And now, so can you.
Part 1: Katsuya Nomura is a grumpy old man
And he makes me laugh way too much.
First, this is a commercial I see on TV a lot. I still giggle every time I see it.
The non-baseball player is Kimura Takuya, of the music/talent group SMAP, explaining that with this new technology by Fujitsu you can record things and play them over and over again. So Nomura-kantoku, of course, records Masahiro Tanaka and then puts him out there to pitch again. "Now substituting for Ma-kun... Ma-kun!" "Not bad, huh?"
Okay, second, this is a bunch of the KMJ clips -- Kumejima, where the Rakuten Golden Eagles are holding spring camp. (Nevermind that even after a week and a half, every time I see Kumejima -- 久米島 -- I think of the Softbank Hawks pitcher Yuuki Kume, 久米勇紀, who I saw pitch for Meiji University last fall. And I'm like "Why are the Eagles training on Kume's Island?" But that's beside the point.) Anyway, if you go into about 1:04 of this video, you'll see the part that I saw the other night and again couldn't stop laughing for several minutes...
A bunch of kids ask Katsuya Nomura for his autograph. "Sign?" they ask. He looks at them and says, "Sine? Cosine. Tangent! Sine, cosine, tangent. It's today's math lesson! Repeat!"
It's funny, I used to think Nomura was such a grumpy old man and nothing else, who just muttered random things to mess with people, but now I've come to realize he's actually a lot more brilliant than most people give him credit for. Really, look out for Rakuten this year. They really might come out of nowhere and kick a significant amount of butt.
Part 2: Buchimeki King, Yuuki Yoshimura!
I'm amazed this is on YouTube since I just saw it last night, but I'm glad, because this was made of pure awesome.
First, let me make it clear that I am sick and tired of seeing Sho Nakata on TV all the time. Infact, the only thing I might be more sick of hearing about is the Erik Bedard trade over in Seattle. So, at first when I saw this on J-Spo I was like "Great, another Sho Nakata special," but then I saw, "hey, wait a minute, it's actually Hichori vs. Nakata. That's got to be good!"
"Buchimeku" means to go through, so what they were doing was setting up 10 boards and then seeing which player could hit a ball through the most boards with one swing. So naturally Hichori has to trash-talk quite a bit. (I won't ruin the ending and let you know who won and by how many, though -- maybe I will in the comments. I will say that this kind of thing takes not only POWER but AIM and leave it at that.)
Part of why it's funny is also because in the Shukan Baseball magazine this week had a quote from Hichori like "Nakata? Cleanup hitter? What are you TALKING about, *I'M* going to be the Fighters' cleanup hitter this year... I'm gonna hit .300, steal 30 bases, hit 15 home runs, and get another golden glove and best nine nomination. Ok?"
Also, for the record, the woman in these segments is TV talent Sheila, a Japanese-Cuban who I'd seen on a bunch of TBS sports shows before but never bothered to look up. Apparently she comes to America to do MLB interviews in Spanish and Japanese from time to time. Lucky girl.
Right, so onwards to another favorite team of mine, the Yokohama Baystars, as they also take the Buchimeki King challenge:
First up is Daisuke Miura. Yes, Miura's a pitcher, but who cares, he's also the "Bancho" of the team, which loosely means "gang leader", although to me it means "dude with too much hair gel". To his credit, he beats Sho Nakata.
Second up is, naturally, 2007 CL Home Run King Shuuichi Murata, who ties Miura's total. I know I've thought about this before, but if I had to pick one of the Baystars guys as a huge line drive hitter, offhand I'd pick Yuuki Yoshimura over Shuuichi Murata. Murata hits huge blasts of home runs but they do often go up in the air, so it should be no surprise that Murata's shots in the Buchimeki game also take an arc to them.
Murata says, "Let's go get my kohai to take a shot at this", so they go grab Yoshimura and get him to try it. I just have the following to say:
- WHY DID I NOT REALIZE MURATA AND YOSHIMURA BOTH WENT TO THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL?
- And that high school, Higashi Fukuoka, is also the alma mater of Kensuke Tanaka (Fighters 2B) and Keiji Uezono (Hanshin 2007 ROY)? And Murata and Kensuke played together at the 1998 Summer Koshien which is like the craziest Koshien ever?
- Yoshimura. Is. Amazing. Just watch.
Part 3: Baseball Dorama, "Full Swing"
Actually, I haven't watched this yet. Infact, I wasn't even aware of it until I managed to finally catch part of the NHK taiga drama "Atsu-Hime" the other night, and saw a commercial for it. But I'm going to go try to find and watch it sometime soon.
Full Swing - Official NHK Webpage
Basically, this TV show is a 6-part miniseries about Michihiro Takabatake. Takabatake was a marginal player for the Hawks in the late 1960's and early 70's, before becoming a coach and scout for several teams. He went back to school to become a certified high school teacher in his late 50's, and then after only a year or so of teaching, died of pancreatic cancer.
I believe that the show mostly focuses on his teaching career, but I'm betting that there's a really fascinating story behind the guy. I mean, for one, why he reregistered his name as Yasumasa in 1977. And why exactly did he decide to become a teacher? And more, why did he turn down being drafted by the Giants in 1966 out of Chuo University, only to accept being drafted by the Nankai Hawks out of Hitachi in 1967?
Unfortunately, I don't have time to figure out the story right now. If anyone happens to read this, and actually knows the story, please please please tell me.