2008 Nippon Professional Baseball season

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This article is about the 2008 Nippon Professional Baseball season only. For information on all of baseball, see 2008 in baseball.
2008 NPB season
League Nippon Professional Baseball
Sport Baseball
Duration March 20, 2008 – November 9, 2008
Regular Season
Season MVP CL: Alex Ramírez (YOM)
PL: Hisashi Iwakuma (RAK)
League Postseason
CL champions Yomiuri Giants
  CL runners-up Chunichi Dragons
PL champions Saitama Seibu Lions
  PL runners-up Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters
Japan Series
Champions Saitama Seibu Lions
  Runners-up Yomiuri Giants
Japan Series MVP Takayuki Kishi (SEI)
NPB seasons

The 2008 Nippon Professional Baseball season was the 59th season since the NPB was reorganized in 1950. The regular season started on March 20 with the Pacific League opener, and on March 28 with the Central League opener. On March 25 and 26, the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics played 2 regular season Major League Baseball games at Tokyo Dome. During their visit, they also played exhibition games against the Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants.

Format[edit]

Both League[edit]

  • Season Format
    • Regular Season
    • Climax Series 1st Stage: Regular Season 2nd place vs. Regular Season 3rd place - Best of 3
    • Climax Series 2nd Stage: Regular Season 1st place vs. Climax Series 1st Stage winner - Best of 7 (Regular Season 1st place take a one-win advantage)
  • Regular Season 1st place is the champion

Japan Series[edit]

  • Central League Climax Series 2nd Stage winner vs. Pacific League Climax Series 2nd Stage winner - Best of 7

Changes[edit]

The Seibu Lions added the prefecture name "Saitama" in front of the team name starting with this season.

As to reduce the interference to teams whose main players would play in the Olympic games, this year's trade and new foreign players deadlines were pushed to the end of July, instead of the end of June. Also, teams having more than three players selected by National teams were given an extra quota of foreign player limit during the Olympic Games.

The postseason playoff ("Climax Series") regulations have changed to give more advantages to League Champions, now the second stage series will play for 6 games, while the League Champion will have a one-win advantage.

In late June, the Free Agency regulation was amended after negotiation between the players committee and owners. Players are now eligible for free agency after 8 years of service to a team (1 playing year = 145 days on the active roster), players drafted before 2007 are shortened to 7 (University/Company/Independent League) to 8 (High School) years. However, oversea FA right which allow them to play in the Major League Baseball still needs 9 playing years. This amendment is also effective on non-Japanese players. Alex Ramírez, who served 8 playing years in Japan, became a "local player" after the season.[1]

Standings[edit]

Central League[edit]

Regular Season[edit]

Central League
G W L T Win% GB
Yomiuri Giants 144 84 57 3 .596
Hanshin Tigers 144 82 59 3 .582 2
Chunichi Dragons 144 71 68 5 .511 12
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 144 69 70 5 .496 14
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 144 66 74 4 .471 17½
Yokohama BayStars 144 48 94 2 .338 36½

Climax Series 1st Stage[edit]

Chunichi Dragons win the series, 2-1

Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Chunichi Dragons - 2, Hanshin Tigers - 0 October 18 Kyocera Dome Osaka 33,824[2]
2 Chunichi Dragons - 3, Hanshin Tigers - 7 October 19 Kyocera Dome Osaka 33,881[3]
3 Chunichi Dragons - 2, Hanshin Tigers - 0 October 20 Kyocera Dome Osaka 33,021[4]

Climax Series 2nd Stage[edit]

Yomiuri Giants win the series, 3-1-1 (Yomiuri Giants have a one-win advantage)

Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Chunichi Dragons - 4, Yomiuri Giants - 3 October 22 Tokyo Dome 44,072[5]
2 Chunichi Dragons - 2, Yomiuri Giants - 11 October 23 Tokyo Dome 43,536[6]
3 Chunichi Dragons - 5, Yomiuri Giants - 5 (12 innings) October 24 Tokyo Dome 45,846[7]
4 Chunichi Dragons - 2, Yomiuri Giants - 6 October 25 Tokyo Dome 46,797[8]

Pacific League[edit]

Regular Season[edit]

Pacific League
G W L T Win% GB
Saitama Seibu Lions 144 76 64 4 .543
Orix Buffaloes 144 75 68 1 .524
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 144 73 69 2 .514 4
Chiba Lotte Marines 144 73 70 1 .510
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 144 65 76 3 .461 11½
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 144 64 77 3 .454 12½

Climax Series 1st Stage[edit]

