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It’s still August and I’m wondering if I’m running out of superlatives for Munetaka Murakami, after he spent the weekend polishing his MVP credentials at the expense of the DeNA BayStars.
Japan’s media has already mentioned he’s on track to set the “Japanese home run record” which isn’t a thing, but if it were, wouldn’t be the one they’re talking about.
And because the baseball media revolves around squeezing “Giants” into a headline to increase clicks, stories are now circulating about how the 22-year-old is on the verge of tying Hideki Matsui’s career high of 50 home runs from 30 years ago.
Sunday wasn’t all about Murakami, though.
Kodai Senga, who entered the season as one of the most talked about players in Japan due to his upcoming international free agency, returned from a bout with COVID and was really good, while Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hara, questioned the manhood of his players, making one wonder how long it will be before he leaks to the press, again, that he is keen to serve out the rest of his three-year contract so they won’t fire his ass.
The Swallows’ slugger’s new nickname is a play on the first character of his name “Mura” and “kamisama” God.
Murakami is now on pace to tie Wladimir Balentien’s 60-homer Japan single season record, although odds are strong that he won’t. I remember Balentien being on a pace to hit 64 at one point.
But in 35 years of carefully following Japanese baseball, I only remember two players who were spoken about the way broadcast crews are now talking about Murakami: Alex Cabrera in 2001 and Balentien in 2013.Continue reading NPB news plus: Aug. 28, 2022