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Trends Picked Up by MLB

Discussion in the Nichi-Bei forum
Trends Picked Up by MLB
I'm sitting here watching the MLB playoffs and noticed the Diamondbacks' pitchers Doug Davis and Tony Pena using a very slow delivery with a hesitation or two. This is something I've never seen before in the U.S. and it got me thinking:

How many things in MLB were either started in Japan or came first? As this is my own observation, if anyone has more or corrections, please feel free to add.
  • Hesitations/slow pitching deliveries
  • A term for an event that ends a game offensively: "sayonara" where MLB starting using "walk-off" (cringe) in the late '90s (supposedly invented in 1988)
  • The pummeling of a player who hits a sayonara home run once he crosses home plate
  • Displaying the count, score, and pitch speed on TV consistently
  • Displaying the pitch speed on the scoreboard
I'm still campaigning for "gyakuten" (lead-changing) and "gyakudama" (pitch that goes on the opposite side of the plate than intended) in the U.S.
Re: Trends Picked Up by MLB
[ Author: Kiyoshi | Posted: Oct 6, 2007 2:10 PM | HAN Fan ]

Lou Brock brought back the "dimpled" or concaved topped bat after the 1968 St. Louis Cardinals' Japan tour.

Also, the "thunder" or clap sticks that the Angel fans used in the 2002 playoffs and World Series.
Re: Trends Picked Up by MLB
[ Author: Sara B | Posted: Oct 6, 2007 5:48 PM | HT Fan ]

Well, this is not really a part of the game itself, but before Hideo Nomo, Hideki Irabu, and Ichiro arrived in the USA I never saw sushi served at any MLB ballpark. And now it's rather amazing how much gustatory variety one can find at the game - a trend possibly begun by the influx of Nihon awareness in MLB?
Re: Trends Picked Up by MLB
[ Author: Tokyo Sox | Posted: Oct 9, 2007 4:35 PM | TYS Fan ]

Hey, you know what I've wondered (and found annoying) for years? Why are balls and strikes backwards?
Re: Trends Picked Up by MLB
[ Author: NipponHam11 | Posted: Oct 9, 2007 10:14 PM | SFT Fan ]

- Hey, you know what I've wondered (and found annoying) for years? Why are balls and strikes backwards?

I know! When I did that one play-by-play on Pro Yakyu Live (FSH vs. TYS), I probably confused many of the listeners by reading the count in the American style, while Westbay-san does it the Japanese way. Personally, I think that MLB actually takes more from NPB than they will readily admit.
Re: Trends Picked Up by MLB
[ Author: 20X6!! | Posted: Oct 18, 2007 1:35 AM | FSH Fan ]

The balls/strikes may have to do with the umpire. The right hand means a strike, and left means a ball.

Theory #1: In the U.S. it is from the umpire's perspective (balls-strikes), and in Japan it is from the pitcher's perspective.

Theory #2: Japanese traditionally (when baseball was first introduced in the 1930s) read almost exclusively right to left (even horizontally). Here is a postcard from the era showing Babe Ruth illustrating that [Front and Back].

So it might have to do with how umpires decided which hand to use first in the count.
Re: Trends Picked Up by MLB
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Oct 10, 2007 1:29 AM | CLM Fan ]

I'm not sure who picked it up first, but some MLB players are wearing those long wrist bands now that every single NPB player seems to wear. A lot of foreign players in Japan tend to start to wear them after playing there a while. Alex Cabrera comes to mind.

Also don't forget those necklaces with the crystals or whatever inside of them. Those are becoming really popular in the Majors now.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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