Archive > 27 July 2011

NPB Bullet Points: Barden Tweets, Otsuka Wants Back In

» 27 July 2011 » In mlb, mlb prospects, nichibei, npb » 4 Comments

A few notes covering the last couple days of news…

  • New Hiroshima Carp acquisition Brian Barden used Twitter to collect information on NPB prior to heading to Japan. Barden “tweets” under the handle @thegreatbardeni.
  • Akinori Otsuka wants to make a comeback. The 39 year-old righty hasn’t pitched in the Majors in four years, over which time he’s had three Tommy John surgeries. Otsuka is currently coaching and throwing bullpen sessions with Samurai All-Japan of the Western Baseball Association.
  • Hisashi Iwakuma is back after a two-month layoff. He won his return start with seven strong innings over Softbank.
  • Craig Brazell lined up rookie Issei Morita the other day with a shaving cream pie in the face during a post-game interview. Here’s the approach… and the delivery.
  • Number has an article on the trade rumors surrounding Hiroki Kuroda. For the most part it’s nothing you can’t find in the American press, but Kuroda does comment that it “took him three years to get used to the Majors.”
  • Yakult has signed lefty Naoya Okamoto, the former Yokohama BayStar who had been with the Yankees’ 2A affiliate in Trenton.
  • Korean slugger Tae-Kyun Kim is leaving the Chiba Lotte Marines, and will resume his career in Korea.
  • Seibu has said goodbye to reliever Brian Sikorski, who has been on the shelf since having his elbow scoped earlier this season. Look for Seibu to seek out bullpen help.
And in today’s bonus article veteran writer Jim Allen takes a brief look at Japan’s current resistance to the terms being offered by MLB for WBC participation.
Bonus #2 comes courtesy of my FanGraphs bud Navin Vaswani, who broke down the recent New York Times piece on Kei Igawa.

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Architecture for Humanity

» 27 July 2011 » In something else » Comments Off on Architecture for Humanity

This is another one of those posts that I’ve been wanting to write for a while.

When the Tohoku Earthquake struck this spring, my family and I wanted to contribute in some small way to the relief and recovery effort. I’m a little too analytical to simply make a donation to the Red Cross and move on, so my wife and I did some research and found a handful of organizations to contribute to. Of the organizations we discovered, the one I find the most interesting is Architecture for Humanity.

In their own words, Architecture for Humanity is a “nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. We are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design.” I saw Architecture for Humanity as an organization that could contribute to resolving immediate rebuilding challenges, spur a little economic recovery, and leave long-term resources. They’re also a good match for my value system. Ideologically, I’m a firm believer in the value of building and creating things; practically speaking, they have a demonstrated track record of raising funds and establishing global partnerships, so I felt pretty confident that they could actually realize that value.

It’s been four months, and Architecture for Humanity’s website shows that progress has been made on the projects that have been initiated so far, and a summary of plans for other projects. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of their plans in Japan turn out. It’s definitely a long-term endeavor that will require support over the next several months.

It took a big earthquake hitting close to home to inspire me to action, but hopefully it’s a lasting inspiration. If anyone out there is interested donating, Architecture for Humanity has my enthusiastic endorsement. Even if you can’t donate, I’d still recommend checking ’em out. I wish I had known about this group after the earthquake in Haiti hit last year.

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