Friday, November 03, 2006

Notes on watching the MLB/Japan All Star Series

Somehow my mlb.tv subscription works for the archived games of the MLB/Japan All Star Series. and I've started watching the first game and wanted to share some of the stuff that I saw since I know many folks don't give 2 shits about this series. But I really like international baseball. I watched as much of the World Baseball Classic as I could and it was really awesome to be introduced to another style of playing the game.

I've bitched about the mlb.tv deal before, but being able to watch these games is a welcome surprise. However, the first thing they showed was the ceremonial first pitch where some Japanese guy threw out the first pitch to Twins C Joe Mauer. The reason I don't know who it was is because the mlb.tv announcers didn't mention this and all of the writing onscreen is in Japanese. But it had to be someone of some importance because after Mauer signed the first pitch ball, the Japanese guy signed another ball for Mauer. Thanks for the details, mlb.tv.

Can everyone read that gray line at the bottom? Fucking blackouts!

The next two things are apparently traditions in Japanese baseballs. First, as the defense takes the field, they each autograph a ball and throw it into the crowd. That is damn awesome, and everyone likes free shit. I'd like to see that at an MLB game. Next, the crowd calls out the names of the Japanese starters as they take the field. Kind of a roll call. Kind of cool.

Now I know this is a minor baseball thing and that very few people care, but I like it. But apparently this isn't too important in Japan either. There are a bunch of empty seats in the stadium.

The roster is full of All-Star players (but no Astros) and a few dim-star players (I'm looking at you Lyle Overbay!). Which leads me to the question, why is this not on TV? Not in prime time, but this has got to be better than the late night shit on Fox Sports, right?


Take a look at that lineup? Pretty nice, huh? Don't you want to watch that game against foreigners that play the game differently? Ok, maybe I'm the only one.

I've still got a World Series post brewing, but just haven't been able to sit down and write about Preston Wilson winning a World Series. I love David Eckstein and am elated that he won the MVP, but Preston's got a ring. I just can't find any other word to string together. It is incomprehensible to me. I cannot form complete sentences when i think about it. Preston? Uh, and a ring.... huh? well... it's just making me sad.

Let the Free Agency speculation begin!!!