How My TV Reviews Work

Still the best TV show within a TV show ever.

So, I’ve officially been reviewing television shows for about three weeks and, needless to say, I haven’t been doing a great job keeping up. I’m several days overdue on the reviews for episode 3 of Gotham, ditto for the pilot episode of Flash and a full week overdue for the fourth season premiere of Legend of Korra. Hell, I haven’t even finished the third season of the latter show.

In my defense, Henry Rollins’ character is meant to be savoured.

Also, as much as I hate that this is the case, I still have school to work through, and until I break free from that burden, I can’t really devote all my time into a blog that doesn’t make me any money or extra credit and, at this point, it’s just a passion project. So, unfortunately, I have to enforce some rules on these reviews.

  • The reviews will be out every two episodes. Both episodes will have a rating out of five, and the totals will be added up at the end of the season to give the season an average score out of 10.
  • If the season ends with a rating under 7.5/10, I probably won’t devote any more time to reviewing the show. I may still watch it, but I just won’t review it.
  • If the season’s rating ever falls under 5.0/10, I reserve the right to call it quits at the nearest quarter, half, or three-quarter mark, and if it ends the season with a failing grade, you can forget about me reviewing another episode of it ever again (For a season at least).
  • Expect the reviews to come out a day or two after the airing of the second episode. You know, unless a holiday gets in my way, or something.
  • When it comes to reviewing the baseball playoffs….I’m done. It takes a crapload of time and it’s just not that fun for me anymore. I’ll still do some baseball stuff, but definitely expect a noticeable shift away from athletics and more towards mindless entertainment.
  • Movie reviews will always get priority, so shows that air on weekends and Friday night are likely to get shafted, somewhat.

Get it? Awesome. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some procrastinating to do!

Post-Game(s) Reaction: ALDS Games 3, NLDS

Oh come on, not again!!!

Nope. No blurb today. Let’s just get this over with, I’ve got Gotham, Flash and Korra reviews to get through.

This is what I get for actually writing semi-consistently, I guess.

ALDS GAME 3: LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM @ KANSAS CITY ROYALS

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

Royals Hitter: Nori Aoki (3 Hits in 3 At-bats, 2 Runs, 1 RBI, 1 Walk)

Munenori Kawasaki dances. Just sayin’.

Royals Pitcher: James Shields (6 Innings Pitched, 6 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts)

James Shields erased any memory of his bad start in the Wild Card Game by reminding everyone why his nickname is “Big Game James” (Actually, it’s because all the good nicknames have been taken).

2nd Royals Hitter: Eric Hosmer (1 Hit in 3 At-bats, 1 Run, 2 RBI, 1 Walk)

Eric Hosmer put up a whopping 2.083 OPS to play a big part in- JESUS CHRIST, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE!?!?!?

Royals Clutch Relievers: N/A (Not close enough of a game)

Angels Hitter: Erick Aybar (4 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 2B)

The Angels’ 8-3 loss never looked particularly close after the first inning, but that sure wasn’t Aybar’s fault, as he got a hit in each of his four plate appearances. Too bad every hitter after him in the lineup (The 6 through 9 spots) went 0 for 14.

Angels Pitcher: N/A

C.J….Buddy…What happened out there???

Angles Clutch Relievers: N/A

ALDS GAME 3: BALTIMORE ORIOLES @ DETROIT TIGERS

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

Orioles Hitter: Nelson Cruz (2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Run, 2 RBI, 1 HR)

Nelson Cruz has made everybody who shied away from his PED-label look like a damn fool this postseason. He’s plated 5 out of the 21 (24%) runs that the Orioles have scored so far.

Orioles Pitcher: Bud Norris (6 1/3 Innings Pitched, 2 Hits, Shutout, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts)

If you would have told me before the playoffs hat Bud Norris would outduel David Price, I would have… Well, actually, stranger things have happened, so I guess I wouldn’t have laughed in your face. The smart money was definitely on Price, though.

 2nd Orioles Pitcher: Andrew Miller (1 2/3 Innings Pitched, o Hits, 0 Earned Runs, 0 Walks, 0 Strikeouts)

That’s attractive. Seriously though, Miller’s been wonderful, hasn’t he?

