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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:50 pm 
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Favorite Team: Red Sox
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Favorite Japanese title: (PS3) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011
October 22, 2036
Blue Stadium, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto
22:58


“YES!!” Laisei emerged from his chair like a rocket, and he immediately laid a kiss on Mayumi. “*(censored)* yes. Pheeeewwwwww. Good job, boys.”

Hiroshi Kujikawa had finished his stunning complete game performance in his first career Japan Series outing with aplomb: a strikeout to the fearsome cleanup hitter, Abe, of the Giants. His final line for the night included a couple walks, but a staggering 11 strikeouts on only 109 pitches. The Knights have taken the first game by a score of 3-1! Powered on the offensive side by homeruns by Satoshi Kura and Takuji Ootake.

“Heeeyyyy, congrats Laisei!” ...perhaps the second glass of whiskey was unwise. I went up to him and grabbed him for a big hug. “That was great!”
He let out a big breath, “Ooooh, man. I can’t tell you how nervous I was about this. Man! I’m so proud of these guys.” Lasiei clasped his hands together and tapped his forehead a few times. “Yeeeeesh, why’d they have to make it so tight though? Hahaha!”
“Hooray!” Tsuzumi had grabbed her phone to snap a picture of Laisei and I mid-embrace. “What a sweet little moment…” She said, a condescending smile locked on her face. “Congrats, boss!”
“Thanks, Tsuzu!” Laisei went in for the hug on her too, I don’t think I’d ever seen him that happy. “Could you call Kuo for me? We’re goin out tonight!” He proclaimed, fingers to the sky. “Or, hell, I’ll call her. Haha!” He floated out to the hallway to grab Kuo, who I would assume was the woman that had our coats.

“Whoa.” Accidentally slipped out of my mouth.
“Laisei might not seem it all the time, but he’s pretty *(censored)* serious about this team.” Tsuzumi replied.
“I, uh, damn. I can tell.”
Mayumi was still looking out onto the field, now filled with Knights players congratulating one another, and Kujikawa getting prepared for his post-game interview. “Wow, what a game…” She said to no one in particular. I was still absolutely floored by how graceful she was in every movement and even how every word she spoke seemed to carry like a dandelion. She turned around, “Thanks for coming, you two.”
“Hell, I’m usually here by myself with him, so thanks for being his sole focus the whole time.” Tsuzumi said with a chuckle.
“You know that’s what I’m here for, kiddie.” Mayumi replied with a wink.

Laisei walked back in with three coats in his arms and his own already on.
“Let’s gooooo!” He handed all of us our respective coats. I struggled a bit getting my left arm through, for some reason, and had to sit back down on the loveseat.

“Hey,” Laisei said from the door, “Mayumi and I are gonna head to Fishbowl. You two are more than welcome to join, if you want.”

Tsuzumi was standing in the kitchenette chatting with Mayumi, she and I quickly locked eyes after Laisei’s sudden proposal.
“Oh, uh, sorry Laisei... I gotta get back home.” I quickly said.
“Yeah, I’m not really feeling up to any more drinking tonight.” Tsuzumi added.
“Allrighty, you crazy kids. Stay safe on your ways home. And hey, thanks for coming Ryu!”
“Sure thing, Laisei, thanks for the invite.”

He disappeared down the hall once again, though there was a faint “woo!”

Mayumi was a bit slower to leave. She tapped Tsuzumi on the top of the head, “see ya, kiddie.” and then turned her attention to me.

I stood up as she got closer.

And then…

She hugged me.

……

.

Holy shit.

“It was nice to meet you, Azuma--”
“Oh, please, just Ryu’s fine!” I said, a bit too loudly.
“Haha! Then it was nice to meet you, Ryu. I’ve heard so much about you from Tsuzu and Laisei… It was nice to finally, actually, put a face to a name.”
“Oh, uh, same here. I’m glad I was finally able to meet you, uh, too…” I cleared my throat.
Mayumi’s electric smile filled the room, “Well, I’ll be seeing you two then.”

