Tag Archive > Hiroshima Carp

A Midsummer Night’s Blog Post

» 18 August 2012 » In mlb, nichibei, npb » 2 Comments

While my baseball consumption has not returned to it’s previous levels, my itch to write has returned, so tonight I’m taking a hiatus from my hiatus to share a few thoughts on the season so far.

  • After years of anticipation, Yu Darvish, has made his Major League debut. The results have been mixed — lots of strikeouts, lots of walks. The walks are a surprise to me; the mid-season struggles are not. I must admit that fate has conspired against me, and I haven’t seen a single Darvish start all the way through this year.
  • Nippon Ham has carried on without Darvish, currently leading the Pacific League by a game over Seibu. 24 year-old lefty Mitsuo Yoshikawa took advantage of the hole left by Darvish, and is enjoyed a breakout season. While he lacks Darvish’s eye-popping dominance, a 10-4 record with a 1.91 ERA isn’t too shabby.
  • I never thought I’d see Ichiro traded, but last month it happened. It felt more like Ichiro was on the path to retirement this season, but his bat has woken up a bit with the Yankees. Perhaps playing for a winning time will revive his career.
  • The Japanese Players Association is threatening to sit out next year’s World Baseball Classic if WBC Inc doesn’t give them a bigger share of the revenue. So far neither side is willing to budge. I hope they can work out some sort of agreement because a Japanese boycott would be bad for both sides.
  • I didn’t get to finish my predictions this spring, but every year I think that Chunichi is going to stumble and that Seibu is going to be good. And, every year I’m wrong, at least about the Chunichi side of the prediction. This year was no exception. I thought Chunichi was set for a big step backwards, but they’re comfortably in second place in the Central, and had been in the hunt for first until Yomiuri started to pull away. Seibu got off to a rough start and appeared to be headed for a disappointing season, but has righted the ship and is now in the hunt for a league title.
  • I was going to write something about Brad Penny here but I don’t think I’ll bother.
  • Softbank veteran Hiroki Kokubo announced his retirement last week. Otsukare-sama.
  • Yomiuri veteran and personal favorite Yoshinobu Takahashi slugged his 300th career home run last week. Jason Coskrey has more.
  • The two young players I’ve enjoyed watching the most this year? Hiroshima’s Yusuke Nomura and Yokohama DeNA’s Sho Aranami.
  • While it doesn’t stack up to MLB’s three perfect games this season, NPB has seen a pair of no-hitters this year: Toshiya Sugiuchi’s against Rakuten on May 30, and Kenta Maeda’s against DeNA on April 6. Although, I did not witness either of these games, I did catch a pair of near no-hitters. Another personal favorite, Daisuke Miura, took a no-no into the 9th against Hanshin on May 12, but pinch-hitter Shinjiro Hiyama put up a veteran at-bat, working a full count before finally hitting a long single. Hanshin eventually scored and Miura lost his shutout, but won the game. The other was another Sugiuchi gem, thrown on May 4 against Hanshin. The only solid contact I recall Sugiuchi surrendering happened to be the only hit Hanshin managed, a sharp single, hit mid-game by Takashi Toritani. The game lacked the drama of a late-innings no-hit bid, but was a dominant performance nonetheless.

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NPB Bullet Points: Catching Up

» 17 September 2011 » In kbo, mlb, mlb prospects, nichibei, npb » 3 Comments

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. So long, in fact, that the draft post had some links from July in it. Between when I started this and now, some interesting random things have happened. Here are a few of them.

  • The Orix Buffaloes promoted Freddy Ballestas to their shihaika roster back in July.
  • Also in July, Softbank lefty Tsuyoshi Wada took home his 100th career win. He achieved the feat in his 200th career game, the eight fastest pace of all time and the fastest for a lefty, ahead of teammate Toshiya Sugiuchi.
  • In other Wada news, Tsuyoshi reached the service time requirements for free agency on September 16 and is widely expected to make a run at an MLB contract this offseason. Said Wada: “I’m honestly happy [about reaching free agency]. I haven’t had a chance to think about it yet. [The team and] I haven’t had a detailed discussion yet, but I’ve been told I’m needed.” He looked pretty happy about the achievement.
  • Hiroshima is holding a tryout on September 24th, for men aged 17 to 24 and over 175 cm tall. This is aimed at Japanese, NPB draft-eligible players.
  • Sport Hochi speculates that Yokohama could release all eight of their foreign players this offseason. I suspect they’ll hold on to their Taiwanese prospects but move on from the rest.
  • Whomever runs the official Orix Buffaloes Twitter feed wants to attend UEFA Champion League matches.
  • A fan fell on the field during the September 16th Swallows-Carp game in Hiroshima, after climbing the outfield fence trying to retrieve a ball thrown into the stands by Yakult outfielder Norichika Aoki. Aoki commented, “he seemed pretty drunk. I’m glad that he seemed to not get hurt.”
  • Journalist Misako Hida recently did an interesting interview with Kei Igawa for the Japanese version of the Wall Street Journal. Among the insights: Igawa wants to sign with an MLB organization that will give him a chance to reach the majors, he doesn’t get recognized much when he goes out, and he realized the Yankees didn’t know him when the GM and manager asked what his best pitch at a meeting during his first year.
  • @mykbo had a Tweet this morning saying that Lotte pitcher Lee Yong-hoon has thrown the first minor league perfect game in the history of the KBO.

