Tag Archive > wbc

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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NPB Bullet Points: WBC Participation, All-Star Notes, Hiroshima Pitchers

» 25 July 2011 » In international baseball, mlb prospects, nichibei, npb » Comments Off

I don’t usually pay too much attention to All-Star games, but there were a few interesting items that came up over the weekend.

  • Japan’s participation in the next World Baseball Classic is up in the air, over (you guessed it) revenue sharing issues. There’s more to this story than I want to cover in a bullet point, so I’ll come back to this one in a later post.
  • Yu Darvish’s last win before the All-Star break came at the expense of fellow ace Masahiro Tanaka and the Rakuten Eagles. 44,826 spectators were in attendance, among them scouts from the Rays, Yankees, Angels, Mets, Pirates, Indians, and Diamondbacks.
  • Yakult ace Shohei Tateyama supposedly threw a total of seven gyroballs in the second All-Star game this year, though I have yet to find video of this.
  • Softbank prospect Hiroyuki Kawahara hit 155 kmph (96.3 mph) on the gun in the fourth inning of the Fresh All-Star game, tying Hirotoshi Ishii’s record for fastest pitch thrown by a Japanese lefty.
  • Alex Ramirez used a green glove in the first All-Star game.
  • Looks like All-Stars Bryan Bullington and Dennis Sarfate will both be back in Hiroshima next season. The Carp hold options on both pitchers, and they’re making it an easy choice.
And to close things out, here’s Jason Coskrey’s article on Yomiuri international scout Nate Minchey.

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A Classic Worthy of The Name

» 24 March 2009 » In international baseball » 14 Comments

Last night’s Japan-Korea final was certainly the best WBC game I’ve ever seen, and probably the best one in the WBC’s short history. The live chat I hosted during the game was missing a few of the usual suspects but was a great one — thanks everyone who participated.

Here are my bullet points on the good…

  • Both Japan and Korea should be proud of the game they played. Both teams had a chance to win and I think they both earned a lot of respect internationally. I’ve always been interested in Korean baseball, but I’ll certainly follow the KBO a little more closely this year. Rather than winning bragging rights over each other, I think they’ve both earned bragging rights in the international baseball world.
  • For my money, Hisashi Iwakuma was the tournament MVP.
  • Japan executed small ball tactics pretty well over the last three games. I saw at least three successful hit and run plays, and a number of good bunts and lots of good defense. 
  • The Japan-Korea rivalry created an electric atmosphere. I’d love to see the two countries get together for something like The Ashes.
  • Everyone is second-guessing Korea manager In-Sik Kim’s decision to pitch to Ichiro in the 10th, but to me the decision wasn’t totally cut and dry. Ichiro hadn’t performed in the WBC until the final game, and Hiroyuki Nakajima had had a pretty good tournament. I’m not saying I agree or disagree with his call, but had he walked Ichiro we might be wondering why he loaded the bases for Nakajima.
  • I actually think Hara made pretty good moves over the last few games. 
  • Unheralded players of the tournament for me are Toshiya Sugiuchi and Satoshi Komatsu.

And the less good…

  • Yu Darvish really struggled with his command in the 9th inning last night. Ultimately it made the game more exciting, but he could have challenged hitters with his excellent fastball a little more, particularly with no one on base.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka, like Darvish had a bad habit of nibbling until he got into trouble, and then challenging hitters. Guys, you have good stuff! Go after hitters.
  • Japan played five games against Korea, two against Cuba, and one each against China and the USA. It didn’t detract from the final, but the seeding game was pretty mellow compared to the others. 
  • Japan won despite having Yoshiyuki Kamei on the roster.

Thoughts?

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ESPN = Thumbs Down

» 21 March 2009 » In international baseball » 1 Comment

I’m sitting here trying to watch tonight’s Korea-Venezuela game, but ESPN is showing college wrestling instead. Why??? How can this possibley attract more viewers than the WBC game? 

The game is on ESPN Classic until the wrestling is over, but that channel isn’t included in my cable package. I guess I’ll either have to wait for find a live feed.

Update: Okay, the wrestling ended and they switched back to the WBC, 19 minutes after game time and just in time to see Korea jump out to a 1-0 lead. The wrestling match was in overtime, which I didn’t know they had in wrestling.

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WBC: Murata Injured, Kurihara to Stand In

» 21 March 2009 » In international baseball » 7 Comments

Japan cleanup hitter Shuichi Murata is out of the WBC with a pulled a hamstring, suffered rounding first on a single in Thursday night’s win over Korea. Despite replacing him in the game with scrub Yoshiyuaki Kamei, Japan won the game. Manager Tatsunori Hara has called on Hiroshima Carp infielder Kenta Kurihara to take Murata’s spot. Kurihara bats cleanup for Hiroshima but doesn’t have Murata’s power and hasn’t played much at third recently. 

Maybe Hara will have Kurihara DH and play Munenori Kawasaki or Yasuyuki Kataoka at third.

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WBC Japan vs Korea (again) Live Chat

» 19 March 2009 » In international baseball » 3 Comments

Japan and Korea square off for the fourth time in this year’s WBC, with Korea holding the edge 2-1. Tetsuya Utsumi gets the start for Japan, while Jang Wonsam gets the call for Korea. This game determines the seedings for the semifinal round, but both teams are guaranteed to move on.

US-based fans can see the game on ESPN; Japan and Korea-based fans can certainly watch the game locally, we’ll see if we can find a live feed for others.

The live chat will be moderated and trolls will not be tolerated.

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WBC Japan vs Cuba Live Chat

» 18 March 2009 » In international baseball » 1 Comment

Update: For the March 19 game, please click here.

Update: Very touch ‘n go schedule for me tonight. We’ll start now 8:00pm, but I’ll be interrupted.

We’ll do another live chat for tonight’s WBC game. Should be a good one — another rematch of the 2006 final, only this time the loser goes home. Hisashi Iwakuma takes the hill for Japan, while Yuneski Maya goes for Cuba. Tonight’s game will be on ESPN2 in my area, so I don’t anticipate messing around with justin.tv tonight.

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WBC Warm-up

» 23 February 2009 » In international baseball » 4 Comments

Highlights from Japan’s 10-0 drubbing of the Yomiuri Giants in theire WBC warmup. This clip focuses on representatives from the SoftBank Hawks. Enjoy.

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WBC Workouts

» 18 February 2009 » In international baseball » 1 Comment

Two WBC-related videos to pass along… the first is Rakuten pitcher Masahiro Tanaka taking on Ichiro. Tanaka gets the better of him with a battery of breaking pitches.

And here’s a video of the whole team working out. The most notable thing about this clip is that there were, according to reports, over 40,000 people on hand to greet the team. I doubt that 40k people made it in to the stadium, but you can see that the whole infield lower deck and the rightfield bleachers are full. Keep in mind this is workout and not an actual game.

Also, here is a collection of pics from Sanspo.

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