2009 Central League Preview (podcast at TPR)

Following our discussion, in podcast form, of how things are shaping up in the Pacific League this year, Dave and I have now posted some informal insight into how things are looking in the Central.

All six teams from NPB’s Central League are covered, and we do our best to rationalize each organization’s movements relative to last season.

If you’re interested, please go here.

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

  • Rob

    Thanks for the podcast, gents!
    Just waiting for opening day. My $0.02.
    Giants
    Tigers
    Carp
    Swallows/Dragons
    Dragons/Swallows

    And Yokohama will be relegated to J2.

  • Rob,
    Glad you enjoyed it.
    As for your predictions, I’d say that you’ve nailed down a highly probable scenario.
    Would love to hear where you really think the Swallows will end up in the rankings. Fourth or fifth?
    (Don’t worry, there are a lot of realists that frequent this site.)

  • N26

    I enjoy tuning in to your guys shows. Hope you have alot of podcasts.I have to smile each time I hear the opening song, Tokyo Ondo the old skool version. It’s classic.

    I put my prediction in japanesebaseball.com but I’ll do it here too.

    I think Yokohama will take first. I know it sounds radical but baseball is always full of suprises and that will be the suprise not only for this year but of the century.

    Uchikawa will hit 400 and Murata will hit 60 home runs.

    Yokohama
    Yomiuri
    Hanshin
    Hiroshima
    Chunichi
    Yakult

    Please do not take it personal that I put Yakult in last place. Of teams I like they score among the highest though. I’m a closet Yakult fan but Yokohama is the city I grew up in. Popularity wise I think Yokohama, Yakult is on the same boat.

    Yakult has a lousy manager and to be honest do not look good with the exception of Aoki.

    I’m looking forward going to Japan this August hope to catch games in Jingu, Yokohama, Chiba and the Dome.

    btw. I used to live 5 minutes from Jingu when I lived in Tokyo. I could see the head lights of the stadium from my balcony and I went to shit loads of games there more often than not by myself.

    I also happened to cath the season opener between Yakult and Hanshin 2006. Ramirez hit a home run in the game. The first CL homerun of the season, and guess who caught the ball? It was me. I was in right field bleachers, just arrived at the stadium looking for a seat, was staning in the aisle and the ball just lands and drops right in front of me so I just picked up the ball. It was not as if I had to fight for the ball. I had been very close of getting homerun balls in my past. I once even got a hard fist right into my face by this old geezer when I was 12 years old or so because I tried to grab a home run ball. So that curse was lifted in that game. I don’t remember the score, what I remeber is that it was freezing cold. I bought cup noodles to warm myself up but the water pured was not even hot, so I was eating semi cold cup noodles feeling quite irritable.

    Though I think Aoki is an amazing player and hope he stays in Yakult throughout his carrear, his theme song is shit. He used to have a cool one but then they changed it and the one he has now is shit. They should change his song.

  • Rob

    Thanks!
    Drags or Swallows fourth or fifth is a tough call. If everything clicks, TYS could overcome their management and finish in the top three. (Ichiba/Miyade was a good move for both teams, but yeah – who came up with that deal?)

    The Drags will need a lot to make up for the power and pitching they lost, but Hirata and some of their younger guys could step up, and I would never want to bet against Ochiai in a tight race.

    But the Drags were lucky last year. Hiroshima was hot on their heels toward the end, and just barely came up short. I think the Carp will keep that momentum this year, and the new stadium should give them a boost as well.

    After years as a Dragons fan, I have eased away to go 50-50 for Chunichi and TYS now, and for TYS in most cases when they play each other. Like next week – see you there!

  • stevesayskanpai

    Good podcast- liked the Brummie that crept into your voice!

    My prediction:

    Tigers
    Giants
    Carp
    Swallows
    Dragons
    Baystars

    Close between the top 2, very close between the 3-5, cut off at the bottom again for the Baystars.

  • Ken

    Central League Final Standings 2009

    Kyogin (Yuck)
    Tigers
    Swallows
    Carp
    Dragons
    BS (no translation required)

    Lions and Swallows in the 2009 Japan Series

  • N26

    There is no team called BS. Try learning the names if you don’t know them, Ken. Good luck.

  • Rob

    Anyone brave enough to try to predict the TYS lineup for opening day?

  • Rob,
    Here’s my stab at it:

    1. Aoki (CF)
    2. Fukuchi (LF)
    3. K. Kawashima (SS)
    4. D’Antona (1B)
    5. Guiel (RF)
    6. Tanaka (2B)
    7. Miyamoto (3B)
    8. Aikawa (C)
    9. Ishikawa (P)

    PS. I was bummed that I couldn’t plug Iihara or Hatakeyama in there…

  • Rob

    Let me rush before the lineups are announced.
    I have the same members, just a little juggling. I’m going with:
    1. Fukuchi (LF)
    2. Miyamoto (3B)
    3. Aoki (CF)
    4. D’Antona (1B)
    5. Guiel (RF)
    6. Tanaka (2B)
    7. Kawashima (SS)
    8. Aikawa (C)
    9. Ishikawa (P)
    I’d like to put Iihara and Noguchi’s speed would be fun to see. But… where?
    The upside may be that if someone slumps, he can be replaced quickly. The downside would be that if you have a bad game, you’re out, so no one ever really gets settled in anywhere. Hmm….

  • Rob

    Think they’d save Ishikawa for the home opener? I don’t have the stats, but I seem to remember he kills the Dragons.