All fungoes, all the time

Believe it or not, the year-round extravaganza that is Japanese baseball is gearing up for another season.

It seems like only yesterday — mere weeks after my arrival here — that the Trey Hillman-managed Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters bested the Chunichi Dragons in the Japan Series.

What prompted this post? One of the sports channels offered by my cable provider has been showing Hanshin Tigers spring training round the clock all week. And by spring training I don’t mean exhibition games — actual training. Over the past several days I’ve seen catchers doing pop-up drills, pitchers going through their daily workouts, and hitters taking simultaneous live batting practice with a row of batting cages lined up at home plate. These aren’t highlights or anything: just raw footage with commentary.

While I know that the Hanshin Tigers are a special case, as Tigers fans are perhaps the most fanatic in the world, this strikes me as a bit much.

Then again, I hope that I’ll catch infield drills one day. Japanese teams run infield drills with greater intensity than I’m used to back in the US.

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