English language bonus link:

  • Twins blog Over the Baggy has some interesting analysis of Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s defense in his first year with the Twins. The author makes some excellent observations. Better, I would say, than anything I’ve done in this area.

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Barden to Hiroshima

» 18 July 2011 » In nichibei, npb » Comments Off

The Hiroshima Carp have announced the signing of infielder Brian Barden, according the Chugoku News (among others). Barden opted out of his Rangers contract a couple weeks ago after tearing up the Pacific Coast League. He’ll fill in at third base for the Carp, who currently have Chad Tracy sidelined.

Hiroshima currently stands at 29-36-5, three games behind Hanshin for the third Central League playoff spot. The Carp are currently last in the CL with 18 home runs and fifth with 214 runs scored, so any punch Barden brings to the lineup will be a big plus.

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Hiroshima Negotiating with McClain

» 23 April 2009 » In npb » 1 Comment

The Hiroshima Carp are looking to import some righthanded power in veteran slugger Scott McClain. Negotiations are reportedly going well and McClain is expected to head across the Pacific in May.

McClain is kind of a story of perseverance; he hit his first MLB home runs last year with the Giants at age 36. He has some NPB experience, having spent parts of four seasons with the Seibu Lions in the early 00’s. The Carp had pretty good results with their last veteran suketto acquisition (Alex Ochoa) and McClain figures to be a solid addition to their lineup.

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NPB Bullet Points (2009/01/04)

» 04 January 2009 » In mlb, nichibei, npb » Comments Off

First bullet points of the new year… let’s get started.

Japanese Articles

  • The Tadahito Iguchi rumor mill is heating up a little. According to Nikkan Sports by way of Sports Nifty, the Chiba Lotte Marines are prepared to start the negotiations at 2 years, 400m yen ($4.4m at the current exchange rate).  The article speculates that they could go a little higher as they have the diasppointing Julio Zuleta’s 260m yen ($2.86m) annual salary coming off the books.
  • Nikkan Sports reports that Daisuke Matsuzaka will be training with his former team, the Seibu Lions in preparation for the World Baseball Classic. Matsuzaka will train with Seibut at his own request.
  • Nippon Ham manager Masataka Nashida has announced that Yu Darvish will be his opening day starter. Not really news, but it’ll be a tight schedule with the WBC wrapping up shortly beforehand. In the same breathe, Nashida said that he wants to face Hanshin in the Japan Series this year.
  • Yomiuri Giants reliever and 2008 R0Y Tetsuya Yamaguchi will be doing his pre-camp training in Arizona at the Fischer Sports Gym, where Randy Johnson works out in the offseason. In other training news, Yakult reliever Ryota Igarashi is also heading to Arizona to train at the same gym Nomar Garciaparra uses.
  • The Hiroshima Carp have been flooded with a deluge of orders for their new uniform.

English Articles

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New Uniforms for Hiroshima, Yokohama

» 26 November 2008 » In npb » 3 Comments

Like many teams before them, the Hiroshima Carp are taking their stadium move as an opportunity to refresh the their image with a new uniform design. Nice simple design, doing away the pinstripes of the old version. Looks good to me, aside from “Carp” script on the home uniform looking a little plasticy. For fun, here’s a look at the team’s 70’s era uniforms, and a CG video tour of the new ballpark.

Yokohama isn’t moving to a new stadium, but could definitely use an image change after years of being the Central League’s doormat. The BayStars’ new uniforms are clearly inspired by what they’ve been wearing for interleague games for the last few years. Like Hiroshima, they’ve ditched the pinstripes on their home uniform, but added them to their road grays, which aren’t really gray at all. I can’t say I’m a fan of the collar on the home uniforms but I do like the road version.

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NPB Bullet Points (2008/11/07)

» 07 November 2008 » In mlb prospects, nichibei, npb » 4 Comments

Four Japanese Articles to share today:

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NPB Bullet Points (2008/09/14)

» 14 September 2008 » In npb » Comments Off

After a short break from writing, I’m back with a few highlights from my weekend reading. I’ve been enjoying Sanspo’s Baseball Photo Ranking lately.

The next big piece of content I have on tap for NPB Tracker is (surprise) an essay on the Junichi Tazawa situation. Look out for that in the next day or two.

Japanese Articles:

English Articles:

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NPB Bullet Points (2008/09/09)

» 09 September 2008 » In npb » 2 Comments

Going with all Japanese articles for today’s bullet points, since I haven’t really read anything in English for the last couple of days.

Japanese Articles:

Question for bullet points readers: do you enjoy the Japanese content or the English content more? What topics do you find most interesting?

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NPB Bullet Points (2008/08/05)

» 05 August 2008 » In npb » Comments Off

English articles only today, and a fairly random collection.

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