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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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5) discussing politics
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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And He Was Nippon-Ham Fighting ...
2005-07-14 08:58
by Jon Weisman

Our own Bob Timmermann passes along the highlights of his recent baseball-heavy voyage to Japan in this piece on Baseball Analysts.

And yes, until Timmermann corrected me, I always thought they were the Ham Fighters of Nippon, not the Fighters of Nippon-Ham.

2005-07-14 09:02:48
1.   Xeifrank
Let me know if you are interested in doing this. 2 signups so far...

Dodger Thoughts Over/Under Challenge:

Head to Head competition guessing how many innings the Dodgers starter will pitch each game.
You will go head to head against one other Dodger Thoughts member during each Dodger series.
Whoever is closest to the actual number of innings pitched gets a win, the person who is furthest off gets a loss, and if it's a tie then each person receives a tie. You will go head to head against the same person for the duration of a Dodger series. For example, if the Dodgers are facing the Giants in a four game series, you will be predicting the numbers of innings pitched for the Dodgers starter against the same person for all four of those games. Your opponent will be determined by a schedule. There will be
flights of four people (ideally) but it depends on how many people signup. You will face each person in your flight one time. After you faced each person in your flight the winners of each flight plus a few wild-cards will advance to a single elimination tournament following the similiar head to head format. A tie-breaker
will be made prior to the tournament. The final tournament would ideally have 6 people in it, with the top two seeds receiving a bye in the first round. All Over/Under lines must be sent to me via email before the start of each game, if you don't send in a pick you will forfeit that game. Each flight will be given a unique Dodger Thoughts related name.

Example: Fearing Blue vs Bob

Giants vs Dodgers (Game #1): FB: 6 1/3, Bob: 6, Actual 7 1/3, Bob wins game 1

Giants vs Dodgers (Game #2)... let's say FB wins game 2

Giants vs Dodgers (Game #3)... let's say they tie

Giants vs Dodgers (Game #4)... let's say Bob wins game 2

In their flight, Bob would have a record of 2-1-1, and FB would have a record of 1-2-1.

Then in the next head to head matchup they'd each face someone else in their flight. After each person had faced each flight member one time, you'd see who had the best record, the top people qualifying for the championship tourney.

I would keep track of the standings and post they daily results after each game.

If interested, please email me at and I will put together the flights. As soon as I get enough people I will start it (if enough are interested). We may miss thursday nights game, just to give people enough time to signup.


2005-07-14 09:20:52
2.   Derek Smart
"And yes, until Timmermann corrected me, I always thought they were the Ham Fighters of Nippon, not the Fighters of Nippon-Ham."

Yeah, until I read "You Gotta Have Wa" a couple years ago, I had no idea that all those Japanese team names were corporation names. A lot made sense after that.

But if commercialism in MLB bothers you, just be glad we don't have equivalent naming conventions here. You would literally have had the "Fox Dodgers" along with the still-current "Tribune Cubs". Yeech!

2005-07-14 09:26:22
3.   Fearing Blue
Minor League Update
Statistical summary format is AVG/OBP/SLG for hitters and ERA/IP/K/BB for pitchers.

Las Vegas 51s (AAA):
The International League beat the Pacific Coast League 11 - 5 in the AAA All-Star game.

The 51s second baseman Joe Thurston went 0 for 1 as a pinch-hitter.

Jacksonville Suns (AA):
The North division beat the South division 12 - 5 in the Southern League All-Star game.

The Suns did not have a good showing in the game. Catcher Russell Martin, second baseman Delwyn Young, shorstop Joel Guzman, and center fielder Jon Weber went a combined 0 for 12. Joel Guzman made a couple of bad plays in the field. In the 5th, with teammate Luis Gonzalez pitching, Guzman let a potential double-play grounder roll through his legs into left field for an error. Gonzalez proceeded to give up 4 runs (3 earned) on 3 hits and a walk while only recording two outs in the innings (both strikeouts). In the 6th, Guzman aired the relaw throw on a potential double-play about 5 feet over the first baseman's head. Since they got the lead runner, no error was charged.

