New Morning Routine: Reading Baseball (?!) and Learning Japanese

I wrote about the NPB, Japan’s professional baseball league, a while back and it’s time to do it again.


Because I. Miss. It. So. Much.

In 2019 at Tokyo Dome

Every morning, the first thing I do after I wake up is hopping on Yahoo Japan’s SportsNavi to see which players were activated/deactivated for the day.

Next, I check our (Hiroshima Carp’s) daily line-up and then, the fun begins.

What fun? Well, I then text Kokoro, who’s usually already working in the living room: ‘DID YOU SEE WHO’S UP FROM/DOWN TO THE FARM TODAY?’ or ‘DID YOU SEE OUR LINEUP TODAY?!’

I’m usually not a morning person, but since the season started, I’ve enjoyed going through this daily habit either with Kokoro, or even by myself as I’m brewing a fresh pot of coffee.

Not to mention, forcing myself to read and translate so many articles and updates has actually improved my Japanese quite a bit. Maybe it won’t help me speak more fluently, but I’ve noticed that it definitely helps my vocabulary and kanji recognition. Who knew?

Well, ok, maybe not all of it is useful in daily conversation, but some improvement is better than no improvement, right?

Titles of articles are still a bit of a struggle, especially if you don’t know some of the words since they’re meant to be short, catchy, while also not following any particular grammar rules.

And, if you ever make the mistake to try to ‘Google Translate’ the whole thing, brace yourself.

The best example I can think of is this title: ‘Hiroshima’s new guardian deity Scott losing goodbye without dying’. If you think I’m joking, check it out for yourself, the original Japanese was: 広島新守護神スコット、1死も取れずサヨナラ負け.

I mean, yikes. Nothing about that makes sense, right? Well, funny enough, if you know the context, you can sort of piece it all together. Basically, the title should say ‘Hiroshima’s new closer, Scott, loses on a walk-off’, or something along those lines…but sure, whatever floats your boat, Google.

In any case, it’s pretty frustrating not being able to watch any of the games since they’re not available here, but at least SportsNavi has a game tracker that allows us to keep up with every pitch and at-bat.

To be honest, it’s probably more productive for my work not being able to watch the games since I can follow along the updates in a different tab, while keeping up with my readings or writing on the main screen. And by ‘follow along’, I obviously mean refresh the page maniacally as I’m waiting for the tracker to tell me what the batter or pitcher did.

It’s still such an enjoyable morning routine and one of our favourite things to talk about and distract us just a little bit from work. Plus…language learning! Who would’ve thought that reading baseball updates on a game tracker could be both fun and educational? 

Now, let’s just hope the Carp lads can put together a few consecutive wins and climb up the standings…頑張って、カープ!

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