pathat comments

Posted in: Matsuzaka has Tommy John Surgery See in context

The NPB club wouldn't let the player get away with this. Show up fat and you're running a bunch. Have you ever been to NPB spring training? I have, and they work those players hard. Your arm conditioning is poor? You're throwing a ton of pitches. Fat? Guess how much running you are doing.

Rakuten is still trying to figure out how to get Iwamura into shape, aren't they? They didn't learn from Pgh.'s problems with him, did they? Matsuzaka and Iwamura both became fat cats. They reached the top with personal and team success in Japan and MLB before 30. They lost their motivation and now their careers are suffering accordingly.

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Posted in: Matsuzaka has Tommy John Surgery See in context

MLB teams need to get rid of their antiquated thinking that there is only one way to condition a pitcher, and their way is always best

No, they don't. There are pros and cons to both ways of training pitchers, so MLB should continue to do what they think they do best for their game after more than a century of trial and error. If NPB wants to continue with some different ways in Japan, so be it. (Interestingly, though, NPB generally follows the MLB way as times change-i.e. shorter starts for the starters as the reg. season has expanded from 130 to 140+, increasing specialization of the relievers....Increase the NPB reg. season to 162 games and in the bit shorter time frame the majors does theirs, with less time off at the end of the reg. season for the rain make-ups before the postseason, and you'd find NPB starters even less capable of coping with the increased workload in the games, and more likely to pitch less between starts.)

(I remember Nomo stating very clearly that he didn't think the Japanese throwing regimen would work as well with the MLB season. He ought to know, he was the one who restarted it all moving to the majors because the Buffaloes were ruining his arm.)

And if Matsuzaka had wanted to do more throwing, including some "nagekomi," would it not have made sense for him to do the other work for his conditioning and weight control first?

I'll grant you that sometimes MLB starters should probably throw more and some of the obsession with pitch counts is silly to me. (It should be more on a case-by-case basis with the pitcher, taking into account his age, his arm health, and each game.)

The biggest reason people want to throw out the argument you pose is that they want to find a convenient excuse for the shortcomings of so many Japanese starters who've tried the majors. Simply because Nomo was brilliant his first few years, the assumption developed that the overall level of Japanese pitchers was similar to the majors, which is far from the truth. (People didn't understand WHY a specific individual like Nomo was so good in the mid to late '90s.)

Of course Matsuzaka let the lack of practice and lack of extra pitching cause him to get lazy and fat

Absolutely wrong. It has been widely reported that Matsuzaka showed up over weight and out of shape at his first day in Red Sox camp and that they have had concerns about his weight, conditioning and commitment to the game ever since. The Red Sox were no more responsible for Dice-K's troubles with this stuff any more than the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Rakuten Eagles were for Akinori Iwamura's the past 2 years.

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Posted in: New magazine SAMURAI.JP launches in search of Japan’s lost values See in context

"It focuses on presenting Japanese culture and aesthetics through places, work and the lives of people who have sustained and shaped Japan’s arts, traditions and cultural prosperity, but who have remained somewhat hidden from the eyes of the mainstream media and pop culture."

This is going to be tough and garner enough sales to have a sustained run of success. I think The Japan Times has been doing this for years, and their frequent articles comprise a tiny fraction of what they do overall.

Good luck anyway.

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Posted in: Emiri Henmi and Kenji Matsuda marry at Meiji Shrine See in context

She used to have great legs and feet.

Emiri Henmi on a SuperJockey Youtube vid at: お宝 辺見えみり 熱湯コマーシャル.

She was a lot of fun to watch in those days. I miss that Japan.

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Posted in: Matsuzaka has Tommy John Surgery See in context

Before you write off the rest of Matsuzaka's career, remember that most pitchers who come back from Tommy John surgery can throw harder than they ever did before.

Matsuzaka will never consistently hit 150+ km/h with his fastball again like I used to see at the Seibu Dome from 1999 to the middle of the last decade. The rest of his body has changed too much and he doesn't have the same ability to create the arm speed that he did years ago.

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Posted in: Matsuzaka has Tommy John Surgery See in context

the Mariners let Sasaki use his own routine and he never had problems with weigh gain(he actually lost some throughout the season) and pitched at an All-Star level...

This is the same Sasaki that couldn't wait to get out of NPB because of how the BayStars were trying to ruin his arm, as Nomo had done some years before with the Buffaloes. The BayStars pretty much forced an injured Sasaki to pitch in an All-Star game in his last year in Japan, not caring about his future with the knowledge that he was going to leave via FA.

