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Dragon Expectations?

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Dragon Expectations?
It's time to give credit where credit is due.

Now I'm new to NPB and this forum and I quickly established myself as a Dragons fan. I remember, early this year, a thread in which everyone picked their final standings for the season. Everyone universally picked Chunichi to be at the bottom of the CL -- citing the loses of players like Kawakami and Woods, as well as the ages of key players.

As a first year fan I was bummed. The Dragons did start out as everyone predicted -- mediocre. However, Tony Blanco and "Mr. Three-Run" (I love it!) has CD fans shouting, "Tyrone Who?" and I'm getting a fun introduction to NPB as a result.

Now, the reason I post is that I want to ask if fans who know the league can expect Chunichi to keep this up. The Dragons are currently 5.5 out and about to overtake the Swallows for second.

Can this team make some noise in the Climax? (That is the CL playoff name, right?)

Thanks guys! And I hope I don't sound like a cocky new fan. I'm just loving watching this brand of baseball and am looking to learn more and have my faith rewarded!
Re: Dragon Expectations?
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Jul 7, 2009 11:12 PM | YOK Fan ]

In NPB there are 2 teams you can never count out when it comes to making the final cut in my opinion, and those teams are the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and the Chunichi Dragons. Why? Because they are tested and find ways to win when it counts. So my answer to you is, yes they most certainly can. But really the question should be, will they keep it up?

And for the record, not everyone "universally picked" Chunichi to finish at the bottom of the CL. I personally picked them to finish second and they are playing at the level I expected them to be at. So please, give credit where credit is due and not categorize everyone into a specific group just because your team is playing well at the moment. Thank you.
Re: Dragon Expectations?
[ Author: MattHaggard | Posted: Jul 8, 2009 5:23 AM | CHU Fan ]

I stand corrected. I meant.....errm...'near universally picked', haha =P

Thanks for the insight too!
Re: Dragon Expectations?
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jul 8, 2009 10:07 AM ]

I agree that the Dragons are one team you can never count out. That's why I wasn't so surprised they knocked my Tigers out of the Climax Series last year. I'm not sure they can catch the Giants, but they are always dangerous in the Climax Series.

They are doing better than I expected this year. A lot of people thought they were being cheap and rebuilding, but it turned out they made smart moves. Blanco is putting up much better numbers than Woods would have this year, at a fraction of the cost. They also got rid of Nori Nakamura, who I believe is having a pretty bad year offensively with Rakuten.

Again, they are just a smart team that can win and they are finding a way to do that again this year.
Re: Dragon Expectations?
[ Author: Guest: Isaac | Posted: Jul 9, 2009 3:00 AM ]

Dragons have been a nice surprise. I've followed them for a few years, my wife is from Aichi.

Coming into this season it didn't look like they would have the hitting to compete. I didn't realize Blanco was such a beast, and some others have stepped up more so than in the past. They are looking like a strong playoff team at this point.

Unfortunately, I doubt they will catch the Giants in the standings either and will probably get jobbed by the screwed up playoff system again, with the bonus win for regular season champ, and tie rules.

I still wish Woods would get a job somewhere, he was a clutch player. Somebody pick that guy up!
Re: Dragon Expectations?
[ Author: Guest: tigers2010 | Posted: Jul 9, 2009 11:37 AM ]

Yeah, I'm really surprised a PL team didn't make an offer for Woods as at least a DH. But maybe he has just priced himself out of the market. I know Chunichi went with a youth movement (a.k.a. cost cutting) this year, but thought someone would give such a proven timely hitter a contract.
Re: Dragon Expectations?
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Jul 9, 2009 3:15 PM | HAN Fan ]

The problem was that Woods' numbers were declining and he is around 40. He has also indicated that while he is ready to play he wants something near his final salary which to a lot of teams' minds is far too much for a player of in those circumstances.
Re: Dragon Expectations?
[ Author: NipponHam11 | Posted: Jul 10, 2009 3:45 AM | SFT Fan ]

I was wondering if the CL had been turned on its head this year since Hiroshima and Yakult were both ahead of Chunichi in the standings. I know that the two are essentially level in the standings. It's a four-team league right now, as Hanshin seems to still be reeling from blowing that huge lead last year, and Yokohama - well - not much needs to be said.

I think Chunichi has what it takes despite their youth movement, but I think that the team that we should be asking if they can keep it up is Yakult.
Re: Dragon Expectations?
[ Author: Guest: tigers2010 | Posted: Jul 10, 2009 3:10 PM ]

I had doubts about Yakult, but the way they handled the surging Dragons this week shows that they seem to be for real. I don't think either team will catch the Giants, but I think the top 3 teams in CL now are there to stay. By my new handle name, you can see I've given up on the Tigers this year. In addition, I would like to see the Carp make it to the Climax Series, but I think they're just too inconsistent and don't have the hitting to make a move.
Re: Dragon Expectations?
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: Jul 16, 2009 9:06 PM ]

Ochiai is an unorthodox smart cat.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
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