F.U. Yakult

As you’ve probably read, Yomiuri clinched the CL title tonight at Jingu.

Now, as painful as that may have been, I can accept it. We gifted them our two best players in the off-season through sheer tight-fistedness, and they capitalise on sucking the life out of all the other teams as usual and win their 10062nd CL pennant. Well done. Does it feel good? Does it? And to the muppets in orange – well done for being so original and supporting the Giants, does your orange megaphone look good with that Louis Vuitton bag? Brainless eejits – F.U.

What I do have a problem with is this: Kroon makes the last out of the game, with Aoki grounding out to second. At that moment it was still in the 8th inning in Yokohama with the Baystars leading 4-3. What should have been done is that the score at that moment was displayed for the fans in attendance, after which all parties headed home, or at the very least, they had to wait for the final result from Yokohama to filter in.

What in fact occurred was this: The powers that be at Jingu decided to show the last two innings of the Hanshin game, live on the big screen at Jingu for the benefit of the Yomiuri fans in attendance. This quite frankly, is disgusting. And be sure I let my feelings be known. We essentially allow our biggest rivals a free reign in our park to celebrate their pennant victory as if it were their home ground. We were pandering to the many opposition fans who stream into Jingu regularly at the expense of the loyal fans who fill the rightfield bleachers game in, game out, to watch the dirge that is regularly served up there in recent years. They pretty much admitted by their actions that their main focus is to bring opposition fans into Jingu and keep them happy (and thus lucrative) instead of trying to develop more fans of what, after all, is the home team. It was a telling yellow flag of cowardice and an acute indicator of the malaise that exists in the organisation.

So, F.U. Yakult for treating your loyal fans like dirt and surrendering the hallowed turf of Meiji Jingu Stadium to essentially be a home party for your hated local rivals.

F.U. Hanshin for being a team of chokers like no other and not being able to beat the worst team in Japan when it mattered.

F.U. Hara-kantoku for being a cocky halfwit. Your team won despite you, not because of you.

And F.U. Ramirez. Just because.

About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto

  • BTW, just to confirm, the thing I’m pissed about is the showing of the game on the “largest stadium screen in Japan” for the benefit of the Yomiuri fans. Of course there’s little you can do about celebrations on the field.

  • Yeah, I was there too.

    It was disgraceful.

    To be fair to the home fans who stuck around, with this year’s Yokohama team being the third worst NPB team of the new millenium (after another Yokohama team and Rakuten in it’s first year), they could be excused for thinking that Hanshin might pull out some late-inning heroics. Perhaps the scoreboard guy was thinking the same thing…?

    But nah. That was wrong.

    As you said, after flashing the score of the Hanshin-Yokohama game on the board, they should have buttoned things up and started the leaf-blowers up like they always do.

  • That’s utterly bizarre and cruel. The Swallows franchise deserves a better owner.

    But, I think the largest stadium screen in Japan is in Seibu, that thing is ginormous!

  • Ken

    We need to make a list of players we can give them as Christmas presents this year.

  • What. The. Hell.

    I keep joking that Hanshin management could easily do as many “screw you, Tigers fans” moves as they wanted and they’d still fill the stadium every night regardless, but in all honesty, other teams do not have that luxury and it’s annoying to me to see so many recent “screw you” actions like this.

    I didn’t know the timing for the evening’s events, I just saw highlights of the on-field celebration and the beer-kake on the sports news by the time I got home from work around midnight. I kind of understand why they would do something like this, I guess, but I also understand why the fans would be (rightfully) pissed off about it.

    The only good part (to me) would have been if they kept showing Murata’s homerun to stick it in Ramirez’s face. I don’t have anything against Rami-chan exactly, I just want Murata to get the HR title again. Though if people conspired for it (ie, Yakult IBB’ing Rami, or giving cookies to Murata) everyone would also be pissed. From what I remember, Murata felt TERRIBLE for hitting his 36th (and crown-getter) off Shinji Sasaoka in his retirement game last year…

    Oh well, there is ONE good thing about this:
    The CL games this weekend are NOT as important as the PL Playoffs, thank god, and so hopefully they won’t eclipse them like I feared they would. “Oh, we can’t show Darvish’s victory on TV, we have to show Kyojin beer-kake” was my biggest fear.

  • What makes this especially upsetting is not so much that the last two innings of the Yokohama-Hanshin game were shown, but that, after all the hype, hoopla, and moolah, expended on that f*ing scoreboard, this is the first time it’s been put to use as anything other than a giant Coca-Cola ad. If Jingu would show replays (especially of controversial plays) or use that space to, say, list more info (or keep the info up when ads and graphics are being shown), I’d be more forgiving of showing the end of a salt-rubbing game.

    I. . . dislike. . . the Giants, but at least they don’t go out of their way to embarrass, offend, and otherwise screw their own fans (and Giants fans could do with being taken down a peg or two. Way to jump on a bandwagon, folks! Way to conform!) After this year, with yet another set of marketing changes and us home fans being treated even more like crap. . .

