Category Archives: Commentary

2023 Best 9s and 10s

It’s that time again. The day I have to dig up the votes I cast for the season’s top players at each position in Japan’s Pacific and Central Leagues.

The big news is that Yoshinobu Yamamoto got every vote cast for the PL’s top pitcher except one, that went to Yoshihisa Hirano, and that’s a story I’m keen to hear about. My guess is that the reason Hirano received a vote was that someone with poor eyesight selected No. 16 on the spreadsheet we’re given instead of No. 18, and failed to check it.

Before COVID, the combined Best-Nine, MVP and Rookie of the Year Award ballots were a kanji-writing test, since failure to get the strokes right could disqualify a vote for a player. Now they are an eye chart.

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More trouble in Sendai

Sendai is a lovely city that bills itself, because of its broad tree-lined avenues, as “The City of Trees.” Yet in that city, the Rakuten Eagles, through recent reports about pitcher Tomohiro Anraku’s shenanigans, are adding to their image as a team that has tolerated players and coaches who have trouble behaving.

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