Video: Watch a Japanese batter try to hit a 186 m.p.h. fastball

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This is fun. It’s in Japanese, but you don’t need to speak Japanese to get what’s going on here. A special pitching machine that can fire a 186 m.p.h. fastball + an NPB hitter trying to square up. He does not succeed. Partially because he appears to be totally unaware that the pitch is going to be that fast.

Go to the 3:29 if you want to see his first effort.

 

Afterwards, the pitching machine talked about wanting to work on his offspeed stuff because all big league hitters can turn on a fastball.

 

Bruce Bochy announces he’s going to retire at the end of the season

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Bruce Bochy just told reporters at spring training in Scottsdale that he plans to retire following the 2019 season.

Bochy’s Giants are certainly in a transitional period right now. They aren’t calling it a rebuild in San Francisco, but it’s hard to see how what they’ve done this offseason and what sort of talent they have in house right now amounts to a contender. If there will be a more thorough restructuring or reshuffling or — gasp! — even a rebuilding, it’ll likely be a lengthy one. Bochy will turn 65 during the 2020 season and, after 25 years on the bench, he may simply not have the desire to put in the kind of time such a rebuild will take.

But what a 25 years it’s been.  He managed the Padres from 1995 through 2006 and took the Giants over in 2007. He led San Diego t the 1998 NL Pennant and has, obviously, led the Giants to three World Series titles, in 2010, 2012 and 2014. For his career he has a record of 1926-1944.

Given those three rings, however, he will likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame at his first opportunity.