Wishful Thinking (2009 Version)

1. Yakult uses the recession as an excuse to finally sell the team (to us)
2. Aikawa hits better than .220
3. Takada actually plays to win this season (as the new logo would lead us to believe)
4. Bobby Valentine replaces Takada for the 2010 campaign when #3 doesn’t pan out
5. Hara does well enough to keep his job so that Yomiuri doesn’t realize its full potential

What are your “wishful thinking” points for this year?

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini

  • Dan

    Oh, the preseason wishful thinking. I can’t speak to any specifics for the Japanese leagues (Tokyo Dome deflates, Giants forfeit all home games?).

    Here, I wish for Dusty Baker to understand that having a hitter with a .331 OBP hit leadoff, no matter how many bases he steals, may not be a good idea. And to avoid destroying another set of young, promising pitchers like he did in Chicago. And for the GM to go out and get some offense – they were GIVING away slugging LF this offseason.

  • Yakult uses the recession as an excuse to finally sell the team (to us)

    Yeah, but we have about $50 and the team must be worth at least $65.

    #4 would be great though.

    I expect one team to get sold this year, Seibu is a possibility. I’m just not sure who wants to spend the cash on it now. 7-11?

    I wish for pizza at the concession stand, more wins, fewer losses, better dancers, fewer couples sitting on their asses and not cheering in the bleachers, a mascot who does more funny/stupid/entertaining things such as lighting himself on fire, no rain, Guinness on tap, no wait – Guinness on tap on the back of a beer vendor, more attractive beer vendors, no-pan beer vendors (ok, nevermind), a new train station next to the stadium, a catcher and cheaper gear.

  • Here, here, Dan! If the Cubbies could only hit like they pitched. . .

    Ken, Maybe we could get a loan for $27 on top of what we have and keep a good player for more than one contract.

    At Jingu, I’d settle for the pizzas.

  • Ken, Maybe we could get a loan for $27 on top of what we have and keep a good player for more than one contract.

    Credit markets are pretty rough dude.

    I wonder how many aluminum cans we’d have to collect to buy the Swallows?

    Anyway, back to the Lions:

    7-11 Lions
    Uniqlo Lions
    Fast Retailing Lions
    7&i Lions
    Nomura Lions (They seem to love bad assets!)
    Nintendo Lions
    Tsutaya Lions

    And, my personal choice:

    The Bank of Japan Lions.

    The BOJ is buying up a lot of undervalued assets. It would be great to see a nationalized baseball club. Maybe they could peg interest rates to the team’s ERA. Talk about a performance incentive.

  • Swallows wishful thinking? Can I wish for Miyade to finally be good? 🙂

  • Deanna,
    That is definitely wishful thinking. I’m pretty sure that he won’t realize his full potential unless he gets shipped to another team (a la Inaba).

  • Kenzo,
    The Bank of Japan Swallows has a nice ring to it, no?

  • Christopher Amano-Langtree

    The Swallows to expand their catchment area to beyond Aoyama.

  • Nice one, C.A-L., they did kind of stall with whole “Tokyo” rebranding. Yakult has no vision.

    Ken, the Swallows started off being owned by Kokutetsu – kind of a national team, no?

    If 7-11 buys the Saitama Lions, the Asia Series will become even more confusing.

  • flick

    They should come back with the two-for-the-price-of-one infield seating tickets that they had two seasons ago. Those were awesome.

    I wish Jingu’s infield seating had more leg room.
    Also since I have a one-year old, I wish Jingu would be more accomodating to kids.
    Out of the ballparks I went to last year with my family….
    Marine Stadium not only had an awesome kid’s space, it had a department-like diaper-changing and breast-feeding area.
    Yokohama Stadium, Tokyo Dome, and Skymark Stadium had decent kids area.
    Jingu has none.

    Yeah, yeah, I know that a ballpark ain’t a place for women and children, yada yada, but should I retire my umbrella now that I have a family???

  • Shumai Bento

    I wish they would change the turf in Jingu to real turf. I wish they would get rid of the fences in the outfield and infield just like in Yokohama Stadium. I wish Swallows became a popular team not always out numbered by visiting fans.

  • Flick, I feel your pain. A lot at Jingu could be better. Unfortunately, the Swallows suffer the dual disadvantage of having no executive control over the stadium (it’s owned by Meiji Jingu, hence the name) and, more important, an owner that appears to not give a damn, that being Yakult.

    Jingu is a great venue in a great location that is not at all optimized and has completely failed to make key changes that should have been made a decade ago. In other words, we’re at least 20 years behind the times.

    Chiba, under the Bobby Valentine – Larry Rocca regime, has made some great strides. We were invited out there last summer and were greatly impressed.

    For reasons beyond mere bias, I would disagree that the Tokyo Dome offers much, but I’ll admit that I haven’t tried to change a baby there – I’m more concerned that all of the OF seats have bad views and that it’s generally a crappy venue for baseball (but gets all of the big events.)

    Jingu does leave a lot to be desired, though, and we hope, year after year, that Yakult will get a clue. . . but they never have.

    Diaper changing aside, kids are tolerated well out in the hardcore section.

    Shumai, my heart is with you, and I think I can speak for the other guys here at the Tsubamegun. I have been dreaming of natural grass since 2001. I see no reason for not having natural grass other than the fact that Yakult are shit owners who don’t give a damn about the team or the game.

    There are also a lot of things that could be done to increase the Swallows’ popularity – we have proposed quite a few, and even had some accepted, but the team never follows up. In other words, it comes back to the fact that Yakult is clearly not interested in doing anything to improve the team. Apathy still rules.

    I hope that’s not too pessimistic.

  • flick

    Thanks for the reply.
    Hopefully I will make it to a bunch of games this year at Jingu, with my son (I joined the fan club this year).
    See ya there!

  • I just joined the fan club too. See you guys in the bleachers!

  • Glad to hear it, Simon. It’ll be a blast having you there.