And she walked out.

“...Oh my god.” I couldn’t contain myself any longer, “OH MY GOD.”
“She hugged you.” Tsuzumi had a knowing smile plastered on her face
“She hugged me! Wo--I can’t even believe this is real…”
“God, Mr. Brook, keep it in your pants.”
“Mr. Bro--? ...That one’s gonna stick, huh?”
She let out a hearty laugh, “Oh, I think it just might.”

And despite my best efforts, I couldn’t help but join.

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:44 pm 
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Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Wii and DS
Favorite Japanese title: (PS3) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011
From beyond the graaAaaaaAAAave

Welcome back to this, my log that I began (unsuccessfully) five damn years ago. Truth is, the Foxes have never stopped rattling around in my head. If I don’t get these stories about this ragtag group of losers out, I just might go crazy. So, even if this is just another drop in the ocean of internet content, it’s droppin babey

That said, it has been literally over a year since I’ve looked at this, so maybe a recap is in order...

This thing is the third in a series of logs following first an ex-pat GM, Jack Allen as he tried his best to lead the Hanshin Tigers of the NPB back to the promised land of a Japan Series. That... didn’t exactly go as planned. Three years after being handed the reigns, Jack was fired by a new owner who inexplicably blew up the team.

Despite this sudden setback, Jack took advantage of an opportunity to head up an upstart organization full of promising young players and washed-up veterans, the Kyoto Knights. The rest is, as they say, history… Jack took the team to four consecutive Japan Serieses, won a couple of them, got in a serious car accident, met the love of his life, retired young, moved back to America, got married, had a child, and became a sort of legend in his adoptive home of Japan...

26 years have passed since Jack took over the Tigers, and now we follow a different man. A man who grew up idolizing this same Jack Allen and the Knights he led. A man slightly depressed and much too deep in his own head for his own good. A man by the name of Ryu Azuma.

Beginning his professional baseball career as the Knights’ inaugural second string manager, Ryu led the Asuka Archers to a playoff berth and impressed with his calm demeanor and player-focused style of leadership.

This story begins in the year 2036, hours before the first game of the Knights’ 21st season. Jack Allen returns to Blue Stadium, the Knights’ home for those 21 years, to personally hand out plaques to the first members of the Knights’ Hall of Fame.

After watching the first game of the season unfold, Ryu returns to business as usual--the manager of the Archers.

But a surprise was waiting for him not a few months later…

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:29 pm
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Location: Skaia
Favorite Team: Rangers
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Favorite Japanese title: (PS3) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2012
EYES EMOJI EYES EMOJI EYES EMOJI EYES EMOJI !!!!

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yeah that log's dead too- i mean on hiatus

not this one though

NAPOLI FOR MVP

Bills.

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:24 pm 
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Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Wii and DS
Favorite Japanese title: (PS3) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011
July 19, 2036 was the best day of Ryu Azuma’s life. He was treated to a meal at his favorite restaurant (the steakhouse Mori’s Meats, owned by former Knight Junichi Mori) by his boss after he had told him that, surprise!, he was offered the job of manager of an NPB club. A terrible club, sure, but a pro one nonetheless. That’s right, Ryu was on the way up--he was now the manager of the Osaka Foxes, a perennially terrible team plagued by inept ownership and run unofficially by the team’s resident old-bastard player, Tadahiko Suzuki.

As a refresher, the Foxes roster looked like this when Ryu made his grand entrance. (The death of tinypic has made this log look much sadder lol)

Ryu tried his damnedest to will the team to a decent record in the backhalf of the season, but alas, they finished at 55-85-4 landing them in… last place… with the worst record in the league.

It wasn’t all bad though! The offence was actually quite good, led by shortstop Tomochika Kobayashi, who batted .336 with 33 homeruns, 109 RBI, and an OPS of 1.004 while playing all 144 games in the season. In fact, the team’s overall batting average for the season was an amazing .286!

