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Girls Professional Baseball League Awards Convention 2012

by on Dec.25, 2012 @ 6:26 pm, under Women's Baseball
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The Girls Professional Baseball League Awards Convention took place today.

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Awards

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
小西つどい Konishi, Tsudoi Osaka
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

Titles

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
Strikeouts 52 大田秀奈美 Ota, Honami Hyogo
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

Best Nine

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
SS 厚ヶ瀬美姫 Atsugase, Miki Hyogo
OF 三浦 伊織 Miura, Iori Kyoto
OF 中村  茜 Nakamura, Akane Hyogo
OF 大倉 三佳 Okura, Mika Kyoto

Special Award

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
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So Taguchi holds press conference to announce retirement

by on Sep.11, 2012 @ 12:26 am, under NPB
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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.

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The press conference has also been posted at Youtube.

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Career Stats

Year League Team G AB PA R H 2B 3B HR TB RBI SB CS SH SF BB IBB HBP SO DP AVG OBP SLG OPS
1992 NPB Orix 47 141 123 12 33 10 0 1 46 7 5 0 9 0 8 0 1 26 1 .268 .318 .374 .692
1993 NPB Orix 31 90 83 12 23 7 1 0 32 5 3 2 4 0 3 0 0 12 2 .277 .302 .386 .688
1994 NPB Orix 108 364 329 55 101 17 1 6 138 43 10 3 5 4 23 1 3 62 6 .307 .354 .419 .773
1995 NPB Orix 130 574 495 76 122 24 2 9 177 61 14 7 25 7 43 0 4 80 7 .246 .308 .358 .665
1996 NPB Orix 128 569 509 74 142 24 1 7 189 44 10 4 23 4 29 4 4 61 15 .279 .321 .371 .692
1997 NPB Orix 135 643 572 92 168 32 4 10 238 56 7 1 16 3 49 1 3 74 4 .294 .351 .416 .767
1998 NPB Orix 132 573 497 85 135 26 2 9 192 41 8 8 23 2 48 2 3 68 13 .272 .338 .386 .724
1999 NPB Orix 133 569 524 77 141 21 1 9 191 56 11 6 14 1 29 0 1 91 9 .269 .308 .365 .673
2000 NPB Orix 129 578 509 77 142 26 3 8 198 49 9 2 11 0 55 1 3 80 12 .279 .353 .389 .742
2001 NPB Orix 134 524 453 70 127 21 6 8 184 42 6 6 26 1 43 2 1 88 7 .280 .343 .406 .750
2002 MLB STL 19 19 15 4 6 0 0 0 6 2 1 0 2 0 2 0 0 1 0 .400 .471 .400 .871
2003 MLB STL 43 59 54 9 14 3 1 3 28 13 0 0 1 0 4 1 0 11 2 .259 .310 .519 .829
2004 MLB STL 109 206 179 26 52 10 2 3 75 25 6 3 10 3 12 1 2 23 6 .291 .337 .419 .756
2005 MLB STL 143 424 396 45 114 21 2 8 163 53 11 2 2 4 20 2 2 62 11 .288 .322 .412 .734
2006 MLB STL 134 361 316 46 84 19 1 2 111 31 11 3 9 2 32 1 2 48 9 .266 .335 .351 .686
2007 MLB STL 130 340 307 48 89 15 0 3 113 30 7 4 3 1 23 0 6 32 10 .290 .350 .368 .718
2008 MLB PHI 88 103 91 18 20 5 1 0 27 9 3 0 4 0 8 0 0 14 2 .220 .283 .297 .580
2009 MLB CHC 6 12 11 1 3 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 0 .273 .333 .364 .697
2010 NPB Orix 53 131 119 17 31 6 0 3 46 10 1 0 2 2 7 0 1 28 4 .261 .302 .387 .689
2011 NPB Orix 62 239 198 27 54 10 0 0 64 15 3 1 23 0 15 1 3 36 5 .273 .333 .323 .657
NPB Totals 1222 4995 4411 674 1219 224 21 70 1695 429 87 40 181 24 352 12 27 706 85 .276 .332 .384 .716
MLB Totals 672 1524 1369 197 382 74 7 19 527 163 39 12 31 10 102 5 12 195 40 .279 .332 .385 .717

Awards

Best Nine: 1 (1996)
Golden Glove: 5 (1995-1997, 2000-2001)
All-Star Selections: 4 (1995-1997, 2001) 

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Chunichi Dragons: Kohei Oda takes a ball to the face while sliding into second

by on Sep.08, 2012 @ 5:09 pm, under NPB
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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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgauQw8v9D8

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

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Soichiro Amaya hits first Hiroshima inside-the-park home run since 1992

by on Aug.26, 2012 @ 4:37 pm, under NPB
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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

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Ichiro’s latest Yunker TV commercials

by on Aug.23, 2012 @ 12:36 pm, under MLB
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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).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK0ipYPfhS4

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

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Ishikawa Million Stars: Steve Hammond

by on Aug.22, 2012 @ 1:09 am, under Other
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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

2012 Stats

ERA G W L Sv CG IP BF NP H HR SO BB HBP R ER WP BK E
1.84 15 10 3 0 3 97.2 391 1441 73 2 77 24 9 24 20 0 1 1

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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.

Hanshin Tigers: Matt Murton and Koichi Sekikawa get into an argument after Friday’s game

by on Aug.18, 2012 @ 12:48 am, under NPB
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnP_dqDmNqY

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.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/17/2012, Sponichi 8/17/2012, Daily Sports 8/17/2012

(Video not mine)

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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 8/19/2012Nikkan Sports 8/19/2012

Shun Yamaguchi (YOK) tossed for throwing dangerous pitch at Tsubasa Aizawa (HIR)

by on Aug.02, 2012 @ 11:11 pm, under NPB
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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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoGCB32KRf4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CkHWkPNAzE

(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:

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