Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ten years and two days later, the Fighters win it all again!

(pictures from the Fighters website)
And unlike in 2006 when I was able to slack off quite a bit for a week or two of work and stay up all night, now I work at Google and have way too much going on to actually watch any significant part of the Japan Series.  I did catch the 5th and 6th games of this year's PL Second Stage playoffs, because they were at 2pm Japan which is 10pm here, and they were also aired on Pacific League TV.  But the Japan Series games were all at 6:30pm in Japan, which is 2:30am here, and the reliable streams seemed to hop around every day.

I was at the Seibu Dome on Sept 27-28 for the adventures of clinching the Pacific League though, and should write that up sometime.  But everything else I've had to experience from the US during my precious waking hours.

Those final playoff games were a doozy -- Game 5, on Oct 15th, happened right after a Meiji-Waseda game where Yuya Yanagi got 19 strikeouts in 12 innings in his last weekend before the draft, and so I switched over to the Fighters, and then the Hawks kept hitting home runs and chipping away at Takanashi, and eventually won the game 5-2, with my highlights being getting to see Kagiya and Hakumura pitch a few innings.

Game 6, unlike game 5, had the Hawks go up 4-0 in one inning instead of in 4 innings, pretty much beating up rookie starter Takayuki Katoh.  But Anthony Bass came in and pitched four scoreless innings to hold off the Hawks while the Fighters waited for Tadashi Settsu to lose his curveball and start giving up runs.  Kensuke Tanaka hadn't really hit at all in the playoffs so he was benched in favor of Kenshi Sugiya who not only fielded well but also hit the Fighters second RBI (the first was a Sho Nakata solo homer).  In the 4th inning, with the bases loaded, Hiromi Oka pinch-hit for Shota Ohno, which seemed like a weird move, but then he hit a double to center which scored the tying runs, and the Fighters went up 5-4 immediately after on a squeeze bunt by Takuya Nakashima, which was kind of ironically perfect as the Hawks had ruined our night on Sept 27th by going up 3-2 on the Marines on a squeeze play.

The rest of Game 6 belonged to Shohei Ohtani, who not only hit a double in the 5th inning and scored on the Kensuke Kondoh hit that brought the game to 7-4, but, also, Ohtani impossibly came into the game to close it out pitching in the 9th inning.  And almost every pitch he threw was over 160 km/h, including two of them hitting 165 km/h, which is a new speed record in Japan.  (I'm not even sure why the Fighters keep making new merch every time he does this.  I haven't bought any because duh.)

There was a week off between the playoffs and the Japan Series, during which the draft happened.  The only real update there is that Fighters' 6th-round pick Yujiro Yamaguchi has said he's not going to join the team because he's pissed at getting picked lower than 4th.  Whether or not you believe him on that being the real reason, or whether or not you think this is broken or not, please respect my right to call him a dumbass and be annoyed at him.  Thanks.  That's all I really feel like saying on the subject.  It's kind of silly, though, that since 2000 there have been 5 normal-round picks to turn down their teams, and 3/5 have been Fighters, and 2/5 have been goddamn Hisayoshi Chono.

Anyway.  Did I mention that the Fighters won the Japan Series?

I really truly honestly didn't get to see or follow most of the games.  The first two were in Hiroshima, and the Fighters lost both of them 5-1 -- this was bizarre enough that on Sunday morning when I woke up and looked at the score I had to make sure I had loaded the right page, but no, it really was Ohtani vs. Kris Johnson in the first game and Masui vs. Yusuke Nomura in the second.

Johnson, by the way, won the Sawamura award this year, first time a foreigner had won it since Gene Bacque in 1964.  I feel like this along with Balentien's home run record a few years ago is kind of showing that NPB, and maybe Japan as a whole, may be slightly more accepting of foreigners than before.  Not really much, but just a tiny tiny tiny bit.  And every tiny tiny bit helps.

