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Rob Smaal

For Rob Smaal's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

/ Jul 14, 2002

Another stop on All-Star circuit for Powell

Jeremy Powell took the mound Saturday for the Pacific Leaguers in the second installment of the 2002 All-Star Series, it marked the first time in 41 years that a foreign pitcher from the Kintetsu Buffaloes had taken part in Japan’s annual midsummer classic. “I ...

| Jun 27, 2002

Observations from the other side

It’s almost over now, and I have to admit it’s been a lot less painful than anticipated. With the World Cup final just a few days away, here are a few observations from a distinctly North American point of view. Best fans: Have to ...

/ Jun 9, 2002

Croatians stun Italy to stay alive

IBARAKI — After an opening match loss to Mexico, it looked like the Croatian soccer team would be here just long enough to sample a little sushi, maybe check out Tokyo Tower and then jet off back to Europe. But that all changed Saturday ...

/ Jun 6, 2002

Ireland holds Germany to 1-1 draw

IBARAKI — Once again the opposition wore green, but this time they actually put up a fight. Germany, fresh off its opening 8-0 pounding of Saudi Arabia, had to settle for a 1-1 draw against a stubborn Irish side Wednesday evening in a Group ...

/ Jun 3, 2002

England thwarted by Swedish jinx as teams draw 1-1

SAITAMA — Thirty-four years and counting. Sweden fought back with a second-half goal from Niclas Alexandersson to salvage a 1-1 draw with England in the World Cup Group F opener for both teams Sunday evening. The result means that England has now failed to ...

/ Apr 27, 2002

Trey bien! Hanshin hurler Moore off to hot start

Don’t be fooled by the menacing fu-manchu and the pitcher’s glare. Hanshin Tigers left-hander Trey Moore is actually a friendly, down-to-earth family man from Texas, but don’t tell opposing hitters that. Moore, a 29-year-old pitcher in his first season in Japan who spent the ...

Mar 28, 2002

Bunnies slip past Bears in final

It may be a Canadian game, and it was being played in Japan, but when all was said and done, it was the Swedish connection that came through at crunch time. Taro Nihei scored off a nice feed from linemate Shin Yahata 9:46 into ...

Mar 25, 2002

Kokudo squares series, sets up deciding Game 5

It’s down to one more game for all the marbles, the whole ball of wax, the big enchilada (* insert own cliche here). Shin Yahata scored a pair of goals Sunday afternoon as the Kokudo Bunnies squared the Japan Ice Hockey League finals with ...

Mar 22, 2002

Revenge time: Bunnies jump all over Seibu

It was time for a little payback. The Kokudo Bunnies got a pair of goals from Toshiyuki Sakai and Chris Yule on Thursday afternoon at Higashi-Fushimi Ice Arena as they skated to a 6-2 win over Seibu in Game 2 of the Japan Ice ...