Archive > May 2013

Throwing On The Side

» 13 May 2013 » In nichibei, npb » 1 Comment

Changes are afoot in Japanese baseball. NPB brass met on May 13, and decided to phase out the practice of pitchers staying loose by playing catch in front of the dugout while their team is batting. The change is to take a effect following the All-Star break at ni-gun, and next season at ichi-gun.

The reason cited was to “comply with the rules of baseball”, but I see it as a move toward Westernization. In recent years we’ve sign the ban of ni-dan (two-stage) motions, a change to the American notation for balls and strikes (a full count used to be 2-3), and the introduction of a league standard ball, among other things. Most of these changes range from innocuous to good, but I wonder if they will eventually rob Pro Yakyu of a little of it’s character. And I miss the ni-dan motions.

In other news, the Central League asked for a reduction to the interleague schedule, to which the Pacific League responded with a vague “ongoing discussion”, or essentially death by bureaucracy. Neither league wants to give up valuable revenue-generating games with Yomiuri.

Finally, NPB announced that it’s investigating opening the 2014 with the Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers in Southern California. This news has been out there for a while and it seems that enthusiasm for the idea is growing. A final decision on the idea is now expected in June. Veteran baseball writer Wayne Graczyk has more on the plan, in an article published in April.

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A Very Japanese Headline

» 01 May 2013 » In npb » 1 Comment

When reporting something that hasn’t happened in a while, the Japanese media has a habit of using the exact number of days since the last occurrence to underscore the point. Here’s today’s example:

Terahara’s First Win For Softbank in 2481 Days; Says to Local Fans “I’m Home!”

Original Japanese: 寺原2481日ぶりソフトBで白星 地元ファンに「ただいま!」

This headline refers to Hayato Terahara’s first win of the season; he returned to the Softbank Hawks as a free agent after having been traded away six years ago.

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