Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Shinjiro-rarenai (pt. 24)

Pop quiz:

Your team is behind 5-4 in a game. It's the top of the 9th inning, and you have a right-handed pitcher on the mound, and the opposition has a 39-year-old slowass catcher named Akihiro Yano standing on second base with two outs. The batter at the plate is the lefty-hitting 38-year-old Shinjiro Hiyama, who is a longtime fan favorite but is currently batting .193, and hasn't been a legitimately decent player in at least 3 years. On deck for the opposition is Kentaro Sekimoto, a righty-hitting 29-year-old who is a pretty decent player right now, not that anyone's really noticed because they're too busy gushing about Toritani and Imaoka.

Do you:

1) pitch to Hiyama, who will likely ground out or strike out
2) intentionally walk Hiyama to pitch to Sekimoto?

If you chose 2), you completely deserve it when Sekimoto singles in a run, Sheets doubles in two more, and Kanemoto adds another to the pile, and despite a 9th-inning rally, your team still loses 9-7 and eliminates itself from the super-slim hope it still had of a playoff spot.

I'll write more about tonight's game sometime later, and post some pictures I took -- but seriously, amidst all the bad calls and the close calls and the rain and whatnot, I do think the entire game can be summed up in a brief exchange between me and Westbay:

Me: "What kind of moron would intentionally walk Hiyama?"
Westbay: "The main problem with Yokohama is that their scouting department is really weak, so even though this is obvious to us, it isn't obvious to them."
Me: "Hold on a second. You don't need a scouting report to know two very good reasons not to walk this guy. First of all, his batting average is .193. Second of all, it reads 'Hiyama' on his uniform."

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