(Now, to be honest, this was the first year EVER in the past decade that there weren't a few scattered racist morons that treated me like a dumb foreigner at Fighters games.  But that's also because I became pretty famous after spring training in Arizona.  So instead of getting "Oh... where are you from?  Oh, do you like Fighters?" in broken bad English from people in the stands, I got a lot of "OMG YOU'RE THE GIRL FROM ARIZONA WHO WAS ON TV ALL THE TIME!")

The Fighters went back to Sapporo for Games 3-5, and won all of them!  Game 3 involved a walkoff RBI hit by Ohtani in the 10th inning to win it 4-3, and Game 4 involved a huge Brandon Laird go-ahead 2-run homer to win it 3-1, and Game 5 involved, amazingly, a walkoff grand slam by Haruki Nishikawa, the second in Japan Series history (the first being the Swallows' Toru Sugiura in Game 1 of the 1992 Japan Series).  It should also be noted that Takayuki Katoh only gave up 1 run in the first inning but also got pulled pretty quickly to let Luis Mendoza hold up the fort for most of the game.

Now here's the thing: the home team had won all of the first 5 games, and we were going back to Hiroshima, so I wasn't feeling all too good about that.  The first Japan Series I ever followed was 2003 when the Hawks and Tigers faced off and the home team won every game in that series as well.

However, this year was different!

I actually watched the first 4 innings of Game 6 -- not because I wanted to be awake, but because I was having some acid reflux issues combined with failing to swallow an antacid pill properly, and so I was way too uncomfortable to sleep and having esophageal spasms.  So, I found a site streaming the game, although it was very choppy, and watched as the Fighters went up 1-0 in the first inning on a Haruki Nishikawa triple and an infield blooping hit by Hiromi Oka.  And I also watched as the Carp went up 2-1 in the second inning on a wild pitch by Masui and an error by Brandon Laird.

Note: Game 6 was Masui vs Nomura, which people seemed confused about, ie, why leave aces Kuroda and Ohtani until Game 7?  But I think it was a solid move on both sides.  (And I feel a little bit bad that my job since 2007 Koshien seems to be watching Yusuke Nomura lose really important games.)

Anyway, there were more Haruki triples and hits and the Fighters went up 4-2 in the top of the 4th, and Kuriyama pulled Masui super early so I even got to see Kagiya pitch the bottom of the 4th, and I saw him pitching a scoreless inning culminating in striking out Takahiro Arai.  By then my stomach had calmed down enough to sleep, so I went to sleep.  It was 4:30 in the morning and I had to be up at 8:30 to go meet friends up in San Francisco anyway, so it was just as well.

When I woke up four hours later, I saw the final box score.  The Fighters won 10-4!  Holy crap!  It looks like Jay Jackson just had a very very bad 8th inning pitching for the Carp, and Brandon Laird hit a grand slam, which cemented him as the series MVP.

(You should just read Jason Coskrey's article about the game, since he was actually there and all.)

Today I seriously dug my 2006 Nippon Series Champions t-shirt out of the depths of my random Fighters crap and wore it around San Francisco. I cannot believe it's been 10 years since the last time the Fighters won the Japan Series, and how very much my life has changed since then.  It really has been a pretty insane adventure since then.  It was during the 2006 postseason that I had an ongoing bizarre AIM conversation with then-Japan-Times-writer Stephen Ellsesser that made me decide I was going to move to Japan to write about baseball one way or the other, and that's what I ended up doing, quitting my cushy software engineering job to go teach English in Tokyo and travel the country watching baseball.  I remember spending the entirety of October 2006 writing about the Fighters on this blog and thinking nobody out there really cared -- this was, after all, before Twitter, before Reddit, mostly before Facebook even, and before you could see live streams of games.  Now there's a pretty wide NPB audience online in English.

