Baseball babble-on 5-21

OK time for another Pro Yakyu News rant for after-the-fact criticism for the sake of criticism .

Yoshiaki Kanemura knows a hell of a lot about baseball and how it’s played, but he also just likes to take the piss and criticize things that really aren’t any big deal. One of the spear carriers for playing baseball the Japanese way, he’s the one who attacked Alex Ramirez for batting Yoshitomo Tsutsugo second, calling it “an insult to Japanese baseball.”

On Friday, his pet peeve was outfield positioning in the Fighters-Lions game. With two outs and runners on the corners, a fly to medium-deep left from No. 9 hitter Ryo Ishikawa fell near the line just out of reach of Cory Spangenberg for an RBI single.

Spangenberg had been playing at normal depth and probably wouldn’t have got it if he had been playing shallower, but Kanemura had a spaz.

“He’s playing too deep! The outfield defense coach must be seeing that and grinding his teeth!”

When the Lions had two on and out in the fifth in a 1-1 game, left fielder Haruki Nishikawa was playing at normal depth but just failed to haul in a drive to the track off the bat of Takeya Nakamura.

“He’s playing too shallow! What’s he doing? I can’t believe it.”

In a sense, Kanemura was right, in retrospect, Spangenberg WAS playing too deep, and Nishikawa WAS playing too deep. But that’s the kind of criticism Katsuya Nomura talked about when he turned pro.

As a young catcher, he needed to get a power hitter out, called for a curve, and it resulted in a big hit. His coach, he said, shouted at him, “You idiot! Don’t call for a curve against a power hitter.” With that in mind a few days later he called for a fastball. The coach, enraged, hit him across the head and said, “How stupid are you? Never call for a fastball against a power hitter!”

Nomura said, “I was still a teenager, but I quickly realized that a lot of the coaches didn’t know what they were talking about.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.