Thursday, March 27, 2008

Team Preview: Tokyo Giants

I had a heck of a day today. The UPS guy came with my new Strat-O-Matic game the other afternoon, but nobody was home. Like a fool, I called up UPS and arranged to pick the game up at their warehouse. Of course, I have no car, which meant I had to rely on Utah's awful bus system, walk 20 blocks, then walk 20 blocks back while carrying a big package. It wasn't much fun, but I've got the game now, and that makes up for all the hassle.

I've been asked when I'm actually going to start playing games with this season. I'll start as soon as I finish inputting the schedule by hand, which hopefully won't take too long. I'll probably finish that before the team previews are done, which means I'll just have to do both at once (my blog's hits go way up every time I write one of these long entries).

Anyway, let's get on with the show. Today's team is the Tokyo Giants. I'll admit, I purposely made this team strong and full of nothing but non-white players. I thought it would be interesting to see how it plays out. As it stands, they are clear favorites to win their division.

Thanks to my early morning antics, I've now seen two games from the Tokyo Dome on TV. It's refreshing to watch baseball in a park with a lot of foul territory, and I thought it was interesting to see fly balls die in the outfield. It's still a hitters park, but it's not as extreme as one would think.

Starting Pitchers
1. Bob Gibson
2. Juan Marichal
3. Satchel Paige
4. JR Richard
5. Minoru Murayama
SS. Yasuo Yonekawa
SS. Masahiro Yamamoto
SS. Tetsuya Yoneda

Can you say formidable? That's a pretty wicked starting rotation, clearly the best we've seen thus far. Still, Yonekawa, Yamamoto and Yoneda aren't exactly the cream of the crop. An injury to any of those five would be disasterous.

Masahiro Yamamoto's homepage is here.

Relief Pitchers
Shigetoshi Hasegawa and here
Hirotoshi Ishii
Mariano Rivera

Rivera is awesome, but, once again, his Japanese bullpen mates are a tad weaker. Remember, Tokyo will be playing in the 2001 Era, which means they'll likely wind up going to the bullpen more often than not. This may be their weak point.

Starting Lineup
1. Hank Aaron CF / Joe Morgan 2B
2. Oscar Charleston 1B / Shigeo Nagashima 3B
3. Barry Bonds LF / Oscar Charleston CF
4. Josh Gibson C / Barry Bonds LF
5. Hiromitsu Ochiai 3B / Hank Aaron RF
6. Shigeo Nagashima 3B / Josh Gibson C
7. Roberto Clemente RF / Tank Carr 1B
8. Ernie Banks SS

All I can say is this should be fun. I'll admit -- I couldn't stop myself from making one team as strong as possible. Parity is fine, but it's also fun to have a big Goliath team to root against (or for, if you like).

Kevin Mitchell
Hiromasa Arai
Koichiro Yoshinaga
Yutaka Fukumoto
Yoshinori Hirose
Koji Akiyama
Mookie Wilson
Taira Fujita
Hiroyuki Yamazaki

Anyway, that's it for me today. I'm really tired. I'll post again tomorrow, and try to get a few more posts in this weekend.

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