Saturday, July 07, 2007

It's Been a Long Time

I haven't been writing much at COH lately. It's been difficult to figure out what to talk about. The season is in a quagmire and my attention is generally focused on the players in our system more than the players on the field. That must be a sign that things aren't going well. What have I been doing while I've been holed up, incognito? Well, I've been following Yuki Saito and the Japanese Collegiate All Stars as they take on the US National Team in Durham.

I've been readying myself for a one year (or longer) stint back in New York to get my masters. Back in August! I also went to a recent ballgame at the local stadium here in Akita Prefecture.

Every year a couple of teams come up here to the hinterlands for a weekend series. This year was a "home and home" set for the Chunichi Dragons and Kosuke Fukudome and the Yakult Swallows and Norichika Aoki. The Sunday game I attended was a tremendously entertaining see-saw battle that saw a number of lead changes and a pair of mammoth home runs by Tyrone Woods of Chunichi and Alex Ramirez of Yakult. Both Fukudome and Aoki were on base a few times, with Aoki performing best, going 3 for 4.

In the end Yakult prevailed 7-6, but Chunichi had its chance in the top of the 9th inning. I was called down to the railing above the Chunichi dugout by the leaders of the Chunichi cheering section. They handed me a pair of cheering sticks and had me join them in firing up the troops. Tyrone Woods went down looking with runners on base and headed back my way. I shouted to him, "That's alright Woodsie! You put on a helluva show for these people today. Thanks!" He looked up, surprised to hear native English, and gave me a smile and a point before looking forlorn at having struck out once again. Fun stuff.

The game was also my 6-month old boy's first ballgame. When Chunichi scored in the top of the first the crowd roared and applauded and little Hiroto cried. He didn't like all the sudden noise and cried every time something drew a reaction from the stands. Gradually, he adjusted and slept during the waning part of the game.

I've been reading the good fellas over at River Avenue Blues mostly these days. They say just about everything I've wanted to say, so it seemed pointless to write duplicate material. That said, I'll be on top of things as much as possible in the post-All Star Break run. Stay Tuned.


Kevin said...

Mike, what do you know about Kosuke Fukudome? Fannation over at
CNNSI has the Yankees interested in "... Kosuke Fukudome, one of the premier sluggers in Japan who becomes a free agent (with no posting fee) at the end of the season."

Mike Plugh said...

Hi Kevin.

I have an entire profile of Fukudome going up at Baseball Prospectus soon. It's in the editors hands.

Once that's up, I'll provide some snippets over here for Yankee fans.

SeƱor November said...

You need to write more dude, you're hilarious

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