Tag Archives: Sadaharu Oh

NPB news: June 21, 2022

Former high school sensation Kosei Yoshida returned to Akita, the city next to his hometown of Katagami, to face the Rakuten Eagles, and got off to a heck of a start Tuesday for the Fighters on a day when pitchers’ duels were the thing.

We learned Tuesday that during the four days between the ending of interleague play and the resumption of league play, Hawks chairman Sadaharu Oh stepped in and oversaw practices, imparting some wisdom in his role as the team’s tactical advisor.

The Hawks also lost one of their new imports, who never got a chance to throw a pitch for the big-league club. I also published my first projected finishes for the season, which some of you will enjoy.

And just so the news isn’t all about SoftBank, another team has entered the bidding for the services of outfielder Shogo Akiyama following the Hawks and Seibu Lions.

Shall we get started?

Tuesday’s games

Eagles 3, Fighters 0 : At Akita Stadium, Kosei Yoshida (1-2) allowed two runs in the fifth inning as catcher Hikaru Ota singled in Ginji Akaminai and Ryosuke Tatsumi with one out. Eagles starter Takahiro Norimoto (5-2) allowed three hits, a walk and hit a batter over 6-2/3 innings while striking out five. Three relievers completed the Eagles’ four-hit shutout with Yuki Matsui earning his 17th save.

Hideto Asamura also belted his 17th home run.

Continue reading NPB news: June 21, 2022

MLB needs Sadaharu Oh

Not because he was the greatest player in the history of Japanese baseball, but because when Japan’s owners in 2004 opted for a short view and wanted to turn their backs on the good of the game, Sadaharu Oh saw the big picture and encouraged them to do the right thing.

What follows is a story I never published because the two people telling it had divergent views of what happened. While there is disagreement about the role Oh played in making the first World Baseball Classic possible, I do not doubt he was instrumental.

Like today’s MLB owners, who are happily diminishing their product out of a belief it will have no negative effect on the return on investment, Japan’s owners in 2004 were in no mood to go along with an untried tournament that promised no financial reward, much to the consternation of MLB’s then Vice President for Asia, Jim Small.

Continue reading MLB needs Sadaharu Oh