Orioles Clutch Reliever: Andrew Miller

Tigers Hitter: N/A

Tigers Pitcher: David Price (8 Innings Pitched, 5 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts)

A statline like that should really be enough on most days with the Tigers’ lineup backing you up. Too bad Game 3 wasn’t most days.

Tigers Clutch Reliever: Joe Nathan

NLDS: SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS WASHINGTON NATIONALS

Giants Hitters: Joe Panik (Game 1: 2 Hits in 5 At-bats, 1 Run, 1 RBI) Brandon Belt (Game 2: 1 Hit in 7 At-bats, 1 HR, 1 Run, 1 RBI) Game 3: N/A, Joe Panik (Game 4:2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Run, 1 RBI)

He was really terrible in games 2 and three, but the rookie second baseman quietly made the difference in the first and final games.

Giants Pitchers: Jake Peavy (Game 1: 5 2/3 Innings, 2 Hits, Shutout, 3 Walks, 3 Strikeouts) Yusmeiro Petit (Game 2: 6 Innings, 1 Hit, Shutout, 3 Walks, 7 Strikeouts)  Madison Bumgarner (Game 3: 7 Innings, 6 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, 6 Strikeouts) Ryan Vogelsong (5 2/3 Innings Pitched, 2 Hits, 1  Earned Run, 2 Walks, 4 Strikeouts)

I could have easily gone with Tim Hudson for game 2, but then I realized that every time the ball came out of Petit’s hand, the game could have been lost. THAT’S a save, right there.

2nd Giants Pitchers: Tim Hudson (Game 2: 7 1/3 Innings, 7 Hits, 1 Earned Run, 0 Walks, 8 Strikeouts),  

Giants Clutch Relievers: Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla (Game 1), Jean Machi, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Yusmeiro Petit, Hunter Strickland (Game 2) N/A (Game 3), Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla (Game 4)

Nationals Hitters: Bryce Harper (Game 1: 2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home run, 1 Run, 1 RBI) Anthony Rendon (Game 2: 4 Hits in 7 At-bats, 1 RBI, 1 Walk) Bryce Harper (Game 3: 1 Hit in 3 At-bats, 1 Home run, 2 Runs, 1 RBI, 1 Walk) Bryce Harper (Game 4: 2 Hits in 3 At-bats, 1 Double, 1 Home run, 1 Run, 2 RBI, 1 Walk)

3 home runs in 4 games is pretty fucking great. What more do you want me to say?

Nationals Pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (Game 1: 5 Innings Pitched, 8 Hits, 1 Earned Run, 1 Walk, 2 Strikeouts) Jordan Zimmermann (Game 2: 8 2/3 Innings, 3 Hits,  1 Earned Run, 1 Walk, 6 Strikeouts) Doug Fister (Game 3: 7 Innings Pitched, 4 Hits, Shutout, 3 Walks, 3 Strikeouts) N/A (Game 4)

Coming off a no-hitter, Jordan Zimmermann nearly had a complete game under his belt, but coughed up the lead, where the Giants eventually won it in extra innings.

Nationals Clutch Relievers: Jerry Blevins, Matt Thornton, Tyler Clippard (Game 1) Tyler Clippard, Matt Thornton, Jerry Blevins, Craig Stammen, Rafael Soriano, Tanner Roark (Game 2) Tyler Clippard (Game 3) Jerry Blevins, Rafael Soriano (Game 4)

NLDS: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Cardinals Hitters: Matt Carpenter (Game 1: 2 Hits in 5 At-bats, 1 Double, 1 Home run, 2 Runs, 4 RBI) Matt Carpenter (Game 2: 2 Hits in 3 At-bats, 1 Home run, 1 Run, 2 RBI) Matt Carpenter (Game 3: 2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 1 Run, 1 RBI) Matt Adams (Game 4: 1 Hit in 3- At-bats, 1 Home run, 1 Run, 3 RBI)

Matt Carpenter: Apparently the second coming of Babe Ruth. Who woulda thunk it?

