For anyone interested, here is some footage I took during a Rakuten-Yomiuri game on May 28.
The Girls Professional Baseball League Awards Convention took place today.
|Award||Player JPN||Player ENG||Team|
|Rookie Award||大田秀奈美||Ota, Honami||Hyogo|
|Best Smile Award||大田秀奈美||Ota, Honami||Hyogo|
|New Records Award||大田秀奈美||Ota, Honami||Hyogo|
|Ota Koji Award||小西 美加||Konishi, Mika||Osaka|
|黒木 弥生||Kuroki, Yayoi||Osaka|
|Granderson Award||益田 詩歩||Masuda, Shiho||Osaka|
|Speed-Up Award||田中 幸夏||Tanaka, Sachika||Hyogo|
|益田 詩歩||Masuda, Shiho||Osaka|
|Full Innings Award||田中 幸夏||Tanaka, Sachika||Hyogo|
|中村 茜||Nakamura, Akane||Hyogo|
|J-Sports MIP Award||小西つどい||Konishi, Tsudoi||Osaka|
|Big Play Award||中平 千佳||Nakahira, Chika||Kyoto|
|Fine Play Award||河本 悠||Kawamoto, Yu||Kyoto|
|No Error Award||三浦 伊織||Miura, Iori||Kyoto|
|Merit Award||坪内 瞳||Tsubouchi, Hitomi||Hyogo|
|Stat||Player JPN||Player ENG||Team|
|CS Pct||.304||碇 美穂子||Ikari, Mihoko||Osaka|
|Sac Bunts||17||早田 咲紀||Soda, Saki||Kyoto|
|Home Runs||2||小西 美加||Konishi, Mika||Osaka|
|OBP||.500||堀越 美紀||Horikoshi, Miki||Hyogo|
|RBI||31||大倉 三佳||Okura, Mika||Kyoto|
|Hits||48||中村 茜||Nakamura, Akane||Hyogo|
|48||三浦 伊織||Miura, Iori||Kyoto|
|AVG||.390||三浦 伊織||Miura, Iori||Kyoto|
|Stolen Bases||17||三浦 伊織||Miura, Iori||Kyoto|
|Saves||9||河本 悠||Kawamoto, Yu||Kyoto|
|Innings||140.2||小西 美加||Konishi, Mika||Osaka|
|Wins||11||小西 美加||Konishi, Mika||Osaka|
|ERA||2.14||小西 美加||Konishi, Mika||Osaka|
|Pos||Player JPN||Player ENG||Team|
|P||小西 美加||Konishi, Mika||Osaka|
|C||川保 麻弥||Kawaho, Maya||Hyogo|
|1B||田中 朋子||Tanaka, Tomoko||Kyoto|
|2B||田中 幸夏||Tanaka, Sachika||Hyogo|
|3B||岩谷 美里||Iwaya, Miri||Hyogo|
|OF||三浦 伊織||Miura, Iori||Kyoto|
|OF||中村 茜||Nakamura, Akane||Hyogo|
|OF||大倉 三佳||Okura, Mika||Kyoto|
|Player JPN||Player ENG||Team|
|小西 美加||Konishi, Mika||Osaka|
|川端 友紀||Kawabata, Yuki||Kyoto|
|田中 幸夏||Tanaka, Sachika||Hyogo|
|中村 茜||Nakamura, Akane||Hyogo|
|三浦 伊織||Miura, Iori||Kyoto|
Kakutani (MVP) Award
|Player JPN||Player ENG||Team|
|小西 美加||Konishi, Mika||Osaka|
So Taguchi held a press conference in Tokyo on Monday in order to formally announce his retirement from baseball.
Sponichi has posted a brief portion of the Q&A session.
Did you consider continuing your career?
I am fine physically and mentally, but then one day I felt like it might be time to move on. When you start thinking like that, it is a probably a good time [to quit].
Thoughts about your career?
I clearly remember 1995 and 1996 because of the Hanshin Earthquake. Both in terms of baseball and in terms of how the city was devastated. It was something else playing in that kind of situation. In the Majors, I remember the World Series in 2006. The moment we won, that moment is etched in my mind like a famous scene from a movie.