I still can't believe how much kindness I've been shown by the Fighters and the Fighters fans over the past decade, though.  While there have certainly been a few rocky moments here and there, overall it has been the most incredible time of my life.  I love coming back to Kamagaya every year and feeling like I'm stopping off at home to visit my family.  Same for going to the Sapporo Dome.  There are basically two places in Japan that I feel like I really belong there, and one is behind the dugout of a Tokyo Big 6 team with my camera and my friends there, and the other is in the middle of a Fighters cheering section.

I ordered a few of the championship goods from the Fighters site but I won't get them for a few months.  Hopefully they'll show up in time to wear to Arizona spring training next year :)  And wow, I really can't wait to see everyone there again.  It's going to be even more crazy this time around!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Draft 2016 Liveblogging

Hello and welcome to my 11th annual anguish over hoping the Giants don't draft my favorite college players, also known as Marinerds NPB Draft Liveblogging!

I'm preparing this post a little earlier in the day, and hopefully I'll be able to stay up all night tonight.

I just got back from Japan a few weeks ago (I was there in person when the Fighters clinched the PL pennant at the Seibu Dome and I really should finish writing that up one of these days) so I have a few draft magazines, and one of my friends gave me a whole slew of industrial league team pamphlets, but there are always going to be a few guys that slip through the cracks in the later rounds.  Always fun!

Hopefully the TBS stream will actually work this year, who knows.

Otherwise I'll just be watching the picks come in on various news sources such as Nikkan Sports, Sponichi, Sanspo, etc, plus team pages, as usual.

Moving commentary to below the draft results grid.  Also now the Ikusei grid is done and so this should be complete overall.

Name                   Pos  HS/Univ/Company         T/B   DOB          Ht/Wt  
--------------------   ---  ---------------         ---   ----------   -------
Orix Buffaloes
1 Taisuke Yamaoka       P   Tokyo Gas               R/L   09/22/1995   172/66
2 Yuta Kuroki           P   Rissho Univ             R/L   08/16/1994   178/75
3 Daisuke Okazaki       IF  Hanasaki Tokuharu HS    R/L   09/17/1998   182/75
4 Yoshinobu Yamamoto    P   Miyakonojo HS           R/R   08/17/1998   177/72
5 Keisuke Kobayashi     P   Nihon Seimei            R/R   11/02/1992   187/86
6 Soichiro Yamazaki     P   Tsuruga Kehi HS         R/R   06/15/1998   188/84
7 Daisuke Iida          C   Honda Suzuka            R/R   09/19/1990   181/83
8 Keisuke Sawada        P   Rikkio Univ             R/L   04/27/1994   178/90
9 Kaoru Nemoto          OF  Kasumigaura HS          L/L   07/29/1998   185/78

i1 Yaku Cho             OF  Nihon Keizai Univ       R/R   02/26/1994   181/78
i2 Tsubasa Sakakibara   P   Urawa Gakuin HS         R/R   08/25/1998   180/80
i3 Fumiya Kanbe         P   Rissho Univ             R/R   05/09/1994   182/80
i4 Kazumasa Sakamoto    IF  Ishikawa Million Stars  R/L   11/16/1990   162/65
i5 Katsushi Nakamichi   C   Meiji Univ              R/L   04/30/1994   173/78

Chunichi Dragons
1 Yuya Yanagi           P   Meiji Univ              R/R   04/22/1994   180/80
2 Yota Kyoda            IF  Nihon Univ              R/L   04/20/1994   184/80
3 Masami Ishigaki       IF  Sakata Minami HS        R/R   09/21/1998   180/84
4 Shotaro Kasahara      P   Niigata Iryo Fukushi U  L/L   03/17/1995   177/85
5 Kento Fujishima       P   Toho HS                 R/R   05/08/1998   176/75
6 Taisuke Maruyama      P   Tokai Univ              R/R   02/05/1995   176/75

