Monday Bullets is a feature in which Tsubamegun writers (mostly Kozo) gather random news, thoughts, images, movies, etc. during the week and publish them for off day consumption.
Due to a Monday game last week, its been two weeks since the last edition of the Bullets. This edition bids farewell to two people, and looks at the end of the Swallows season.
- The first farewell goes to Junji Ogawa who offered to resign after the conclusion of the season today. The team accepted his offer and held a press conference at team HQ earlier today. Ogawa described feeling somewhat relieved and expressed regret for not taking the pennant in 2012, and for the past two seasons of miserable baseball. I am personally very much a fan of the kind of manager Ogawa was throughout his tenure at the helm of the Swallows. Ogawa never put himself above the team and seemed to respect the players and was respected back. I believe I speak for the rest of my writers here at Tsubamegun when we wish Ogawa all the best. We’re not celebrating like when Takada stepped down, although we don’t disagree with the decision either. I’m sure we’ll unpack some of these thoughts in the season ending podcast.
- Balentien left Sunday’s game and after collecting his 446th plate appearance which qualified him for the batting title. Achieving the milestone no doubt secured an incentive clause in his multi-year deal and Coco had nothing else to play for this season. As I mentioned in the last Bullets. he’ll head to the States for a medical examination that will determine whether he’ll undergo surgery on the Achilles that has been bothering him this season. We wish Balentien all the best in his recovery and hope to see hime for the full season next year. By reaching the season minimum for PAs, Coco has almost guaranteed himself the OBP (.419) and SLG% (.587) crowns for the CL, and by extension the OPS crown.
- Yamada’s quest for 200/30 is still possible, but looking unlikely as the number of games dwindle. The Swallows have 11 games left on their schedule, and Yamada needs 23 hits and 5 homers to reach the mark. Yamada’s not had a great September hitting just .227 in 18 games so far this month. The monthly average is his lowest since he hit .291 in March/April.
- The rest of the Swallows schedule features six games against the Carp, one game against the Tigers, two games against the Giants, and two games against the BayStars. The Swallows still have a chance to finish .500 against the Carp (win out and finish 12-12), the Giants (win out and finish 12-12) and the Tigers (win and finish 12-12). The best the Swallows can finish against the BayStars is 9-15 if they win both remaining games.
The Swallows have already finished their 24 game card against the Dragons finishing 12-11-1 outscoring the Dragons 107-102.Those of you planning to attend tomorrow’s game. I hope you already have your ticket, since the game has already sold out.Fall is here, which means it’s rice cultivation time in Japan. Tsubakuro did his part over the weekend.