By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asia Weekly
Welcome to another month of layup training. Last month was an important month because the Olympic Games will begin in July. But before that, let’s take a look at some things that happened in June this year.
Kikuchi selected as an All-Star
Seattle Mariners pitcher Yuki Kikuchi was selected for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. This is the first appearance of a Japanese pitcher in the game.
Kikuchi showed humility when he announced that he had joined the team. The left-handed pitcher told the media through an interpreter that he “really appreciates my teammates, coaches, and everyone for being by my side. My family always supports me in the ups and downs.”
Kikuchi was signed by the Mariners of the Japan Professional Baseball League, where he played for the Saitama Seibu Lions. He has been selected to the Japanese All-Star three times. After a difficult first two years in Seattle, Kikuchi has stabilized this season with 6 victories and an average of 3.18 games, and achieved his personal best in 15 games-this is the Mariners’ personal best. . As of July 5, he had 93 strikeouts.
Kikuchi became the first Mariners starting pitcher to be selected for the All-Star Game since Felix Hernandez in 2015. The All-Star Game will be held in Colorado on July 13.
Ohtani was selected as an All-Star as a pitcher/position player
The All-Star teammate will be Shohei Ohtani-he became the first player in modern history to qualify for the All-Star Game as a pitcher and designated hitter.
This Japanese superstar is unique because no one can match this sport in the major leagues. Ohtani hit the ball at 0.278, leading the major leagues with 31 home runs and 67 RBIs. As a pitcher, he is also 3-1. The left-hander has a 3.60 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 12 games, over 60 innings.
In the third season of the Los Angeles Angels, Otani has proven that he is one of the top players in baseball. In addition to his duties as a pitcher and batsman, he will also participate in home run derby. The All-Star Game will be a major feature of Otani showing his all-round baseball talent.
Of course, Otani is the leader of Major League Baseball’s most valuable player.
The Return of the King-Nonito Donell Turns Back Time
The 38-year-old former boxer Nonito Donaire (Nonito Donaire) is thought to be about to end his career. His last game was a disappointing loss to Naoya Inoue in Japan 18 months ago. However, he delayed the time and defeated Noordin Ubali on May 29 to win the WBC Bantamweight Championship.
Donell was at a disadvantage in this battle, knocking down Oubali twice in the third round and then knocking him out in the fourth round. With this victory, Oubali became the oldest boxer to win the bantamweight world championship.
“The king is back,” Donell said in a post-match interview. Previously, the “Philippine Flash” had won championships in four different heavyweight competitions. He was originally scheduled to have a showdown with Filipino boxer John Riel Casamero in August this year, but the match was cancelled due to drug testing issues.
This fight was to unify the WBO Championship, but soon there were questions about drug testing for the upcoming round. Donaire’s wife Rachel served as his manager and established a drug testing agreement with an organization in Nevada. However, Casimero’s representatives did not respond to their promises, but when Rachel hinted that Casimero was taking steroids, they were upset. Casimero is in contact with a strength coach known for providing performance enhancing drugs to clients.
Representatives of Casimero made derogatory comments about Rachel in social media posts, causing Donell to withdraw.
Although this battle will arouse the interest of many Filipino fans, the bloody blood due to drug testing will make it difficult for the two to come together in the future. Fortunately for Donell, there is another option for his next game, which is a rematch with Japan’s Inoue. If this is the case, it will still provide a compelling duel.
Other notable news
The Montreal Canadiens returned to the NHL Stanley Cup for the first time since 1993. The return of the Canadians is partly attributed to Nick Suzuki. The 21-year-old former Las Vegas Golden Cavaliers first overall draft player has achieved fruitful results in the playoffs. Suzuki, who plays center for the Canadians, is an integral part of his team. In the key Western Conference Finals series against his old club, he scored several goals and assisted his teammates.
According to the university, George Mason University pitcher Sang Ho Baek died of complications from Tommy John’s surgery on June 12. He is only 20 years old. Surgery is a common operation to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament on the elbow. The surgery is named after the first baseball pitcher to undergo surgery. Baek was born in Seoul, South Korea, but grew up in Salisbury, Maryland, where he helped his high school team win the Maryland State Championship. Bai participated in the Korean Presbyterian Youth Group, swimming with the YMCA, and helped build houses during the 2018 Nicaragua missionary trip.
Although Utah Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson was eliminated from the playoffs, the NBA’s sixth man of the year performed well last spring after the Philippine food truck was destroyed.
The world-famous Yum Yum food truck was vandalized, and its black exterior was full of anti-Asian slander and hate messages. After posting on social media, the owners received strong support from the Salt Lake City community. Many people offered donations, while others vowed to eat in their trucks once they were up and running again.
In a social media post, Clarkson, a Filipino, wrote: “I am deeply saddened to see the @yumyumasian food truck in Salt Lake City recently vandalized-I know the pain caused by hate language and racism.” Clark Sen helps car owners connect with people who repair their trucks through paint modifications.
Naomi Osaka once again withdrew from another major tournament because she decided not to participate in the Wimbledon Tennis Open. This is the second major event she has withdrawn from. In June of this year, Osaka announced that for her mental health, she would not be interviewed by the media on the French Open. After some strong opposition, she decided to withdraw from the French Open. In mid-June, she announced through her team that she would not spend personal time with friends and family in Wimbledon. However, she did notice that she would prepare for the Tokyo Olympics. Osaka’s mother is Japanese, and she publicly stated that she will retain Japan’s citizenship so that she can participate in the Olympics in front of her home country.
Jason can be at [email protected].