Wednesday, October 03, 2007

MLB Play-Offs and Japan

Well, the Major League Baseball season has concluded and my sort-of-beloved Mets imploded and went from first in the NL East to sitting on their butts at home. But in Japan, there is still something to look forward to since a total of 6 Japanese players are on play-off bound teams:
Boston Red Sox: Pitchers D-Mat-not-Dice-K and Hideki Okajima
New York Yankees: Outfielder Hideki Matsui and pitcher Kei Igawa (Igawa is not on the 25 man active roster though)
Colorado Rockies: Infielder Kazuo Matsui
Philadelphia Phillies: Infielder Tadahito Iguchi

D-Mat, Okajima and Igawa are in their first year with MLB so this is their first time in the MLB play-offs. Kaz Matsui is also playing in his first play-off series since he was traded by the Mets before the end of the season when they won the NL East in 2006.

Hideki Matsui has ample play-off experience with the Yankees who have made the play-offs every year he has played for them.

Tadahito Iguchi was the first everyday Japanese player to win a World Series ring when he played the White Sox in 2005.

Of course like the American media, most of the games being aired on NHK BS 1 are the ones involving the Red Sox and Yankees. Sorry on behalf of NHK to all those Colorado and Philly fans.

Other stats:
At least one Japanese player has made it to play-offs every year so far this decade.

If any one of these players wins the World Series it would mark the third year in a row a Japanese player has been on a World Champion (Iguchi in '05 and Taguchi in '06).

There has been at least one Japanese player on a World Series team since 2002.

For more up-to-date news on how your favorite Japanese player is doing, go to Japanese Ball Players for daily news and stats. Oh, and also, sorry on behalf of MLB to Korean and Taiwanese baseball fans since they get their players kind of squashed into the side of the Japanese Ball Players page.

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