Opening Day is Here!

Tsubakurou demonstrates what's in store for Yomiuri.

Is it just me, or was that not a phenomenally long off-season? I guess technically it was shorter than normal, but whatever. We’ve spent the last couple of days dreaming and prognosticating, and now we finally get to see what the team can do!

Today is opening day, and the Swallows will kick off their 2012 assault on the pennant by traveling down the Chuo Sobu line a couple of stations to take on preseason favorites, Yomiuri.

If you’re heading to that game, have a good time. Hopefully the birds will knock Utsumi all over the park. Simultaneously, we should keep our fingers crossed that the Giants don’t do the same to our starter, Ishikawa. A win tonight will be his fourth career opening day ‘W’, and that would be a franchise record.

Here’s the roster for day 1:

Pitchers
Muranaka, Ishikawa, Matsuoka, Masubuchi, Tateyama, Barnette, Hidaka, Akagawa, Abe, Oshimoto, Hirai

Catchers
Aikawa, Kawamoto, Nitta

Infielders
Kawabata, Miyamoto, Tanaka, Takeuchi, Yamada, Hatakeyama, Miwa, Morioka

Outfielders
Hiyane, Balentien, Iihara, Yuhei, Ueda, Milledge

A little bit of bad news. Rookie outfielder, Nariaki Kawasaki, saw his season go up in smoke when it was decided that his best option for fixing his elbow problem was to have surgery. His right arm will take the entire 2012 season to heal. No word yet on whether or not he’s likely to be ready by next season.

On a slightly more positive note, however, we would advise reading Jason Coskrey’s article on Tokyo’s legend at third base, Shinya Miyamoto. Only 25 hits to go until he reaches Meikyukai status.

Anyway, I hope you’re as excited as I am about this season. I’ve got a good feeling about this. I’ve got a strong feeling that Ogawa is going to steer the team to another quality season.

Sing it loud: Go, Go Swallows!

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