Cardinals Pitchers: Marco Gonzales (Game 1: 1 Inning, 1 Hit, 0 Earned runs, 0 Walks, 0 Strikeouts), Lance Lynn (Game 2: 6 Innings, 7 Hits, 2 Earned runs, 2 Walks, 8 Strikeouts) John Lackey ( Game 3: 7 Innings, 5 hits, 1 Earned run, 1 Walk, 8 Strikeouts) Shelby Miller (Game 4: 5 2/3 Innings, 5 Hits, 2 Earned runs, 3 Walks, 4 Strikeouts) 

It’s official: I’m sick and tired of John Lackey.

 2nd Cardinals Hitter: Matt Holliday (Game 1: 2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home run, 2 Runs, 3 RBI)

Actually, I’m pretty sick of the Cardinals in general.

Cardinals Clutch Relievers: Seth Maness, Marco Gonzales, Pat Neshek (Game 1)

Dodgers Hitters: A.J. Ellis (Game 1: 4 Hits in 5 At-bats, 1 Home run, 3 Runs, 2 RBI), Matt Kemp (Game 2: 2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home run, 1 Run, 1 RBI)

On a team composed of stars like Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez, A.J. Ellis ws the top offensive performer. Go figure.

Dodgers Pitchers: Zack Greinke (Game 2: 7 Inning, Shutout, 2 Hits, 2 Walks, 7 Strikeouts)  Hyun-jin Ryu (Game 3: 6 Innings, 1 Earned run, 5 Hits, 1 Walk, 4 Strikeouts) 

Sure, Greinke can pitch, but the man can hit as well!

Dodgers Clutch Relievers: Scott Elbert, J.P. Howell, Brandon League (Game 1) Brandon League, Kenley Jansen (Game 2) Pedro Baez, Brandon League (Game 4)

 

 

Post-Game(s) Reaction: ALDS Games 1&2- Kansas City @ Los Angeles / Detroit @ Baltimore

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, seen here seconds away from biting Salvador Perez’s face off.

Suddenly, the American League Division Series just got a whole lot more predictable, as both the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles are one win away from heading to the League Championship, thanks to late-inning heroics from Mike Moustakas of the Royals and, well, the entire Orioles offence save for Adam Jones and Nick Hundley in Game 1, and Eric Hosmer of the Royals and Delmon Young of the Orioles in Game 2.

The two series have been  different in the respect that while the Orioles and Tigers games have been characterized by timely offensive outbursts (Mainly by the O’s, obviously) the Royals and Angels pitching staffs have mostly held the other team in check, thanks to great performances from Jason Vargas, Yordano Ventura, Jered Weaver and Matt Shoemaker, and solid relief, which was seen as a weakness of the Angels prior to the playoffs. It still is, really, but hey, they’ve done well until extra innings. As long as someone in their offense not named Kole Calhoun can make literally anything happen, they stand at least a minor shot at maybe winning the next three games.

If you’re betting money on that happening though, you’re either very brave, or very, very, very stupid.

I’m  little less hard on the Detroit Tigers, as their rotation is still really good (Even if Scherzer and Verlander underperformed) and their offense is hitting… Just not as much as the Orioles. Also, their bullpen (Aside from Anibal Sanchez) has been just the worst, with an ERA well over twenty. FUCKING TWENTY.

PLAYER(S) OF THE GAME(S):

Orioles Hitters: Nelson Cruz (Game 1: 2 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 2 Runs, 3 RBI) Delmon Young (Game 2: 1 Hit in 1 At-bat, 1 Double, 3 RBI)

October is the time of the year when the baseball world takes the time to remember that Delmon Young still exists. And holy shit does he ever exist in a big way for the Orioles.

Orioles Pitchers: Andrew Miller (Game 1: 1 2/3 Innings Pitched, 0 Hits, 0 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, 3 Strikeouts) Kevin Gausman (Game 2: 3 2/3 Innings Pitched, 3 Hits, 1 Earned Run, 1 Walk, 5 Strikeouts)

Kevin Gausman, the young, donut-loving hurler from Colorado, outperformed his predecessor, a horribly out-of-form Wei-Yin Chen, to hold the powerful Tigers offense to a mere 1 run over almost 4 innings.

