Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Koshien so far, in three sentences

1. It's okay that my prefecture's team, Urawa Gakuin, lost to Maebashi high school of Gunma yesterday -- after all, Maebashi's pitcher is named Kazuhiro Sasaki. (I work in Tokyo, but I actually live in Saitama, so.)

2. Just because you're in high school and can throw 97mph doesn't necessarily mean your team will win Koshien. Just ask Sendai Ikuei's Yoshinori Satoh, who set a Koshien speed record this morning by throwing a 155km/h pitch, but then gave up 5 runs in the 5th inning to Chiben Gakuin and thus lost the game. (Sad thing is that Satoh struck out 17 batters in his first game of the tournament, last week.)

3. It ain't over until the cute cheerleader girls STOP singing. I watched the last 3 innings of the Toko-Nichinan game the other day, and it was 2-2 going into the 10th. Nichinan scored 3 runs in the top, and then Toko scored 3 runs in the bottom. Then Nichinan scored FOUR runs in the top of the 11th and Toko only made up one in their half and that was it. Crazy stuff.

In other news:

1. I have a keitai (cellphone) now, so if you are in Japan and want to get in touch with me, especially if you want to go to a game with me, comment or send email to my normal address and I'll give you my number/phonemail.

2. Similarly, I've been very busy but haven't been writing about it here. If you want to know what I'm up to non-baseball-wise, go elsewhere.

3. I did start writing a report about the Yokohama-Tigers game I went to last week but just haven't had a chance to upload it; hopefully I can do that before too long; I should have internet at home sometime in 2-3 weeks. Suffice it to say I had a really good time and I think I've decided that officially my CL teams will be Yokohama and Chunichi (with my PL teams being Nippon Ham and Lotte).

Teaching has been pretty interesting so far, anyway. As soon as my students hear that I like baseball, they like to talk about Ichiro or Hideki Matsui, which is fun. I put up some of my Mariners posters in my office, including the Little League one with a young Ichiro and Johjima on it, and it's been pretty popular to talk about so far. And one of my students even played at Koshien a few years ago, so that was really exciting to talk about. Even today when I went into Daiwa to try to find a replacement for one of my classroom props, I walked by the electronic section and there were about 5 people just staring at the TV sets on display... because Koshien was on and Teikyo was playing (which is technically the school for our area of Tokyo). Baseball is very popular here, for sure.

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