FULL COUNT: Giants sign Tanaka as WBC rosters take shape

On Jan. 10, the San Francisco Giants signed free agent infielder Kensuke Tanaka to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. The 31-year-old left-handed hitter will compete with Wilson Valdez for the utility spot behind Marco Scutaro. The speedy Tanaka has 161 stolen bases and was a .286 hitter during his 13-year […]

FULL COUNT: Godzilla retires as Spring Training nears

As expected, former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui officially retired on Jan. 3. The Houston Astros had been interested in 38-year-old, but injuries forced him from playing in the World Baseball Classic and ultimately out of baseball. Matsui enjoyed success throughout his two decades in Japan and the majors, winning championships in both leagues. He was […]

FULL COUNT: Year’s end update

As 2012 comes to a close, here’s a recap of the most recent transactions involving Japanese or Japanese American ball players. Reports indicate Seibu Lions infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima and the Oakland A’s have agreed on a two-year deal worth $6.5 million. Nakajima made seven all-star appearances in 11 seasons with Seibu, hitting .302 with 149 […]

FULL COUNT: Japan’s chance for Classic three-peat gets tougher

Japan will have to win this spring without the marquee players that helped them in the past. This week New York Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda and free agent outfielder Ichiro Suzuki announced they will not play for the two-time champion in the World Baseball Classic becoming the latest Japanese stars to opt out of the […]

FULL COUNT: Gold Glove and Transactions

Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney added a Gold Glove Award to his trophy case after going 141 games without an error. In October he received the Fielding Bible Award for his defense. Texas starter Yu Darvish will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic this spring, choosing instead to focus on preparing for next […]

FULL COUNT: Giants win and offseason begins

On Oct. 28, the Giants completed their historic four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers, bringing San Francisco its second World Series title in three years. Although there were no Japanese players in the Fall Classic, assistant trainer Taira Uematsu and team acupuncturist Haro Ogawa earned their second rings as members of the Giants staff. The […]

FULL COUNT: Playoffs and tidbits

The quest for a World Series ring is in full swing and several players of Japanese descent have contributed to their teams’ efforts. Here is a recap of the 2012 postseason thus far. In the best-of-seven American League Championship Series the Yankees trail Detroit 3-0 and their title hopes have gravely diminished. In Game 1 […]