NPB news: Oct. 16, 2022

We had no games today, although the final MLB playoff game between the Dodgers and Padres was once more a big game for former Japan players.

Instead, we have stories about who might not be back for next season with SoftBank, and since it’s that time of year, my first slate of postseason award votes.

Hawks uncertain about Rea, Gracial, Despaigne

The Hawks are not certain about whether or not to offer new contracts to pitcher Colin Rea, infielder-outfielder Yurisbel Gracial and outfielder Alfredo Despaigne, Nishinihon Sports reported Sunday, while Nikkan Sports reported that the Hawks are interested in acquiring unrepentant domestic abuser Roberto Osuna, who finished the season with the Pacific League rival Lotte Marines.

Award time again

Here are my Central and Pacific league award ballots for MVP, Rookie of the Year and Best Nine. Before the pandemic, our award ballots were essentially kanji-writing tests. Now they come as excel files, which takes away the penmanship aspect but is much easier.

A couple of days ago, I answered questions about my PL ballot in a post entitled “That time again,” since my choice not to vote for Yoshinobu Yamamoto was questioned on Twitter. My votes are based more or less on an objective view of players’ contributions and the importance of finishing higher in the league.

I toyed with the idea of reserving some share of teams’ wins for leadership and performing well in high-profile roles such as the No. 1 starter, the leadoff hitter, the cleanup hitter, setup man and closer, but it hasn’t got much further than that.

Anyway, here are my votes. Feel free to tweet out how much you hate them and why. I’d love for this to be a real discussion.

In roman characters these are:

Pacific League


1st: Masataka Yoshida, Buffaloes. 2nd: Hotaka Yamakawa, Lions. 3rd: Hideto Asamura, Eagles.

Rookie of the year

Tatsuru Yanagimachi, Hawks.

Best Nine

Pitcher: Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Buffaloes. Catcher: Tomoya Mori, Lions. First Base: Hotaka Yamakawa, Lions. Second Base: Hideto Asamura, Eagles. Third Base: Yuma Mune, Buffaloes. Shortstop: Kenta Imamiya, Hawks. Outfielders:; Hiroaki Shimauchi, Eagles; Yuki Yanagita, Hawks; Keita Nakagawa, Buffaloes. Designated Hitter: Masataka Yoshida, Buffaloes.

Central League


1st: Munetaka Murakami, Swallows. 2nd: Shugo Maki, BayStars. 3rd: Keita Sano, BayStars.

Rookie of the year

Hideki Nagaoka, Swallows.

Best Nine

Pitcher: Yasuaki Yamasaki, BayStars. Catcher: Yuhei Nakamura, Swallows. First Base: Jose Osuna, Swallows. Second Base: Shugo Maki, BayStars. Third Base: Munetaka Murakami, Swallows. Shortstop: Hideki Nagaoka, Swallows. Outfielders: Keita Sano, BayStars; Yasutaka Shiomi, Swallows; Yoshihiro Maru, Giants.

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