Monday, August 18, 2008

Let's Talk Baseball.

Yes, it’s a saké blog, but baseball is inexplicably linked to Nihonshudo.

The postings have been too few and far in between since April (my bad.)

I play in an organized baseball league ran by Japanese- American Association (JAA). Their season starts? You guessed it, in April.

I've been playing for team called Shinsengumi, named after roaming samurai (a.k.a., "Band of Assasins" or "Wolves of Miba"), for 3 years now.

In my first season, we advanced to the playoffs.

Last year, we missed out with 4-6 record.

This year, I felt a sense of urgency to do better, and help our team get back in to the playoffs.

To give you perspective, I batted around lowly .250 range (yeah, it's been a while since I last played...). Last year, I improved to .350 range, but I knew I still had lot more to give.

Realizing that merely going to the batting cage wasn’t enough, I had to do the unthinkable and severely cut down my alcohol intake, including saké.

This is a significant commitment (at least by my lowly standards), but one I felt I owed to my teammates.

Shortly thereafter, I also began a new sport to improve stamina and hand-eye coordination during the weekday as part of my training regimen: badminton.

I’m not sure if everyone views badminton as a “real sport,” so judge for your self:

I now do this twice a week.

The combination of limited saké intake + less free time = minimal blog entries.

This begs the question: was it worth it?

Our team had a rebound season in couple of ways. We finished 6-5 to advance to the Playoffs, but were defeated by the defending Champions by 5-2 score. (The game was much closer than the final score.) We finished 6-5 despite starting 1-4 and 2-5, showing a lot of reserve and determination.

With a clear head (as much as one can have after waking up at 4:30 am), I was able to improve my batting to .469. The good news is that I feel I am just getting started, and I expect to do even better next season. I believe we can win it all.

Stay tuned, as next year, I might have baseball updates as part of this blog!

(Photo credit of my batting: Yuka Teshima)

No comments: