Tag Archives: Chunichi Dragons

Rodriguez: Defects in the system

Yariel Rodriguez, 26, is reportedly in the Dominican Republic seeking a contract with an MLB team, while Cuba’s baseball federation claims he is under control of the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Central League through 2024.

On the surface, this appears to be cut and dried but is complicated by Japanese teams’ habit of occasionally playing fast and loose with contract details.

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If things are as the FCB and the Dragons say they are, then Rodriguez is unlikely to be allowed to sign with anyone until Chunichi releases him, something that is unlikely to happen without Cuba’s approval. That process would likely play out like it did for Oscar Colas, who between his last at-bat for Japan’s SoftBank Hawks, and his contract with the Chicago White Sox, spent two seasons in limbo.

In December, Chunichi Sports reported an announcement by the FCB that the 26-year-old’s contract with the Dragons had been extended for two years, so Japan’s media is taking the Dragons and the FCB at their word that Rodriguez’s signature is on the contract.

My colleague Claudio Rodriguez of Beisbol Japones.com has supplied this photo of Rodriguez’s signing ceremony:

My dealings with Colas and his contracts and documents with the Hawks painted a picture of both Cuban officials and Hawks hirelings cutting corners because they held all the cards and are unused to scrutiny. Signatures on different documents didn’t remotely match, Colas’ mother’s signature on his first contract – necessary because he was a minor – was misspelled.

Continue reading Rodriguez: Defects in the system

Doing the Dragon twist

The Chunichi Dragons became the latest Japanese team to edit their official cheer song to suit changing times. With their ballpark’s naming rights sold this year to “Vantelin Nagoya Dome”, the club consulted with the composer of “Let’s Burn it up Dragons” to edit out the line about a “jam-packed” Nagoya Dome to “Battle Chunichi with strong dreams.”

I don’t have the complete list of all the teams that have kept their official songs but only swapped out offended lyrics. I do know that the songs of the DeNA BayStars, SoftBank Hawks and Hanshin Tigers were all written for their clubs’ old names. In the Hawks’ case it was simply a matter of swapping the name of the club’s former owner, supermarket chain Daiei, for SoftBank.

The Tigers’ iconic “Rokko Oroshi” was written when the team was known as the Osaka Tigers. In 1961 the team ditched Osaka for the name of its then parent company, the Hanshin Railroad, the “Osaka” in “Oh, oh, oh, Osaka Tigers, hurray, hurray, hurray,” was switched out to “Hanshin.” This is not as awkward as it might sound, and a lot of really old fans really hate it I understand, but I’ve never known any different.

The same cannot be said of the new hiccup in the DeNA BayStars team song.

When internet game company DeNA bought the club in 2012, it replaced the catchy, “Yo, yo, yo, Yokohama BayStars” with the horrible “Yo, yo, yo, DeNA BayStars.”

Yo, yo, yo, DeNA, fix your damn song.

Just in case you’re unfamiliar with what people are saying when singing “Let’s burn it up Dragons!” I’ve kind of translated it one main version of it. The Dragons are famous for alternate versions and I don’t claim to know where this one fits in, although it is a recent version meant to include interleague opponents.

 Hear the dragon's roar echo far away in the night,
 At jam-packed Nagoya Dome*.
 We shiver together
 Way to go, do your best, let's burn it up Dragons!
 Defeat the tigers, catch the carp,
 Cloud over Hama's starry constellation.
 Drop the swallows and the big guys.
 Hold your breath, we'll win.
 Way to go, do your best, let's burn it up Dragons!
 Catch a lion, hunt a hawk,
 master a buffalo and span the sea.
 Both the northern fighter and golden eagle
 will prostrate before the Dragons as we win.
 Way to go, do your best, let's burn it up Dragons! 

Way to go, do your best, let’s burn it up Dragons! It’ s not quite the Four Tops, but it is the same old song.

Here’s a version celebrating the Dragons’ 1974 champions, giving a shout out to each of the players in the lineup and the pitching staff and the bench and coaching staff as well.