Vero Beach Dodgers (High-A):
The Dodgers lost 3 - 2 to Clearwater.

Center fielder Matt Kemp again led the Dodgers offense, going 2 for 3 with a solo homerun and a walk (.284/.323/.588). Shorstop Tony Abreu (.320/.346/.433) and designated hitter Jamie Hoffman (.259/.250/.259) each went 1 for 4. First baseman Cory Dunlap (.275/.375/.364) and right fielder Anthony Raglani (.287/.389/.441) were held hitless in the game.

Starting pitcher Danny Muegge received a no-decision after allowing 2 runs (both earned) in 6 innings pitched. Muegge allowed 5 hits (1 homerun) and no walks while striking out 2 (3.39/69.0/47/23). Reliever Matt Merricks was tagged with the loss, allowing 1 run (earned) in 2 innings pitched. Merricks had trouble with his control, allowing 1 hit and 4 walks while striking out 1 (4.50/9.2/12/6). Twenty-one year old right-hander Alvis Ojeda pitched a scoreless 9th to finish the game. Ojeda only allowed 1 walk while striking out 2 (3.57/35.1/19/13).

Columbus Catfish (Low-A):
The Catfish won 5 - 4 over Greenville.

In his first game with the Raptors, right fielder Sergio Pedroza went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored (.333/.500/.333). First baseman Daniel Batz paced the offense falling a triple short of the cycle (3 for 4) with 2 RBIs (.288/.355/.377). Designated hitter Blake Dewitt went 1 for 4 with a double (.271/.318/.424). Second baseman Travis Denker was held hitless for the second game in a row, going 0 for 4 (.287/.403/.508).

Starting pitcher Christopher Malone had a little Grabowski going through the first 4 innings of the games (1 walk). But, over his final two innings he allowed 3 runs (all earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks. In his 6 innings pitched, Malone struck out 9 (4.11/92.0/83/38). Malone, a 22 year old righty, was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004 out of San Joaquin Delta Junior College in California. Wesley Wright, a 20 year old lefty, followed up with 2.2 quality innings of relief. Wright allowed 1 run (unearned) on a hit and a hit-by-pitch with 6 strikeouts (2.11/47.0/49/23). Wright was selected by the Dodgers in the 7th round of the 2003 draft. Albenis Castillo came on in relief with 2 men on and 2 out. Castillo struck out the only batter he faced for the save (2.45/36.2/31/14).

Ogden Raptors (Rookie):
The Raptors were crushed by Helena 13 - 5.

Right fielder BJ Richmond had the best night at the plate, going 2 for 2 with a solo homerun and 2 walks (.297/.392/.438). Twenty-one year old Richmond struggled with Columbus before joining the Raptors to start the short season. Shorstop Juan Rivera went 1 for 5 with an RBI (.306/.390/.375). Designated hitter Jesus Soto went 1 for 5 with a run scored (.309/.350/.500). "Gawky" first baseman David Sutherland went 1 for 3 with a double (.440/.520/.500). The double is just Sutherland's 3rd extra-base hit on the season (84 ABs). Third baseman Russell Mitchell went 0 for 3 with a run scored (.319/.330/.649). Catcher Juan Apodaca went 0 for 3 (.333/.362/.621).

Starter Cody White got spanked for 6 runs (all earned) over 4 innings (7.29/21/18/14) to take the loss. Reliever Nathan Hochgesang pitched 1.2 innings of relief, allowing 4 runs (none earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks with no strikeouts (4.60/15.2/11/7). Hochgesang, a 23 year old right-hander, was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2004 and pitched well for the GCL Dodgers last year. Right-hander Matthew Gomez de Segura allowed 3 runs (all earned) over the last 2.1 innings to finish the game (7.84/10.1/7/11).

GCL Dodgers (Rookie):
The Dodgers got beat 11 - 5 by the GCL Marlins.

