit of a non-event given that he’s already under contract with Rakuten for next season. He’s represented by IMG, though, and I think he’ll make the MLB move after 2011, assuming he remains healthy and effective.
- The Giants called up Taishi Ohta, and he made his first professional start on the 12th, going 0-3. He had another 0-3 outing on the 13th.
- Yu Darvish’s June 12 start is archived on Justin.tv. Catch it while you can.
- Akinori Otsuka attended a Padress-Mariners game over the weekend, and still wants to make an MLB comeback. It won’t be this year though. Aki had his third elbow (ひじ) surgery this past January, and has been playing catch for about three weeks. He’s hoping to be throwing at full strength in October. Aki is 38, so a comeback is a tall order given his injury history. Keiichi Yabu returned to MLB ball at a older age, but he was coming back from ineffectiveness, not injuries.
- Here’s one in English: veteran NPB writer Jim Allen takes a look at Lotte’s hot first half.
And finally, off-topic content this week inspired by the South African-hosted World Cup: Emeka Okafor’s Timbuktu Chronicles and Appfrica, a blog site run by an Ugundan tech incubator. These outstanding blogs highlight areas of African resourcefulness and innovation.