Tag Archives: Yusei Kikuchi

The numbers behind this year’s dead ball

When the players union met with Nippon Professional Baseball in a working group meeting over the union demands, the surprise for the union was NPB having nothing to say about the baseball, how nothing had been done to change it.

Home runs through Sunday’s games in NPB are down 59 percent, not from last year, not just from last year from March to May, but from the previous three years prior to June. This isn’t something that happens by accident.

That only proves that NPB has been studying MLB’s ball manipulation. When home runs and pitcher blisters surged in 2018, astrophysicist Dr. Meredith Wills discovered that MLB — despite denials that its balls had not been changed — was using balls stitched with thicker and stronger yarn — that made them more aerodynamic.

When asked about the balls then, commissioner Rob Manfred said he would never mess with baseballs after NPB’s secret shift in 2013 from a dead ball to a more normal one had cost commissioner Ryuzo Kato his job.

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More trouble in Sendai

Sendai is a lovely city that bills itself, because of its broad tree-lined avenues, as “The City of Trees.” Yet in that city, the Rakuten Eagles, through recent reports about pitcher Tomohiro Anraku’s shenanigans, are adding to their image as a team that has tolerated players and coaches who have trouble behaving.

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