Sunday, December 23, 2007

NPB Roundup: Kleenex Stadium Miyagi?

On Tuesday, Daisuke Matsuzaka went to play golf with Ryo Ishikawa. I can't really think of a good way to explain this to people who aren't up on Japanese sports and media, but Ishikawa is basically a 16-year-old kid who is currently practically THE face of the golfing world in Japan. They call him "Hanikami Oji", which means "bashful prince". He's very shy and mature, and is also on the news practically every day, even if it's just something like "Ishikawa Ryo goes to play golf with his siblings" or "Ishikawa Ryo takes off his shoes and goes into the water to get a golf ball" or whatever. He's popular. He's cute. He's sweet. And the idea of putting Baseball's Golden Boy and Golf's Golden Boy together in one places makes me imagine an explosion of camera flashes. It'd be kind of like if you had Roger Clemens and Tiger Woods get together to play golf... back in 1991 or so.

I'm still fairly sure I am Masahiko "Dragonbutt" Morino's biggest non-Japanese fan, but I discovered an awesome Chunichi fan site a few days ago where the girl running the site is just as big a Morino fan as I am, if not bigger. There are lots of fantastic pictures of the team from spring trainings and events and whatnot; very cool stuff to check out if you're a Dragons fan (though it's all in Japanese). Sadly, right after finding it, I lost my Morino cellphone charm (the Chunichi victory one that I got right after the Japan Series that might be irreplaceable). Argh.

Speaking of Dragons, there are a whole bunch of upcoming player appearances if you are in the Aichi-Gifu-Mie-etc area of Japan.

The Baystars are looking for interpreters and office staff. So are the Marines.

In case you are wondering how to make a Deanna die of envy, it is apparently to get invited to Koshien by the Hanshin Tigers owner and be made into an honorary Tiger. I mean, I'm not even a Hanshin fan and I think that's the coolest thing ever and am everlastingly jealous of Sara. I wonder if the Fighters management even has any clue that someone like me exists?

Speaking of the Fighters, something really weird happened: they switched Shinji Takahashi's uniform number to #2. I'm sort of torn on how I feel about this. It's definitely less anger than I felt at them giving Yukio Tanaka's #6 to hotshot kid Sho Nakata, but it's still sort of strange. I mean, does that mean I can start wearing my Fighters Ogasawara #2 jersey again? Do I need to rip off the name and sew on "Shinji"?

I'm surprised I haven't seen this anywhere in English yet, but the Rakuten Golden Eagles have had their stadium renamed. The official name is 日本製紙クリネックススタジアム宮城 (Nippon Seishi Kleenex Stadium Miyagi) and it will be known as just Kleenex Stadium Miyagi. I know there's got to be a good joke about them always blowing their leads in there, or being a nose ahead, or wiping out, or whatever...

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