1. Atsuya Furuta is resigning as manager of Yakult to take responsibility for the Swallows sucking this year. They responded by losing a game to the Dragons.
2. Apparently, tonight was just a bad night for pitchers named Yokoyama pitching in Yokohama (though Yokohama's Yokoyama definitely had an easier time of things than Hiroshima's Yokoyama).
3. The only thing funnier than the Tigers beating the Giants at the Tokyo Dome is the Giants kicking Hanshin's butt in Koshien.
4. Hideaki Wakui is much cuter than that other dude who used to be Seibu's ace.
5. Shunsuke Watanabe, who really needs to shave, actually pitched in relief today for the first time in four years. I don't entirely understand why, but it worked, and Naruse notched another win for a 15-1 record this year.
6. Tanaka was owned by Tanaka. That is, Yukio got a pinch hit off Masahiro, and Kensuke hit an inside-the-park 3-run homer immediately after Ma-kun left the game, as the Fighters beat up the Eagles 6-0.
There was a ceremony for Yukio after the game where he addressed the Fighters fans at the Tokyo Dome to tell them how much he's enjoyed playing for the Fighters for the last 22 years, and to thank them for putting up with the team for all of that time (and fans, of course, held up signs thanking him for 22 years of hard work). I would be lying if I said I didn't start crying when I saw them play part of the speech on TV -- Yukio Tanaka actually holds a fair amount of responsibility for me becoming a Fighters fan way back when. I am sad he's retiring, but glad that he'll hopefully be staying with the team as a coach.
(photos: Tanaka high-fives Tanaka, Yukio gives his speech, Kaneko presents him with flowers.)
In sadder news, Shigeo Nagashima's wife Akiko died yesterday. She was only 64. From all accounts, she was a wonderful person, very beautiful and intelligent.