Baseball Bullet-In

The Japan Times Online

Tim McLeod, who has taken it upon himself to keep me up to date with Japanese baseball, sent me a couple of stories from the Japan Times today. In the first one, a notebook of baseball news I couldn’t find a link to, the newest Tampa Bay reliever from Japan, Shinji Mori, says with the trade of Danys Baez that he wants to be the Devil Rays’ closer. Also, Ozzie Guillen says that Tadahito Iguchi will be batting sixth or seventh because “he knows his baseball,” and wants him to play to his strength. Finally, Kenji Johjima says he plans on catching all 162 games this year, and hopes to work with Seattle ace Jamie Moyer learning opposing hitters, perhaps over a few glasses of wine.

The link above leads to Wayne Graczyk column, which lists which foreign players are staying in Japan this year, and who the newcomers are. Included in the latter group are Kevin Beirne, DJ Carrasco, Jeff Liefer, Jason Grabowski, maybe Jose Macias, Luis Martinez, Gary Glover, Sean Douglass are the big names. He also explains why Johjima should be Jojima unless Ichiro is spelled Ichiroh.

Thanks Tim.

Arizona Fall League

First Pitch Forums

I just returned via a circuitious and much-delayed plane ride from Ron Shandler and Rick Wilton’s First Pitch Arizona Arizona Fall League event. You’ll find a short thread about some of the stuff I saw there on the discussion board in the Baseball Talk forum.

Here I just want to say that it is great fun to be in the company of so many people who know so much about the game of baseball, and particularly to hear from scouts and inside baseball people about the game. They aren’t always right (who is), but their endless observation yields some gems (Kimball Crossley, Blue Jays scout, says: “Pitchers who move their head too much during their delivery never have command.”)

Revelation of the week for me was Shane Komine, who is small but throws hard. The gun readings I saw don’t show just how much life his heater has, which makes his vast repertoire and fine command all the more impressive.