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Around the NPB Horn: Takahiro Mahara will be the Hawks’ closer in 2010

by on Dec.05, 2009 @ 12:18 pm, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

...Masahiro Yamamoto, Kazuhiro Ibata, Masahiro Araki, and Kazuki Yoshimi attended the Mizuno Advisor Staff Meetings on Friday.

Yamamoto had a bat custom made to his specs during his meeting.  Araki picked up 2 shortstop gloves that he'll be using as he switches over to the position.  Ibata said that he would use the same second baseman's glove he got prior to the 2009 season.

Hanshin Tigers

...Keiichi Hirano said that he will be training with Michihiro Ogasawara in January.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...Speaking at an event in Aichi Prefecture, Atsunori Inaba said he would be more than happy to answer any question Sho Nakata might have regarding playing the outfield.  He also dropped some quick advice tips to Nakata, like spending extra time taking fly balls and working on throws in the outfield.

...The Fighters announced on Friday that Toshiyuki Yanuki and Kyoko Fukazawa filed marriage paperwork on 11/22.  They will likely have a wedding ceremony sometime during the next off-season.

...The Fighters announced on Friday that Yachiho Hoshino will be returning to the team as a BP pitcher.  Hoshino was released in October.  They also announced that Shunsuke Sugiyama, sub-manager and bullpen catcher, is leaving the team.

Rakuten Eagles

...41,000 people have already signed up for the 2010 Eagles' fan club.  Interested fans can get more information on the Eagles' fan club at the official Eagles' website.

...Takeshi Yamasaki is aiming for a salary in the neighborhood of 250M yen.

Seibu Lions

...The Lions announced that Minoru Yamagishi is filing marriage paperwork with an unidentified 27-year-old women on the 6th.

Softbank Hawks

...Koji Akiyama once again re-iterated, on a TV sports program, that Takahiro Mahara will be the closer next season.

"I'm not thinking about [starting him].  A closer needs to be mentally strong.  He has that mental toughness," said Akiyama.

...Keisuke Katto made good use of his iPhone by using it to check his delivery during the season.

The Hawks handed out iPhones to all their players as a training tool.

...Masahiko Morifuku will be working on his change-up during the off-season.  And he'll be asking Toshiya Sugiuchi for tips as Morifuku will be training under him.

...Nobuhiko Matsunaka feels that if the Hawks are going to ban personal trainers from ball park grounds, then they should at the very least consider adding more training coaches and trainers.

...Nagisa Arakaki attended Mizuno Adivsor Staff Meeting on Friday and tried on a number of fielding gloves to see if there might be something better on the market.  Arakaki did end up finding a glove that interested him: the Hirokazu Ibata model glove that about 100 grams lighter than Arakaki's current glove (600 grams).

Arakaki was so impressed with the glove that he will give it a test run during his training session in January.

Yakult Swallows

...A children's Yoshinori model glove will go on the market next year.

He becomes the second player after Hideki Matsui to have his own baseball glove model released to the market after their second pro season.

Yomiuri Giants

...As expected, the Giants added Chih-Lung Huang to their Ikusei roster.  Huang can hit 152km/h on the radar gun and throws a slider and fork.

"I heard Huang pushed away the Majors and decided to come to our team.  The pitching coach, Saito, said Huang will work hard to make the active roster next year.  I'd like to see him become the next Obispo," said Club rep Hidetoshi Kiyotake.


...While Ayumu Yamamoto is still holding out hope that some team will pick him up, he's also not just standing around doing nothing while waiting.  Yamamoto has decided to study for entrance exams for graduate school.

8 comments on “Around the NPB Horn: Takahiro Mahara will be the Hawks’ closer in 2010

  1. Deanna

    That is REALLY bizarre about Yanuki, given that he didn’t come back to Japan from the Arizona Fall League until November 23rd.

    I realize you’re just translating an article, and might not have been keeping up with Yanuki and the other AFL kids, but still, WTF?

    Sugiyama-kun was a bullpen manager of sorts… that’s a shame about him leaving, and actually somewhat bizarre, being as he’s actually FROM Hokkaido, which is why I thought he joined the Fighters after retiring in the first place… Wonder if they’ll move up Komai or find someone new to replace him.

    In reply to another post, I’m kind of curious why you always romanize Chon-so Yoh’s name as Yang? It’s not in the registry here, his uniform says Yoh, everyone calls him Yoh, etc. I know at least one of his brothers goes by “Yang” here, but I think the other is also a “Yoh”… His new name will be “Dai-kan Yoh”… which is going to mess up his ouenka as we always yell his name as “Yoh-Chon-So”, this doesn’t rhyme. Wonder what the ouendan will do about that. Maybe we’ll just call him by the same old name.

    1. Gen Post author

      Yeah, I know about Yanuki being in the States for the AFL. But I don’t see why Yanuki’s news is that weird. Just because they filed on 11/23 doesn’t mean that he actually filed it. They could have easily filled out the form together, BEFORE he left for the AFL and then she filed it on a date the two of them picked out. AFAIK, both parties don’t necessarily need to be there. Of course, I’ve never filed one of these certificates before, so I’m not 100% sure.

      As for Chung-Shou Yang… I’m merely using what the official NPB site is using. And depending on who you talk to, the kanji ‘陽’ can be read as Yoh or Yang. I think it’s up to the player to decide.