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters win the series, 2-0

Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters - 4, Orix Buffaloes - 1 October 11 Kyocera Dome Osaka 25,532[9]
2 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters - 7, Orix Buffaloes - 2 October 12 Kyocera Dome Osaka 26,703[10]

Climax Series 2nd Stage[edit]

Saitama Seibu Lions win the series, 4-2 (Saitama Seibu Lions have a one-win advantage)

Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters - 3, Saitama Seibu Lions - 10 October 17 Omiya Park Baseball Stadium 20,500[11]
2 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters - 5, Saitama Seibu Lions - 0 October 18 Seibu Dome 30,918[12]
3 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters - 7, Saitama Seibu Lions - 4 October 19 Seibu Dome 33,078[13]
4 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters - 4, Saitama Seibu Lions - 9 October 21 Seibu Dome 18,704[14]
5 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters - 0, Saitama Seibu Lions - 9 October 22 Seibu Dome 21,731[15]

Interleague Games[edit]

Team G W L T
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 24 15 9 0
Hanshin Tigers 24 15 9 0
Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 24 14 10 0
Yomiuri Giants 24 14 10 0
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 24 13 11 0
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 24 13 11 0
Chunichi Dragons 24 12 12 0
Orix Buffaloes 24 11 13 0
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 24 11 13 0
Chiba Lotte Marines 24 10 14 0
Saitama Seibu Lions 24 10 14 0
Yokohama BayStars 24 6 18 0

Note: Whenever multiple teams have same number of wins, the team having better standings in last year's interleague games will have advantage, thus Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks won the interleague title, despite Hanshin Tigers beating the Hawks 3 out of 4 games. A similar rule applies to other teams tied in wins.

Japan Series[edit]

Saitama Seibu Lions win the series, 4-3

Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Saitama Seibu Lions - 2, Yomiuri Giants - 1 November 1 Tokyo Dome 44,757[16]
2 Saitama Seibu Lions - 2, Yomiuri Giants - 3 November 2 Tokyo Dome 44,814[17]
3 Yomiuri Giants - 6, Saitama Seibu Lions - 4 November 4 Seibu Dome 24,495[18]
4 Yomiuri Giants - 0, Saitama Seibu Lions - 5 November 5 Seibu Dome 27,930[19]
5 Yomiuri Giants - 7, Saitama Seibu Lions - 3 November 6 Seibu Dome 28,763[20]
6 Saitama Seibu Lions - 4, Yomiuri Giants - 1 November 8 Tokyo Dome 44,749[21]
7 Saitama Seibu Lions - 3, Yomiuri Giants - 2 November 9 Tokyo Dome 44,737[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ In NPB, no team can have more than 4 "non-local" players in their active roster, and they cannot be all pitchers or all fielders, non-Japanese players who entered NPB by draft, or obtained the FA right are not bounded with this restriction.
  2. ^ "2008 CL Climax Series 1st Stage Game 1". Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008. 
  3. ^ "2008 CL Climax Series 1st Stage Game 2". Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008. 
  4. ^ "2008 CL Climax Series 1st Stage Game 3". Retrieved 21 October 2008. 
  5. ^ "2008 CL Climax Series 2nd Stage Game 1". Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2008. 
  6. ^ "2008 CL Climax Series 2nd Stage Game 2". Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008. 
  7. ^ "2008 CL Climax Series 2nd Stage Game 3". Retrieved 25 October 2008. 
  8. ^ "2008 CL Climax Series 2nd Stage Game 4". Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  9. ^ "2008 PL Climax Series 1st Stage Game 1". Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2008. 
  10. ^ "2008 PL Climax Series 1st Stage Game 2". Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2008. 
  11. ^ "2008 PL Climax Series 2nd Stage Game 1". Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2008. 
  12. ^ "2008 PL Climax Series 2nd Stage Game 2". Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008. 
  13. ^ "2008 PL Climax Series 2nd Stage Game 3". Archived from the original on 23 October 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008. 
  14. ^ "2008 PL Climax Series 2nd Stage Game 4". Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  15. ^ "2008 PL Climax Series 2nd Stage Game 5". Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2008. 
  16. ^ "2008 Japan Series Game 1". Retrieved 3 November 2008. 
  17. ^ "2008 Japan Series Game 2". Retrieved 3 November 2008. 
  18. ^ "2008 Japan Series Game 3". Retrieved 5 November 2008. 
  19. ^ "2008 Japan Series Game 4". Retrieved 7 November 2008. 
  20. ^ "2008 Japan Series Game 5". Retrieved 7 November 2008. 
  21. ^ "2008 Japan Series Game 6". Retrieved 8 November 2008. 
  22. ^ "2008 Japan Series Game 7". Retrieved 9 November 2008.