Ultimately, the team was let down by the pitching staff being on the wrong side of NPB history. The pitching staff was one of the worst of all-time. And that’s no exaggeration. The team ERA was 5.73…

But. That all leads us to now. The Knights and the Yomiuri Giants are clashing in the Japan Series once again, and Ryu has just watched Game 1 in the executive box with his good friend and former boss, Laisei Matsubara. Along with them were Tsuzumi Tsukada, Laisei’s secretary, and Laisei’s (not-so) secret girlfriend Mayumi Tominaga, better known as May-chan, one of Japan’s most popular Pop Idols in the 2020s and, coincidentally, Ryu’s adolescent crush…

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:32 pm 
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Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Wii and DS
Favorite Japanese title: (PS3) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011
But... who the hell are these people?

Ryu Azuma, age: 31

Our hero, our protagonist, and our narrator. He was born the youngest of three Azuma children (Kenma, his blue-collar brother, and Miyuki, his professional, studious sister) to an obscenely rich family. He hasn’t spoken to his parents in over 12 years, owing to them kicking Kenma out of the house. This story is his story through his eyes. He’s the current manager of the Osaka Foxes and tries his best to be a kind person. He lives alone in the 3L Apartment Complex in Kobe, a state-of-the-art building with Complete Climate Control. He’s very happy. Or, well, he at least likes to tell himself he is.

Laisei Matsubara, age 49

The current GM of the Kyoto Knights. He was handed the baton in Jack Allen’s farewell address in 2017 and led the team deftly through thin years after their initial splash onto the scene back to consistent contention for a Pennant. As of 2036, the Knights are unequalled in talent both on the field and behind the scenes. Laisei is widely known for his relaxed attitude, understanding personality, and seemingly, his access to the fountain of youth. Despite pushing 50, the man looks no older than 30. He’s currently dating a former idol, Mayumi Tominaga. He is what Ryu aspires to be.

Tsuzumi Tsukada, age 26

Simply, she’s Laisei’s secretary and has been for the last four years. More confusingly, she’s probably, accidentally, Ryu’s closest friend and a young woman, lost in the world and terrified of stagnation, who took a job in a baseball office after dropping out of college with nowhere else to go. After spending most of every day with Laisei, the two of them have become almost like brother and sister. A big fan of museums, she makes sure to make a stop at any historical one she can find in a town she visits. She enjoys teasing Ryu and endearingly calls him “Mr. Brook”. Despite that, she and Ryu always manage to have fun whenever they’re together.

---

These are, I suppose, the main three that this story is focused on.

Of course there are so many more and they’ll all get their 15 minutes, no doubt. As they crop up, I’ll be sure to say who they are, more so I can remember than anything else

but yea, thanks for your patronage, even if no one is around anymore this stuff’s getting done lest I lose my damn mind lol (or, honestly, lose steam again…)

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Last edited by Powerprosfan31 on Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:00 pm 
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Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Wii and DS
Favorite Japanese title: (PS3) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011
October 27, 2036

This update is Ryu watching the last game of the Knights/Giants Japan Series at Tomochika Kobayashi’s house--he was invited by him and reluctantly accepted. This is his first exposure to the boys outside of work. Taiji Izumi, Yoshi Imanami, Hideaki Asao, Kazuaki Abe, and Masaya Nishizawa are there as well.

Tomochika Kobayashi, Foxes’ Shortstop

For his four years in the NPB, Kobayashi has been the only consistent bright spot on the Foxes. He’s the Foxes’ shortstop and 2034, 2035, and 2036’s starting All-Star at the position. He is unrelentingly jovial and tries to raise the spirits of his teammates. It hasn’t worked. But, he’s still trying! That said, his relentless optimism does rub some of the other players the wrong way. He does forever have a fan in Taiji Izumi, though. He’s a quintessential five-tool player, and only 23 to boot.

