Smoak trail

Smoak leaves for family’s sake

Yomiuri Giants first baseman Justin Smoak became the latest player to forfeit a job in Japan because his family has been unable to join him. The Central League club announced Thursday that he is returning to the States 34 games into his two-year contract.

Orix Buffaloes pitcher Brandon Dickson declined to come to Japan for his ninth season when he learned his family could not join him, while Rakuten Eagles pitcher Adam Conley declined to come at all.

Getting players into Japan has been marred by the lack of a consistent policy throughout NPB which has mirrored Japan’s haphazard response to the pandemic. NPB and pro soccer’s J-League petitioned the government to let players and coaches into the country.

And the government gave them an entry exemption for non-resident emergency workers based on the excuse that athletes and coaches were essential to make Japan’s Olympic baseball and soccer teams stronger. This is close to nonsensical, but it reflects the fact that waving the magic Olympic wand can move mountains.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Eagles vs Buffaloes: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Hideaki Wakui (6-4, 3.94) vs Yoshinobu Yamamoto (6-5, 2.08)

Lions vs Marines: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Kona Takahashi (5-2, 3.87) vs Daiki Iwashita (4-4, 3.72)

Hawks vs Fighters: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Shuta Ishikawa (3-5, 2.93) vs Naoyuki Uwasawa (5-2, 3.00)

Central League

Swallows vs Dragons: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT

Masanori Ishikawa (2-1, 1.69) vs Yuya Yanagi (5-2, 1.89)

BayStars vs Carp: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (4-4, 2.63) vs Shogo Tamamura (0-3, 3.86)

Tigers vs Giants: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yuki Nishi (3-3, 3.18) vs Cristopher Crisostomo Mercedes (2-0, 0.71)

Active roster moves 6/17/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/27

Central League




GiantsIF10Justin Smoak
CarpP26Ren Nakata
SwallowsIF46Kengo Ota

Pacific League




MarinesP19Yuki Karakawa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.