September To Remember

Yes it’s Sept. and that means it’s time for BASEBALL, Sportsfans! And what a Sept. it promises to be what with the CL’s Giants ($#%!!*&), Dragons (Look Out!) and TIGERS (REPRESENT!) all within 2 games of each other at the top of the heap in what should turn out to be a classic 3 way dash to the finish line that is, for the first time, the Climax Series.

A brief Climax explanation (and yes, I am aware that I’d never thought I’d be writing those particular words)- For the 1st time in Japanese Baseball History the Playoff format has been changed giving the top 3 teams in each league a chance to fight it out and advance to the Nippon Series. Did I mention that this is the 1st time in HISTORY! Trust me this is no mean feat. The NPB-like most of J-lands politics, business, society- is dominated by Uptight, Far Right Old Men (and believe me you don’t know uptight or far right until you’ve visited Japan) who are deeply, rigidly set in their ways and about as eager to shake things up as Dick Cheney is to fire up a phattie with Snoop Double G at MTV’s Spring Break so suffice to say that this year is a historically enormous landslide of change in the scheme of things.

But back to Baseball.

A brief rundown-

The hated Giants are loaded and they’ve got it all-pitching, defense and a lethal lineup at the plate. Cheerleader/Manager Hara-san has them headed in the right direction and they will no doubt be there in the end. God how I hate Kyojin!

Chunichi’s Dragons have been struggling all year long to score runs but remain a force to be reckoned with as their starting pitching (Kawakami-san not the least among them and maybe the toughest in J-land) is, perhaps, the best in the league. Their defense is also topnotch and with the Japanese Buddha of Baseball, Ochia-san, at the helm they are a riddle wrapped in an enigma that’s waiting to bust out wild.

My beloved Tigers. Hanshin, and it’s legion of diehard fans, has had a rollercoaster of a year but is still in the hunt thanks in large part to their devastating bullpen of JFK (Jeff Williams, Fujikawa-sama and Kubota-san to the uninitiated) and some savvy roster moves by manager Okada-san. This year’s team is a fans dream and nightmare- filled with holes, heroes, rock solid veterans, question mark rookies, tough guys, wimps, hungry killers and anxious babies all being whipped down the stretch in Beautiful Koshien. The only place where Baseball should be played in J-land.

I will say only this- Koshien (Home of the Tigers) is irrefutable proof of the complete and glorious understanding that the Japanese have of our great and good game of Baseball.

Dirt, grass, no roof, cheap seats, cold beer and passionate fans!

The formula of perfection.

More later………………
タグ:kyoto Japan
posted by Billy at 00:00 | BASEBALL!!