Saturday, April 09, 2005

A new place to babble.

I feel like this post needed to be edited to explain the current situation. (Edited on September 25, 2007)

This blog used to be known as "Seattle Marinerds". It was started in April of 2005 following a series of events that mostly can be blamed on a blog called the USS Mariner, and covered the 2005 and 2006 seasons of the Mariners, and about half of the 2007 season. In an attempt to be a little bit different than the plethora of other blogs out there, I tried to take lots of pictures at games, and write humorous stories and song lyrics and other random things about baseball, as well as some serious articles and book reviews and the like. Since I'd been avidly following Japanese baseball for several years, it also often had random tidbits about the Nippon Ham Fighters (my adopted Japanese "home" team) and other stuff; I'd been using baseball as an excuse to keep up with my Japanese language studies.

At the end of July 2007, I quit my cushy engineering job in Seattle and moved to the Tokyo area to teach English. I have a bizarre work schedule, but I still make it to at least one baseball game per week here. I'm terrified of figuring out what to do with my weekends once the season ends.

The name of this blog refers to three teams:
Marinerds -- the Chiba Lotte Marines (formerly, it referred to Seattle)
Dragonbutts -- the Chunichi Dragons
Hokkaidorks -- the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters

The problem with living in the Kanto area is that the local teams are the Yomiuri Giants, Yakult Swallows, and Yokohama Bay Stars in the Central League, and the Chiba Lotte Marines and Seibu Lions in the Pacific League. My Fighters moved to Hokkaido in 2004, so I only get to see them when they are playing against Lotte or Seibu.

I inadvertantly adopted the Yokohama Bay Stars as my "local" CL team -- I love Yokohama stadium and I think the team has a lot of potential. The Chunichi Dragons became my other team thanks to the fact that the friends I talk to about Japanese baseball most often are gigantic Chunichi fans; I really got to know the team during the 2006 Japan Series. (Much like Yankees/RedSox, I refuse to cheer for Yomiuri or Hanshin.) My favorite Chunichi player is a guy named Masahiko Morino, who I nicknamed "Dragonbutt" after a photo I took in Hiroshima last fall; I always joked that my Chunichi friends were Dragonbutts, and so... here we are.

Conveniently, the fact that I still love some Marines players like Shunsuke Watanabe and Tomoya Satozaki means that I can keep the "Marinerds" sub-name, even if now it's pronounced a bit more like "Marine nerds"...

Also, I feel a need to make a disclaimer: I love Japanese baseball for what it is. I'm not a scout and I will not help you drool over NPB players for your future fantasy baseball teams or whatever. If you email me asking "who's coming to the MLB in 2008?", I will probably send you a pointer to or something else smartassed like that.

Anyway, that's about the story at this point. Happy reading!

Original post follows this break:

Long-time readers of my normal web journal have become increasingly annoyed that a good 50% or more of my posting for the last year or two has been strictly baseball.

Therefore, I figure it'll be a good exercise for me to try to keep all of my basebabble in one place.

A brief intro: I'm Deanna. I grew up in Philadelphia, and my mom had season tickets to the Phillies, and her father did before her (they won their only World Series 3 weeks after he died), so I went to many Phillies games as a kid. The only World Series game I ever attended was in 1983, and the Orioles beat the Phillies, which has scarred me to this day. I went off to college at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh in 1994, and attempted to follow Pirates baseball when they weren't making me want to blow up the stadium *with* the team inside. I moved to Seattle in 2002, and now the Mariners suck too. Go figure! I must just be bad luck. I still follow the Phillies and Pirates as my "other" home teams, but the Mariners are my primary these days.

By day I'm a Perl programmer for a medical software company in downtown Seattle, and by night I'm a gamer-musician-writer-athlete-etc. I'm a nerd, and I like the Mariners, and therefore, this is Seattle MariNERDs. Nice to meet you.

My favorite Japanese baseball team is the Nippon Ham Fighters (and my second-favorite is the Chiba Lotte Marines). The Fighters were the first team I ever went to a game of, back when they shared the Tokyo Dome with the Giants. I bought cheap seats in the outfield, right in the middle of the Fighters cheering section, and I was hooked! I kept following the Fighters even after they moved to Sapporo. I can even sing several of the players' cheer songs now. Then I went to a game at Chiba Marine stadium in 2004, and while they were just a team with potential then, it became really interesting to root for the Marines to topple the Hawks in 2005. Along the way, I learned more about the team and the players, and really grew to like them, and I even stayed up all night several times to follow the 2005 PL playoffs and Japan Series :) This year, I'm staying up all night to watch my Fighters take the championship!

(I speak and read Japanese, yes, although I'm rustier than I used to be. I passed the JLPT 3-kyuu in 2001. I read Japanese boxscores quickly and articles slowly.)

Anyway! Babbling aside, here's what you can expect to find here:

1) My reports from baseball games I attend (most of which will involve the Seattle Mariners).
2) My reviews of baseball books I read (I've been wanting to get my thoughts on several books down, so this'll be a good excuse to.)
3) My reviews of baseball movies (again, these won't be strictly new movies, but occasionally I'll just decide to watch Mr. Baseball or something again and babble about it.)
4) Parody lyrics about baseball that I write.
5) Random links to baseball stuff I find interesting, which may or may not be interesting to anyone else. I mostly tend to keep up with the Mariners, the Phillies, and various parts of Japanese baseball.

Here's what you will NOT find here, most likely:

1) Tons of stats and analytical stuff. While I read sites like USSM, and stuff like Baseball Prospectus, and things written by people like Bill James, I will fully admit that I don't know as much about the stats as the other people do, so I'm not going to even try to break any new ground there.
2) Real inside connections and other such scoopy stuff, although I occasionally might spot something interesting in a Japanese paper that doesn't make it into English. I'm just a girl who loves baseball.

There's not even a guarantee I'll actually really continue with this. Let's call it an experiment.

Oh yeah, and I'll get around to editing this template and making it look less stupid someday. Really.

Play Ball!

(this is undoubtedly out of date)

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