2nd Orioles Pitcher: Chris Tillman (Game 1: 5 Innings Pitched, 4 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, 6 Strikeouts) 

I would’ve preferred a 6-inning outing, which is why I ended up giving the “Pitcher of Game 1” title to Andrew Miller, the reliever, but hey, Tillman was pretty great as well.

Orioles Clutch Relievers: Andrew Miller (Game 1), Kevin Gausman, Brad Brach, Zach Britton (Game 2)

Tigers Hitters: N/A (Game 1) J.D. Martinez (Game 2: 1 Hit in 4 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 1 Run, 3 RBI)

Former Houston Astros reject J.D. Martinez has driven in 4 of the 9 Tigers runs in this series with his two home runs. He gave the boys from Detroit a lead in Game 2 with a 3-run blast, but then their bullpen happened.

 Tigers Pitchers: N/A (Game 1) Anibal Sanchez (2 Innings Pitched, 0 Hits, 0 Earned Runs, 0 Walks, 2 Strikeouts)

Sanchez has literally been the only Tigers pitcher to escape the first two games with a good statline.

Tigers Clutch Relievers: Anibal Sanchez (Game 2)

Royals Hitters: Mike Moustakas (Game 1: 1 Hit in 3 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 2 Runs, 1 RBI) Eric Hosmer (Game 2: 3 Hits in 4 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 2 Runs, 2 RBI) 

I could have just as easily gone with “Every KC runner to get on base in these playoffs.”

Royals Pitchers: Jason Vargas (Game 1: 6 Innings Pitched, 3 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, 2 Strikeouts) Yordano Ventura (Game 2: 7 Innings Pitched, 5 Hits, 1 Earned Run, 1 Walk, 5 Strikeouts)

“You put your right leg in, you put your right leg out, you put your right leg in and you shake it all about…”

Royals Clutch Relievers: Brandon Finnegan, Wade Davis, Tim Collins, Jason Frasor, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland (Game 1) Wade Davis, Jason Frasor, Brandon Finnegan, Greg Holland (Game 2)

Angels Hitters: N/A

Angels Pitchers: Jered Weaver (Game 1: 7 Innings Pitched, 3 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts) Matt Shoemaker (Game 2: 6 Innings Pitched, 5 Hits, 0 Earned Runs, 0 Walks, 6 Strikeouts)

Grrr!!!

Angels Clutch Relievers: Joe Smith, Huston Street, Kevin Jepsen (Game 1) Jason Grilli, Joe Smith, Huston Street (Game 2)  

Post-Game Reaction: NL Wild Card Game- San Francisco Giants @ Pittsburgh Pirates

And just like that, both of my favourite teams are knocked out of the playoffs. Fuck me, right?!?!

Yeah, after the thrilling American League Wild Card, this game was definitely a comedown in terms of quality. The Giants beat five runs out of Edinson Volquez, thanks mainly to a grand slam by Brandon Crawford, of all people.

The famed Pirates relief staff also failed to come through, and the end result was a resounding 8-0 victory for San Francisco, who will travel to the American capital  to play the Washington Nationals on Friday.

Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve decided to make these post-game posts shorter, as I need to devote more time to that fucking Gotham post. It really shouldn’t be taking me this much time, I admit, but what can I say? I’ve been busy.

With big, important things, obviously.

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

Giants Pitcher: Madison Bumgarner (Complete Game Shutout, 4 Hits, 1 Walk, 10 Strikeouts)

Duh.

Giants Hitter: Brandon Crawford (1 Hit in 5 At-bats, 1 Home Run, 1 Run, 4 RBI, 1 Error)

God didn’t have anything to do with it, bud. That was all you. I

2nd Giants Hitter: Brandon Belt (2 Hits in 3 At-bats, 1 Run, 3 RBI, 2 Walks)

‘Nuff said.

Giants Clutch Relievers: N/A

Pirates Pitcher: N/A

Pirates Hitter: N/A

Pirates Clutch Relievers: Bobby LaFromboise

A message of congratulations to the Toronto Blue Jays

Wow, you almost can’t tell that Sergio Santos just turned in the worst relief appearance in Blue Jays history. Almost.