Sasaki had a few very good years with Seattle to his credit, with his arm falling apart in his last year in MLB. He gave up the final year of his contract in MLB because his personal life was shot due to his affairs, and the health of his arm wouldn't allow him to pitch in the majors anymore. He returned to Japan on a 2-year deal for more overall money and was a complete flop.

I think Matsuzaka has something left in the tank, unlike Sasaki, but he will only be a good pitcher again if he works much harder at the game and his conditioning than he has the past few years.

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Posted in: Matsuzaka has Tommy John Surgery See in context

Agreed that he was overused by Seibu and his high school... disagree with it being the primary fault... had the Boston Red Sox let him condition himself in his own way like he had done in Japan, he might have been able to perform better... the Mariners let Sasaki use his own routine and he never had problems with weigh gain(he actually lost some throughout the season) and pitched at an All-Star level...

You can dispute which throwing regimen might have been better for Dice-K, MrMiyagi, but you can't blame Matsuzaka's overall weight problems and lack of conditioning on the Red Sox. That's all on Matsuzaka's shoulders. The Red Sox were never particularly happy with his workout efforts. (Are you also going to say that Iwamura's weight gain the past couple of years and his flop in the interim is to be blamed on the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Rakuten Eagles?)

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Posted in: Matsuzaka has Tommy John Surgery See in context

He was such an amazing pitcher for the Lions, and they forced him to throw too many innings.

He threw way too much from his teenage days and into his mid 20s, which is often a red flag for a pitcher to be any good after age 30. However, with the marvels of modern medicine, Matsuzaka may recover his form of years ago, and with a renewed commitment to the game.

And if the Seibu Lions had been so concerned about Matsuzaka's future after he gained FA status, they would not have done things like forcing him to play in the 2002 Japan Series when he was still clearly injured.

My guess is that Matsuzaka will never be a dominant pitcher again. With enough effort, though, he should at least be able to replicate what Kaz Ishii has done with the Lions since his return, perhaps a bit more.

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Posted in: Matsuzaka has Tommy John Surgery See in context

"Before you write off the rest of Matsuzaka's career, remember that most pitchers who come back from Tommy John surgery can throw harder than they ever did before."

Some do, to be fair, and some don't, but it generally takes some time before any pitcher coming off TJ gets his command back. The best case scenario for Dice-K is probably to get in a handful or so games late next year for Boston and then to see where that takes him.

The problem that I think you are overlooking is that Matsuzaka has not worked hard enough at the game the past few years to take care of his arm and the rest of his body. Where is the motivation going to come from after becoming so rich and experiencing so much personal and team success in Japan and the U.S. by age 30?

His one great season before he wore out his arm is too tantalizing for major league GMs to ignore.

Not for a long-term deal, and not unless he shows a greater commitment to baseball. It's more likely if he recovers by the end of next year that a team with some yen in Japan, like the Giants or Tigers, will offer him a multi-year deal for some major yen to finish out his career in NPB.

It will be interesting to come back to this a year or so from now.

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Posted in: Matsuzaka has Tommy John Surgery See in context

Carrying extra kilos and lacking the commitment to condition his body to perform at his best the last few years after two pretty good ones, Daisuke Matsuzaka has gone 16-15 with a 5.03 ERA the past three seasons with four stints on the disabled list, prior to the Tommy John surgery.

Matsuzaka thumbed his nose at his employers-the Boston Red Sox-and didn't follow the arm strengthening and conditioning program the team put together for him following arm concerns at the end of '08. It was more important to him to risk it all to play for Japan in the preseason WBC in early '09.

Ever since his selfish, foolish decision, he has pitched like a mediocre major leaguer, and not the ace the Red Sox had hoped he would be when they made a $103 million investment for his services over 6 years.

Daisuke Matsuzaka-just another Japanese player that couldn't quite measure up to the challenge of the major leagues. Good-bye and good riddance!

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Posted in: Summer's here See in context

Is that a donut on the wrist of the girl on the right?

Carrying around some Krispy Kreme can be an accessory in Japan.

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Posted in: What do you think of the idea of a grand coalition between the ruling DPJ and opposition parties? See in context

What do you think of the idea of a grand coalition between the ruling DPJ and opposition parties?

It will be another grand waste of time and the taxpayers' yen.

Klein2 wrote:

Where is this superfluous Nagata cho I read about? Where is a GRAND party of anything? Dithering. Blithering. Withering. Tokyo builds its skyscrapers (3000 yen!), and ivory towers, apparently, while cowering in panic from imaginary clouds of radiation. Meetings. Proclamations. Promises. Empty store shelves. Meanwhile, people from Ibaragi to Aomori put on their hard hats and get to work.