Taiji Izumi, “Kodomo”, Foxes’ Third Baseman

Taiji has just finished up his second year as a professional player, and his first full season. His rookie year ended abruptly and tragically as he tore his achilles tendon rounding first base midway through his first campaign. Christened Kodomo by Kobayashi, Izumi lives up to the nickname with his naivety and his lack of cynicism. He’s only 19 years old and has a bright future ahead of him. On the diamond, he specializes in slapping singles and doubles, but is better known for his fluidity on the field and his strong arm.

Yoshi Imanami, Foxes’ Catcher

Unofficially, he is the Foxes’ captain. Officially, he’s their backstop. Really, he’s a microcosm of the Foxes--once full of hope, dashed by constant underperformance. With nothing to work with, Imanami has more or less given up on game calling and the pitching staff as a whole. He has spent his entire career with the Foxes. Once a promising prospect, Imanami has not exactly taken to his new role as a solid, if only slightly-above-average player. Ryu has a feeling that if he can somehow bring Imanami back from the brink, he will have a strong voice in his corner.

Hideaki Asao, Foxes’ Backup Catcher/First Baseman/DH

The team’s jolly, porty, “old man.” Asao is a 35 year old catcher on his way out of the league. He spent his early years in the league with the Samurai and was once a feared power hitter the likes of which hadn't been seen since Shinnosuke Abe. Unfortunately for him, life got in the way, and he lost his youth quicker than he expected. The Foxes swiped him on the cheap in 2034 and he has, somehow, not yet lost his joyful demeanor. He was one of the first to welcome Azuma to the team.

Kazuaki Abe, Foxes’ Right Fielder

Abe is a bit of an arrogant ass. He can back it up though. After enjoying a successful rookie campaign in the NPB, Abe has solidified his space in the Foxes lineup. Or so you’d think. Since he occupies the same position as Tadahiko Suzuki would, Abe is forced out of the lineup in Central League games to the detriment of the team. Needless to say, Abe has no love for Suzuki and is vocal about his distaste. He is only a year in, and he’s already jaded. Still only being 19, his youthful passion for the game occasionally squeaks out.

Masaya Nishizawa, Foxes’ Center Fielder

Nishizawa is an arrogant ass. Though… he can also back it up. Nishizawa is known for his deadpan personality and his sharply honest, terse comments. He doesn’t have much to say, but when he opens his mouth, it’s usually an insult. His good looks have allowed him to keep up this behavior without much resistance, however.

---

October 27, 2036
3L Apartment Complex, Unit 318, Kobe (Azuma Residence)
12:39


“Yeah, it’s just gonna be a couple of us, so it shouldn’t be too wild haha!”

I was surprised by a call by Tomochika Kobayashi, our all-star (hell, more like superstar) shortstop, in the middle of my Monday noontime radio calisthenics.

Needless to say, I was slightly winded.

“Oh, th--that sounds gr--” AHEM “great, Kobayashi. I really appreciate the invite.”
“So, we gonna see you there?”
“Oh… Oh yeah, I’ll be there.”
“Great!” he paused, “...Wait… do you have a car?”
“Uh… yeah, I do. Why?”
“Oh, it’s just I’ll have to buz--nevermind, I’ll just meet you out front when you get here. Just, uh, give me a call when you get here. Or a text! Hmm… Or you could even call Kodomo, he’ll be there too-”
“Hahaha, okay! Don’t worry, I’ll make sure to call someone once I get there.”
“Cool, cool. Okay. Well then, coach, I’ll see you tonight. Game starts at 18:30, so I expect people to start funneling in around 17:30 or so.”
“Sounds good.”
“Oh, and Azuma--uh, coach?”
“Yeah?”
“Do you like tonkatsu? Because I’m ordering just like… an irresponsible amount of tonkatsu.”
“Haha, yeah. Love it, actually.”
“Nice, nice. Okay! Well, I’ll see you later then.”
“Sounds good. See you, Kobayashi.”
He hung up.

Guess I do have some plans tonight, after all. Better than watching game 5 sitting here alone anyways!

