Day 1 of Japanese spring training. It is the best of times. It is the worst of times.
It’s the best because teams are in camp preparing to play baseball. It’s the worst because it is easily the day for the most tedious baseball story lines of the year.
Today we were treated to the following headlines:
- Manager Yoda says we’re striving to win the championship
- Matsuzaka returns and greets fans — hopefully that went better than last year when an overenthusiastic high five from a fan injured the pitcher’s right shoulder and caused him to miss most of the season
- Kenichi Tanaka throws 58 pitches in his 1st Hanshin bullpen, manager says he was flying
- Fighters top draft pick Kawano says being in camp near the ocean in Okinawa is like a dream come true
- Takano tries to impress with 128-pitch bullpen
- New team adviser Jojima angers chairman Oh on 1st day
- Jones impresses at Orix camp as a nice guy, not like a major leaguer at all
- and …. major league power hitter Jones shows off his bunting skill
- Giants Parra thrilled fans do “Baby Shark”
- SoftBank’s Ka reports no discomfort wearing new uniform No.
- PL MVP Mori: “I’m aiming for 3rd straight championship”
- Carp manager Sasaoka on top draft pick Mori’s bullpen: “I felt he was a little nervous”
But its not all just bullpens and moronic observations about aiming for championships, although there is a lot of that, as well as players saying they want to make the Olympic team. There’s also batting practice reports.
Don’t forget the “home runs”
A big part of camp reporting is how many batting practice home runs are hit. So the first day saw the following.
- Chunichi’s top draft pick Ishikawa hits 15 batting practice home runs
- Nippon Ham’s Kiyomiya hit 17 homers, eight out of the park
- Balentien hits 2 out in front of his role model, chairman Oh
- New Tiger Bour hits 14 homers
- New Buffalo Jones hits 7 homers