Mark asked some good follow-up questions to my earlier Japanese baseball post.
As for the small ball stuff, maybe the Japanese coaches have read your book and know that sac bunts always lead to a lower runs expectancy.
I doubt Japanese baseball is aware of my books. (Actually, I don’t think my Japanese translation of Curve Ball has sold that many copies, but I don’t know.) This was an exhibition game, so perhaps small-ball strategy was not that important.
How much does a typical ticket cost?
Looking at the website, it says that our seats directly behind home plate were 8000 yen (about $66) and research bleacher seats were only 2000 yen (about $16.50). Generally, I have not found Japanese prices unusually expensive and my friends tell me that this is due to the favorable exchange rates in recent years.
How about your chicken sandwich?
My KFC chicken sandwich was okay. The topping of the breaded chicken was a bit like cole slaw and the fries were okay. Not exciting. Generally, my advice is don’t eat American fast food in Japan. Enjoy the wide variety of Japanese food.
What’s your take on the shorter games? Fewer commercials, or less time between pitches?
There were only a few mound discussions, all of the relievers started at the beginning of an inning (I think), and certainly there were no challenge plays. The game seemed to move along at a good pace with no interruptions. The Japanese tend to be very time conscious which might contribute to the short game.
Here is something that I neglected to mention earlier. The game had a tie-breaking system in the event the game was tied after so many innings. Essentially it seems that runners are put in scoring position and teams are given opportunities to drive them in. I thought that was an interesting idea and certainly this would help shorten the length of MLB extra-inning games.