Tag Archives: Conner Menez

NPB news: Sept. 16, 2022

We entered the weekend with the Central League-leading Yakult Swallows having a magic number of 10 and Munetaka Murakami on fire as they went into their game against the Chunichi Dragons, who have won 12 of their first 21 games.

In the Pacific League, the SoftBank Hawks are in a similar position, with Yuki Yanagita on fire, and having won five straight.

The games:

Hawks 7, Eagles 3: At Miyagi Stadium, Yuki Yanagita hit a three-run first-inning home run off Hideaki Wakui (4-2) his 20th of the season and his second in two days. Former closer Yuito Mori worked three innings and allowed a solo homer to Rakuten catcher Hikaru Ota in the third. Daichi Suzuki made it a one-run game in the fourth when he doubled in Hideto Asamura off Keisuke Izumi.

Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 16, 2022

NPB news: Sept. 8, 2022

We had a big retirement announcement, an unsurprisingly establishment view on the responsibility of management, and five games on Friday.

Kosuke Fukudome to call it quits

Former Chicago Cub, Cleveland Indian and Chicago White Sox outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, 45, announced Thursday that this will be the last of his 24 major league seasons, five of which were spent in MLB.

“Do as much as you can, because there will come a day when it ends, and you don’t want to regret what you might have done.”

-Kosuke Fukudome on his advice to young players

I haven’t been able to get through the entire hour-long presser but here are some of the tidbits:

The family
  • How did your family respond?
  • “Nobody was crying their eyes out although there was a tear or two, but that’s how they roll. They all smiled and said, ‘Good job.’ After all, I was the one who put all the burden on them, so they were a little relieved I suppose.”
  • “I’m going to be able to spend a lot more time with my kids, and they told me different things they want to do, so it feels like I’m going into the life of an ordinary dad.”
  • What do you want to do most with your family?
  • “Me, nothing in particular (laughs). I’ll give it some thought going forward I suppose.”
Playing in MLB
  • “I experienced good things and bad things as well, and was able to physically experience baseball played a different way. So I have to say, it was a good thing.”
  • “There’ are differences, just like there’s a difference between Japan’s first teams and farm teams, and the (U.S.) minors and majors. There are things you can’t really understand just from hearing about them. Because of the qualitative gap between their majors and minors, I thanked my lucky stars I’d been brought up in Japan’s system.”
  • “So many players taught me in so many different ways, that it was a huge learning experience for me.”
  • “Hardships? I guess walking around in cities and not being able to speak a word to anyone. Still, it was fun.”

What I meant to say

On Wednesday, Orix manager Satoshi Nakajima said leadoff hitter Shuhei Fukuda’s costly base-running mistake was the coaching staff’s fault, kind of in keeping with how the new wave of NPB managers have been handling these things.

On Thursday, Orix apparently took a different stance and decided that the blame lie with Fukuda, who was banished to the minors. In a lot of organizations, when the boss tells everyone it’s his responsibility, you can bet that it’s just bullshit, and that he won’t take a hit for someone else’s goof.

Of course, it could have been a decision made by the front office, but either way, it’s the kind of old-school Orix stuff we haven’t seen much of since Nakajima took over in 2020.

OK, so let’s get to the games.

Giants 6, BayStars 5: At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri came from four runs down to beat second-place DeNA.

DeNA center fielder Masayuki Kuwahara single-handedly ruined the Giants’ third inning with a pair of superb catches, and former Giants Taishi Ota doubled and opened the scoring in the fourth on Keita Sano RBI single.

Hikaru Ito’s three-run double gave DeNA starter Fernando Romero a healthy 4-0 lead, but Takumi Oshiro blasted a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. Giants reliever Yohei Kagiya (2-0) pitched out of two-out two-on pickle in the fifth, and Sho Nakata hit a three-run homer off reliever Shingo Hirata (4-3).

Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 8, 2022