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Summary[]

Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the latest head-scratching Scott Boras quote, a disheartening Shohei Ohtani interview and Ohtani’s two-way future, Charlie Morton leaving the Rays to sign with the Braves, and the items from the 2020 season preserved by the Hall of Fame, then (28:06) talk to Ema Ryan Yamazaki, director of the documentary Koshien: Japan’s Field of Dreams, about the history and significance of Japan’s Koshien high school baseball tournament, the legends Koshien creates, the cultural conflict over coaching in high school baseball, the abuse of amateur players, how Ema chose her subjects, how Ichiro Suzuki influenced her career, the cancellation of Koshien in 2020, the contrast in the pandemic responses of Japan and the United States, and the future of Koshien.

Topics[]

  • Interview with Ema Ryan Yamazaki
  • Japan's high school baseball Koshien tournament
  • Koshien's wide reaching popularity in Japan
  • How Ema decided which teams, players, and coaches to profile
  • The state of high school baseball in Japan
  • How teams responded to being filmed
  • History of extreme pitcher usage and training regimens in Japanese baseball
  • How coaches and players experience Koshien differently
  • Impact of Ichiro Suzuki on Ema
  • Cancellation of Koshien and plans for 2021
  • Resource disparity among high school teams

Interstitial[]

The Strokes, "I Can't Win"

Banter[]

  • Ben and Meg discuss a quote from Scott Boras in an article about Jed Hoyer. Boras said that Hoyer controlled the valves to the championship reservoir.
  • Shohei Ohtani's comments on his "pathetic" 2020 season and Ohtani's future as a two-way player
  • Charlie Morton signing with the Braves
  • Ben and Meg review the list of items from the 2020 season sent to the Hall of Fame. The 2018 artifacts were discussed in Episode 1316 and the 2019 artifacts in Episode 1463.

Notes[]

  • Having worked during the 2020 season, Joe West became the first umpire to call games in six different decades.
  • The Koshien tournament (named for the stadium in which it is held) is a single elimination high school baseball tournament held in Japan each summer. About 4,000 schools compete at the regional level for 50 spots in the national tournament. Ema says that in Japan the level of excitement and popularity is the NCAA men's basketball tournament (March Madness) plus the Super Bowl.
  • Koshien was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID. This was the first time since WWII that the tournament was not played.

Links[]

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