Will Daisuke Matsuzaka return to Japan?

NEW YORK — Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s career will continue next season. But will it go on in Major League Baseball or back in his native Japan? 

Matsuzaka offered no firm statement on that topic, but did say his next job would be as a starting pitcher — not in relief, where the Mets used him for much of this season. 

Matsuzaka, who turned 34 on Sept. 14, enters Sunday’s season finale with a 3-3 record and 3.89 ERA in 34 appearances (nine starts) in 2014. 

He last pitched in Japan in 2006, before being posted by the Seibu Lions and joining the Boston Red Sox

“I want to start,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter about next year’s plans. 

Asked if he would return to Japan if that’s where the opportunity to start existed, Matsuzaka added: “I think that’s sort of reading too much into it. I want to start. But I haven’t really put too much thought into whether it’s going to be here or there anything. At this point I just want to start.”

via Will Daisuke Matsuzaka return to Japan? – Mets Blog – ESPN New York.

Yi Jianlian Becomes A Dad Today

Yi Jianlian Becomes A Dad Today

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian has posted two pictures on his Weibo showing that he has become a dad.His wife gave birth to a baby boy on September 29, 2014.The 30-year-old once played in NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, and Dallas Mavericks.He now plays for the Guangdong Southern Tigers in CBA.

via Yi Jianlian Becomes A Dad Today.

Eom Hyo-won helps S. Korean men’s handball team reaches final

Asiad S. Korean men's handball team reaches final | GlobalPost

INCHEON, Sept. 29 (Yonhap) — The South Korean men’s handball team scored a ticket to the final of the Incheon Asian Games after defeating Bahrain 27-23 on Monday.

South Korean left back Eom Hyo-won scored seven goals to prop up his team in the semifinal held at Seonhak Handball Gymnasium in this western port city of Incheon.

In the gold medal match slated for Thursday, the South Korean men’s team will take on Qatar, which earlier defeated Iran 29-21.

South Korea had a slight upper hand during the first half and led Bahrain at 12-10. The Middle-Eastern country did not go away easily, putting up a fight and managing to catch up after almost every shot made by the South Korean players.

South Korea gradually distanced themselves and assumed a 17-14 lead and kept pace until the end of the contest.

Bahrain clawed back into the game and made it an 18-17 contest. Then Jeong Yi-gyeong and Eom Hyo-won scored consecutive goals to put South Korea back up by 20-17 with about 10 minutes remaining. Oh Yun-suk and then Yu Dong-geun scored on a fast break for a 22-18 advantage.

Bahrain’s attempts to rack up more goals were faltered time and again by goalie Lee Chang-woo, who stopped 13 of 34 shots thrown at him by the opponents.

Seconds before the match came to an end, South Korean captain Park Jung-geu scored on a seven-meter throw.

South Korea has won six of the eight men’s handball gold medals at Asian Games so far.

via Asiad S. Korean men’s handball team reaches final | GlobalPost.

Ichiro’s future with Yankees questionable, but plans on playing again next year 

BOSTON – Ichiro Suzuki is not thinking about how many more years he has left in his career, he just knows that he’s going to play again next season.

But the soon-to-be free agent answered cryptically when asked about perhaps returning to the Yankees: “That might be a question you shouldn’t ask right now,” Ichiro said through a translator.

He also had this to say when talking about his role as a fourth outfielder with the Yanks this year: “Obviously there’s a lot of things that go on that the fans and the media can’t see, that goes on inside (the organization).

“But what I can say is that the experiences I had this year? Those experiences are going to help me in the future. It’ll be somewhat of a support for me because of the experiences I had this year.”

Suzuki, who turns 41 in October, probably would not have played as much as he did had Carlos Beltran not gotten hurt this season. Ichiro finished with a slash line of .284/.324/.340 and 15 steals in 359 at-bats over 143 games.

He is closing in on 3,000 hits – he is 156 shy after going 1-for-3 in the Yanks’ 9-5 win Sunday. Is that a motivation to keep playing?

“Obviously you want to get there, but that’s not why you play the game and that’s not why I am going to play the game,” he said.

Ichiro added that it would be tough to play if he didn’t think he could be a starter again. “I don’t know where I’m going to be, but as a player, you want to play,” he said. “You want to be in that position.

“If you don’t feel that way, I don’t know how you play the game.”

Asked how many more years he might have left, Ichiro replied: “That’s a tough question because right now I am not even thinking about it. I feel great and that’s not something I even think about.”

via Ichiro’s future with Yankees questionable, but plans on playing again next year  – NY Daily News.

Matt Dumba lead Minnesota Wild in preseason win

Alas, the Wild’s preseason schedule is halfway over.

With a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets, the Wild improved to 1-1-1 in the (meaningless) regular season.

The story from Saturday’s victory at Xcel Energy Center (the first game in St. Paul since the Blackhawks eliminated the Wild in Game 6 last season) was the Wild’s success on the power play.

They went 3-for-4 with the man advantage, recording 10 of their 24 shots during the power play, a noticeable difference from last season.

“You always want to shoot,” Zach Parise said. “But tonight I just thought we had more of an attack the net mindset. When they tried to overload in the corner and we got it free, we took it right to the net.”

Matt Dumba was great on the power play and made a strong move around a defenseman to set up Nino Niederreiter’s power play goal.

“That’s a heck of a play right there,” coach Mike Yeo said of Dumba’s move. “What you like is the recognition that there’s an opportunity there and you want that attack mentality. When you get a bit of a chance, that’s when you have to be ready to attack and that was a strong move that we saw there.”

Dumba also threw his body around and made a couple big hits.

“I think that’s a sign that he’s going out there with the mindset that he wants to show us what he can do and that’s what you want,” Yeo said. “It’s not an easy situation. These guys know they’re under the microscope and every mistake is being analyzed. So to play the game without any fear, I give him a lot of credit for. He’s played two strong games in a row for us.”

via Minnesota Wild beat Winnipeg Jets 4-3 in preseason game.

Jeremy Lin attempts to land some ‘Lindorsements’ in new video

He’s had some success with a couple of random Instagram videos that got a lot of attention in the sports blogosphere, but his last offering is a scripted piece called “Lindorsements.”

In the video, Lin tries his hand at becoming “The Most Linteresting Man in the World,” giving away “Linsane” prices at a dollar store, selling puppies and more.

There is also a cameo by Steve Nash at the end.

Jeremy Lin attempts to land some ‘Lindorsements’ in new video | FOX Sports.