There were several responses to the column of April 12 with information on how and where fans can find Japanese baseball games streamed via the Internet.
From the Kansai area, David Dodd sent an e-mail that said, “Yahoo Japan streams Japanese baseball games (Pacific League only) for free at their Web site. You have to download the player first but, after that, the games are easy to access, and the quality is fantastic.
“I was told about it last year by a teacher at my school after I complained there were very few Buffaloes games on free-to-air TV. The broadcasts are in Japanese.
“As I live in Wakayama, going to live games is not something I can do very often, but I am still a big fan of Tuffy (Rhodes).”
The Web site is streaming.yahoo.co.jp/ct/sports/. Another fan in western Japan, Jesse Miller in Osaka, wrote, “I noticed one site, www.channelsurfing.net/, that shows (Japanese) games. All times are in EST.”
Then there was this from Bob Davis: “I am in Connecticut and a friend of Bobby Valentine. I watch Chiba (Lotte Marines) games and all Pacific League games on the Net in the following way.
“First, you have to download the TV Ants software and player at: tvants.en.softonic.com/download. Then you go to the following site: www.myp2pforum.eu/mlb-baseball/3613-npb-japanese-baseball-3.html , and scroll down to the post Nippon Professional Baseball *LIVE Games* and click on the home team broadcasts for each team.
“You’ll notice there are also links for Central League games which only require that Windows Media Player is installed. TV Ants only works on Windows operating systems.”
So, apparently there are ways to view Central and Pacific League games on the Net.
In closing the subject of TV baseball, Mark Chambre says he cannot find as many Japanese games on the air right here in Japan.
He wrote, “Is it my imagination or are there fewer Japanese games on TV this year? For the third time I channel-surfed and could not find any live broadcasts when I knew games were being played. I checked satellite, regular TV and cable.”
Mark, there may be more games on satellite and cable than on — as David Dodd put it — free-to-air-TV. But they are all there.
On a given night, you can see all six Central and Pacific League games on the various extra-terrestrial channels available on cable systems throughout the country.
The list includes Sky-A, ESPN Sports-I, GAORA, G+ and at least three channels of J-SPORTS.
Yokohama BayStars home games are on News Bird, a TBS affiliate, and Yakult Swallows home contests are on Fuji 739, obviously connected to the Fuji-Sankei group.
Do you read Japanese, Mark?
Get a Japanese sports paper on a day when there is a full schedule, and you will see the games are on.
Some are even replayed. For example, Sky-A carries home games of the Rakuten Eagles and Hanshin Tigers, while GAORA has rights to the home dates for the Tigers and Nippon Ham Fighters.
Let’s say, on a particular evening, the Fighters are playing at home at Sapporo Dome and the Tigers are also the home team at Koshien Stadium, while the Eagles are on the road.
Sky-A would show the Hanshin game live at 6 p.m. at the same time GAORA is airing the Nippon Ham game. Then GAORA will replay the Tigers at 11:30 p.m.
For sure, Mark, the games are on.
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Another hardback book came in the mail this week from Peter O’Malley, former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. This one is “Forever Blue,” billed as “the true story of Walter O’Malley (Peter’s late father), baseball’s most controversial owner, and the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles.”
Written by Michael D’Antonio, “Forever Blue” is, according to a press release that accompanied the book, “A groundbreaking comprehensive biography” about the man who owned the Brooklyn Dodgers and made the controversial move of the team to Los Angeles in 1958.
As regular readers of this column may know, I grew up a fan of the Boys of Summer from Flatbush with memories of attending games at Ebbets Field, that bandbox of a ballpark in Brooklyn, the borough where my father was born 91 years ago.
The nostalgic photos alone make the book worthwhile for me but, of course, the story of Walter O’Malley and what exactly happened in the process that led the Dodgers some 4,800 km westward more than a half-century ago (Can it be?), as explained in a chapter titled “California Calls,” is most interesting.
Contact Wayne Graczyk at: wayne@JapanBall.com
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