Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Made Plans To Go To Jingu And All I Got Was This Lousy Rainout

...two days in a row.

It started raining on Sunday morning and didn't stop until Monday night, so pretty much every outdoor game in Japan on Sunday got cancelled (college, pro, etc). On Monday, the Tokyo Big 6 games got cancelled at Jingu, and then around 4pm they also announced cancelling the Fighters-Swallows game. Yokohama's game against the Hawks also got cancelled, but in other parts of the country, they were able to play outdoor games at Koshien and in Hiroshima.

The really annoying thing is, the rain in Tokyo had basically turned to mist around 4pm, and completely stopped around 6pm, so if they had just held off on starting for about an hour, they could have gotten in a game last night, I think.

And the even MORE annoying thing is, for whatever reason, despite every OTHER outdoor team scheduling a makeup day on May 25, the Fighters and Swallows DIDN'T.

This week the Fighters are also playing "rural" games against Chunichi in Toyama and Kanazawa, which are also outdoors, and there is a forecast of rain for Wednesday night as well. So they're not rescheduling the Yakult games until they figure out if they have to reschedule Chunichi too, apparently. The rescheduled games should happen somewhere in the four "dead days" between interleague and resuming separate leagues... and depends on the schedule and rainouts of a couple of teams.

The Fighters COULD end up needing all 4 games for rescheduling, which would give them 9 games in a row when other teams are getting a lot of rest. But there are also some talks of things like having the first doubleheader in 12 years, although the worry is that the players won't be used to that and they won't have enough pitchers.

Anyway, you know what REALLY sucks about this? The Fighters activated Ryota Imanari and Kenji Satoh for this series (and sent down Masaya Ozaki and Takahiro Imanami). If you haven't been around this blog for a while you may not know that Imanari has been my favorite Fighters ni-gun player for the last 3 years (this is the jersey I wear to most games). He got injured last summer RIGHT when it seemed he was likely to get called up to ichi-gun, and spent the end of the season rehabbing a broken hand and then had a leg problem of some sort. But this year he has been doing really well -- I feel a little bad that I prioritized college games over Kamagaya, but that's just the way things go.

But I was all set to bring my Imanari cheering boards to Jingu... now I have to hope that he stays on the top roster until June 4th when the Fighters play against the Giants! It's a little bit of a long shot... I'm sure they can use him as another lefty bat off the bench, and he can catch a bit too, but with Tsuruoka and Ohno there, and Shinji playing first base, it's a little unclear why they called up another catcher.

(They apparently acquired Kenji Satoh from the Marines while I was gone for Golden Week -- I think they traded a sack of beans for him, literally. Not sure what is up with that, and with Takashi Ogino getting injured I bet the Marines will feel a little silly just dropping an outfielder, but who knows. I like Satoh well enough I guess, I saw him play with the Marines ni-gun and with the Futures team a few times.)

As an aside, I want to point out that the Fighters have, the last few years, historically sucked it up in April and then warmed up as the weather becomes reasonable in Hokkaido. So maybe we're in for that again this year...


Daniel said...

Why does the weather affect the Fighters in the Sapporo Dome or are you talking about the games in the few outdoor stadiums?

Deanna said...

Jingu == Meiji Jingu Stadium, the home of the Yakult Swallows, an outdoor stadium in Tokyo where the Fighters were scheduled to play on Sunday and Monday. I generally assume my readership either knows the stadiums or can find them out. I explicitly stated that Toyama and Kanazawa are outdoor stadiums.

For the record, it isn't a "few" outdoor stadiums. The Eagles, Marines, Carp, Tigers, Baystars, and Swallows all play in outdoor stadiums (and the Buffaloes have a bunch of their games scheduled at Skymark, though that may be ending after this year). All teams regularly play games in "countryside" places, too, which are always outdoors.

What made you think I was talking about the Sapporo Dome...?

Daniel said...

"warmed up as the weather becomes reasonable in Hokkaido"

That's why. I assumed you were saying that the weather in Hokkaido, specifically, affected them, not everywhere else. Sorry for nitpicking.

I do know the stadiums and I've seen games in all of them except the Kyocera Dome and the countryside ballparks

Of that list, only the Eagles and Marines are regular opponents of the Fighters. Everyone else is only matched against Nippon-Ham twice if they're playing at their ballpark. You do have me on the countryside stadiums, though. I don't know off the top of my head how often they play there.

Deanna said...

Oh, I was talking about the RAINOUTS in the outdoor stadiums, not the weather affecting the Fighters. Since the majority of the post was about rainouts, I figured that's what you were referring to.

It isn't just the atmosphere in the Sapporo Dome, anyway, which obviously is the same year-round. I'm talking more about the fact that as it warms up, people can actually go walking and jogging outside, and get fresh air and some sunlight and all... which you really kinda can't do in the winter in Hokkaido. You could say that maybe they're phototropic. I'm not quite so affected by sunlight or the lack of it, but I definitely know people who are.

I'm not presenting this as a scientific theory or anything, just thinking how the last few years they've had an abysmal April and started getting good just as the rest of the country goes into rainy season and Sapporo goes into awesome season. Whether there's a correlation there, I don't know, it's just a thought.

I'm assuming you're the guy who was posting on the shrinecastle post a bit ago? Do you have a blog or something?

Daniel said...

Sorry about the misunderstanding, yeah, I think that the general weather probably does help the players out. Since I'm originally from Florida I was thinking more about how the Marlins and Rays tend to not do so well in April in the NE either thanks to the cold and figured that the Fighters would be able to use the weather as a slight advantage if they weren't playing in a dome.

Yeah, I'm the guy on shrinecastle's blog. I met her on a JapanBall tour last year and I've been following the NPB, her work, your blog, and a few other sources since. My blog (I Bring Nothing to the Table, http://nothingtothetable.com) is not NPB-focused, but I do try to follow the Carp, Eagles, and a few MLB teams' daily game progress. I mostly write about video games, but I also sometimes write about movies, music, or non-baseball sports. Haven't had a glut of content recently because I've been pretty busy, but I do try and put something up M-F