| Oct 21, 2006

Future is now for feel-good Fighters

by Stephen Ellsesser

NAGOYA — In hindsight, bringing baseball to Hokkaido seems as much a no-brainer as bringing Trey Hillman in to manage the Nippon Ham Fighters. Hillman has the Fighters just four games from Japan Series glory, and the fans in Sapporo have club officials patting ...

| Oct 11, 2006

Oh inspired Hawks despite absence

by Stephen Ellsesser

TOKOROZAWA, Saitama Pref. — Here is a look back at the first-stage Pacific League playoffs, in which the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks beat the Seibu Lions 2-1. In a sentence: The Hawks combined persistent offense and excellent pitching to purge their PL postseason demons. The ...

| Oct 7, 2006

PL playoffs offer many questions

by Stephen Ellsesser

This time last year, a heck of a brew was being whipped up east of Tokyo. It had already given the Chiba Lotte Marines Japan’s first interleague championship, and although it left them one down from perennial Pacific League stalwart Softbank in the regular-season ...