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July 2, 2007 at 1:40 am ET
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Nippon 10-Day: Eagle Fans Excessively Exuberant in All-Star Voting

According to the current vote count, members of the Rakuten Golden Eagles (31-39-2) occupy 8 of the 12 Pacific League All-Star positions up for voting. Inspired by the the arrival of an All-Star Game to Fullcast Miyagi Stadium (and the third-year expansion team’s non-last-place standing), Rakuten followers have introduced a snag into the traditional All-Star enrollment with their over-abundancy of enthusiams.

Among the more dubious leaders are catcher Motohiro Shima, who is hitting .168 with 1 HR and 6 RBI in 131 at-bats, and middle reliever Akira Matsumoto, who had a 6.11 ERA in 28 innings before recently being shipped down to the minors to continue with his resolutions. The Rakuten organization has requested a discharge from service for some of their players out of respect for those with better credentials. However, missing the All-Star game for any reason other than physical breakdown comes with a standard 10-game suspension. The matter will be resolved at an upcoming meeting of the executive committee.

Interleague Look-Back: The third season of interleague play in NPB has ended, and for the third time the Pacific League (DH) has won out over the Central (no DH), carrying a 74-66-1 tally. The Nippon Ham Fighters are this year’s interleague champions, showing an 18-5-1 record, while the Hiroshima Carp look up from the bottom with the reverse, 5-18-1. Ryan Glynn of the Fighters was awarded the Interleague MVP for going 5-0 with 1.01 ERA in 6 interleague starts.

36th Annual USA vs. Japan College All-Star Series: Begins July 4th in Durham, N.C. USA leads the all-time series 21-14, going 18-0 in America and 3-14 in Japan. Headlining this year’s Japanese roster is national hero Yuki Saito (known as the “handkerchief prince”), who this season as a freshman helped powerful Waseda University become college champions. Before leaving for America, Saito made a breathtaking speech in which he promised his best effort to be the first to conquor the invincible American sluggers in their own homeland. Leading the USA will be last year’s series MVP Pedro Alvarez, third baseman Vanderbilt, considered by most the #1 prospect for next year’s draft. You can watch four of the five games here.

 

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