A five-point catch-up on news and views on Japanese baseball and former stars of NPB:
- The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters were having a rough season even before they were forced off the field by COVID-19, writes Jason Coskrey. So how did they look on their return to action? Find out in The Week in NPB.
- The Yomiuri Giants have picked up a rep for being a touch on the stuffy side during their long history — but apparently no one told Zelous Wheeler. The former Yankee plays the game with a joy that’s contagious, writes Coskrey — and gets results.
- The postponement of Tokyo 2020 has given Samurai Japan manager Atsunori Inaba much to think about as rising stars make their case for a place on a squad targeting the nation’s first Olympic baseball gold, writes Coskrey.
- Matt Clark hopes the Tokyo Games will prove that what goes around comes around, and that the lessons he learned playing in the NPB will help earn Mexico its first Olympic medal in the sport, Kyodo reports.
- After spending parts of five decades in baseball — as a player, then a manager in both the MLB and NPB — birthday boy Bobby Valentine is ready for his next challenge: running for mayor in his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut.