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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Besuboru Guy—Strike Zone

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One year ago on Round and Square (9 June 2012)—The Accidental Ethnographer: Melbourne Revival (c)
Two years ago on Round and Square (9 June 2011)—Living and Learning: Finding the Way

[a] Individual and Society RF
可飛ばせ, 鈴木!
Let 'er rip, Suzuki!  OR
Fly to base, Suzuki!
—Common Japanese baseball chant
(Suzuki is a common surname, like "Jones")

And in order to let 'er rip (and fly to base), the batter needs a pitch to hit.

[b] Accurate RF
That makes it very interesting that almost every close observer of Japanese baseball says that the strike zone in the Japanese big leagues is slightly smaller than in the United States.

There is more, though. Apparently, the umpires are a little more generous with pitches over the "corners." This is one of the bits of pitching skill (and lore) that everyone who watches the game comes to appreciate. You don't just lob a pitch over the plate (unless you want to see a big-leaguer knock it out of the park and jog slowly around the bases (quietly mocking you, as you see it). No, you try to "hit the corners." For that, you need accuracy.

And you also need the umpire to call it a strike.

In Japan, the "corners" seem to belong to the pitcher, while—in general—the strike zone itself is smaller.

Baseball and beuboro. おんなじじゃありません.

[If you don't read Japanese, but want to have some sense of the Japanese kana and kanji in these posts, just copy the phrases and paste them into translation software such as Babylon or Google Translate].
[c] Strike zone RF
[Originally posted on August 9, 2014]

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