Sunday, June 12, 2011

Toyo Wins Again (And I Have An Epiphany)

A year ago, I was sitting in my house in Akabane liveblogging the finals of the All-Japan collegiate baseball tourney, which was Toyo vs. Tokai, Fujioka vs. Sugano, after seeing Tokai take down Keio the day before.

Just now, Toyo won their second consecutive championship as Takahiro Fujioka pitched yet another championship game gem. He and Keio's Koji Fukutani both went the distance, into extra innings, but then Toyo's Yuya Oda hit a 2-run sayonara homer to win the game 3-1 for Toyo. But now, I'm sitting in a house in the suburbs of Seattle. Nobody was broadcasting this game online that I could find, so I couldn't actually see it.

And it made me realize that I should actually declare that this blog is semi-officially on hold for a while.

I've been back in the US for a few months now, and I've been working for the last month at a software company in San Francisco, commuting down 4 days a week from Seattle. It's been a lot of fun and I'm really enjoying the job a lot and learning a lot. But on the other hand, I've barely been able to follow baseball at all. I've been to a few MLB games -- just hit a Giants-Reds one the other night, and was at Mariners-Yankees a week or two ago, things like that. But I don't really feel like I have much to contribute about those to the blogosphere. I still follow Japanese college baseball religiously, and check the NPB scores and stuff every day, but it's just not the same when I can't be there.

I'm going to try to go to North Carolina for the US-Japan collegiate tourney in 3 weeks. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't disappointed by the current player pool that's going. There's a lot of interesting guys on that list but a lot of my favorites won't be there; Daisuke Takeuchi isn't on the invite list, neither is Kazuki Mishima. (Well, Fukutani, Fujioka, Nomura, and Sugano all are, but...) Tokaidai's catcher Fushimi Torai just turned down his invite because he had a pretty lousy semester batting-wise, and I was looking forward to seeing him again. Keio's Hayata Itoh and Hosei's Hiroshi Taki are on the invite list, but... well, we'll see.

I'm not planning to completely abandon the blog forever; I hope to write about those US-Japan games, and I'm in the early stages of planning a trip back to Japan for sometime in the September-October timeframe. But for the time being, there's no sense in lying to myself about obligations here. What free time I have these days is going towards putting together Puzzle Hunt, which is my big commitment until September 10. I could probably attempt to do some short baseball posts in the interim, but I've never been any good at that. Maybe once my life gets back in order work-wise -- this SF-Seattle commute won't last forever. We'll see.

I really do want to thank everyone for their support over the years. In case it wasn't clear, my four years as "THAT gaijin" at hundreds of baseball games all over Japan was one of the best experiences of my life, EVER. I'm sure I have plenty of adventures in store in the future, they just won't be happening for a while. And I promise this isn't goodbye, just me realizing I shouldn't just trail off into dust without some sort of explanation why. I'll undoubtedly still post here (I've still got a Big 6 roundup draft to finish as well as the Nichidai San stuff) from time to time.


Nadya said...

The blog will be missed, but you know best what you need to be doing. Have fun and be safe in that Left Coast place.

MAJ said...

I enjoy Baseball and your Blog I hope you can return to it as soon as time and circumstance allows

Mark Alan Janisch

Anonymous said...

Domo arigatou for everything. I do miss your Japan blog, but how about doing a Giants or Mariners blog? The Giants are the 2010 WS champions and they are first in the NL west. The Mariners are second in the AL west.

JT_Dutch said...

... Thanks for creating a very engaging and enjoyable blog. Before I came here, and before Bobby Valentine made his second trip to manage in NPB, it had been a long time since I'd followed baseball in Japan. Rediscovering all of the fun and the unique nature of baseball on the other side of the Pacific has been a nice experience. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hi, since I read your last text I decided to go to North Carolina myself and bought tickets (my chance to see the japanese prospects in person)... Why would Ito not be there?

Thanks for your interesting writings!

Patrick Wilson

Anonymous said...

I am sure the crowd over at Lookout Landing and USSMariner would be delighted if you'd stop by occasionally, now that you're back in the states.
(Appologies if I missed your appearances there, I don't follow their game threads that closely).

Deanna said...

Patrick: Team's been decided, Itoh is on it. I still need to get plane tickets if I'm going, because I'm so lazy.

Anon 2, um... that would work if I was actually following the Mariners, which I'm not, being as I live in San Francisco 4 days a week. I've gone to a few M's games but right now I don't have enough time to really contribute anything insightful, and I'd really rather have something useful to say before I say it :)

John K. said...

Hi Deanna,

First off I want to thank you for sharing with us so many of your experiences with baseball here and abroad for the past few years. I found my way to your site through NPB Tracker at some point and have been hooked ever since. I was introduced to the world of Japanese (high school) baseball through the works of Adachi Mitsuru, and your site has provided a wonderful opportunity to connect to the real world subject matter.

I post not only to thank you but also to ask for advice. I recently decided to go to grad school at UW, and one of my professors there has graciously put me in contact with a colleague of his at Todai. I leave July 4th to head to Tokyo and work in his lab until the 26th of August, at which point I plan to travel for a week (apparently I have family in Minabe) before heading back to the States.

Being a baseball fan, what would you suggest I do/see during my time in Japan. I have limited command of the language (I'm yonsei and only have a year of study...back when I was a 1st year), but hope to take in as much as possible.

Thanks again,

John K.

Deanna said...

John -- send me an email at and I'll try to answer that better for you. Same goes for anyone else.

I'm heading to NC for the college tourney tomorrow, I'm kinda nervous about it but it'll be nice to see the guys again, assuming we don't get rained out...

erichandwanda said...

Best of luck with your new job! I have been in Japan for work but always missed the season so I am really hoping I can catch some baseball there before too long. But reading your blog is the next best thing to being there. Thanks for all the good posts over the years whether you post again soon or not your hard word is definitely appreciated!

Unknown said...

Thanks for all the great posts over the years and good luck with your new job. I have been to Japan for work but not during the baseball season so I have never seen a game there. I think your great blog is the next best thing to being there! Thanks for all the good stories, news, and pics. Your blog and all the hard work you put into it is greatly appreciated!