Japanese fans celebrate Matsui’s World Series MVP performance
Tokyo (AP) - Japan nearly came to a standstill last week
as millions watched on TV while Hideki Matsui, the man they know as
Godzilla, stomped around New York to lead the Yankees to the World
Matsui became the first Japanese-born player to receive the trophy for
the Most Valuable Player of the World Series with a record-tying six
RBIs in the clincher to lead the Yankees over the Philadelphia Phillies
7-3 last Wednesday.
York Yankees’ Hideki Matsui hits a two-run scoring double during the
fifth inning of Game 6 of the Major League Baseball World Series against
the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009, in New York. (AP
Matsui homered, doubled and singled in Game 6, highlighting a series in
which he hit .615 with three home runs and eight RBIs.
Japanese businessmen crammed into downtown electronics stores to watch
the final few innings on giant TVs. The game ended just before 2 p.m.
local time Thursday, giving office workers an excuse to take an extended
“All the news recently has been about Ichiro Suzuki,” said office worker
Hiroyuki Takeuchi, who took the morning off to watch the game. “But
Matsui’s presence is huge. He overcame injuries and came through with
the performance of a lifetime. As a Japanese, I’m very proud today.”
Matsui was a three-time MVP for the Yomiuri Giants in the regular season
in 1996, 2000 and 2002, his last year in Japan. He also won the MVP
award in the 2000 Japan Series, Japan’s version of the World Series.
Earning the nickname “Godzilla,” Matsui hit 50 home runs in 2002. The
No. 55 on his uniform is a tribute to Sadaharu Oh’s single-season home
“As the first Japanese to win an MVP in the World Series, this is a
great accomplishment for Matsui and will have a huge impact,” said
former San Francisco Giants pitcher Masanori Murakami, the first
Japanese player to play in the major leagues, who watched at his Tokyo
Matsui has always been popular in Japan, but his decision not to play in
the World Baseball Classic drew criticism from some fans. Matsui always
said he was passing over the WBC to prepare for the season with the
The 35-year-old designated hitter is in the final year of a $52 million,
four-year contract. And every baseball fan across Japan wants to know
this: What will the Yankees do with Matsui?
“He’s a very hard worker and is serious about his career,” Murakami
said. “I hope he stays with the Yankees. I know he wants to stay, and
the Japanese fans want him to stay.”
Japanese sports dailies have speculated about his future, some even
saying he might return to Japan to play for the Hanshin Tigers, the
fierce Central League rivals of the Giants.
“I hope he stays in New York,” Takeuchi said. “He looks good in
Meanwhile in New York hundreds of Yankees fans poured into the streets
to celebrate the team’s 27th World Series championship, a party that
extended uptown and began building hours earlier when the crowd at
Yankee Stadium danced and sang to the music even before the first pitch.
Fans had waited nine years since the team’s last World Series win, a
Subway Series against their cross-town rivals, the Mets, in 2000.
But it was a quiet night on Broad Street in Philadelphia, where
thousands of fans had partied when the Phillies won the National League
Tournament fever hits Prem
Report & Photo
by Paul Middleton
This current academic year represents the first
ever season for Prem Tinsulanonda School’s
latest sports academy, the ‘Premiership’
Football Academy. With this arrival comes the
opportunity to offer Prem’s facilities for
tournaments and matches to all teams in the
Chiang Mai area.
Under 11 soccer players battle for supremacy at
the Prem Tinsulanonda School’s Football Academy
The weekend before last witnessed tournament
fever with ten teams from the Under 11 age group
visiting the school Campus, all eager to compete
and win the selection of trophies that were up
for grabs. Of these teams most were from local
schools, but there were also local club teams
playing, as well as a team from the Agape
orphanage vying for the prizes.
The competition spanned two days of fine, sunny
weather, making for a great weekend of cheering
and chanting. The competition involved two
leagues of five teams, which eventually
progressed into a knockout stage after the most
successful teams topped their respective tables.
As expected the standard of football was
incredibly high, giving the large numbers of
friends, family and coaching staff much to be
One such entertaining battle was the playoff
game for third and fourth spot between
Nakornpayap International School and Christ FC.
Christ FC dominated for much for the game but
despite their best efforts, couldn’t find the
back of the net. Eventually the game was settled
on penalties, resulting in a well ground out
victory for Nakornpayap, and a secured spot in
The eventual tournament winners was the team
from the 700 years stadium, who beat Nakorn CM
in a well-fought finale, having put on some
outstanding performances for the duration of the
competition and being well-deserved winners.
Feedback from the first academy tournament was
positive, and all signs look good for more
enjoyable competitions in the future. One such
tournament is the All-ages competition which
promises to be a fierce battle between Chiang
Mai’s top men’s teams.
For more information on upcoming fixtures, or to
learn more about the Premiership Football
Academy, please contact Alan Sparkes at
‘[email protected]’ or telephone 053 301 500.
