Ahh yes they sure know how to do things in Japan. Cute Japanese girls doing cheerleading routines all game long, along with singing in that cute Japanese voice (you know-sort of sounds like a bunch of drunk mice at a karaoke party), being served beer by girls in ridiculously sexist "baseball uniforms"-oh and there's some sort of game going on in the background as well
Seriously though it's good fun. I went to a "company" tournament and watched Honda play Mitsubishi. This isn't like your typical office league though. These guys are high quality and they're playing in the Tokyo Dome! Some of them actually get drafted into the Japan League.
I'm not a big follower of baseball in general and I was a little distracted this game (I didn't actually realize the game had started until the 7th inning
) but I've made a couple observations about Japanese baseball. It's similar to American baseball although there are a couple differences. First, the batter is not actually allowed to leave the batters box until a full count has been reached. He may not hit or be hit by the ball and the pitcher may not walk him or strike him out until full count has been reached. Even if the count is 3-0 or 0-2, it will eventually go to 3-2 before the outcome is decided. This leads me to wonder why they don't just change the rules to make the count automatically 3-2 and just have a single "sudden death" pitch.
Secondly, if there is a runner on first and there are no outs then the batter will bunt. This is not optional and if the batter does not bunt he receives a game misconduct and given a thorough thrashing. Nobody will be surprised by the bunt either. There's no half swing which turns into a bunt here. The batter patiently stands with his bat over the plate waiting for the pitcher to throw the ball.
Finally, the hardcore fans are crazy and will literally cheer all game long
. I'm not talking about a group of ten people either. I'm talking about an entire section of the stands. They just like the excuse to break out of their shell I think. Of course they're still Japanese so it's very organized cheering. Still it's a lot of fun just to cheer
I have a few pics and videos. Unfortunately for some reason I never got any of the actual game http://www.youtube.com/v/3m_wy_YB3WQhttp://www.youtube.com/v/48LLfvDbeichttp://www.youtube.com/v/NY5Ud1zSeMUhttp://www.youtube.com/v/RJ_trm-tBV8http://www.youtube.com/v/8L4iuvqVKFIhttp://www.youtube.com/v/5uuRlftSb7Yhttp://www.youtube.com/v/cV2yMm5A7Vw