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Iwamura Menaces Matsuzaka But Not Enough

October 12, 2008

Dice  K threw another odd game yesterday. He was always in trouble but got out of it. I bet if you don’t swing ever against Matsuzaka you just might win. He is so picky for details that he may be his own enemy. But Jason Veritek will be there to put him in line.

Tough Cookie Charlie Manuel with the Yakult Swallows

Tough Cookie Charlie Manuel with the Yakult Swallows in 1978

The Phillies are proving to be a great closing team.Must be because of all the years Charlie Manuel spent in Japan.What a Character he is.  His Mother died today and he still managed and he managed to get a win.

Go Phillies! Kind of….

From Wikipedia

Japanese professional league

Manuel’s baseball career took off when he left the United States to play in Japan. Wildly popular for his tenacious style of play and his power-hitting abilities, Manuel was dubbed “Aka-Oni” (The Red Devil) by fans and teammates.

In 1977, he hit .316 with 42 home runs and 97 runs batted in, helping the Central League‘s Yakult Swallows reach second place for the first time in franchise history. In 1978, he hit .312 with 39 homers and 103 RBI, powering the Swallows to their first pennant and the Japan Championship Series. In 1979, playing for the Pacific League‘s Kintetsu Buffaloes, Manuel became the first American to be named the Pacific League MVP after hitting .324 with 37 home runs and 94 RBI. A year later, Manuel set the record for most home runs by an American with 48 and led the league with 129 RBI in only 118 games, cut short when he was hit in the face by a pitch. In 1981, he returned to the Yakult Swallows.

Manuel finished his successful run in Japan with a .303 career average, 189 home runs and 491 RBI. He was considered one of the best imported baseball players to Japan in those days, along with brothers Leron and Leon Lee and Randy Bass.

During his time in Japan, Manuel learned to speak Japanese. This has become an asset, as he has been able to communicate with players such as So Taguchi and Tadahito Iguchi.

[edit] “Headgeared Helmet”

At a game against the Lotte Orions on June 19, 1979, he was hit in the face by a pitch from Soroku Yagisawa. The pitch crushed his jaw, and he was told from his doctor that he needed at least two months to recover. However, he returned to the game after being sidelined for only 14 games, as the Buffaloes were struggling to win the first-half season championship. To protect his bruised jaw, Manuel wore a helmet equipped with a football facemask. The team went on to win the first-half championship and eventually the pennant for the whole season.

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