Ballesteros nominates Swedish stars as warning shot to Asia
Seve Ballesteros fired a warning shot at rival
Royal Trophy Captain Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki
earlier last week by making Henrik Stenson and
Robert Karlsson his first Royal Trophy
nominations - and promising there will be plenty
more powerful players and big names in his
World number seven Stenson is a proven match
play ace, and the sort of heavy-hitter Europe
lacked in Thailand last year when they crashed
to a 10-6 defeat at the hands of Captain Ozaki’s
fired-up Asian Team.
Henrik Stenson plays from a bunker during the
world match play golf championship in Casares,
southern Spain, Thursday, Oct. 29. (AP
The Swedish star will be making his third Royal
Trophy appearance and he boasts an impressive
pedigree. He helped Europe to victory over Asia
in 2006 and 2007, winning two and a half points
out of a possible three in his second Thailand
Stenson’s compatriot, the formidable Robert
Karlsson, is certain to add great strength to
the European Team. In 2008, he finished eighth
at the Masters, fourth at the US Open and
seventh in the Open Championship. The super
Swede has been ranked as high as number six in
the world, is the winner of 9 European Tour
titles and was a member of Europe’s Ryder Cup
team in 2008 at Valhalla and 2006 at the K Club,
It is no wonder European Captain Ballesteros was
pleased to welcome him back into the fold. The
Spanish legend commented: “Robert is a wonderful
golfer, and someone who fully embraces the
culture of being part of a team.
“He is one of the finest players in the world,
and we have already seen what a formidable duo
he and Henrik (Stenson) have proven to be.
Re-uniting them for the Royal Trophy is further
evidence of my determination to see Europe
return to winning ways, a passion evident
throughout the whole of European golf.
“The nomination of Robert Karlsson and Henrik
Stenson is our notice to Captain Ozaki that
Europe is coming to Thailand to win and that we
are ready for the challenge.”
Asian Team Captain Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki has
already nominated 18-year-old superstar Ryo
Ishikawa, ten-time professional tournament title
winner Prayad Marksaeng, Asian Tour Order of
Merit leader Thongchai Jaidee, the Japan Tour’s
hottest player Yuta Ikeda and nine-time
tournament title winner Korean ace Charlie Wi
for Asia’s defense of the Trophy.
The Principal Award for the winning continent is
stewardship of the perpetual solid-silver
sixteen-kilogram Royal Trophy, graciously
donated by His Majesty the King of Thailand.
The fourth edition of the Royal Trophy will take
place on 8-10 January 2010 at the exclusive
Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand.
Tickets are currently on sale for the event,
priced at THB 1,000 and THB 2,000 for one and
three day passes respectively, and can be
obtained at www.royaltrophy.com. (Source –
Royal Trophy PR)
Haye beats Valuev for
WBA heavyweight title
Nuremberg, Germany (AP) - David
Haye won the WBA heavyweight championship in
surprising Nikolai Valuev by a majority decision
David Haye (right) lands a right hand to
Russia’s Nikolai Valuev during the WBA World
Heavyweight Title bout at the Nuremberg Arena,
Germany, Saturday Nov. 7. (AP Photo/Nick
The brash British boxer used his superior
quickness against the huge Russian, who came
close to being knocked down for the first time
in his 16-year pro career in the final round.
“The key was my speed,” Haye said. “People don’t
realize I am very fast. And I have a powerful
punch. I’m athletic and if I wasn’t a boxer I
would be playing football or rugby.”
Haye, a former cruiserweight world champion, won
his third heavyweight fight to improve to 23-1
with 21 KOs, despite giving up nearly a foot (28
centimeters) and nearly 100 pounds (44
kilograms) to the tallest and heaviest champion
“Everybody thought I was crazy. But I knew I
could make him miss,” Haye said.
Haye won over the judges with two scores of
116-112, while a third called it 114-114.
His first defense of the WBA belt will be
against former titleholder John Ruiz, who
earlier beat German Adnan Serin in the seventh
round by TKO.
“He’s a good fighter who is very underrated,”
Haye said of Ruiz. “He is not the most
spectacular, but I don’t feel like I will
struggle with him. He’s about the same size as
me and I think I will knock him out.”
Valuev’s record dropped to 50-2 with 34 KOs, and
he admitted Haye was too quick.
“Tonight only one thing happened that I didn’t
expect,” Valuev said. “It was like a marathon
for me. It was like a track event. I wasn’t
ready to run that much.
“The judges made their scoring and I think the
last round made the difference, especially the
end of it.”
Haye tried to keep Valuev on the move and opened
with a left to the Russian’s chin and a powerful
combo, while Valuev struggled to catch Haye,
finding him only with left jabs.
Haye said he injured his right hand hitting
Valuev in the head, most likely in the second
“It was like punching a brick wall,” Haye said.
Nicknamed “The Hayemaker,” he connected with big
rights and lefts to Valuev’s head to build up a
points lead. Valuev finally came alive from the
fourth round, but in the sixth Haye landed a
right-left combo and two solid lefts.
Haye continued to make Valuev work while finding
holes, including a strong right followed by a
left to Valuev’s face in the ninth and a big
right in the 10th. He wrapped up the fight by
landing two left hooks that left Valuev wobbly
in the 12th.