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Rays beat Boston to advance to World Series

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Oh dear. Iwamura's Rays have beaten Matsuzaka's and Okajima's Red Sox. So which Japanese player will Iwamura be up against in the World Series to decide the outcome?

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So which Japanese player will Iwamura be up against in the World Series to decide the outcome?

Taguchi, but his chances are very slim. We will be getting final result of World Series on this website for sure.

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As a RedSox fan (come back Bill Buckner) this one is pretty hard to swallow, then again it wasn't the Yankees. Good thing for baseball, however, and I would like to see the Rays pound the NL.

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Great series! The Rays have been been on a roll since the Irwin incident.

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Iwamura's Rays have beaten Matsuzaka's and Okajima's Red Sox. So which Japanese player will Iwamura be up against in the World Series to decide the outcome?

Funny you should say that. After perusing this article posted by JT, not one mention of Iwamura. Lots of props in this article to Garza, Pena, Upton, and Longoria. A Japan nationalist, are you? To be fair though, you are right, Okajima did his part. He pitched 10 complete innings in total, throughout this postseason (vs. the Angels and Rays); more than any other Red Sox relief pitcher. He, Masterson, and Papsmear were relied on heavily, as they were the only Boston relievers (and the only Boston pitchers for that matter) to have any dependability.

But props to the whole Tampa organization, from the top management, to its players. Great play all around. Go and beat the Phillies. Go rays!

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After perusing this article posted by JT, not one mention of Iwamura

No not this one, but Iwamura does own the Rays doesn't he?

A Japan nationalist, are you?

You'd better believe it. Lucky I have Japanese tv with their tunnel vision to remind me who is winning these games.

So Iwamura versus Taguchi then? I'm sure one of them has the gaman spirit that will decide who are the World Champions. (Note: the answer is the Japanese.)

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No not this one, but Iwamura does own the Rays doesn't he?

Actuall, Stuart Sternberg does, as he is majority owner; and a fine one at that. He is credited with dropping the "devil" from their name and I was touched when he even called to ask a baseball legend who has been connected to the MLB for 6 decades, Don Zimmer, to throw the ceremonial first pitch of this game. Zimmer, as most will remember, was a former head coach with the Cubs, as well as a few other teams. He is now a senior advisor with the Rays. Brought a tear to my eye seeing him again.

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Iwamura is the Rays just like Taguchi is the Phillies. That is all the J-press will tell us.

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This was a very exciting series. I have always liked Don Zimmer too.

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Iwamura is the Rays just like Taguchi is the Phillies.

Not really; read this article again. No mention of Iwamura, nor Taguchi. Iwamura does play a big part in the Ray's lineup though. I've been following MLB all year, as well as American and Japan coverage of it, so I would know. If anything, the Japanese press has been overexposing Matsuzaka and Ichiro, while devoting way too little coverage to Iwamura (when in fact, he is more valuable to his team than all other J-players combined).

Together with Pena, Iwamura, Bartlett, and Longoria, they form the best defensive infield in the majors. They are among the league leaders in double plays, and playing second base, Iwamura is often times in the middle of them. He hasn't been hitting well this year, but his defense, along with his infield teammates, have prevented so many runs from scoring. (Navarro is the one player who is prone to making mistakes, but he is still a very young catcher.) And more than that, he is an extremely friendly and outspoken teammate. All his teammates love him and he was even in the middle of a brawl with the Red Sox, earlier this year, trying to back up his own teammates.

This commaraderie is something that also impressed me with the LA Dodgers' pitcher Kuroda, who aslo showed that he had his teammates backs and would go to war with them if needed to. Can't say the same about Ichiro. Kuroda, in my eyes is a much better pitcher than Matsuzaka, since he often goes deeper in games and has even pitched two complete games this year. He induces a lot of ground balls and popups, and thus makes quick work of hitters. He doesn't care about his stats and gets so little run support, but he keeps on fighting.

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hotbox. spot on.

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Boy what a bust Matsuzaka turned out to be ! His pay package included a variety of incentives and bonuses, yet as far as I can tell, he was a wash in all of them ! Failed to win 20 games ! No complete games ! Barely lasted 5 innings in most cases ! Once again tired as the season moved ahead ! No All-Star appearance ! But worst of all, he let his team down in his last pitching appearance... getting bombed and then bailed out by the bullpen when they needed the rest for any possible further games. Some of you may argue that he had an excellent won loss record. True... but that was because of excellent run support and solid defense by his teammates. However when it came crunch time, Matsuzaka folded his tent like a boy scout ! No surprise if Matsuzaka becomes trade bait during the off season. I see no reason to keep him around.

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Baseball’s doormat since starting play in 1998, the Rays were a 200-1 shot to win the World Series before the season started. Now, they’ll host the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 Wednesday night.

What's more amazing is that NO TEAMS in U.S. four sports history had a worst record team from previous year, win it all the following year.

But for the networks, this series is going to be a ratings dissapointment for they wanted Sox-Dodgers.

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Not really; read this article again.

Associated Press is not a Japan-based news organization.

Once The Series starts, the media here in Japan will only be showing/commenting on Japan players as if they are the only ones on in the field. Fortunately, I get ESPN here at Casa Romeo.

RR

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Boy what a bust Matsuzaka turned out to be !

I gotta agree with you barfly. Hiroki Kuroda is the much better pitcher and more clutch. Kuroda went 2-0 in the postseason for the Dodgers, and would have gotten more, had their lackluster offense picked it up more, and had Kuroda been pitching in games one and four, instead of three and none. He shut down the high-powered Cubs offense for zero runs and went to war for his own teammates by issuing a much-needed retaliation against the Phillies. In my mind, he pitched much better and more effectively than Matsuzaka, and even his own teammates, Lowe and Billingsley. I wouldn't be surprised to see Kuroda being the no. 1 starter next year, and even in the All-star game.

But, to be fair, all Boston pitchers sucked this postseason. Beckett got shelled in game 2, Lester got whipped in game 3, Wakefield got shellacked and lasted only two innings in game 4, and Dicek got hit hard in game 5. The Rays however, were outstanding throughout. A great team effort by all players. Rays all the way!

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Gotta disagree with you, Timor. I'm a dyed in the wool Sox fan too, but the reality is they never should have beat the Angels. The Sox were a flawed team entering the playoffs. The 2007 WS MVP (Lowell) and the 2007 ALCS MVP (Beckett) were hurt going into the playoffs. Papi was hurt. Manny was gone. Father Time caught up with Varitek this year. Bay is a good player, but this year was a learning experience for him. Heck, when you have guys like Sean Casey and Mark Kotsay having regular playing time in the playoffs, you know things aren't looking good. All in all, I'm happy with they way the season turned out. It looks like this is the Rays' year, and nothing can stop destiny.

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Buck Foston.

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