i1 Yusuke Kinoshita     P   Tokushima Indigo Socks  R/R   10/10/1993   183/82

Rakuten Eagles
1 Shoma Fujihira        P   Yokohama HS             R/R   09/21/1998   186/84
2 Takahide Ikeda        P   Soka Univ               R/R   10/01/1994   180/80
3 Kazuki Tanaka         IF  Rikkio Univ             R/S   08/08/1994   180/78
4 Shu Sugahara          P   Osaka Taiiku Univ       R/L   04/05/1994   182/78
5 Kohei Morihara        P   Shinnitetsu Hirohata    R/L   12/26/1991   184/83
6 Keisuke Tsuruta       P   Teikyo Univ (Rubber)    L/L   05/12/1994   180/84
7 Hiroki Nomoto         P   Sasebo Kogyo HS         R/R   05/16/1998   180/72
8 Tsuyoshi Ishihara     C   Kyoto Shoei HS          R/R   03/08/1999   169/87
9 Yuhei Takanashi       P   JX-ENEOS                L/L   07/13/1992   175/80
10 Naoto Nishiguchi     P   Koga Health Senmon      R/R   11/04/1996   183/80

i1 Kota Chiba           P   Hanamaki Higashi        R/R   04/22/1998   180/87
i2 Yosuke Minami        IF  Meisei Univ             R/R   08/07/1994   175/73
i3 Takumi Mukaitani     IF  Hyogo Blue Thunders     R/L   02/24/1997   170/68
i4 Toshiyasu Kimura     P   Riseisha Health Senmon  R/L   09/14/1995   176/76

1 Naruki Terashima      P   Riseisha HS             L/L   07/30/1998   183/86
2 Tomoya Hoshi          P   Meiji Univ              R/R   04/15/1994   181/85
3 Yugo Umeno            P   Kyushudai Kyusan HS     R/R   01/13/1999   175/80
4 Hikaru Nakao          P   Nagoya Keizai Univ      L/L   09/14/1994   179/79
5 Yudai Koga            C   Meitoku Gijuku HS       R/R   08/07/1998   178/75
6 Ryusuke Kikusawa      P   Soso Ritech             R/R   05/16/1988   183/85

i1 Hajime Ohmura        C   Ishikawa Million Stars  R/L   12/21/1991   169/80

1 Tatsuya Imai          P   Sakushin Gakuin HS      R/R   05/09/1998   180/70
2 Shunta Nakatsuka      P   Hakuoh Univ             R/R   12/26/1994   191/103
3 Sousuke Genda         IF  Toyota                  R/L   02/16/1993   179/73
4 Shohei Suzuki         OF  Shizuoka HS             L/L   05/20/1998   174/75
5 Katsunori Hirai       P   Honda Suzuka            R/R   12/20/1991   180/83
6 Ichiro Tamura         P   Rikkio Univ             R/L   09/19/1994   173/80

1 Yusuke Ohyama         IF  Hakuoh Univ             R/R   12/19/1994   181/84
2 Taiki Ono             P   Fuji Univ               R/R   05/30/1994   183/76
3 Hiroto Saiki          P   Sumashofu HS (Kobe)     R/R   11/07/1998   187/79
4 Masumi Hamachi        P   Fukuoka Ohhori HS       R/R   05/25/1998   183/88
5 Kento Itohara         IF  JX-ENEOS                R/L   11/11/1992   175/80
6 Shungo Fukunaga       P   Tokushima Indigo Socks  R/L   05/14/1994   185/90
7 Kenya Nagasaka        C   Tohoku Fukushi Univ     R/R   04/28/1994   173/78
8 Kosuke Fujitani       P   Panasonic               R/R   02/12/1996   194/95

