Speak out! Baseball opinions welcome [Yomiuri News, in English]
I'm going to send them email with my thoughts on the upcoming NPB season (and so should you, if you have an opinion on these sorts of things), but the questions they ask in particular are:
Will scrappy manager Terry Collins be able to pull the Orix BlueWave out of its seven-year skid in the Pacific League's lower division? With the introduction of the Central League playoffs, which surprise team do you think will reach the postseason this autumn? Do you think the playoff competition will help the CL break the PL's four-year lock on the Japan Series? Will the acquisition of Michihiro Ogasawara be the key to the Giants regaining their winning form?
In case you're wondering, my answers offhand:
1. No. Orix sucks, and will continue to suck. They're the only team in the PL I see as hopeless this year. You heard me right -- I don't even entirely think RAKUTEN is hopeless, I think they've got as much chance as Kansas City of actually pulling together a decent season this year (which, if you listen to Jason Churchill, is a lot higher of a chance than you'd think offhand).
Besides, the Orix BlueWave ceased to exist over two years ago, when they got their post-Ichiro slumping selves merged in with the Kintetsu Buffaloes. So, in reality, if Terry Collins could make the BlueWave reach the playoffs this year, it'd definitely be a major work of prestidigitation.
2. Hiroshima Carp! All-in! Brown-go-go-fight-oh-oh!
3. Doubtful. Whoever gets past the Softbank Hawks in the Pacific League, if anyone does, is going to decimate their Central League opponent in the Japan Series, I think.
4. No, because I have placed a curse on their heads for signing Ogasawara's clean-shaven doppleganger. So far, the curse has also spread to Uehara's legs and Takahashi's groin. Take THAT, Kyojin!