OMG – Is this an update to the site? It is, it is!
Actually I’ve been working on some site redesign stuff for quite some time now – just a way to make things easier for me to create content and hopefully easier to read for both of you who are actually still clicking on this site now and then. But in the interim I kind of forgot to, well, create some content. So it goes. So I am going to actually start posting here again while I sort out what I am doing with all the backend site stuff.
Actually I haven’t been silent at all, I’ve just been commenting mostly on Twitter (@lovelovemarines) but really I’d rather be writing a bit more expansively here. Twitter is good for the occasional comment as the game unfolds or to convey some little nugget of info but I like to talk and it’s a bit difficult to have a longer baseball convo there.
What’s changed in the past year (yes,it’s been a year between posts)? Everything! Lotte crapped out in the last 1/3 of 2012 – dropping from first in late July to 5th at the end of the season. That spelled doom for Nishimura-kantoku (just two years removed from a thrilling championship), and in came new kantoku Itoh Tsutomu, ex-Seibu catcher and ex-Seibu manager.
Not to be irrationally biased or anything but I can’t say I like the idea of a Seibu Man at the helm of Our Marines but it’s hard to argue that a new approach wasn’t needed. The young players were not devloping – Fujioka had an up and down year and spent most of it in ni-gun, Ishimine got buried in ni-gun all year (where he did quite well), and Kiyota and T Ogino saw little time at ichi-gun. However, the breakout years of Rookie of the Year Masuda and PL Batting Champ Kakunaka belie that assessment. Still, this is a team whose main players are aging (esp. Iguchi, Saburo, Fukuura, and Satozaki) so getting the next generation ready is a top priority.
How’s it going so far? Mixed bag. Lotte’s in 4th with a 7-9 record. Inconsistency is ruling the day – this month we’ve had two power extravaganza, 4 HR blowout victories yet have had games where we’ve allowed 8, 9, 9, and 17 runs. Needless to say the pitching stats don’t look good at all. Karakawa has gotten hammered as has Itoh, Ogino (the other one), Nakagoh, and Shunksuke. Greisinger’s out, new pickup Dicky Gonzales has gotten really beaten up to the point Itoh-kantoku has grumbled about getting rid of him. Basically the only pitching bright spots have been Naruse (of course), recently promoted from Ikusei Nishino (2 wins in his first two starts!), first round pick Matsunaga (yay!) and…. Yoshimi?
It’s been an interesting year. If anybody can predict at all how this is going to go they are a smarter person than me.