It’s two days until the start of spring training in the winter, unless you play for Orix, and start on Feb. 2, or Seibu and start on Feb. 6. As such, players are showing up at their teams’ spring training sites, and there is some news.
On Tuesday, we learned that Franmil Reyes has plans for his Tuesdays, while new Nippon Ham Fighters teammate Kotaro Kiyomiya won’t be doing baseball for a while, while the Yakult Swallows have an unfortunate problem with auto translate on Google.
Want to keep in touch with the nuts and bolts of Japanese baseball and its culture? Become a paid subscriber to jballallen.com by Jan. 31 and get 3 free months of unlimited access to all blog posts and pages.
Where’s the beef?
That’s what Franmil Reyes wants to know, more specifically, where’s a guy supposed to go to find Korean barbeque on a Tuesday night after a game?
At his introductory press conference, Reyes revealed that when he was teammates with Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer in 2019 in San Diego, the trio made a point of having different kinds of Japanese food on Tuesdays, and said he intends to have Korean barbeque every Tuesday this season.
Kiyomiya out with ankle sprain
Kotaro Kiyomiya, who made substantial strides last season with the Fighters, spent time over the winter joining the increasingly popular offseason Driveline pilgrimage, before getting in some extra training at the Fighters spring training base in Okinawa, where he twisted his ankle on Monday.
He is not expected to be able to play in a game for five more weeks.
But does Yakult swallow?
A thoughtful reader alerted me today to what happens when one crosses the Yakult Swallows’ season slogan with Chrome’s translation function.
This doesn’t rise to the level of “Paul is Dead” if you play a Beatles track backward, but if you check out the Swallows’ new slogan explanation and click the translate function from the tools menu on the top right of the Google Chrome browser page, you might be able to hear someone in the Swallows’ front office scream.
It seems no team on earth needs Joe Maddon more than Yakult when it comes to getting the message, “Try not to suck.”