Adventures from the Far East and Beyond

Bobby’s Last Post October 29, 2009

Filed under: 1 — orientalmix @ 4:49 am

Ottawa – Oh dear. I just finished re-reading Bobby Valentine’s last blog post on “Bobby’s Way.” It was written on July 26th (http://www.bobbysway.jp/), marking his announcement to leave the Chiba Lotte Marines after the 2009 season. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see him with the team one last time when I visited the stadium in early September. The one game I managed to catch was just so good, baseball was fun again!

It was one of the best games I saw the Marines play to date. When I got to the stadium, I could hardly believe my eyes. The roster was stellar. So many of my favourite players (i.e. Imae, Fukuura, Saburo, Satozai, Tsuryoshi etc.) were on the roster and to top it off, Tsuyoshi, Iguchi, Saburo, and Satozaki all hit home runs! We even beat the Fighters 9-2 that night. Sometimes the Fighters seem unstoppable but not that night.

Looking back, the 2009 season was a challenging seasons for both the fans and the management. I could feel the tension when I visited the field the next day. I truly, truly hope that 2010 brings a new chapter to the team and I look forward to catching more of Bobby’s great work on this side of the ocean.

You can catch Bobby on ESPN as an analyst on “Baseball Tonight” and on 1050 ESPN Radio in New York. 2010 here we come!


Kazuya Fukuura (no.9) X 1500 games! August 20, 2009

Filed under: 1 — orientalmix @ 10:37 pm

CHIBA CITY- Kazuya Fukuura played in his 1500th pro-baseball game on August 19th against the Orix Buffaloes. Congratulations! It seems fitting since Fukuura’s Pacific League debut took place against the Buffaloes on July 5, 1997. He is the 166th person to have played in 1500 games. Wow. That’s a lot of games.


(Just looked through my photos from last year. Don’t have a good one of Fukuura – it’s probably because I end up cheering and singing along to his song when he is up to bat. He has such a good song too. Gotta go to a game soon!)


The Marines email newsletter August 11, 2009

Filed under: Chiba Lotte Marines — orientalmix @ 11:58 am

OTTAWA – I have spent the good part of this season living vicariously through the Marinerds blog and the Marines email newsletter – oh and the website too. Today they are advertising Karawaka goods and of course I want to get my hands on it… the thing is, I’ll actually get to go see a game in less than a month!!!!! I’m so excited! The website tells me that I will be in Chiba for a match up with the Fighters. Sweeeeet!


Japan Times story on Trey Hillman May 31, 2009

Filed under: 1 — orientalmix @ 9:50 pm
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OTTAWA – Success! We came out of our first softball game with a 17-6 (?) win. That was fun. I managed to get in three runs and even hit a double. Not too shabby for a first game. Unfortunately, our last game was canceled due to bad weather. It’s bloody cold here this week. I think it was 8 degrees C this morning. Not what I would expect on the last day of May. I’m putting together a presentation for the new JETs leaving Ottawa this summer on the Japanese workplace environment. Thought that the Japan Times would have some interesting articles to rummage through. I didn’t have to go very far before coming across an article on Trey Hillman, former manager of the Nippon Ham Fighters. You can see the classic Japanese workplace values come through in the story. i.e. patience, relationships, saving face, following form etc.
It’s worth a quick read: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/sb20090531j2.html


Softball May 20, 2009

Filed under: 1 — orientalmix @ 3:02 am

OTTAWA – The Marines are on a roll! They have won two out of three games during their match-ups with the Golden Eagles, Softbank Hawks, and Seibu Lions. Now they are up to third place. The Fighters are doing really well too. They are three wins ahead of the Eagles, securing first place.

I’m seriously considering flying out to Japan at the end of the summer just to catch up on some Pacific league baseball. I’m not sure if I could live with myself knowing that I missed a season that could possibly be Bobby’s last. It makes me so sad to think that Chiba could lose Bobby… So, to make up for the big gaping hole in my life AKA lack of live Japanese baseball, I have joined a recreational softball team. Can’t pitch to save my life but am sure that I will come out of this with a bigger appreciation for baseball.

p.s. I’m loving the picture of Imae and Karakawa on the Marines website from Tuesday’s Baystar win.


The Canucks are out but Jeffrey Sachs was in town! May 13, 2009

Filed under: Economics — orientalmix @ 12:32 am

OTTAWA – Spent most of the morning with a cloud hanging over my head. My beloved Canucks are out of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Uggg. They lost 7-5 last night. Was full of gloom all morning but then fun developments in the world of economics in Ottawa were taking place. Jeffrey Sachs was in town this afternoon giving a lecture on financial reform and sustainable development. The lecture was hosted by the Department of Finance under the title of the “second annual Thomas K. Shoyama lecture series” – this was a treat to discover. Thomas (Tommy) Shoyama was born in 1916 in Kamloops, BC, attended UBC, and was a reporter for the Vancouver-based Japanese-Canadian newspaper, The New Canadian. It was the only Japanese-Canadian newspaper that was allowed to go to print after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He had a long and distinguished career as a civil servant and I think he even worked his way up to Deputy Minister of Finance – hence the lecture series. It’s always great to hear about distinguished Japanese-Canadians, especially during our 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The Canadian Embassy in Tokyo first opened in 1929.

Ahh but back to Jeffrey Sachs. It’s always nice to have the chance to meet someone who you have been following through the course of your academic career. PLUS it was great to see many other young professionals at the lecture who were ready to engage one of Time magazine’s “100 most influential people.”

p.s. Yes, I did have him sign my copy of Common Wealth.


Marines beat Eagles 6-0 and Karakawa takes the win May 10, 2009

Filed under: Chiba Lotte Marines — orientalmix @ 6:43 pm
Tags: , ,

Yuki Karakawa (no. 19) on the jumbotron  OTTAWA – Here’s the thing. My hometown Vancouver Canucks have been hitting the ice hard all season, did a fantastic job taking the quarterfinals and are now tied 2-2 with the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference semifinals. The Stanley Cup playoffs have been a blast to follow and are a great way to feel camaraderie among Vancouvorites across the nation… but I still miss Japanese baseball. A LOT. The Marines are in 6th place in the Pacific League right now but are only one win behind last year’s champions, the Lions, and I’m sure that things will change up for them really soon! It’s pretty strange to think that the Eagles are in 1st place. It looks like the Fighters have nudged their way up their too.


Ugh. I picked up some sort of stomach bug while traveling and have been catching up on my Japanese baseball all week. So happy to see that the Marines beat the Eagles 2 out of the 3 games over the weekend. The best part is that Yuki Karakawa took the win for the Marines. Go Marines Go!!
I’ve been enjoying the pictures and stories from Deanna’s Marine Stadium adventures at http://marinerds.blogspot.com/2009/05/game-reportphotopost-eagles-marines.html.