Tag Archives: Boston Red Sox

Warren Cromartie speaks

Warren Cromartie recently met with subscribers to talk about his experiences in the majors and in Japan and share his opinions on a variety of topics from “insensitive” comments by former Seattle Mariners CEO Kevin Mather to baseball in Montreal and new Red Sox reliever Hirokazu Sawamura.

Have a listen. If you want to take part in one of the live chats, you need to join jballallen.com on either a free or paid subscription.

Slugging it out in Japan, again

For the last two years, Cromartie has been living in Japan with his wife and child, and spent much of the 2019 season as an on-field advisor to the Giants.

Getting by in a foreign language

Asked about former Mariners CEO Kevin Mather’s candid comments about service-time manipulation and his characterization of players by their language skills, Cromartie talked about the challenges of playing in a country where many don’t speak your language.

Lost in translation?


On-field celebrations can be a tricky subject for MLB players, but in Japan they are welcomed by fans and part of the scenery. So when former major leaguers get in the act there is sometime friction.

Japanese fans customarily cheer the players who drove in runs in the previous half inning as they take the field, upon which the players respond by tipping their caps, bowing or waving. Cromartie tells how his response became one of his trademarks.

Going to America

Asked about Japan stars back in the day that he thought could play in America. Of course prior to free agency, players couldn’t go during their career. And until Hideo Nomo proved otherwise, the prevailing belief both here and in the majors was that Japanese weren’t good enough.

Sawamura goes to the Sox

During his time with the Giants, Cromartie became familiar with right-handed reliever Hirokazu Sawamura, who recently signed with the Boston Red Sox.

Making adjustments in a new country

Everybody goes to Nicks…

…to paraphrase the line from “Casablanca.” On those few nights a year when all of NPB’s teams were in town, the imported players would all gather at Nicola’s Pizzeria in Roppongi, whose owner, Nick Zapetti, was the intriguing anti-hero of Robert Whiting’s “Tokyo Underworld.”

“There used to be two foreign players on a team. There would be times when all the teams would be in Tokyo at the same time, about two times a year, and we would all meet up at Nicks, this pizza place in Roppongi. It was like a brotherhood. We couldn’t wait to all get together. Whenever we played each other during the season, we’d always go out to dinner. We’d get the chance to see two other foreigners, the four of us would go out to dinner.”

–Greg “Boomer” Wells

Here’s what Crow had to say about those nights.

Bring back the Expos

On baseball in Montreal, it’s history and its future.

Should kids from America go straight to Japan?

Crow on conformity

Conformity is certainly a topic in Japan. Do all Japanese play the same way? I’m not convinced but there are times when watching a series of NPB at-bats is like a video representation of those “Can you spot the 10 differences” picture puzzles.

Sadaharu Oh

Ok. This time’s it’s Cromartie’s turn to talk about Sadaharu Oh.

That’s a hit in Double-A rookie

Cromartie talks about his rookie debut with the Expos against the then power Pittsburgh Pirates.

Is Japan’s hustle for show?

The balance of power in Japan

Cromartie expresses his views on the differences between Japan’s two leagues.

Kuwata’s back

Giants manager Tatsunori Hara this year brought former ace Masumi Kuwata onto his staff as a pitching coach, and Cromartie couldn’t be happier.

Talking ’bout practice

Japan’s 10 February preseason games scheduled to be played in Okinawa Prefecture to closed practice games, Nippon Professional Baseball’s secretary general Atsushi Ihara said Monday according to Sponichi Annex.

Japan is currently under a state of emergency until at least March 7, although Okinawa intends to lift its emergency status after Feb. 28. Preseason games after that date are still expected to take place with crowds limited to 5,000, while Ihara said that since the government currently wants people to return home after 8 p.m., all preseason games held where there is a state of emergency will be played in the day.

GM Ishii playing catch-up

In Kin, Okinawa Prefecture, Masahiro Tanaka became the pitcher with the second-highest career win total to throw a bullpen at the Rakuten Eagles camp, when manager and general manager Kazuhisa Ishii threw 37 pitches, Sponichi Annex reported Monday.

The 47-year-old Ishii, whose 182 career wins in Japan and the majors are five more than the 32-year-old Tanaka has from his years with the Eagles and New York Yankees, wanted some practice before throwing live BP during the third phase of the Eagles training camp.

“I quit when I stopped wanting to play baseball, and I didn’t think I’d start again. By throwing (BP) I’ll be able to communicate with players from within the game itself,” said Ishii, who spent time that morning sprinting up a slope on the auxiliary field.

“I’ve been aging but I want to keep my body in good shape. The players are all well conditioned and I want to be able to keep up.”

Dragons count Viciedo among the healthy

Chunichi Dragons first baseman Dayan Viciedo, has bounced back from a dislocated left shoulder, according to those who count BP home runs in spring camp. At the Central League club’s minor league camp in Yomitan, Okinawa, four of Viciedo’s 45 swings launched balls over the outfield fence, Tokyo Sports reported.

Viciedo hurt the shoulder playing defense in an Oct. 28 game against the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium.

Fukudome also trying to keep up

Kosuke Fukudome, the oldest active player in NPB at the age of 43, is back with the Dragons this season for the first time since 2006, and is also trying to keep up with the kids.

In other news:

Seibu’s dome remake to include home run bar

New seating at Seibu Dome, which is getting a makeover ahead of the season with new turf, seats in the outfield that had been artificial turf and before the roof was constructed, grass. On Monday the club introduced the Meito Home Run Bar Panorama Terrace, 140 places in right field equipped with swivel-chair bar seating and the corporate sponsorship of the Meito chocolate company.

BayStars holding another clinic for women

The DeNA BayStars said Monday it will hold another clinic aimed at women players at its minor league indoor facility in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Feb. 20 with Eri “The knuckle princess” Yoshida and former pro player Yu Kato—among the three women instructors.

Word out of Boston…

… is that right-handed free-agent reliever Hirokazu Sawamura’s talks with the Boston Red Sox are progressing, according to Chris Cotillo.

Profile: Hirokazu Sawamura