NPB Bullet Points: Ouen-dan, Wakui, Darvish, Orix Uniforms

» 08 January 2011 » In mlb prospects, nichibei, npb, npb draft, NPB Tracker »

Before I get caught up on my more analytical pieces, here’s about a week’s worth of news items:

  • The Yomiuri Giants have broken up the Tokyo Yomiuri Kyojin-gun Ouen-dan (Tokyo Yomiuri Giants Cheering Club) over “improper re-sale of game tickets”.
  • Seibu ace Hideaki Wakui is having a hard time reaching an agreement with the Lions on his 2011 salary. It’s reportedly possible that he won’t have a contract signed by the time camp opens, and thus have to pay his way there.
  • Chiba Marine Stadium has been rechristened QVC Marine Field. Yes, that’s QVC, the television shopping network.
  • Sponichi points out that, in addition to being the son of former Chunichi Dragon Mark Ryal, Rusty Ryal was also the guy that hit a line drive off Hiroki Kuroda’s head back in 2009.
  • The Yukan Fuji paper published an article about Bill James projections found at my other haunt, The headline was James’ projection that Koji Uehara would save 31 games with a 2.81 ERA for the Orioles this upcoming season.
  • According to Sankei News, the Chiba Lotte Marines took in 8bn yen in revenue in 2010, the highest figure in team history. While the club finished 2bn yen in the red, they lost 1.3bn yen less than the previous year, and the 8bn yen represents a quadrupling in revenue since 2004. Winning the Nippon Series and posting Tsuyoshi Nishioka helped boost Lotte’s income.
  • Despite being in great shape, former Yokohama and Orix player Katsuaki Furuki got his face bashed in his fighting debut.
  • Yu Darvish’s New Year’s Resolutions are to read two books per month, and watch movies that he doesn’t typically like. His intent is to “refine his sensitivity” (“感性を磨けるかなって理由です(^^)”).
  • Darvish’s Nippon Ham teammate, incoming rookie Yuki Saito, wants to play until he’s 50.
  • Here’s a great pic of Hiroshima ace Kenta Maeda working out with a medicine ball.
  • Lotte managed to sign their 6th-round draft pick, USC right Shuhei Fujiya. Fujiya gets Johnny Kuroki’s number 54.
  • Orix has unveiled their new uniforms. I’m a little disappointed, I thought they would change them more. I think they should have brought back the old Kintetsu Buffaloes logo, at least on an arm patch or something.
  • And finally, one in English: speaking to ESPN, Matt Murton called going to Japan “100 percent the best decision I made.”

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  1. Patrick
    08/01/2011 at 1:23 pm Permalink

    For those who are wondering about QVC, one of the satellite channels hosts both the Marines games and QVC programs. There must be something financially more concrete than “sharing the same satellite channel,” but I’m too lazy to look it up.

  2. Patrick
    08/01/2011 at 3:28 pm Permalink

    Doesn’t the 2011 Orix uniform resemble the Detroit Tigers’?

    I never knew what’s called that thing Maeda trains with (medicine ball, hmm).



  3. Patrick
    09/01/2011 at 2:21 am Permalink

    Orix…. I do not like the new road jersey at all. I’d never thought I’d get to like the old ones better.

    And speaking of those medicine balls, how do you uh, work out with that thing anyway? Just toss it around? I’ve never seen one in real life.

  4. Patrick
    09/01/2011 at 8:41 am Permalink

    Glad Fujiya signed. Should be interesting to see what happens with him.

    I was just at the Osaka Dome today by random chance, but was much more intrigued by the T-Okada merchandise than the new Buffaloes merchandise… it’s not necessarily a bad design, just not that exciting. If they’d had player t-shirts I might have gotten one, but just the logo… eh.

  5. Patrick
    09/01/2011 at 11:52 am Permalink

    Fujiya was picked in the 18th round of the MLB draft by the Padres back in 2009. Paul Depodesta mentioned him in a blog post:

    I wonder why he wasn’t drafted in 2010.

    In other news, he’s brushing up on his Japanese:

  6. Patrick
    10/01/2011 at 4:20 pm Permalink


    I was looking at Fujiya’s stats earlier, last October. He was from Northern Iowa. N.I. dispersed their baseball team in 2009 due to a lack of fund. Fujiya transferred to USC, I guess. But USC hasn’t been good the last decade (after Mark Prior and company left).

    I just feel that he’s not a “natural” or anything special. He might be hard-working and trying good in his life, but as far as baseball talent goes, I have doubts (a second-tier and a third tier program… how can ANY college in Iowa not keeping their baseball team?).

    I also found out Fujiya learned an authentic forkball for Hideo Nomo when the young one interpreted for Nomo:


  7. Patrick
    10/01/2011 at 4:23 pm Permalink

    *Correction* Fujiya was Nomo’s guide, not necessarily an interpreter. This explains why the young one still need to relearn his heritage (the Japanese language)… Oh well, you guys can google-translate the webpage if you care.

  8. Patrick
    10/01/2011 at 5:02 pm Permalink

    Actually it says he met Nomo about four years before the article was written, and learned the forkball grip then. The guide thing was that Waseda University trained in LA last year, and he served as their guide when they visited USC’s baseball facilities.

    He’s got almost an Iwakuma-ish frame at 190cm / 77kg, and apparently a pretty good arm without a lot of mileage on it. Very good guy to take a flier on in the 6th round of the NPB draft, imho.

  9. Patrick
    11/01/2011 at 7:25 am Permalink

    YOu’re right, Patrick, I didn’t catch that buried in that looong sentence. I guess I’m too tired when I re-read all these. Oh well, I’ll sleep and, hopefully, wake up reading about Wakui fighting for his player’s right, and that 2000-man yen of stardom respect.


  10. Patrick
    11/01/2011 at 7:26 am Permalink

    *Winning the fight, I meant. Boy, Seibu is looking cheap right now that Darvish is signed…