NPB Bullet Points: Sawa, Nakata, Other Randomness

» 20 July 2011 » In mlb, npb »

Let me start with a belated congratulations to Japan’s inspiring and incredibly classy women’s soccer team on it’s recent World Cup win. Alas, I only saw highlights of the final and a bit of last week’s game against Sweden. Anyway, here are a few things I’ve read over the past day or two:

  • Hanshin is trying to get Women’s World Cup heroine Homare Sawa to throw out the first pitch at a Tigers game.
  • In this week’s Central League roster moves, Chunichi promoted first baseman Ryoji Nakata and Yomiuri swapped Levi Romero in for Jonathan Albaladejo on the active roster.
  • Yakult’s July 19th game was postponed due to rain… here’s why.
  • Hanshin shortstop Takashi Toritani can throw a ball 110 meters (that’s about 380 feet for the metric-impaired), but it doesn’t look like something he’ll want to do all the time.
  • Something a little different: Curtis Granderson laments the lack of African American fans at MLB games. I am with him all the way — part of my frustration with MLB’s recent drive for huge revenues is that ticket prices have gone up, which has made the game less accessible to families, particularly in lower income groups. It irks me that Oakland tends to take some flack from the American media for their inability to get new stadium or sign expensive veterans. Fine, glass half empty. But the A’s play typically competitive ball at reasonable prices, and do attract a more diverse crowd than their neighbors across the Bay.
  • Something completely different: The Economist’s recent article on Japan’s subtly growing software industry caught my eye; coincidentally I recently learned about the Tofu Project, which addresses some of the gaps the Economist brings up.

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  1. Patrick
    20/07/2011 at 2:55 pm Permalink

    Puerto Rican players are diminishing too.

    I’m afraid baseball is becoming “white” culture like (women’s) soccer as far as domestic players are concerned. For baseball, there is an economic side. The cost of baseball equipments, lack of playgrounds in inner cities, decrease in college scholarships. For soccer, the cost is negligible (cf. street kids in Brazil) and college scholarships were increased. Yet, it’s hard to find African-American players in both sports in the US.

  2. Patrick
    24/07/2011 at 10:30 pm Permalink

    Black players are almost non-existent at the college level in the US, at least in the western-US schools that I’ve watched over the last year or two. Brian Ragira of Stanford looks like a pretty good player though. Perhaps MLB should sponsor some scholarships or college baseball programs. At a time when public schools are tightening their belts, that could go a long way.