Monday, February 26, 2007

Handkerchief Generation and MBL Samurais

The baseball season soon begins - had the opening of a new baseball season been this attention-getting before?
I've never shown much interest in the professional baseball league here nor in the States. Well, I mean, not regularly. And I'm pretty sure that there are quite a number of people like me here in Japan especially women. But, the situation for this year's baseball - at least the beginning - seems to be a bit different from the past years.

It's all because of the handkerchief generation. Saito Yuuki, whether he likes it or not, is the leading figure of this so-called "handkerchief generation" (of course, his handkerchief is where this "handkerchief this" and "handkerchief that" all started from) along with Tanaka Masahiro, but like the name "generation" suggests the players from his same year are generally quite talented in baseball and a number of them have been given media attention even though they may be hidden by that of Saito's and Tanaka's.

Yesterday was the day for the pro teams to have what we call the "open games" which are pre-season games, and I bet it was a super busy day for sports reporters cuz they must have had to struggle the media swarm at several fields to get the best spot for photos/movies/interviews of the baseball freshmen and the team/coach that welcomed them. Last night the sports news reported on many of them who have got themselves into pro teams, of what it was like to actually play with their dream sempai players and how they are feeling towards the real opening of the league.
It was also the day for Saito to make his first official appearance as a Waseda Univ player which was by no means a brilliant one for him. I noticed that in the interviews, many of these players who haven't even exactly graduated high school yet, have grown surprisingly mature (or maybe just got used to the media, more like) over the months.

Speaking of baseball, media and unusual excitement, I also heard on the same news that the new Red Sox monster (already before the league!) Matsuzaka threw forty-something balls yesterday against the minor and showed the media a pretty good performance. I hear that the US media call his pitches "mysterious gyroball". Hmm, as far as I can remember, he's getting more media focus and compliments right now than the past few years all together.

The news said that at the moment there are 13 Japanese players playing in the MBL, some for several years now and some for the first time leaving and expecting to leave good records. Then, it also mentioned that Japanese language is becoming a petit boom among some of the players??? I think that's pretty something, you know. They're giving enough influence to make the other players want to learn the language even if it's for mere fun.

So goes the new baseball season. I can tell that the viewership - not to mention how much the media is going to focus on the games and interviews - is going to go higher more or less this year.

Today's update on Japan Mode:
Tokyo Event March 1st Week - there are five events all together all differing in their genres. The Tokyo Girls Collection 2007 S/S is my top feature. I also changed the seasonal descriptions from winter to spring though the colors not yet.

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