Adventures from the Far East and Beyond

Home sweet home March 27, 2008

Filed under: Chiba Lotte Marines — orientalmix @ 1:06 am
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The boys are back in the game – they beat Softbank tonight 5-4. And the best part? They are coming home to Chiba Friday night to Marine Stadium.

I did a little reading to see what special treats the franchise may be offering that night. It turns out that they will be handing out flags with the words “A Passion for Our Dream A Commitment to The Flag 〜夢に情熱を、フラッグに誓を〜,” the Marines “M,” a seagull and 2008. You can only get them on opening night – they won’t be selling them in the stores so if you want the flag, come pick it up at the game. and… drum roll please… a Bobby Valentine pin for Team 26 members!

I hope I get one! I signed up for Team 26 but only last week… It’s mostly because they wouldn’t let me spell my name in English. When I was filling out the forms online, they asked for my name: マリン , my name in furigana: マリン , and then my name in roman letters. So now my name reads MARIN (not how you spell my name at all – but now I am only one letter short of spelling my name like the stadium in English). I bet you I am the only Team 26 member with a name that matches the stadium 🙂

Ahh… back to the perks. They will be a “flag ceremony” (where “Bobby, the team, the fans and Chiba will all become one” according to the pamphlet), fireworks, and the unveiling of the “Ribbon Vision”!! It’s the longest in all of Asia at 296m long. See, Marine Stadium just gets better and better each year.

Bobby Valentine and I

p.s. This picture is for you Kyle! You better get over to this side of the Pacific ASAP.


Dice-K returns to entertain March 26, 2008

Filed under: MLB — orientalmix @ 1:43 am

Pure entertainment. That’s really what it was when you get down to the basics. You can’t script the kind of game that the Rod Sox played against Oakland A’s last night.
Matsuzaka, dubbed 怪物 (kaibutsu) the monster, looked like he was going to disappoint over 44,000 fans with his erratic pitching early on in the game. He gave up five walks, hit a batter, and threw a wild pitch. But after the third inning he looked like he was back in form and left the game after giving up two runs on two hits and striking out six in five innings.
I can’t actually believe that I am typing this – I went from never watching a game of baseball last year to being glued to the TV! I even booed the TV last night when they cut off the game after 9 innings. Can you believe the game stopped being televised after Brandon Moss hit his first major-league home run in the top of the ninth to tie the score!? I didn’t even get to watch Manny Ramirez give Boston the lead with a two-run double in the 10th!! Boooo. To make matters worse the show that was aired instead was a showcase to embarrass Japanese entertainers. Booo indeed… but gotta give Matsuzaka and Okajima a big hand for putting on a good show with their teammates. Thanks for a great game guys!
Update: A friend just gave me a pack of CheerStix! from the game last night. CheerStix!

We won twice!! March 24, 2008

Filed under: Chiba Lotte Marines — orientalmix @ 1:56 pm
Tags: , ,

The weekend was good to the Marines! They won in a row against the Fighters.
Saturday, March 22 (3-2)
Sunday, March 23 (4-1) 

We are now in second place largely thanks to the fact that Rakuten lost all three games to Softbank (so yes, Softbank is in first place)… but we won’t go there. I was going to write about the games this weekend but there is even bigger news! What is real news is that Darvish (21 – and yes, that is how young he is) and his wife Saeko (21) welcomed a baby boy into the world today.

 Darvish and Nishioka in Chiba

 Grrrrr…. I just checked the score. We lost to Softbank in the 12th inning. So now Softbank is comfortably sitting in the first spot but hopefully it will be us soon!


Quezon, Baseball, and Chiba City Hall March 22, 2008

Filed under: Chiba Lotte Marines — orientalmix @ 3:23 am

Yesterday, I interpreted at a courtesy visit to Chiba City Hall by a Youth Sports Delegation from Quezon City, Republic of the Philippines (one of our seven sister cities). After going through the formalities of giving speeches and exchanging gifts, the visitors and respected members of Chiba City Hall engaged in open dialogue. Though the youth delegation this time is a soccer team and a lot of their visit is soccer focused, it turns out that one of the members of the Quezon City delegation has a deep connection with baseball. He said that his grandfather was the first person to bring baseball to the Philippines and that he is heavily invested in the softball and baseball associations back home. After the courtesy visit, Rodolfo Tingzon Jr. and I got talking about baseball in Japan and of course, the Marines. His face lit up when he started talking about Benny Agbayani. He was really proud of Benny’s Filipino roots and that he was playing professional baseball in his sister city, Chiba.