Dear Toronto Blue Jays front office, management and players:

You played a fantastic pair of games yesterday. You have nothing to be ashamed about. Honest! Most teams would tremble at the thought of facing the mighty Minnesota Twins. Never mind that Joe Mauer schmuck. Most anybody would be damn near terrified to face the wrath of such perennial all-stars such as Chris Herrmann and Kurt Suzuki. No wonder you all  pitched around Josmil Pinto the way that you guy did. I would have too. Sure, he’s barely hitting .200, but it’s still early and a superstar like him is bound to break out at any time.

Seen Here: Josmil “The Destroyer of Worlds” Pinto.

It’s a wonder that you made it to the seventh inning with a lead, frankly. Even with the marvelous four innings that Dustin McGowan threw, giving up only three runs, six hits and four walks, you still held on to a pitiful 5-3 lead. Don’t get me wrong though, you should all count yourselves very lucky to hold a lead against a team that smart money has picked to finish second-last only to the Astros in the American League.

John Gibbons doesn’t need to blame himself for this. It’s not his fault that his brilliant strategy of “taking good, solid pitchers like Neil Wagner and Brett Cecil out of the game way before they’re out of gas” didn’t work out. All revolutionary actions are bound to hit a rough spot at some point,mainly due to the fact that they’re highly illogical,  but they’re also eventually recognized for the sheer brilliance that they are, no matter how much of a toll they take on your bullpen.

Or, in some cases, your life expectancy.

And could you really blame Sergio Santos for his implosion of Ricky Romero-like proportions? I’m not even gonna joke about this anymore, because there is no positive way to spin this. Three wild pitches in an inning? Are you fucking serious? I’ve seen Little Leaguers pitch better innings than that.

I’m sorry that this post is so irrelevant to my usual topics and filled with pretty mean-spirited sarcasm, but I really needed to vent about this and it was either using this creative outlet or screaming wordless cries of pain.

MLB’s Japanese Dream Team (Part 4: The Bullpen)

(Those of you looking for the other components of this Dream Team can look here, over here and here.

 Closer: Koji Uehara

 Japanese Team: Yomiuri Giants (1999-2008)

  MLB Teams: Baltimore Orioles (2009-11) Texas Rangers (2011-12) Boston Red Sox (2013-Present)

  Originally a starting pitcher, Uehara was a former Rookie of the Year, a two-time Japanese champion and a two-time Eiji Sawamura (Japanese Cy Young Award) winner with the mighty Yomiuri Giants. The Giants, a team with an aversion to letting their players go to the U.S., made Uehara wait until he was a free agent to sign a two-year deal with the Orioles. He started 2009 in the O’s rotation, starting 12 games and posting a respectable 4.05 ERA, before being shut down.

In 2010, he was used exclusively as a setup man or closer for some reason. I have the feeling that the Orioles weren’t regretting their decision too much, however, as he had a 2.86 ERA in 2010, and a 1.72 ERA in the half of 2011 that he spent with Baltimore (He was traded to Texas for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter). While he was excellent with Baltimore and Texas, he will likely be best remembered as the 2013 World Champion Boston Red Sox (I still seethe angrily whenever I read or hear that) closer, after Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey didn’t pan out. A beloved figure in Boston, he signed up for another year with the Red Sox and will be their closer next year.

  Right-handed Setup man: Akinori Otsuka

  Japanese Teams: Kintetsu Buffaloes (1997-2002) Chunichi Dragons (2003) Shinano Grandserows (Independent, 2013-Present)

  American Teams: San Diego Padres (2004-05) Texas Rangers (2006-07)

  A star closer in Japan, Otsuka was posted by the Chunichi Dragons prior to the 2004 season, and he was picked up by the San Diego Padres. As the Padres’ setup man, he posted a fantastic 1.75 ERA in ’04, and was pretty solid the next year, as well.

