Category: Samurai Japan

[7/11/2017] Samurai Japan Manager: Atsunori Inaba current front-runner

Forty-four-year-old Atsunori Inaba is currently the front-runner to become the new manager of the top Samurai Japan team. A number of other names have also been mentioned by the media as possible candidates for the position, like fifty-eight-year-old Tatsunori Hara and fifty-six-year-old Hideki Kuriyama. However, the Samurai Japan Strengthening Committee is not only looking for a candidate with experience on the international stage, but also youth.

Inaba is an interesting option since he is still only a few years removed from his playing days, having retired after the 2014 season. He also played in the Olympics (2008) and World Baseball Classic (2009 and 2013) and was a batting coach during the 2015 Premier 12 and 2017 World Baseball Classic.

The committee is hoping to finalize their selection this month.

Source: NHK 7/11/2017, Sponichi 7/11/2017

[UPDATE 7/20 @ 12:10am]

Inaba could be named the new Samurai Japan early next week.

Source: Daily Sports 7/19/2017

[UPDATE 7/26 @ 1:18am]

Nippon Ham Fighters Ichi-gun Batting Coach Makoto Kaneko could join Inaba on the Samurai Japan coaching staff. He could be named a head coach.

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/25/2017

[UPDATE 7/28 @ 11:01pm]

Samurai Japan is scheduled to hold a press conference on July 31. They are expected to announce Inaba as the new manager. Masatake Yamanaka, vice president of the Baseball Federation of Japan, will take over as director of the Samurai Japan Strengthening Committee.

Source: Daily Sports 7/28/2017, Sponichi 7/28/2017, Nikkan Sports 7/28/2017


41st Japan-USA University Baseball Championship Schedule

Gm  Date Start Venue Location Home Score Away
1 07/12 Wed 19:05 Dunkin’ Donut Park Hartford, CT USA 2-1 Japan
2 07/13 Thu 19:05 Fitton Stadium Worcester, MA Japan rain out USA
3 07/14 Fri 19:05 Campanelli Stadium Brockton, MA USA 3-6 Japan
4 07/15 Sat 19:05 LeLacheur Park Lowell, MA Japan 5-4 USA
Make-up 07/16 Sun 17:00 Fitton Stadium Worcester, MA Japan 1-3 USA
5 07/17 Mon 19:05 Holman Stadium Nashua, NH USA 3-1 Japan
Make-up 07/18 Tue            

USA wins the series, 3-2.

More information will be added as it becomes available.



[6/26/2017] New Samurai Japan Uniforms Unveiled

Samurai Japan held a press conference earlier today to unveil their new uniforms made by ASICS. Hiroshima’s Seiya Suzuki and Yokohama’s Yoshitomo Tsutsugo modeled the new uniforms for the press.

The concept for the new design is to bring fans and players closer together through a uniform.

Four traditional Japanese colors are used in the uniform: blue gray (aokachi iro), white (mashiro), red (kurenai iro), and gold (kogane iro).

The pinstripes are made of an infinite number of connected tiny wa’s (circles). This idea comes from the traditional Japanese watsunagi pattern. The connections between each wa also represent the connections between fans and players.

Samurai Japan will begin to use the new uniforms during the 2017 Japan-USA Collegiate Baseball Championship Series that is slated to begin in Hartford, CT on July 12.

Source: Samurai Japan 6/26/2017


[6/20/2017] Samurai Japan: 28th BFA Asian Baseball Championship

The 28th BFA Asian Baseball Championship will take place in Taiwan between October 2 and 8. Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, China, Pakistan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. A list of fifty-one candidates was released by Samurai Japan, too.



[6/19/2017] Samurai Japan: 1st BFA Women’s Baseball Asian Cup

The 2017 1st BFA Women’s Baseball Asian Cup will take place at the Sai Tso Wan Recreation Grounds in Hong Kong between September 2 and 9. Teams from six countries (Japan, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan) will participate in the tournament. Samurai Japan released the Madonna Japan roster today.



[6/16/2017] Samurai Japan U-18 Preliminary Roster

Samurai Japan released the preliminary roster that will be competing at the 28th WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup on June 16. This year’s tournament will take place in Thunder Bay, Canada between September 1 and September 10.



[6/5/2017] Samurai Japan Collegiate Team

Samurai Japan released the Collegiate National Team roster on June 4. The team will play in two tournaments: the 41st Japan-USA University Baseball Championship in July and the 29th Universiade in August.



[5/23/2017] Next Samurai Japan manager term to end after 2020 Olympics

The Committee to Improve Samurai Japan held a meeting in Tokyo on May 22 and confirmed that the term for the next Samurai Japan manager will end with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Depending on the outcome of the Olympics, the manager might be asked to stay on until the end of the 2021 World Baseball Classic.

Source: Daily Sports 5/23/2017, Nikkan Sports 5/23/2017

The Samurai Japan top team could head overseas in 2018 to play “road” exhibition games in preparation for the Premier 12 in 2019, the Olympics in 2020, and the World Baseball Classic  in 2021. Europe and the United States are possibilities.

Source: Sponichi 5/23/2017


[5/18/2017] NPB Enterprise signs Asics to Diamond Partner Agreement

NPB Enterprise (Samurai Japan) announced today that they signed Asics to a Diamond Partner agreement.

Source: NPB Enterprise 5/18/2017

[UPDATE 6/26 @ 10:27pm]

The two sides reportedly agreed to a four-year deal that runs through to the end of May 2021.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/26/2017



[4/5/2017] Samurai Japan to seek improvement hints from past managers

Samurai Japan committee members met in Tokyo earlier today to discuss plans moving forward. The committee is planning to ask past national team managers (last four World Baseball Classics and the Olympics between 1992 and 2008) for their opinions on what can be done to improve their current system. They are looking for ways to improve the internal organization so that they can provide future managers with better support.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/5/2017, Sanspo 4/5/2017

NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 93 59 32 2
Hanshin 89 48 41 0
Yokohama 91 47 41 3
Yomiuri 91 42 48 1
Chunichi 94 39 52 3
Yakult 92 32 58 2
Rakuten 84 56 27 1
Softbank 91 59 32 0
Seibu 89 50 37 2
Orix 89 39 49 1
Nippon Ham 90 33 57 0
Lotte 89 29 59 1
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