What motivated you to play for so long?
I always felt I had more growing to do. The desire to learn never went away.
What does baseball mean for you?
It is everything, kind of like a filter. Through baseball, you can learn good and bad things. I would like to be involved in all levels of baseball moving forward.
The press conference has also been posted at Youtube.
Best Nine: 1 (1996)
Golden Glove: 5 (1995-1997, 2000-2001)
All-Star Selections: 4 (1995-1997, 2001)
Kohei Oda was removed from the game after he took a thrown ball off his face while sliding into second base in the bottom of the 5th.
Oda hit a ball to left and ran to second. As he slid headfirst into the base, Matt Murton quickly threw the ball to second, where Hiroki Uemoto failed to make the catch -- the ball ricocheted off the ground and hit Oda in the face.
While propped up on top of second base, Oda spit up blood and remained on the ground. He was taken off the field on a stretcher.
UPDATE @ 10:43pm - Oda was taken to a hospital in Nagoya where he received two stitches to close a cut on his upper lip. He told reporters he should be ok tomorrow. Source: Nikkan Sports 9/8/2012
With a runner on second and two out in the bottom of the 7th, Soichiro Amaya hit a 2-2 pitch from Naoto Tsuru to left that rolled all the way to the wall (outfielders were playing shallow) and allowed him to collect the Carp's first inside-the-park home run since September 4, 1992.
The last NPB inside-the-park home run: Kensuke Uchimura on September 24, 2011.
Source: Sponichi 8/26/2012
A Yunker TV commercial feature Ichiro Suzuki throwing a baseball into a can in right field from near home pate has hit the airwaves in Japan. There are actually two versions, one where he bounces the baseball off the foul pole into a can and another where he throws two baseballs, one to knock off a lid on top of a can, and another into the can. Both are currently available at the Yunker website, but if you can't see them, you might try the two Youtube videos down below (the one off the foul pole is a different cut than the one that is shown on TV).
Incidentally, new Yunker ads featuring Ichiro in his new pinstripe uniforms are ready and should have hit most store floors in Japan today. Source: Sponichi 8/23/2012
The new Yunker ads should also be showing up on train lines as well. Source: Sanspo 8/24/2012
Steve Hammond currently plays for the Ishikawa Million Stars and would like a shot at playing in the NPB.
HT: 186cm | WT: 103kg | B/T: R/L
The following are some notes he passed along to me:
I found this online, didn't know someone was filming. Pitching against Yokohama DeNa Baystars Ni-gun. 6 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs. From May 25th.
This is against Gunma Diamond Pegasus - 7/27. From a complete game, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 bb, 6 k's, & only 84 pitches total. I'm not sure about velocity of my pitches (don't want to report inaccurately), because the radar guns are rare & unreliable. My fastball has generally been between 140-146, topping out at 148km. I also throw a cutter, change-up, and curveball.
He also provided an update of his complete game from August 11:
I threw my 3rd consecutive complete game on Saturday. I gave up 2 hits (one was a solo HR). In my last 3 games - 27IP, 8H, 1R, 1BB, 21K. I'm now 9-3 with a 1.99 era on the season. Total pitches for the last 3 games were 84, 112, and 105.
He also picked up his tenth victory of the season on August 17.
Matt Murton misplayed two consecutive balls hit to left by Ryohei Kawamoto and Tetsuto Yamada during the 3rd inning of Friday's game against the Yakult Swallows and was immediately removed from the game.
After the game, the players and coaches gathered in a circle for a meeting. OF/base-running coach Koichi Sekikawa reportedly pointed out the problems with Murton's defense in the 3rd inning that apparently led to a kerfuffle between the two that had to be quelled by a number of people to prevent things from escalating.
The two later spent over an hour talking things out in the clubhouse. By the time Murton was ready to leave, the team bus was already gone -- he ended up grabbing a taxi with Craig Brazell.
