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Email - 6/20/10

Friends and Family -

More tidbits on Japanese Baseball:

NPB – Nippon Professional Baseball – 2010 NPB Slogan:

I posted a comment on a previous email about the use of the DH in Japanese baseball.

I’m thinking I’ll like the Central League games

Japanese teams are only allowed four foreign players per team, two position players and two pitchers

Scoring the game – It appears some stadiums post the strikes first then the balls.

For example: If an at bat in MLB is 3-2 (three balls/two strikes); it could be recorded as 2-3 (two strikes/three balls).

Based on some articles I’ve read, Japanese baseball is trying to conform to international rules of scoring but not all stadiums have adopted that yet.

Strength symbol

Courage symbol

Tidbits from a Jim Allen article – Sometimes it’s not about winning:

Every player knows the drill. When receiving some individual honor or achieving some milestone, the odds are good you will hear something along the lines of "It's not about me, it's about the team.”

The expression "the team comes first" means something different in America than it does in Japan.

In Japan, it is acceptable for a manager to sacrifice wins to help an individual achieve a goal. From July 30, 1999, to Aug. 8, Giants manager Shigeo Nagashima kept Hideki Matsui’s consecutive game streak alive by artificial means, using Matsui as a defensive replacement and pinch-hitter. Matsui had hurt his shoulder and was unable to bat or throw for a week.

In Japan, playing for the team does not mean playing only for the team to win. It also means supporting your teammates in the pursuit of individual honors that have nothing to do with winning.

Jim’s article is triggered from the following: In April, 2010 - Tomoaki Kanemoto took himself out of the lineup after playing in every inning for 1,492 consecutive games. When a streak of that magnitude ends, it is newsworthy. Kanemoto's decision was famous because he was still healthy enough to walk out to left field without assistance. He had the ability to keep his streak alive by standing there for nine innings but he chose not to do that. That is very different than ‘traditional’ Japanese efforts mentioned above.


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