      The way I see it, the NPB has the official registry. If they list it as Yang, then that’s how he’s registered with the NPB. That doesn’t necessarily mean his uniform is wrong, or that the NPB is right. It could be that he just hasn’t gotten around to correcting the NPB, or correcting the Fighters. Or that he just doesn’t really care either way. Based on what you’ve said though, I’m guessing he probably doesn’t know that the NPB has him listed as Yang instead of Yoh. Perhaps this name change will fix the errors.

  2. Deanna

    Or that the NPB did something weird in English, because even on their Japanese site, he is clearly listed as よう・ちょんそ, which in no way shape or form says “Yang”. And his uniform says Yoh, and all of the Fighters stuff has him as “Chonso Yoh” — I’d link to the name photos on the keitai site but it seems you can’t get to them from a normal browser.

    And why it’s weird is — wouldn’t it have made sense for them to either file it before he went away or after he came back? I’m thinking that the press just got the date wrong… I can’t imagine that he’d fill out a paper in early October and that his fiancee would wait until one day before he came back from Arizona to actually file it, unless she was waffling over it, but if so, still, why not wait until his arrival to do it? Sitting on an important paper like that for a month and a half seems really fishy to me.

    1. Gen Post author

      Japanese people can be VERY picky about dates. It’s entirely possible that 11/22 had special meaning to the couple. The number itself is also very “clean” because 22 is the double of 11.

      Also, 11/22 means いい・ふうふう, which means good husband and wife.

      While it could be an error that the press made, I think it has more to do with the couple wanting to be married on a specific date. That can be VERY important to Japanese people.

    2. Gen Post author

      Ok, I did some more research on the actual kanji for ‘陽’ and here’s what I found:

      In Japanese, it’s pronounced yoh. In Chinese, it’s yang. So technically Yang is correct. He probably changed the reading to Yoh to accommodate Japanese people.

      Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time something like this happened. For a famous example, I turn to Sadaharu Oh and Chien-Ming Wang. They both spell their last names with the character 王, but they are read differently.

      The kanji for Oh is ‘王’ and the reading in Japanese is oh. But in Chinese, it’s wang.

      As for why Dai-Kang chose Yoh over Yang… My guess, and it’s purely a guess, is that it has something to do with the fact that he attended high school here in Japan. He and his parents may have made a conscious decision to have it read as Yoh instead of Yang. His brother with the Red Warblers also attended high school in Japan and he also is listed as Yoh on the Red Warblers site. Of course, his older brother with the Softbank Hawks is listed under Yang and never attended high school in Japan.

  3. Deanna

    Right, I already know all of that (both the pronunciations Yoh/Yang and about him attending high school in Japan). My point is that nobody who actually watches him play calls him Yang, so it’s very weird to continually see his name spelled that way here. That’s really all. If I didn’t know the dual reading of the kanji, even I would be like “Who the hell is this Yang guy? We don’t have a Yang on the Fighters roster…”

    It’d be like if you started calling Ikketsu Sho of the Tigers Yi-Jie Hsiao just because, well, that is his real name in Chinese. Except apparently NPB saw fit to have the same name for him in English and Japanese on their registry?

    Better yet would be to start calling the zainichi players by their Korean names! Like Jin-hwan Hwang…

    The kids at my JHS who are not actually Japanese all have Japanese names. The thing is, they don’t just have Japanese pronunciations of their Korean/Chinese names — they have completely different Japanese names. (A girl who is really a Kim became a Matsumoto, which is totally disconnected.) Meanwhile, our Korean exchange student 林 who was only here for the spring semester simply went by “Im”, not “Hayashi”. It makes a lot of sense for someone planning to be in the country a long time to adapt a Japanese name, especially in a school environment…

  4. Deanna

    And er, that is, you already said “that’s what the NPB site is using”, so there really doesn’t need to be a further explanation per se. On the other hand, I think it is SUPER strange that there’s this difference between the English/Japanese on their site as well as between them and the Fighters’ registry.

    1. Gen Post author

      Actually, that last reply wasn’t specifically directed at you, but rather just a general reply for people that may not know the situation. I can see why you may have thought I was directing the comment to you, since it came as a reply to your comment, but I did that purposely just to keep things organized.

      In any case, the bottom line is that the Japanese version of the NPB site lists Dai-Kang as “Yoh” and the English site lists him as “Yang.” And that leaves us with the questions of a why it was done that way and by whom.

      Dai-Kang could have easily done it himself (perhaps he wants to be known internationally as Yang instead of Yoh). Or maybe the NPB just assumed it was Yang because his brother calls himself Yang. It could also be chalked up to a simple mix-up that happened somewhere along the way.

      What I’ll be interested in seeing now is how his last name shows up after they make the update to the site for the 2010 season. I’m sure the registration forms now contain proper blanks for English, Kanji, and Katana spelling. If it still comes up as Yang, then my guess is that’s how he wants to be known internationally.

      Incidentally, I’m of the opinion that the NPB isn’t at fault here, but rather the person who initially filed his paperwork. It doesn’t make much sense to me that the person entering the data would make a conscious effort to change his English name to Yang when the katana spelling is Yoh.

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