(Video not mine)
UPDATE 8/18 @ 3:36pm - Some updates:
- Murton reportedly took a few steps toward Sekikawa as he criticized his defense. The two were in each other's faces when Brazell and head coach Shuzo Arita stepped in to separate the two. The entire incident was visible from the field since the player locker room is not walled off from view. Team staff had to scramble for towels in an attempt to cover the windows/net. The rest of the team was allowed to leave while Murton, Brazell, Sekikawa, and an interpreter headed to the visitor's clubhouse to talk things out; their meeting lasted about fifty-eight minutes. Yutaka Wada did not attend the meeting and did not know about the incident since it took place during his post-game interview. During his post-game interview, he did tell reporters that he had to think about how he was going to use Murton. Source: Sports Hochi 8/18/2012, Sports Hochi Osaka 8/18/2012
- Murton will be taken off the active roster today and will be replaced by Kohei Shibata. Sekikawa was apparently the one that asked to meet with Murton in the clubhouse. Source: Daily Sports 8/18/2012
- The meeting in the clubhouse began with Murton, Sekikawa, Arita, and an interpreter. Arita left about thirty minutes into the meeting and asked Brazell to take his place. When the meeting ended, Sekikawa left with the team spokesperson and Murton with Brazell. Before leaving, Murton apparently smiled and waved good-bye to Sekikawa. Source: Sanspo 8/18/2012
UPDATE @ 8:20pm - Murton was taken off the active roster today. GM Eiichi Takano told reporters it was not a disciplinary move and that the team was hoping for him to return to the active roster. Source: Sponichi 8/18/2012
UPDATE 8/20 @ 12:15am - While the Tigers are maintaining that sending Murton to Ni-gun was not a disciplinary move, it seems they did issue him a warning, or at least a notice, to take it easy and not let his emotions get the better of him. Source: Sports Hochi 8/19/2012, Nikkan Sports 8/19/2012
Hiroshima Carp at Yokohama Bay Stars
Top of the 9th, runners on first and second and one out.
Shun Yamaguchi on the mound for Yokohama.
Tsubasa Aizawa in to pinch-hit for Kam Mickolio.
Yamamguchi threw a 3-2 fastaball (148km/h) up and in that hit Aizawa in the head. Aizawa dropped to the ground and remained there until a stretcher (and ambulance) took him off the field. Play was paused for about twelve minutes.
"The ball hit the area under the left eye. [Aizawa] was conscious. I cannot say anything until after his evaluation." said Hiroshima GM Kiyoaki Suzuki. Source: Sports Hochi 8/2/2012
Yamaguchi is the fifth CL pitcher (seventh overall) to be ejected from a game this year for throwing a dangerous pitch.
(Youtube videos not mine)
UPDATE @ 11:33pm -
A couple updates:
- The Bay Stars turned down the hero interview out of concern for Aizawa. Source: Sponichi 8/2/2012
- Yamaguchi: "I am very sorry for hitting him in the most dangerous of places. ... Is Aizawa ok? The only thing I can do is pray for a quick recovery." Source: Sponichi 8/2/2012
- Kenjiro Nomura: "It was near the face, apparently straight on from the front. [Aizawa] was conscious." And Kiyoshi Nakahata: "[Aizawa's] eyes were open. I heard they called the ambulance as a precaution." Source: Mainichi 8/2/2012
UPDATE 8/3 @ 1:07pm -
Aizawa was diagnosed with a fractured nose. Other tests did not reveal any problems with brain activity. Aizawa was not hospitalized and was allowed to return to the team hotel (his nose was taped up). He is scheduled to undergo another evaluation today in Hiroshima. Source: Sports Hochi 8/3/2012
A couple other notes:
- Aizawa's batting helmet was cracked (I think one of the replays up above shows that as well). Source: Nikkan Sports 8/3/2012
- There was a lot of bleeding. Source: Nikkan Sports 8/3/2012
UPDATE 8/3 @ 7:46pm - Aizawa was re-evaluated today and cleared of any additional problems. He will likely require three to four months for a full recovery. Source: Sports Hochi 8/3/2012
This is a Sho Nakata's Kyocera Dome ground-rule double in the third inning. Not my upload.