Great news for all us Dosanko!
The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, *OUR* local team (nyah nyah!), has just won its second pennant IN A ROW in the Pacific League. BANZAI!!
And why this matters to Debito.org: The game tonight was between two NJ coaches–Hillman and Valentine–who between them have won the last two Japan Series and now four league pennants. They’ve certainly earned their stripes in Japan. If nobody points out that it’s now the NJ coaches who are bringing winning strategies to Japan, I will, of course. (Whaddya expect?) Now let’s see if we can get restrictions removed on quotas for foreign players on Japanese baseball teams.
And why this matters to Hokkaido: We’ve become a baseball powerhouse, what with Tomakomai Komadai also winning the High School Baseball leagues twice in a row from four years ago, then coming in second last year; the fact that they hardly qualified this year is going to be salved by this victory.
Sorry to say this is Hillman’s last season with the Fighters. He’s probably heading back to Texas to be with his Rangers. He’s done plenty here. Godspeed. He will be sorely missed.
Next stop, Pacific League champs take on the Central League champs (in what looks to be the goddamn Tokyo Giants). If Hillman can beat the Giants (who once held sway as the team Hokkaido supported–not that the Giants ever cared) in a home game, to me it will be poetic justice indeed.
GANBARE NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS! BANZAI HILLMAN!!
Arudou Debito in Sapporo