With all honesty, I didn’t know that Benny was of Filipino descent. I knew that he was born in Honolulu and grew up in Hawaii but when I looked him up in wikipedia, it turns out that he is one of four known players in MLB history from the Philippines, either by birth, citizenship, or heritage. Four!! That’s a tiny, tiny number considering the history and number of teams in the majors. No wonder people from the Philippines are so proud. Chiba is proud to have him here too!


Season Opener March 21, 2008

Filed under: 1,Chiba Lotte Marines — orientalmix @ 2:22 am
Tags: , ,

Oops, what a perfect score of 0s! I hope The Chiba Lotte Marines win tomorrow.

千葉�ッテマリーンズ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0       0
北海道日本ハムファイターズ 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 X        

I wasn’t able to catch the game live yesterday but saw the highlights on the 11PM news. It looked like Kobayashi was pitching well but had problems with his right calf and had to go to the bench after the 6th inning.

Picture of the day:

Here is a picture of Davish and Satozaki about to shake hands before a game. Notice Benny on the right side.

Darvish and Satozaki

Winston Abreu made his debut as a right-handed relief pitcher during the game – he did a lot better than Rakuten’s Domingo (Nomura totally chewed out Domingo in his after-game “boyaki” because his pitching cost the game. Domingo is/was trying to fill in the hole left by Kazuo Fukumori who left to pitch for the Texas Rangers. Both Abreu and Domingo are from the Dominican Republic).
I had a chance to sit down with Abreu last week and ask him about how he feels about his move to Japan. He used to pitch for the Washington Nationals before signing with the Marines. He seemed happy to be here and was just getting used to the idea of living here. When I spoke to him he was wearing glasses and was a lot taller in person (he is 6″2). If you see a tall Dominican man with glasses on a bicycle in the Makuhari area (esp. Carefour), chances are that it’s Winnie (he said that it’s OK to call him Winnie or Abu). He promises to do his best and work hard to help the team win! Winnie says that the fans here are really great and enthusiastic and he looks forward to taking this opportunity and winning big.
I wish him the best of luck and hope that he finds Chiba City to be a gracious host. Gambatte!

Note: I still know very little about baseball but I am learning 🙂


Pacific League 101 March 19, 2008

Filed under: Chiba Lotte Marines — orientalmix @ 1:14 am

One day to go before the season opener!

If you are anything like me, I didn’t even know that there was a Central and Pacific League this time last year.

For the curious, here is a list of the teams in the league and how they did last season.

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters

Last season: First

Manager: Masataka Nashida (55)

Chiba Lotte Marines

Last season: Second

Manager: Bobby Valentine (58)

Fukuoka Softbank Hawks

Last season: Third

Manager: Sadaharu Oh (68)

Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles

Last season: Forth

Manager: Katsuya Nomura (73)

Saitama Seibu Lions

Last season: Fifth

Manager: Hisanobu Watanabe (43)

Orix Buffaloes

Last season: Sixth

Manager: Terry Collins (59)


And yes, I am biased. I want the Marines to win and so does Bobby!

I got a few ideas from Perez Hilton last night when I was catching up on my celebrity gossip… So I decided to doodle on a picture of Bobby and the Marines mascot Ma-kun – you can hear Bobby for yourself on Chiba TV’s “The Sunday” on Sunday the 23rd at 11:45.


Marin Marine March 18, 2008

Filed under: Chiba Lotte Marines — orientalmix @ 5:55 am

For some strange reason, I was placed in Chiba City with the last name マリン. Out of all of the cities, towns, and rural areas that I could have gone to, I ended up here.

Sign to Marine Stadium

I noticed right away that I shared the same name with many buildings and landmarks within the city – I guess that is what happens when you are located next to the ocean. I was most excited when I saw the name of our home team’s baseball stadium マリンスタジアム (Marine Stadium)!!!

I’m not going to lie and tell you that I had seen a baseball game before but it was enough to get me excited about the team.

…and yes, I do share the same name with a certain busty blond pachinko character but that’s just unfortunate.