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.