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Fighters take Pacific League title for second year in a row
2007-10-18 07:01
by Bob Timmermann

The expected pitching duel in Sapporo between pitchers with sub-2.00 ERAs didn't transpire and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters won the Pacific League again with a 6-2 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines at the Sapporo Dome. The Fighters won the series 3 games to 2.

Yoshihisa Naruse of the Marines was 16-1 in the regular season, but he was knocked out after 3 2/3 IP. Yu Darvish of the Fighters went 6 2/3 innings, but had just two strikeouts.

The Fighters will take on the winner of the second stage of the Central League playoffs which started Thursday as well. The Chunichi Dragons defeated the Yomiuri Giants 5-2 at the Tokyo Dome to take a 1-0 lead in the best of five series. All the games will be played in Tokyo.


2007-10-18 09:35:02
1.   JL25and3
I know it's completely incorrect, but I still prefer to call them the Ham Fighters. It's just such a great name.
2007-10-18 10:59:26
2.   Josh Wilker
In your face, Joe "Dead to Bob" Buck.

Also, no link to a box score? How am I supposed to know who led the victorious team in 打点?

2007-10-18 11:37:35
3.   Bob Timmermann
There are now links to boxscores.

They're in English too.

2007-10-18 11:39:57
4.   Bob Timmermann
I should also state that officially the regular season champ wins the "pennant." The Fighters have now won the "pennant" and "the Climax Series."

It's like college basketball in a sense.

2007-10-18 20:45:20
5.   DougS
Bob, when you were in Japan, did you sample any Nippon Ham products? For some reason, this news suddenly fills me with curiosity about what Nippon Ham actually makes.

This is now on my list of things to do when I eventually, someday, maybe, go to Japan, along with shopping in the Akihabara and the pilgrimage to Studio Ghibli. I must eat something made by Nippon Ham. Just because.

2007-10-18 21:07:15
6.   Bob Timmermann
Nippon Ham makes exactly what you think it would make. Mostly ham. They have other meat products.

I don't know if I tried any as I never bought cold cuts. I might have ordered food that had a Nippon Ham product in it. But since I don't read Japanese, I just sort of point to food I think looks good.

Shopping in the Akhihabara is very noisy.

Of the companies that own teams in Japan, I've probably used Yakult products the most. Most hotels in Japan give you a little Yakult yogurt drink with your breakfast. They are starting an advertising push in the U.S.

A lot of the other teams own railroads or department stores. Or both!

If you ever get to Japan to see a game, go to an outdoor stadium. The domes aren't all that much fun.

I would rank the stadiums you should see:
1) Koshien (hard to find seats)
2) Hiroshima (interesting location, great fans)
3) Meiji Jingu (historic with nice fans)
4) Yokohama Municipal (bandbox)
5) Fukuoka Dome (best food)
6) Sapporo Dome (you have to want to go there though)
7) Chiba Marine (outdoors, but freezing cold)
8) Miyagi Fullcast (it's really small)
9) Nagoya Dome (its main drawback is that it is in Nagoya. You'll find out when you get there)
10) Osaka Dome (easy to find seats)
11) Seibu Dome (middle of nowhere)
12) Tokyo Dome (it's like the Metrodome, but in Japan!)

2007-10-19 10:33:52
7.   Deanna
Koshien and Jingu are fine to "go see", but I wouldn't want to go to either of them on a regular basis for games. "Historic" means "the seats are tiny and cramped and there are no western toilets", among other things. Hiroshima's not bad but it'll be interesting to see what the new stadium is like, that's for sure.

Yokohama's my favorite of the outdoor stadiums for many reasons, but mostly because of the lack of fences and a nice laid-back fan base. It's really just a great place to see a game and it's also next to the coolest McDonald's in Japan, filled with historical MLB memorabilia which is worth a trip to Kannai all in itself. Miyagi's awesome too but it's, well, in Sendai. I actually love the Nagoya Dome for various reasons, but its accessibility sucks, the "Nagoya is like Cleveland" jokes aside. Seibu Dome sucks too, but is probably one of the better places to go if you want to camp out with your friends in the outfield (and don't mind the occasional chu-hi being spilled on you).

I like Chiba Marine Stadium just fine, and the Marines Museum is a lot of fun, but it's too freaking far away from me here in Kawaguchi. I'm actually wondering if I could get to Miyagi Fullcast from here in less time than it takes me to get to Chiba. If I timed the shinkansen right, I think it'd be possible.

I still haven't been to Sapporo. I'm debating going up for the long weekend of Nov 3-5, but I'm worried the Japan Series may end before then -- and even if there are games, that I won't be able to get a ticket, being as single-ticket non-presale tickets go on sale to the public on 10/25. YES, on 10/25 for a series that starts on 10/27. It seems awfully unlikely, but I'm going to try anyway.

ps -- glad you finally noticed my boxscore translator :P

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