Wednesday, November 16

Japan Report

Well, the Far East has been conquered, and it was sweet. As I expected, all baseball merchandise was way too expensive to buy, so I ended up with some Hanshin Tigers pins. They have awesome sports retail stores though, and I could've bought a jersey from every major Euro soccer club, every American baseball team, and of course every Japanese baseball team. While I didn't end up with any nice jerseys or hats, I did get a chance to watch some baseball. I watched two games between the Softbank Hawks and the Yomiuri Giants. The Yomiuri Giants are like the Yankees of Japanese baseball, and they are really pretty good. A pitcher named Kudoh threw for the Giants in the first game, and apparently he was the biggest free agent acquisition in the off-season, and happened to have played for the Hawks the season before. He appeared to be roughly 60 years old, and proceeded to throw a complete game of about 150 pitches. While the Hawks had a small rally in the bottom of the 9th, he threw 5 hitless innings, and the rest were almost flawless. It was an impressive performance, especially from an apparent veteran. Regardless, the level of play is pretty good...lots of small ball, sacrifice hits and bunts, and pretty good pitching. I saw a couple other games too, and there were about two to three foreign players on each team, be it American or from some Hispanic country.
Other notable moments:
1. Monday Night Football--I got to watch Peyton school the Patriots for the first time ever on Monday Night Football. Keep in mind, this game happens on Tuesday in Japan, so they show the game taped later in the day. John Madden and Al Michaels still provide the commentary, with Japanese subtitles. I was pretty surprised to see it, considering they didn't show any other football on network TV.

2. Soccer fans--I happened to be wearing my Newcastle United jersey one night when I ran into a Japanese kid wearing a Liverpool jersey. We immediately tackled each other, and spent the rest of the night hurling unintelligible insults at one another. Good dude though.

3. Nowitzki--I saw multiple people wearing Dirk jerseys. What's up with that? I have no explanation.

4. Rebound--I had the privilege of watching this Martin Lawrence film on the flight home. It was everything I expected it to be, and I look forward to seeing it again in the future.

1 comment:

phlintern4 said...

Random Kaz Matsui factoid:
Kaz committed so many errors playing SS for the Mets in his first season because he would try to get in front of every ground ball. According to Kaz, in Japan it is considered "unmanly" to backhand a grounder. (Also, he throws like a 12 year-old girl)