Category Archives: humor

Sawamura show

One of the highlights of Japan’s postseason comes the day after Game 2 of the Japan Series, when five former pitchers get together to dismiss the accomplishments of today’s pro hurlers and ostensibly honor one as the recipient of the Eiji Sawamura Award.

“I know the game has changed, but dammit, so many of these guys are embarrassing,” one selector said. “I don’t mean to be rude but when I see pitchers leaving the mound with a lead with both limbs intact in the eighth inning and they’re not bleeding and they haven’t even thrown 200 pitches, I’m ashamed my grandkids know I was a pitcher, too.”

Another guy said, “It’s very important in today’s game to develop heroes that kids can look up to. What’s it say about ballplayers if they don’t want to endure injuries for the sake of their team?”

“Look. Most of us were done by the time we were 35, and none of us can throw hard at all any more, except Choji (Murata), and he had Tommy John surgery, so that’s kind of like cheating.”

The former pitchers said that in an era when pitch counts and pitch limits are beginning to corrupt even Japanese youth baseball, it was up to the old guys to hold the line.

“Baseball, at its heart is a blood sport. And kids need to learn that,” one said. “Pitchers need to practice year round in order to perfect their craft. That’s the Japanese way. I don’t think anyone doubts that.”

“If that practice means that some talented 7-year-olds need arm surgery or have to give up baseball before he gets to junior high school, that’s a small price to pay for upholding tradition.”

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Nishimura’s last sacrifice

Orix Buffaloes manager Norifumi Nishimura announced after Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Seibu Lions that he is stepping down.

The loss left the Buffaloes 12 games out of first place in this year’s 120 game season with a 16-33-4 record.

I haven’t seen a transcript of his resignation announcement yet but it might have gone something like this:

“If only I had ordered more sacrifices, perhaps we wouldn’t be in this predicament. We did our best last year, but leading the league with 101 sacrifice bunts was not enough to escape finishing last,” Nishimura said.

“We tried to redouble our efforts this year. We even bunted as often as we could while trailing in the late innings on the road, but the wins still didn’t come.”

“We lead both leagues now with 47 and that’s quite an achievement for a team in a DH league with no interleague games this year, but for this team to win a championship, I think we need to find a way to bunt in every conceivable situation. That we failed to do this is my responsibility.”

“To win in Japan, you need to pressure your opponent with sacrifice hits. But somehow there are just never enough outs for us in a game to sacrifice as much as we should.”