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  • HOKKAIDO NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS WIN PENNANT! AGAIN!

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on September 29th, 2007

    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

    3 Responses to “HOKKAIDO NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS WIN PENNANT! AGAIN!”

    1. Garrett Says:

      One quibble. American managers have won the last two Japan Series, not three. Hokkaido under Hillman, was preceded by Chiba under Valentine, which was preceded by Seibu under Ito Tsutomu and his all-Japanese coaching staff. Seibu is second only to Yomiuri in terms of being a “Japanese” Japanese team and doing things the “Japanese” way (that is, being extraordinarily strict with their players.) That said, they’ve been a consistently strong franchise since they moved to Tokorozawa in 1979.

      –ACKNOWLEDGE THE ERROR. YOU’RE RIGHT. ONLY TWO. I WAS UNCONSCIOIUSLY ANTICIPATING HILLMAN WINNING THIS ONE TOO, I GUESS. :) MY APOLOGIES. WILL CORRECT THE ASSERTION ABOVE. DEBITO

    2. debito Says:

      Dear Dave,

      Hope everything is well with you! I wanted to make a correction to your comments on Trey
      Hillman and the Fighters.

      “Next stop, Pacific League champs take on the Central League champs (the
      goddamn Tokyo Giants). If Hillman can beat the Giants (which once was the
      team Hokkaido supported–not that the Giants ever cared) in a home game, it
      will be poetic justice indeed.”

      This isn’t a done deal yet! The Central League has instituted a playoff
      system where the top three teams will participate in a tournament to see
      who goes to the Japan Series. The Giants finished in first place, but this
      year they’ll have to face the winner of a playoff between 2nd-place
      Chunichi and 3rd-place Hanshi to see who goes to the final round.

      Baseball purists dislike it because it cheapens the season and seems only
      to add money to TV stations’ coffers (and, since the Giants are invariably
      in the top three even if they stumble a bit during the season, Yomiuri is
      assured of a playoff spot in almost every season).

      The Pacific League also has a playoff, so there’s another round of games
      that the Fighters will have to get through before they can play for the
      championship.

      If the Tigers can’t win it, I hope the Fighters do!

    3. debito Says:

      Hi Debito, I enjoyed the newsletter, as always. But…the Fighters
      won’t get a shot at the Giants until after they win the best of 5 Climax Series.
      *Yes, that is what they call it* Their opponent will be the winner of a best of 3
      first round between the Hawks and the Marines. All games to be played in Chiba. The Fighters
      will be playing all 5 games as necessary at the Dome. Tickets have long gone.

      In the meantime, the Giants have to deal with either the Dragons or Tigers in the Central
      League Climax Series.

      Lotte won in 2005 with Bobby V. and Trey won it last year. The 2004 winner was Seibu.
      I also enjoyed the Trans=Pacific Radio link.

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