1 Seigi Tanaka
1 Chihaya Sasaki        P   Oberlin Univ            R/R   06/08/1994   182/85
2 Tomohito Sakai        P   Osaka Gas               R/R   01/02/1993   179/80
3 Takaaki Shima         P   Tokai Ichihara Boyo HS  R/R   06/26/1998   180/82
4 Seiya Dohi            P   Osaka Gas               L/L   07/07/1995   185/81
5 Yuki Ariyoshi         P   Kyushu Mitsubishi       R/R   03/12/1991   179/87
6 Atsuki Taneichi       P   Hachinohedai Ichi HS    R/R   09/07/1998   183/80
7 Yuito Munetsugu       C   Asia Univ               R/R   07/06/1994   183/91

i1 Yoshizumi Yasue      P   Ishikawa Million Stars  R/R   05/26/1992   185/80
i2 Shota Sugawara       OF  Nihon Wellness Sports U L/L   09/19/1993   183/95

1 Yuya Yanagi
1 Chihaya Sasaki
1 Haruhiro Hamaguchi    P   Kanagawa Univ           L/L   03/16/1995   173/78
2 Koya Mizuno           P   Tokai Univ Hokkaido     R/R   06/01/1994   175/74
3 Taiga Matsuo          IF  Shugakukan HS           R/R   04/05/1998   174/73
4 Masaya Kyoyama        P   Ohmi HS                 R/R   07/04/1998   183/72
5 Seiya Hosokawa        P   Meishugakuen Hitachi HS R/R   08/04/1998   181/85
6 Yuya Onaka            P   Hiroshima Keizai Univ   R/L   01/31/1995   172/70
7 Yukikazu Karino       IF  Heisei Kokusai Univ     R/R   07/31/1994   179/75
8 Takuya Shindoh        P   JR Higashinihon         R/R   07/16/1992   184/78
9 Keita Sano            IF  Meiji Univ              R/L   11/28/1994   177/77

i1 Takamasa Kasai       P   Shinano Grandserows     R/R   08/07/1994   179/93

1 Seigi Tanaka          P   Soka Univ               R/R   07/19/1994   186/89
2 Yuto Furuya           P   Koryo HS (Hokkaido)     L/L   02/19/1999   176/76
3 Ryuhei Kuki           C   Shugakukan HS           R/R   09/05/1998   181/82
4 Masaki Mimori         IF  Aomori Yamada HS        R/L   02/21/1999   183/66

i1 Shogo Ohmoto         OF  Teikyo #5 HS            R/L   04/22/1998   186/94
i2 Hiroki Hasegawa      P   Seitoku Gakuen HS       L/L   08/23/1998   174/73
i3 Tsubasa Tashiro      OF  Hachinohe Kosei HS      R/L   03/19/1999   179/72
i4 Kosuke Moriyama     IF/P Fujisawa Shoryo HS      R/R   04/13/1998   187/86
i5 Rikuya Shimizu       OF  Kyoto Kokusai HS        R/R   01/22/1999   186/76
i6 Ryugen Matsumoto     IF  Sotoku HS               R/L   02/27/1999   175/72

1 Seigi Tanaka
1 Chihaya Sasaki
1 Naoki Yoshikawa       IF  Chukyo Gakuin Univ      R/L   02/08/1995   177/79
2 Seishu Hatake         P   Kinki Univ              R/L   05/31/1994   186/74
3 Tappei Tanioka        P   Toshiba                 R/R   03/21/1996   181/81
4 Shun Ikeda            P   Yamaha                  L/L   11/29/1992   174/72
5 Hosei Takada          P   Soshi Gakuen HS         R/R   07/04/1998   178/75
6 Ryusei Ohe            P   Nishogakusha HS         L/L   01/15/1999   171/75
7 Jen-Lei Liao          P   Kainan Univ (Taiwan)    R/R   08/30/1993   201/125

i1 Suguru Takai         P   Niigata Albirex         R/R   08/22/1995   180/78
i2 Shuhei Katoh         OF  Iwata Higashi HS        R/R   03/28/1999   178/84
i3 Motohiro Yamakawa    P   Hyogo Blue Thunders     R/L   01/04/1995   170/73
i4 Koki Sakamoto        P   Kansai Gakuin (Rubber)  R/R   08/19/1994   180/80
i5 Seiya Matsubara      OF  Meisei Univ             R/L   01/26/1995   173/70
i6 Ryutaro Takayama     C   Kyushu Sangyo Univ      R/R   02/21/1995   186/80
i7 Hayato Horioka       P   Aomori Yamada HS        R/R   09/11/1998   183/84
i8 Yusuke Matsuzawa     OF  Kagawa Olive Guyners    L/L   07/01/1992   181/85

