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.
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