Tonight, the Knights are playing for the pennant. They’ve got a 3-1 series lead on the Giants, and to be honest, it’s more of a 3-1 chokehold. After game 1’s thriller (with the Knights winning 3-1), they took the second game 11-0, lost the third game 2-1, and then came back to win game four 6-2. Tonight sees rookie phenom Mamoru Ikari taking the ball after he missed his planned game 3 start due to “illness.”

Regardless, I was invited to watch the game with Kobayashi, and it seems some of the other players will be there as well. This is probably as good a chance as any for me to make a better impression on them, especially since it’s outside of work…


“Although… what the hell am I gonna talk about with them?”

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:09 pm 
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Location: Michigan/Indiana/Kentucky
Favorite Team: Tigers
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
yooooo this is awesome

Thank you for the character recaps. Those were a great idea. Looking forward to further updates. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:32 pm 
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Favorite Team: Red Sox
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October 27, 2036
Kobayashi Residence (Front Door), Kita, Osaka
17:53


“Hey. Yeah, I’m downstairs. Alrighty, cool, thanks.”
-bzzzzzz-

I slipped my phone into my coat pocket and the now-unlocked automatic door smoothly slid open to the lobby of Kobayashi’s building, the “S-GRANZ Osaka.” The lobby’s golden yellow walls showed a subdued opulence that, I would assume, bled into the rest of the complex. There was a young man behind a desk directly opposite the door, intensely focused on his computer screen. When the door closed, he shifted his attention to me and smiled.

“Welcome!” He said, with an almost astonishing amount of glee, “Can I help you?”
I walked over to him, “Hi, uh, I’m just here visiting a friend.”
“Ah well, in that case, I hope you have a nice night!”
“Oh, uh, thanks. You too!”

He smiled and quickly returned his focus to his computer. I could see in the mirror behind him that he was watching a J League match. Being a very passive fan of football myself, I figured I’d make some small talk before heading up to Kobayashi’s to warm myself up for socialization.
“Who’s playing tonight?”
“Hmm?” He looked back up, probably surprised I was still standing there, “Oh! Cerezo and the Marinos are playing tonight. You follow football at all?”
“A little! I’m more of a baseball guy, though. The Cerezo are doing pretty well this year, yeah?”
“Yeah! They’ve actually got a legit chance to qualify for the Champions League next year, which like… dude.” He pulled up his right sleeve to show me his pink wristband with a number 7 on it, “I got this from Shirakawa himself like 5 years ago. Game-worn. It’s honestly like my most prized possession.” He pulled his sleeve back down and looked around the lobby, “Don’t go telling anyone I’m watching this game instead of the cameras. Please.”
I laughed, “Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me.”
He exhaled, followed by a brief smile, and then--back to the computer.

I walked over to the elevator and pressed the silver button. It shone a dull blue.
Well, that was pretty good, I guess. Still not entirely sure how this is going to go, but… Gah, what the hell, why am I always so worried about these things?

-ding-
The elevator doors snuck open, clean and smooth, completely empty. I stepped in and tapped the “7” button.

It’s not like this is gonna be awkward right? I mean, we’re just gonna be watching the game with some serious tonkatsu up in there. That’s just, like, normal dude stuff. I’m gonna be fine. I have no reason to be this nervous. I took a deep breath, and this sweaty. Goddamn!

As I was airing myself out, the doors dinged open once again. A soft feminine voice alerted me that I was on the 7th floor.

Alright, Unit 703. Should be… there was a sign to my left, “<-- 701-705” welp, should be that way.

I... went that way.

