Archive for the ‘Japanese Baseball’ category

Tuffy Rhodes Watch: May/Part of June

June 17, 2008

Craig Brazell

Tuffy Rhodes, the son of multiple Gods, is hitting .274 right now but is now tied home runs at the Pacific Coast League to…

Craig Brazell! It’s the ex-Mets minor leaguer’s first year in the league. They both have 17 homers, along with GG Sato, and they are both behind Tyrone Woods, a bust in MLB with 18 homers, and Alex Ramirez with 19 homers.

Other players of American Importance, note that some players don’t have stats as they are hard to come by if you do not read fluent Japanese:

Former Minn. Twin Lew Ford: dropped for readjustment
2005 Triple-A batting champ Rick Short: hitting .326, leads Pacific League
Ex-Oriole Larry Bigbie: injured
Ex-Padre and Expo Terrmel Sledge: I have no clue, had a walk off passed ball recently, pretty sure he might be a backup
Benny Agbayni: Pretty much a bench player, he’s been around the Japan Leagues forever though
Yu Darvish: 1.79 ERA
Kaz Ishii: 2.41 ERA
Colby Lewis: 2.16 ERA
Ryan Vogelsong: dropped for readjustment, came back up, no clue on his ERA

Other guys that are hanging in the league: Chad Allen, Aaron Guiel (playing like Rob Deer, .210 with 10 HR), Adam Riggs, Alex Ochoa.

(all stats from


Tuffy Rhodes Watch: April

April 28, 2008

This is a new monthly column by Phil that will chronicle Tuffy Rhodes’ endeavors in Nippon Pro Baseball in Japan. He is, and will always be one of our favorite players. From his three homer Opening Day in 1994 with the Chicago Cubs and many fantasy team owners getting angry later in the season when he did not produce, to tying 55 homers in 2001 with the immortal Sadaharu Oh, we will always love him.

Tuffy Rhodes is one of the few bright spots for the Orix Buffaloes (11-20) so far. Last year, mostly as a DH, he hit .291 with 42 home runs and 88 walks in one of his better seasons. With guys like Alex Ochoa, Tyrone Woods, Rick Short and Aaron Guiel leading in batting average in the Nippon Pro League, these American guys have a great chance do well. Guiel also leads the Japanese Central League in homers. This year so far, Tuffy has 10 home runs in 31 games already (out of 130 or so), leading the league. He is hitting .301/.434/.660, also among the leaders. 24 walks leads the league too. So far, another good season for Rhodes. Don’t expect him to keep up this pace, but this is good.

Other Japanese players and expatriates that I watch:

Hitoshi Tamura (Fukoka Softbank Hawks): .297/.343/.436, injured
Hiro Tanaka (Tokyo Yakult Swallows): .365/.435/.476
Ex-MLBer Lew Ford (Hanshin Tigers), off to a slow start: .180/.241/.292
AAA batting champ Rick Short (Tohoku Golden Eagles): .289/.329/.393


Yu Darvish (Nippon Ham Fighters): 0.69 ERA
Kaz Ishii (Seibu Lions): 2.16 ERA
Seth Gresinger (Youmiri Giants): 2.43 ERA

Japanese high school team gives up 66 runs in two innings (Kevin Jarvis came out of retirement?)

April 17, 2008

Apparently, if this article is serious, a Japanese school baseball team, Kawamoto Technical High School, gave up 66 runs in two innings then forefitted with a 9-0 loss. The starting pitcher gave up the 66 runs, 20 in the first and 42 in the second, threw 250 pitches, which is some record breaking, astonishing numbers.

From the article:

“The coach of Kawamoto technical high school threw in the towel to spare his pitcher’s arm with his team losing 66-0 with just one batter out in the bottom of the second.”

According to this ERA calculator and assuming that most Japanese baseball games are nine innings (in which they are), this poor Japanese high school pitcher’s ERA is 539.99 repeating, or an ERA of 540 in an astonishing 1.1 innings, assuming all of those runs were earned, in which they probably were not. What is really funny is the manager keeping the player in the game and then forefitting. I wonder where the relievers were in this case. And you think Dusty Baker wore out tired arms.

At least we know the whereabouts of Jose Lima now.

Japanese school team hit for 66 runs in two innings (Reuters)

Kazuo “The Uzi” Uzuki scraps MLB plans…

April 1, 2008

Because he is a fabrication. Topps released a card on February 6th featuring the supposed 5’11, 165 pound Japanese high school prodigy with a 104 mph fastball who planned on jumping straight from high school to the majors. A hint that “The Uzi” was a fake: Kazuo Uzuki translates in English to, “the first son of April.” I don’t speak Japanese, so I didn’t pick up on it.

April Fools. Not this story. Topps says April Fools. Uzuki is still fake.

Topps prints card of fake star (Sports Illustrated)

Opening Day Disappointment

March 25, 2008

You know what was most memorable about Opening Day 2008 memorable for me? A’s Mark Ellis’ first inning homer off Daisuke Matsuzaka. Why, you ask? Because it was the only thing I was awake for this morning, or Japanese evening. I set my alarm clock the night before for 6 AM. So I woke up at 6 AM, scratched myself, watched the first pitch, dozed off again briefly, and was awoken by the crack of Mark Ellis’ bat with a line drive home run to left field. Then I was out for the count until 9 AM chemistry lab. There is something very wrong with this (besides going to class). Opening Day games should not begin before Saved by the Bell reruns start on TBS.


The Next Dice-K/Flushing Out Japan’s Talent Pool

March 24, 2008

Hope y’all had a happy Easter and enjoyed eating chocolate Jesuses.


There is a new Japanese baseball player out there considered the “next Dice-K,” and his name is Yu Darvish. He is a 21-year old pitcher and he plays for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (that’s more of a mouthful than Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). He is really skinny, grows his hair out, is half Iranian, and he has even posed nude (take that Tsuyoshi Shinjo). Perfect for American baseball. The question is, are we flushing out Japanese Baseball for our own product and being selfish? Then again, he is one of the most talented players Japan has ever had and deserves a chance to play against the top players of the MLB. Are we becoming the “Premier League” of baseball (like in soccer) of sorts? I think that’s a better definition for it rather than flushing out the most talented players from Japan. It might not be fair to Japanese baseball fans in Japan though, as we are taking their players. Who knows, it is an interesting debate. I also see the FIFA-like attitude in the initiation of the World Baseball Classic. I actually like the idea come to think of it. The timing was bad, sure, and there is an injury risk, but who knows. It is an interesting debate.

Then again, I’d like to see top cricket players try baseball. I mean, the game was influenced by the game of cricket. Who knows. I’m weird.

Could the MLB become a Premier League of sorts for baseball one day?

Iconic ace Darvish pushes Japan’s boundaries (Yahoo Sports)