1 Seigi Tanaka
1 Chihaya Sasaki
1 Mizuki Hori           P   Hiroshima Shinjo HS     L/L   05/10/1998   177/72
2 Kazunari Ishii        IF  Waseda Univ             R/L   05/06/1994   181/76
3 Kazuki Takara         P   Kyushu Sandai Univ      R/R   06/25/1994   177/77
4 Keisuke Moriyama      OF  Senshu Univ             L/L   05/02/1994   187/85
5 Yuki Takayama         P   Osaka Toin HS           L/L   05/17/1998   180/70
6 Yujiro Yamaguchi      P   Riseisha HS             L/L   05/14/1998   180/87
7 Takuya Koori          C   Teikyo HS               R/R   04/25/1998   177/74
8 Taisho Tamai          P   Kazusa Magic            R/R   06/16/1992   178/78
9 Junnosuke Imai        IF  Chukyo HS               R/L   05/25/1998   177/88

1 Seigi Tanaka
1 Chihaya Sasaki
1 Takuya Katoh          P   Keio Univ               R/R   12/31/1994   175/90
2 Koya Takahashi        P   Hanasaki Tokuharu HS    L/L   09/27/1998   181/83
3 Hiroki Tokota         P   Chubu Gakuin Univ       L/L   03/01/1995   182/74
4 Shogo Sakakura        C   Nichidai Sanko HS       R/L   05/29/1998   177/80
5 Makoto Aduwa          P   Matsuyama Seiryo HS     R/R   10/02/1998   196/86
6 Ryota Nagai           P   Tsukuba Shuei HS        R/R   01/15/1999   181/81

 turns out that hahahaha no the TBS link does not work.
~1:10am: I have Konansports on, but it's so damn choppy that it's almost not worth watching.  That means that I missed most of the ceremonial starting stuff and I'm mostly ok with that since it's silly.

The main thing about this year is that they're making the winning and losing ballots more obvious after Manaka's little mistake with Takayama last year.  Wonder if we'll be able to tell or not.

Anyway, first round is in this order, and I'll put choices in:
Buffaloes: Yamaoka Taisuke, Tokyo Gas, P
Dragons: Yanagi Yuya, Meiji Univ, P
Eagles: Fujihira Shoma, Yokohama HS, P
Swallows: Terashima Naruki, Riseisha HS, P
Lions: Imai Tatsuya, Sakushin HS, P
Tigers: Ohyama Yusuke, Hakuoh Univ, IF
Marines: Tanaka Seigi, Soka Univ, P
Baystars: Yanagi
Hawks: Tanaka
Giants: Tanaka
Fighters: Tanaka
Carp: Tanaka

1:23am First ballot-off happens and it's for Yuya Yanagi.
And... OH NO HE GOES TO CHUNICHI.  Sigh.  I will miss you, Yanagi.  (Feels like after watching him for the past 7 years I am not likely to see him much with Chunichi, but who knows)

1:27am: Second ballot-off for Tanaka and it goes to Kimiyasu Kudoh drawing for the Hawks.  Sigh.  Like they need any MORE top talent.

1:36am: Pretty much everybody that had a choice after Tanaka tried to take Chihaya Sasaki and he went to the Marines.  Next!

1:46am the first round has finally been decided after the Chihaya lottery and I am a little bit sad that the Fighters did not take any of my favorite first rounders as Katoh went to the Carp and as you saw Yanagi went to Chunichi and all.

