Friday, April 01, 2011
Friday Foto: Tomoyuki Sugano
This guy is going to get drafted this fall. There's just no way he won't. He's not only amazingly good, and can hit 97mph, but he's also Tatsunori Hara's nephew.
I went to the Meiji University baseball grounds today for a preseason game between Meiji and Tokai, and Sugano pitched the last 2 innings and retired every batter he faced, with 2 strikeouts. Unlike the Hosei-Chuo game the other day where I didn't get to meet Shimabukuro, this time I pretty much went down to the Tokai dugout and with another lady we beckoned Sugano to pretty-please come sign stuff for us, and he was gracious and polite, if a little bit like "...I've got to go really soon, sorry". But I was able to get a photo with him, so I was really happy about that!
Yusuke Nomura ignored me yet again, I think he just hates me. But I got to chat with a bunch of my other favorite Meiji boys, so that was good. Got signatures from Uemoto, Morita, Kumabe, and Ueda, and gave a bag of easter candy to captain Takeda. I told them that I was only going to be in Japan until the 12th, so I won't be able to see any of their league games. But they told me that there's a chance that the Big 6 League is going to try to hold 3 games per day on opening weekend -- so the games would start at like 8:30am, and it'd be Waseda-Todai, Keio-Rikkio, and Meiji-Hosei. That way, they can cancel a weekend later on and let the Yakult Swallows use Jingu for day games.
(Supposedly, if this happens, it'll be decided on April 4th. Which is why Meiji and Hosei are kind of trying to prepare to be ready to play on the 9th even though they're currently not scheduled for it yet.)
So, maybe I will get to see them play for real. Who knows.
And in super-pre-gossip, Kumabe told me that he's going to "work" at Honda Kumamoto next year! Lucky him for getting his job search out of the way early on, and for being level-headed enough to realize he's not going pro any time soon.
Also, for the record, Tokai won today's game 6-4. Meiji's Toshiki Abe hit two triples, though, which was exciting, and Tokai's Torai Fushimi, the cleanup batter and clearly the post-Koike starting catcher for Team Japan, hit two doubles, including a ground-rule one that bounced out of the field and that nobody could find. Fushimi is really good, and it was really a treat to see Tokai's team play.