    I might as well just write a post. Suffice it to say, “Swallows Paradise” by DAD’s does not make up for having our own organization essentially make us perpetual away fans.

  • Rob

    I agree with the hate for the new scoreboard. It’s pretty, but it’s useless if you care about baseball. They take the data down for commercials between innings, so I lose track of who’s up next inning, who has come in/gone out, etc., unless I look closely at the board DURING an inning – and that’s exactly when I want to be looking at the plays on the field and not the scoreboard! Poorly thought out on someone’s part.

    Airing live video of a game that only matters to the visitors – that’s such a slap in the face for the home team’s fans. And for the home team sitting there in the dugout! Not only is the other team celebrating on your field, your organization is helping them celebrate!

    Not sure about Murata. If it matters, and it did with the HR race tied at that point last year, you can’t expect him not to try to homer. But it still seems a bit impolite. Hopefully the race will not be tied Sunday, and Murata will not need to homer off Kawabata in his retirement game. I’d rather see Ramirez win it, after watching Yokohama walk him four times Thursday in a game with no other significance to them.

    I’m also just lost on this managing stuff. Takada: Noguchi comes up, does great for two games… so sit him? Hara: Greisinger is cruising, has thrown 102 pitches, and with two out in the ninth with a two run lead and no one on and he’s owned Aoki all game… and you pull him? The fans probably enjoyed Aoki-Kroon, but I don’t understand why you’d do that.

    A good showing by Dicky was overshadowed by everything else. A wild pitch and I think a rare misread by Fukuchi cost Yakult two runs. Oh, well.

  • General rule for players:

    If your manager is a former star player, show pro forma acquiescence, then ignore any decision he makes, if at all possible, if you want to win.

    The Giants are a strong team in spite of Hara, through most of Tokyo’s dismal season, Takada seemed to be working against his team, making boneheaded calls that directly led to frustrating losses, giving almost no one who was struggling a real chance unless he was a pitcher in the middle of a meltdown, etc. Funny press conferences aside, Nomura hardly deserves praise in Sendai, and Hoshino deserved pretty much everything that was said about him during and after the Olympics.
    Sometimes it seems as though these aging former players-turned-manager aren’t even aware of what game their squads are playing.

  • Ken


    after all the hype, hoopla, and moolah, expended on that f*ing scoreboard, this is the first time it’s been put to use as anything other than a giant Coca-Cola ad.

    Why do you hate Coca-Cola so much?

    But seriously, I’ve bumped into a couple of fans already on the way to the game today (they were on the way to the game, I was going to the office to kill some time) and people were upbeat despite the ‘shoganai’ take on it all.

    Let’s hope it’s not couples night again…

  • Christopher Amano-Langtree

    That really is a kick in the teeth for you guys. It is like you don’t matter and that is disgusting. We Tigers fans may enjoy Jingu and joke that it’s our Tokyo home but that is just a joke. It seems the stadium management doesn’t understand.

    Could the fact that Takada is an ex-Giant have anything to do with it?

  • Rob

    Could the fact that Takada is an ex-Giant have anything to do with his inability manage? (Sorry – couldn’t resist!)

  • Christopher, Rob, let’s just say Takada’s former Giants stardom is no feather in his cap.

    That said, I tend to think he suffers from actual incompetence rather than any malicious intent toward one of the Giants’ many rivals and my discontent is directed more toward Yakult and the Swallows’ disinterested front office more than any individual on the field. If GM Kesanori Kurashima had any respect for the club, he’d fire Takada, then immediately resign to take responsibility for giving up Greisinger and Ramirez as well as hiring Takada (clear record of mediocrity going back two decades)in the first place. (I doubt Takada has the sense to realize how much his idiocy is hurting the team and resign on his own.)

    No one needs to get hurt or anything, but Kurashima and team president Tadashi Suzuki should stay the hell away from any and all baseball clubs at a level higher than elementary school for the good of the game.

  • Rob, you may have been already informed, but as for Noguchi, it couldn’t be helped.
    He has unluckily gat some kind of infectious inflammation(“hoka-shi-en” in Japanese) that Miyamoto recently suffered from.

  • Rob

    No, I missed that – thanks for the word!
    How dreadful – to come up, get a chance to play, do quite well – and then get sick! I’m glad it’s not Takada’s doing, but I’m really disappointed for Noguchi.

  • I was starting to think that Shiroishi had poisoned Noguchi’s miso soup out of sheer envy…

    Thanks for the update, Tomnish!

  • Rob, Christopher, thanks for your quick replies!
    I have pretty much trouble in writing English, so I always fear my words may offend you, but I’m happy if they are of any help.

  • Rob

    Oops! Another oops for me. Why change Greisinger for Kroon? So he can get the top spot in saves. I still don’t know if I agree with that – Greisinger was cruising, and if Kroon were to blow it (quite possible), first place would still be up for grabs. But I see the “reasoning” in jerking Greisinger’s chain now.

  • Tomnish,
    No need to worry! We appreciate your coming in with the details that we missed.
    Many thanks!

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