Before the 2006 season, Otsuka was traded to the Texas Rangers for Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Young and Terrmel Sledge. He replaced Francisco Cordero as the Rangers closer, and had an excellent season, with a 220 ERA+ (See? I can do newfangled stats too!) and 32 saves. The next season, the Rangers, oddly enough, replaced Otsuka with Eric Gagne. This proved to be short-lived, as Gagne was traded to the Red Sox (Where he imploded) and Otsuka took the reins again, but, unfortunately, he got injured and never played another game in the big leagues.

Oh, look! A penny!

Left-Handed Setup Man: Hideki Okajima 

 Japanese Teams: Yomiuri Giants (1994-2005) Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (2006) Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (2012)

 MLB Teams: Boston Red Sox (2007-11) Oakland Athletics (2013)

  A four-time Japan Series winner, Okajima was signed by the Boston Red Sox for pretty much the sole purpose of being a friend to big-time signing Daisuke Matsuzaka. His career didn’t get off to that great of a start. He gave up a home run to John Buck on his very first pitch. However, he righted the ship and went on a scoreless streak that lasted almost two months, and got elected to the All=Star Game. He struggled later in the year and was shut down for a bit, but he returned at the end of the season and helped the Red Sox win the World Series. He had a couple more fine seasons with Boston before fading out in 2011. After returning to pitch in Japan for a year, he had a little-publicized five-game stint with the A’s and is currently a free agent.

 Relief Pitcher: Takashi Saito

 Japanese Teams: Yokohama BayStars (1992-2005) Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (2013-Present)

  MLB Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers (2006-08) Boston Red Sox (2009) Atlanta Braves (2010) Milwaukee Brewers (2011) Arizona Diamondbacks (2012)

 A decent, if unspectacular pitcher in Japan, Saito was a pleasant surprise for Dodger fans, claiming the closer role vacated by Eric Gagne and striking out 107 hitter, phenomenal for a relief pitcher. He returned the next year and only had 74 strikeouts, but he also recorded a 1.40 ERA, which should have gotten him at least mildly considered for a Cy Young Award. He had several more excellent years with different teams, before pitching atrociously for the D-Backs and returning to Japan.

Sasaki’s the one on the left, by the way, although it’s a little known fact that Pikachu did in fact,  have a long and prosperous career with the Seattle Mariners.

 Relief Pitcher: Kazuhiro Sasaki

 Japanese Team: Yokohama BayStars (1990-99, 2004-05)

 American Team: Seattle Mariners (2000-03)

   He may not have left the Mariners on the best terms, but Sasaki nonetheless was probably one of the bigger Japanese stars in the game during his short tenure with the M’s. Winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2000, Sasaki took the closers’ job from Jose Mesa and ran with it, racking up 129 saves and two All-Star appearances over his four years with the club. after a poor 2003 season, he returned to Japan to return to his family…. And his mistress. (Fact: The only player on this team elected into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame…Although that’s very likely to change.)

    Relief Pitcher: Junichi Tazawa

Japanese Team: Nippon Oil (Industrial, Service time unknown)

MLB Team: Boston Red Sox (2009, 2011-Present)

  Interestingly enough, Junichi Tazawa is the only pitcher on this team that has never thrown a pitch in Nippon Professional Baseball.  Undrafted by any Japanese team out of high school, he signed with petroleum company Nippon Oil’s amateur team (In Japan, if a player doesn’t sign with a Japanese team after high school ball (Which, incidentally, is a HUGE deal in Japan), he can either sign directly with a big league team (In which case, he would be ostracized by the traditionalist elements in the NPB, of which there are many), sign with an independent team, or sign with an industrial team, which are teams that are backed by some of Japan’s many big corporations (Yamaha, Toshiba and Central Japan Railway have teams, among others). After a certain amount of years pitching in the Industrial League, a player becomes, once again, eligible for the draft.). He was not drafted by a Japanese team, but he was signed by the Red Sox, and fought through some injury problems to secure a place as the Red Sox setup man. He was a minor, but nonetheless important part of the 2013 World Championship.

