Literally, all aspects of the game are different. Their approach to defense, offense, training, pitching, what the strikezone is......EVERYTHING.
So, let's start with the strike zone. If you have ever seen me pitch for even an inning, you've most likely seen me give a death stare for a blown call. Umpires and I never seem to see eye-to-eye. I tried the sugary sweet approach and nothing changed. So, I take the more fun approach of letting them know just how I feel about their calls. Way more fun that way! My relationship with any umpire was completely altered in 2010, the infamous Illegal pitch season. My dislike for umpires quickly turned into a loathing. I get it, they're doing their job and are probably really sweet people. But, on the field, I hate them. I'm sorry but when you call an illegal pitch after the girl pops up to right field after striking her out 4 different times, we're going to have problems. Or when you're as caught off guard by my change-up as the batter is that you don't realize it's PIPED right down the middle, I'm going to want to kick you in the shin.
HOWEVER, I'd like to apologize to every U.S. umpire that has received the wrath of my glare. I know, it can be a little scary. Batters I've faced or ex-boyfriends can testify. Japanese umpires take the cake. Actually, no. They take the whole damn bakery. Good lord I've never seen such a small strikezone. I'm pretty sure I had about 5 called strikes the entire game. The first inning I thought I struck a girl out because she watched a FATTY screwball on the inner half of the plate. I did a half skip/fist pump off the field before realizing he didn't punch her out. Half embarrassed, half confused, I fumed my back to the mound.
Let's just say, thank the Lord that no one on the field can understand what I'm saying. Had a few sailor-mouth moments in the circle. Actually, a lot of them. And the umpires didn't understand my "Oh, apparently I need 4 strikes?!" comments. Or the "You cannot be serious." Or "What the *#*$!"
Let's hope when I get back in the states that I don't forget everyone can understand what I'm saying.
|Just in case you thought I was kidding about his name being Mr. Data.|
Oh, and yes they spelled Trainer as "Tariner"
Apparently, the other binders are much MUCH bigger. I'm dreading the scouting report of when we play the 1st place team.....which coincidentally is this weekend. Yay!
I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the scouting, though. When I first pitched in the scrimmage game, I turned around to find 9 cameras in center field. There were 4 teams at the tournament. I came out of the game for the middle innings, at which time about 4 cameras disappeared. When I came back in, a total of 12 cameras magically popped up. There are only 12 teams in our league, including us! Craziness.
The other aspects of the game that are different are far too difficult and complex to type. And quite frankly, I don't understand them. At all. We're constantly getting corrected on things we've been doing since we picked up a softball. Highly confusing and a little frustrating. The work ethic though......I can get with. These girls are by far the hardest workers I've ever witnessed in my life. They do everything with precision and meticulousness. It's amazing to watch sometimes. I can't even imagine how much better some U.S. players would be if they had the same work ethic. They'd be superhuman. Scary to think about.
There's just a completely different outlook on life and softball by the Japanese that completely boggles my mind. Still trying to form some thoughts to blog about.