Third baseman Eduardo Perez and catcher Carlos Medero-Stultz rejoined the team after filling in for Andy LaRoche and Russell Martin in Jacksonville. Perez started at designated hitter and went 0 for 4 with a walk and strikeout (.341/.449/.463). Medero-Stultz started the game at catcher and went 0 for 2 (.300/.333/.533) before being pulled for Kenley Janson. Janson finished the game at catcher and went 1 for 2 with a strikeout (.310/.310/.414). Jansen is a 17-year old switch-hitting catcher. Third baseman Josh Bell went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI (.302/.351/.396). Carlos Santana did not play in the game. The GCL Dodgers have a logjam at third base with Santana, Perez, and Bell all capable of playing the position. Santana has been primarily playing in left field to relieve the crunch. Center fielder Jeremy Brown went 1 for 4 with a walk, 2 strikeouts, and an RBI (.280/.419/.280).

Starting pitcher Gary Paris was hammered for 5 runs (all earned) in 1.2 innings. Paris allowed 7 hits and 3 walks while not striking out any batters (6.75/10.2/11/10). Prior to this game, Paris had only allowed 3 earned runs in 9 innings of relief. Twenty year old Kelvin Dominguez and nineteen year old Chale Dasni pitched the final 6.1 innings of the game. Dominguez allowed 2 runs (both earned) over 2.1 innings of relief (4.50/4/4/2). Dasni allowed 4 runs (all earned) over 4 innings of relief (7.02/16.2/13/7).

The GCL Dodgers have had few bright spots on the short season so far. Tonight's game dropped the team's overall record to 5 - 11, worst in the Gulf Coast League. Even though the team boasts the Dodgers two 2nd round picks and one 3rd round pick, most of the Dodgers Rookie level talent is bunched up at Ogden.

2005-07-14 09:26:31
4.   Bob Timmermann
Strangely, most Japanese parks didn't have corporate names like the ones in the States did. Until recently. There was Yahoo! BB Stadium in Kobe, but that got changed to something I don't have right now, but that park doesn't get used much.

So Yahoo switch to the Fukuoka Dome, which is now the Yahoo Dome.

Even stranger, the Seibu Dome, which is already named after a company added another name and now is called the Invoice Seibu Dome.

The Sapporo Dome, despite being in a city with one of the leading Japanese breweries, sells more than one brand of beer.

2005-07-14 09:55:03
5.   the OZ
I keep getting Josh Bell confused with Josh Wall, like the time I almost traded K. Foulke for E. Chavez in a fastasy league, not realizing until the last moment that it was Endy and not Eric.
2005-07-14 11:00:19
6.   Louis in SF

Am interested in your contest, but shouldn't Fearing Blue have one since he choose that the Dodger starter would pitch 6 1/3 innings and Bob choose 6-the actual innings pitched was 7 1/3.

2005-07-14 12:58:54
7.   Marty
I googled Rakuten eagles and found a link to a commemorative bra. It's got Clutch and Clutchina on it!
2005-07-14 13:33:45
8.   DougS
Thumbs up, Bob! Your comments on how the pace and feel of Japanese game differs from baseball in the U.S. agree with what JeffInTokyo posted in response to my questions a while ago. One better understands the way Nomo and Ishii pitch when you put it in their original context.

BTW, how does the cost of attending a ball game in Japan (ticket, food, etc.) compare to the U.S.?

Also BTW, count me as one of those who has to keep reminding himself that it's Fighters of Nippon Ham. The thing is, I don't know what a Ham Fighter would be, but I wouldn't put it past the Japanese to figure it out in some funky, Engrish sort of way.

2005-07-14 14:50:53
9.   Bob Timmermann
The tickets at a Japanese baseball game are usually a little higher than American games, although the most expensive seats aren't as expensive.

Most fans sit in the cheapest seats. The expensive seats are usually easier to come by.

The food is a lot cheaper than it is in the U.S. And there is a lot more variety.

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