 Relief Pitcher: Masanori Murakami

 Japanese Teams: Nankai Hawks (1963, 1966-74) Hanshin Tigers (1975) Nippon-Ham Fighters (1976-82)

  MLB Team: San Francisco Giants (1964-65)

  It seems fitting to end this list with the guy who started it all. Masanori Murakami came to the San Francisco Giants with two other Japanese players from the Nankai Hawks as a sort of exchange program. Of the three, Murakami stood out, playing exceptionally well in the Minor Leagues. The Hawks never asked for him back, so the Giants said “screw it” and called him up, making him the first ever Japanese player to play for a Major League team. He played wonderfully in his cup of coffee, and the Hawks must have taken notice, so they demanded the Giants send him back. the two teams agreed to let Murakami play one more season in the Bay Area. He was perfectly non-spectacular in 1965, and returned to Japan, where he had a fine career.

The End (Finally!!!) 

MLB’s Japanese Dream Team (Part 3: The Bench)

(This is a continuation of parts 1 and 2)

 Utility Infielder: Norihiro Nakamura

 Positions: Third Base, First Base, Shortstop, second Base

 Japanese Teams: Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes (1992-2004) Orix Buffaloes (2006) Chunichi Dragons (2007-08) Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (2009-10) Yokohama DeNa Baystars (2011-Present)

  MLB Team: Los Angeles Dodgers (2005)

  A highly touted player with considerable power, having had a couple of 40+ homer seasons in the NPB, Nakamura walked away from a guaranteed $10 million two-year contract in Japan to sign a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, with a spring training invitation. The Dodgers, who had lost previous third baseman Adrian Beltre to the Seattle Mariners, the Dodgers were eager to see how their new addition would perform in the Majors. Nakamura lasted exactly 17 games in the Big Leagues before he was sent back to AAA (Where he actually played pretty well) and released at the end of the season. Nakamura commented that  “If Ichiro had started his career under minor [league] contract like [him], he couldn’t be called up to Major League”, which may be true, but Ichiro also didn’t hit .128 when he did get the chance to play.

  Utility Infielder: Tsuyoshi Nishioka

  Japanese Teams: Chiba Lotte Marines (2003-2010) Hanshin Tigers (2013-Present)

  MLB Team: Minnesota Twins (2011-12)

  Positions: Shortstop, Second Base

  An All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner with the Chiba Lotte Marines, Nishioka was posted by the Marines and signed by the Twins to a three-year contract in 2010. (Fact: I saw his Twins debut. Minnesota got slaughtered by the Blue Jays) Unfortunately, just one week into his Major League career, Nishioka broke his left fibula (Leg? Is that a leg thing?) and missed 59 games. He was atrocious upon his return, batting .226 with a .527 OPS, while also playing terrible defense.

Nishioka played only three games with the Twins in 2011, spending most of the season with the AAA Rochester Red Wings. At the end of the season, Nishioka requested and was granted his release from the Twins, returning to Japan to play for the Hanshin Tigers.

 Utility Outfielder: Tsuyoshi Shinjo

  Position: All outfield positions

  Japanese Teams: Hanshin Tigers (1991-2000) Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters (2004-06)

  MLB Teams: New York Mets (2001, 2003) San Francisco Giants (2002)

  A, energetic, flamboyant player, Shinjo only played three seasons with the Giants and the Mets, but he  did become the first Japanese player to play in a World Series, in 2002 with the Giants. Not too shabby for a guy whose manager in Japan tried to convert him into a starting pitcher because he was perceived to be so worthless as an outfielder.

 

Utility Outfielder: Norichika Aoki

 Position: Corner Outfielder

 Japanese Team: Tokyo Yakult Swallows (2004-11)

  MLB Team: Milwaukee Brewers (2012-13)

  A former Rookie of the Year and batting champion with the Tokyo Swallows, Norichika Aoki first started catching American eyes in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, hitting .324 for Samurai Japan, helping Japan win the Championship,  and being named to the All-Tournament team. Posted by the Swallows prior to the 2012 season, Aoki was claimed by the Brewers and quickly became a solid, if not great, player for the Brewers, getting on base enough for players like a juiced-up Ryan Braun to drive him in. This offseason, Aoki was traded to the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Will Smith.

To be continued…..Again……