So, to sum up the actual first round...

Buffaloes: Taisuke Yamaoka, Tokyo Gas, P
Dragons: Yuya Yanagi, Meiji Univ, P
Eagles: Shoma Fujihira, Yokohama HS, P
Swallows: Naruki Terashima, Riseisha HS, P
Lions: Tatsuya Imai, Sakushin HS, P
Tigers: Yusuke Ohyama, Hakuoh Univ, IF
Marines: Chihaya Sasaki, Oberlin Univ, P
Baystars: Haruhiro Hamaguchi, Kanagawa Univ, P
Hawks: Seigi Tanaka, Soka Univ, P
Giants: Naoki Yoshikawa, Chukyo Gakuin Univ, IF
Fighters: Mizuki Hori, Hiroshima Shinjo HS, P
Carp: Takuya Katoh, Keio Univ, P


Ok, gonna fill in the table.  I have pretty much lost the ability to watch the stream after gaining it, which is kinda just fine with me.  It turned out the TBS stream DID work, but not on a macbook and not in Chrome, and my PC laptop is so old and crappy it's not worth listening to the fan blowing over the sound of the stream.

2:06am: just a note that the second round started while I was finishing putting the first round in the table, and the Swallows picked Tomoya Hoshi from Meiji in the second round, and that is kinda cool, I just met him during my last weekend in Japan, he's really good, that will be exciting.

2:26am: Done entering the second round and of course we are in the middle of the 4th round now.  Kazuki Tanaka from Rikkio went to Rakuten which is kinda exciting and I'm sure there are other ones that I haven't spotted yet too.

3:05am: Incase it isn't obvious, I am just flipping through draft magazines and trying to keep up with the draft (I think I'm mostly done the 4th round now but we're in the 6th).  Very excited about a few picks, very annoyed at some others, I will probably comment afterwards.  Also, Shu Sugahara got the award for "first dude not in the draft magazines", and there are a bunch of guys who clearly have been named after pro players by the kanji in their names -- Masumi Hamachi (looks like Kuwata) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (looks like Takahashi).

3:20am: Keisuke Sawada got picked by the Buffaloes!  It's not the Fighters but I'm so damn happy he got drafted.  We've been buddies since he showed up at Rikkio, basically, and I've always watched him kick ass and take names and somehow get screwed over by the fact that Meiji is always just a little bit better.  (ok, nose back to translation grind)

3:37am: Still grinding but I want to look up Keisuke Tsuruta later -- Eagles round 6.  He's from Teikyo University's rubber baseball club, which makes him almost as interesting as Takumi Ohshima (who got drafted out of Waseda's softball club)

Also want to look up Swallows round 6 Ryusuke Kikusawa.  At 28 he is the oldest in the draft and spent last year playing with the Sonoma Stompers, but I didn't make it up to any games up there (haven't been in a long time actually).

4:26am almost done the normal draft, not gonna do ikusei tonight most likely.  Got to the end of the Giants and was like who the heck is  リャオ・レンレイ?  and it seems to be Jen-Lei Liao who played in the Pittsburgh Pirates system for a bit.  I thought 201cm/125kg was a typo at first but apparently no.

4:40am I am done with the normal grid, for the information I have at my disposal so far.  I'm going to circle back and see if I can gather anything up for the empty spots, and if I'm still awake after that, I may try to translate the Ikusei draft, but you know the Fighters don't do that stuff so I'm not usually as interested in it.

5:20am I'll do Ikusei tomorrow sometime.  Gotta sleep so I can go to work in the "morning".

(Ikusei is done now.  Wow, there are a LOT of rubber baseball guys in this draft -- not just ikusei -- and a bunch of Senmon Gakko ones too.  Senmon Gakko is like a vocational school that people go to after high school to figure out a trade, and it's not typically somewhere you go to play baseball.)