Well said.

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Posted in: Summer's here See in context

I prefer the one on the left.

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Posted in: Mikie Hara shows her Mystique look See in context

That is one angry looking blue face. But yeah, all that blue paint covers up the implant scars.

Surgery to augment what nature provided is pretty common in Japan too, regardless of what the average Japanese tends to think, but Mikie Hara's bountiful bosom has always looked pretty natural to me over the years.

She is a pretty girl.

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Posted in: Tired PM See in context

I commend PM Kan for making it through a year and look forward to the next "savior" that the Diet will turn against as soon as possible.

Abe, Fukuda, Aso, Hatoyama, Kan....5 consecutive one-year PMs that were supposed to "change" things for the better. Maybe the problem is that the whole system is dysfunctional and the PM is more like a titular leader who provides little more than the face of the leading party in power for a time.

Perhaps the only way to partially overcome this is to have a maverick, a "henjin" so to speak, like ex-PM Koizumi, to actually shake things up for a few years.

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Posted in: Mikie Hara shows her Mystique look See in context

Looks more like a full body suit blended in with the paint

Yeah, unfortunately. The official vid is up on YouTube under this description: 原幹恵が特殊メイクでX-MENに.

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Posted in: A resigned Horiemon prepares for life in prison See in context

"Even if you cling to this country, it has no future. It’s better for young people if they just let go."

Japan has a future grounded in domestic and global 21st century realities, and not in the unsustainable fantasies of a few decades ago.

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Posted in: Sea Paradise See in context

I have some great memories of the place, I think from '94.

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Posted in: Obama arrives in London ahead of schedule after jubilant Ireland visit See in context

Michelle Obama, for her part, drank her full half-pint and then got behind the bar herself to serve Moneygall’s parish priest, the Rev Joe Kennedy.

Joe Kennedy is still the power broker behind the scenes for the Democrats.

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Posted in: Obama arrives in London ahead of schedule after jubilant Ireland visit See in context

I caught the president's speech today at work. It was very inspiring. Made me (even more) proud to be an Irish-American. He really hit it out of the park.

Perhaps he should put the same cautious effort into his purported eloquence when he talks about important things, say, like the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

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Posted in: Obama arrives in London ahead of schedule after jubilant Ireland visit See in context

Nice to see an American president who is genuinely liked and admired by most people. Even though it drives the haters further off the ledge.

He's not "genuinely liked and admired" by the majority of the electorate anymore which is what counts in Nov. '12. If anything, the Irish response was primarily due to a desire to have some fun and the economic stimulus benefits from the visit.

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Posted in: Death toll from Missouri tornado climbs to 116 See in context

No, Smorkian, my point is entirely relevant to the conversation here. Obama should be consumed with America's problems, those man-made and those of the uncontrollable natural variety like the tornadoes in Missouri and elsewhere, and dispense with his foolish actions like his Bin Laden victory lap or his ego-inflating tour of Europe.

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Posted in: Why do tourists continue to stay away from Japan, despite the fact that there are many places of interest far away from the crisis-affected areas? What should Japanese tourism officials do to promote See in context

Well, for Americans the costs of traveling to Japan with the dollar/yen exchange rate have been hurting travel for quite a while.

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Posted in: Death toll from Missouri tornado climbs to 116 See in context

Another terrible natural disaster in the U.S., with more to come it seems from the weather forecasts. One would think the problems of the American people to be #1 on the Obama administration's list, yet they seem more concerned with throwing Israel under the Muslim bus and promoting Obama's rock star tour of part of Europe.

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Posted in: Obama arrives in London ahead of schedule after jubilant Ireland visit See in context

Obama had better enjoy it while he can. His clueless economic and foreign policies will lead to his departure from the presidency in Jan. '13.

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Posted in: Tomobile See in context

I guess she's cute to some, but I'll take Rina Nakanishi over her any day.

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Posted in: Pressure mounts on Gadhafi within Libya's capital See in context

And what will come after Gadhafi?

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Posted in: 8 beheaded bodies found in northern Mexican state See in context

Sadly, this seems to be about the daily norm for northern Mexico in recent years.

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Posted in: Fuji-san See in context

A beautiful picture...do I ever miss Japan.

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Posted in: 'Talent' Miyu Uehara dead after apparently hanging herself at home See in context

This is a real shame, so sad. There is a ton of pressure from agencies and managers on the idols and various "tarento" and we don't know exactly what happened to push her to this course of action other than a vague reference to not finding love.

Some people think that celebrities like Miyu Uehara or announcer Ako Kawada have it made, but this is often far from the truth.

RIP

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