Korean Rhythmic gymnast Shin Soo-ji’s first pitch

Gymnasts at it again and she still threw the ball better than a ton of pro athletes.

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Ochinko and Owchinko in Japanese

I have waited and waited and waited for this one to come up. I didn’t want to be the one who brought up this guy from the tombs of baseball. But it’s not the tombs. Sean Ochinko isn’t the guy I remembered as a kid and giggled when his name came up. Ochinko is in the minors, currently. Who was I thinking about?

Let’s back to why I’m giggling. Chinko means penis and Ochinko I suppose is the honorific of penis. So in the end, this guy’s uniform is a joke in Japan.

Years ago, another similar name stood firm. Bob! Bob Owchinko with the “w”. Owchinko. I remember laughing every time an announcer would mention his name. “It’s Bob Dick pitching!” He played a 10 year career that remained fairly unremarkable, but he did carry that familiar name. Meanwhile, check out Kotaku‘s article that pokes more fun at meanings of foreign names in Japanese.



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Nikkei Baseball, a book about Japanese American Baseball

Japanese American baseball, “Nikkei Baseball” an interview and book by Samuel O. Regalado.

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Korean Pitching Star Ryu Hyun-jin Maybe an LA Dodger

Perhaps the best pitcher in Korea, Ryu Hyun-jin might become an LA Dodger. Yes, he’s bring in the fans. This man can throw. To negotiate, the Dodgers paid over 25 million. The rewards after paying even more to sign the man will be great for the team, especially in LA. (MLB – Ryu Hyun-jin)

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Ace Hurler Ryu Hyun-jun to Test MLB

Watch for Ryu Hyun-jin to come to the MLB. By watching the video below of his 17 strikeouts, you can see his various pitches and crazy movement. He’s also the strikeout king and appears to be one of the best in baseball. He’s also 25 and appears to be a robust young man at 6’2″ and 215… although he looks heavier.



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Japan Back in World Baseball Classic

Japan to play WBC. It was unfortunately about money. The MLB got 33% of the revenue while the two time Champions, Japan got only 13% of the ad revenue.

“Japan’s professional baseball announced Tuesday it has decided to set up a new business structure that would bring in ¥4 billion ($51.1 million) in four years.” (WSJ – WBC)


The Ichiro Effect

The Ichiro Effect is now gone from Seattle, a west coast location that’s not as far from Japan and New York City. Tourism will be affected as people will now perhaps defect to New York for visits. But even that will be less. Seattle is a much simpler place to visit. “Japan sends more tourists to Seattle than any other country, according to U.S. Commerce department officials, the newspaper notes. In 2011 alone, 64,000 Japanese tourists visited the region.” (USA Today – Ichiro Effect)

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Ichiro’s Theme by Ben Gibbard

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service turns out a song about Ichiro!

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Ichiro to the Yankees

Ichiro now a Yankee. He’s 38, should be able to produce.

“When I spent time during the All-Star break to think, I realized that this team has many players in their early 20s,” Ichiro said through a translator. “I began to think I should not be on this team next year. I also started to feel a desire to be in an atmosphere that I could have a different kind of stimulation than I have right now.” (ESPN – Ichiro to Yanks)


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Shohei Otani Throws 99 mph Pitch in High School Game


Shohei Otani throws 99mph in a high school game. Scouts, get over there. Now. The kid has a nice motion and is throwing fire.


Japan Team Threatens to Boycott WBC

Japan, the last two winners of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) is threatening to boycott the tournament. Why? Because the revenue generated by MBL is kept mostly by the organization and it’s players. Japan receives 13% while the MLB and it’s players gets 2/3. The revenue was 18 million. 13% then divided by it’s players… leaves a significant chunk but not enough. (WSJ – Baseball)

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1934: Lefty Gomez Goes to Japan

Video shot by Lefty Gomez that’s previously never seen before. Lefty Gomez was part of the MLB tour of Japan in 1934 and shot this video which is insanely valuable. The tour is constantly talked about since it helped make baseball huge in Japan. Babe Ruth, the oversized star was huge in Japan, and it’s fun to see the video footage that’s being put out in promotion of his book, Lefty an American Odyssey. You’ll have to wait a while to see the video footage since it loads slow, but it shows the vibe of the time. (Random House – Lefty) The story as told in SI is equally an interesting read and tells about the journey to Japan. (SI – Lefty)

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Yu Darvish Delivers Shutout

It’ll get repetitive, but his start was rough and in his latest outing he shut down the Yankees. 2 hits and 8 1/3 innings. Congrats to Yu Darvish. He’ll have to be consistent for his career with the 100 million plus he’s getting. (NY Times – Yu Darvish)


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Yu Darvish Wins First Game After Rough Start

Yu Darvish gets out of a jam. 4 runs in the first (42 pitches), and then still wins the game, pitching through the 6th inning. Showing poise and his ability in a game that looked awful at the start, Darvish retired 10 in a row at one point and the outing sounds like a good one.

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Tony Barnette of Japan’s Yakult Swallows

Fun video and story about Tony Barnette, a pitcher from America in Japan. The part about the expensive bathroom and pushing the wrong button is hilarious. So nonchalant. He’s 27 his wife is 24 and now has a new life and is throwing fire as a relief pitcher. He’s on the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and is a reason to be a fan. This Seattle paper has been rocking lately. Like us, they still make typos. Tokyo, not Toyko. (Seattle Times – Barnette)

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High School Baseball in Japan

Japanese high school baseball is written about with nice detail by a Seattle Times Reporter. The part about scooping dirt to take home is touching. It’s like Friday Night Lights, and this is their time. (Seattle Times – Koshien)

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Ichiro Museum

A museum for one of baseball’s greatest stars. It’s not a huge structure, but it’s a room filled with Ichiro’s items. It’s run by his parents. It even has his abacus. It’s filled with photos and ephemera. 30 visitors a day, $11 to enter. If you’re a fan, this is the place to be. It’s in Toyoyama, Japan. (Seattletimes – Ichiro)

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Baseball Balance – Takashi Saito

Tsunami aftermath stories. Takashi Saito visited the affected area where he grew up and realized he was helpless. His best bet was to throw and throw well. There’s not much anyone can do in light of a disaster, but at 42, he’s still in the major leagues and bouncing from team to team. He’s that unlikely hero who keeps his head low, but keeps sticking around. This story is a touching read. (NY Times – Saito)


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Yu Darvish Signs with the Texas Rangers

Ok, Mr great legend dominator Nolan Ryan. Teach Him.

(NY Times – Yu Darvish)

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China’s Field of Dreams: Developing Baseball


The Field of Dreams may not happen in a corn field. This dream could happen in a rice paddy. Yes, this is a better first sentence than the Time Magazine article about baseball taking root in China. No knock on the article, it’s pointing out how baseball is so much smaller, and actually was erased from society by Mao although basketball stayed and thrived. Many of the players are just starting out and stepping onto a baseball field sponsored by the MLB, is the first time they’re picking up “the Rock”. From Time: “The Changzhou development center, which opened in September, is MLB’s second training school in China aiming to produce players who might one day have a shot at the Majors, or more realistically, China’s national baseball league.” (Time – Baseball)

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