---

detroittigers15 wrote:
yooooo this is awesome

Thank you for the character recaps. Those were a great idea. Looking forward to further updates. :)

thx bud :')

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:22 am 
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Favorite Team: Tigers
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
what an accurate depiction of the inexplicable anxiety of going to hang out with people

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:13 pm 
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October 27, 2036
Unit 703, S-GRANZ Osaka, Kobayashi Residence, Kita, Osaka
17:59


-knockknockknock-

Oh shit, was I supposed to bring something? Maybe I should’ve gotten a bottle of wine or something. Wait, it’s not like I’m taking him on a date or anything, I should be good with nothing. Nothing but me. No--

The door swung open, with, to my surprise, Yoshi Imanami on the other side.
“Wooooahhh, what’s good, coach?” he asked, arching his way back into the apartment.
“Imanami?”
“Oh come on now, it’s just ‘Yoshi’ outside the office, haha.” He motioned for me to go on in, “Come on in!”
“Thank you.”

I shuffled in, hung my coat up, and slipped off my shoes.
“Coach’s here!” Imanami yelled towards the kitchen.
“AmmmM” there was a grumble from the kitchen, a few doors down the hall from the front door.
Out came Tomochika Kobayashi, in a blue, multi-patterned, button down shirt and white pants, with a plate in his hand.
“Tunkassu?” he asked, mouth full, plate extended. “Ahh,” he wiped his mouth, “sorry. Want some tonkatsu?”
“Uh, sure. Thanks, Kobayashi.”

I grabbed the smallest piece on the plate and took a bite. A slight crunch from the breadcrumbs and filleted pork that seemed to melt away.
Damn. It was delicious.

Kobayashi ushered me into his modest kitchen, “Welcome to my humble abode.”
I took a quick look around the kitchen. There were what looked like brand new stainless steel appliances, his refrigerator in particular looked very fancy--it had a screen on it about as long as the entire door that showed what was inside--and dark paneled cabinetry. Honestly, it was a pretty beautiful kitchen.
“Wow.” was all I managed to say about it, though.
“Oh yeah. And this is only a fifth of this magnanimous gift of a place.” He put his plate on the counter, “Come on, I’ll give you the tour! Yoyo,” he looked at Imanami, “keep an eye on that stuff, yeah? Make sure Kodomo doesn’t steal it all.”
Imanami saluted, “Sure thing, boss.”

I followed Kobayashi as he took me around his, surprisingly small, apartment. A couple highlights were an original (46 year old!!) Super Famicom safely sitting on the dresser in his room, a goddamn smart toilet, with “just an incredible bidet,” a personal gym in a room about the size of half of my living room, and a keyboard that has apparently been in his family since his father was a young man.

After showing me his smaller rooms, he led me into his larger living room in the back of the apartment with a large window and a door leading out to what looked like a small patio. More immediate though were the four people sitting in the living room. Taiji Izumi, our third baseman, sat closest to the kitchen in one of the chairs at the dining table, a literal box of tonkatsu in front of him. Kazuaki Abe, the right fielder, sat in the chair next to him, looking at his phone. On the couch were Hideki Asao, our veteran backup catcher, and Masaya Nishizawa, our star centerfielder both deeply focused on the television.

“Fellas,” Kobayashi brought their collective attention onto me, “Coach is here.”
“Azuma!” Asao quickly got up and squeezed me tight for a hug. “Glad you could make it!”
“Haha, ah… You’re crushing… me…”
“Oh! Sorry about that!” he let go, “Nishi and I have been keeping a spot warm for you on the couch.”
“Ah, thanks Asao.”
He slapped my back with a laugh and spun back onto the couch. Nishizawa was looking disinterested, as he usually does, swirling the ice in his cup of whiskey. The pregame for the Championship Series was on the TV.

“--when he did?” the on-field reporter, a young woman named Yorimi Kawada, finished whatever thought was on her mind and then the focus was back on the main panel. To my surprise, they were sat on the street right outside Blue Stadium, and the one on the far right was Masato Kurihara! He wore a big smile as he answered questions that poured in from the viewers.

