Since my team (Boston Red Sox) is knocked out of the MLB playoff, and really, I can’t get into any of the four teams that is left, I’ve decided to pay close(r) attention to Japanese baseball league, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). So, here is quick “how to enjoy 2009 NPB playoff” if anyone wants to tag along.
- Japanese league has 2 leagues (Central and Pacific) with 6 team each, total of 12 teams.
- Top 3 teams of each league advances to the playoff called “Climax Series” (I agree with you that it is a silly name).
- For the first round of playoff, second seeded team and third seeded team play best of 3 at seed 2′s home.
- In 2009, Chunichi Dragons hosted Yaklut Swallows for Central League, and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles hosted Fukuoka Softbank Hawks for Pacific League. Both host teams advanced to the second round.
- Winners of the first round goes to league champions home to play the second round (best of 6 with home team with one-win advantage) winner advances to the Japan Series (best of 7)
- In 2009, the game starts 5 A.M. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday November 21, and you can view the game live at channelsurfing.net (I didn’t want to link it, as I have no idea how this site could be legal. So please copy and paste it in your browser). For Central League, Yomiuri Giants will host Chinichi Dragons. For Pacific League, HOkkaido Nippon Ham Fighters will host Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.
Other random and/or interesting things
- I am a Chunichi Dragons fan since I grew up near Nagoya.
- Tie game, after 12th innings, is allowed.
- Since the playoff has been established in 2007 (Yes, it has only been three years), this is three years in the row that Yomiuri hosted Chunichi at Tokyo Dome. Chunichi won and took Japan series title over Nippon Ham in ’07, Yomiuri won and lost to Seibu Lions in JS in ’08.
- Yomiuri Giants is the New York Yankees of Japanese baseball, as they are the Metropolitan’s team (Tokyo) and have won most championships, had great stars like Sadaharu Oh, Eiji Sawamura, Shigeo Nagashima, etc. (Also Koji Uehara and Hideki Matsui, and to a lesser degree, Hideki Okajima)
- Kazuyoshi Tatsunami was my hero when I was growing up. He had a RBI double in the 5th inning for Chunichi Dragons. Tatsunami, who will retires after the season, has most double in the history of NPB with 487. And I will be wearing his Number 3 jersey as I watch those games.