“So, Azuma” Nishizawa began, his voice flat, “who you got tonight?”
I walked over to the couch, “Probably the Knights, yeah?”
“Yeah. That’s a safe bet.” He looked at me, it was truly remarkable how even-keeled he was, “But I got a hundred thousand on the Giants. Always been a fan of them.”
“Oh? You grow up in Tokyo?”
“Yeah.” He took a sip of his whiskey, “Moved there when I was 7. Kinda miss it, honestly.”
“Hunh.”
“Yeah.” He turned back to the TV. I kept looking at him. His stoic demeanor interested me to no end. His report from Fukuhara, the Foxes’ old manager, was that he was ‘really an arrogant ass,’ though so far all I’ve seen out of him is a disinterested… guy. There’s no doubt he’s a star, but… just what the hell is going on under the hood?

“Kodomo!” Kobayashi called from the kitchen.
“Yeah?” Izumi quickly responded.
“What time is it?”
“Oh uh,” he checked his watch, “it’s 18:26.”
“Cool, thanks.”
“No problem… why?”
“Just the clock on the microwave went out for some reason, I got no idea why.”
“Oh.”
“Anyways, game should be starting in a couple minutes, yeah?”
“Yep!”
“Could you help me with these?” Kobayashi walked into the room with a tray of tonkatsu in each hand.
“Haha! Sure thing.” Kodomo--er, Izumi--went into the kitchen to grab the other tray.

Seems he really did order an irresponsible amount…

---

detroittigers15 wrote:
what an accurate depiction of the inexplicable anxiety of going to hang out with people

It really do be rough hangin with the bois sometimes

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:44 pm 
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October 27, 2036
Unit 703, S-GRANZ Osaka, Kobayashi Residence, Kita, Osaka
21:08


“Put it in the books! The Knights are back on top!” Announcer Yohane Meichi yelled after Knights’ electric closer, Yuya Sugiya, spun only his 7th pitch, a devastating slider to the Giants' third baseman Murata, which left him looking a fool watching it pass by.

Strike three. Game over. Series over.

“YOOOO!” Kobayashi jumped out of his seat, tonkatsu crumbs flying. “Hahaha, Nishi you *(censored)* up dudeeee.”
“Shit.” Nishizawa again took a sip of his whiskey, expression still unwavering despite losing a hundred thousand yen in the span of three hours.

23:54

“Alright.” Asao huffed as he stood up from the couch. “I’ve gotta get going, boys.” He looked towards the kitchen. “Hmmm…” and then shifted his attention towards Kobayashi, “You gonna--”
Kobayashi cut him off with a sharp laugh, “haha! Yes, please! Take some tonkatsu with you. I’ll be swimming in it for like a week if you don’t.”
“You’re a saint, Koya.” Asao smiled wide as he scooped up some of the leftover tonkatsu, “the kids would’ve had my head if they found out I was eating this stuff without them.”

He walked back over to the living room.

“Thanks for hosting, Koya, it was fun.”
“You know it. Hopefully the next time I see you won’t be February, yeah?”
“Count on it.”

And with that, we were down one.

Imanami sat at the dining room table with Abe and Izumi, quietly inspecting his hand in their “high-stakes” poker game. The pot sat in the middle of the table: two ¥1000 notes and an old ¥50 coin.

Nishizawa was left alone on the couch after Asao’s exit, idly watching the news that had come on after the game.

Kobayashi was saying his goodbyes to Asao at the door.

I was sat on the loveseat, alone, half-heartedly looking at my phone. More than anything else, though, I was looking at the rest of the guys in this small apartment. The rest of my players.

These five are some of the best I’ve got. I scrolled through my phone to make it look like I was more preoccupied than I really was. And they’re all pretty great players. Even after tonight though, I dunno… I still don’t feel like I know them all too well. Maybe I was spoiled with the Archers? With Ishikawa and Saitoh and Yoshimi and, hell, even Kura. Maybe it was because they were so much younger? Or were they even really all that much younger? Is it because of some power-dynamic thing? Like can I only talk to people if I know I’m above them? God, I hope that’s not what’s going on…

Kobayashi took a seat next to Nishizawa and began a conversation about Nishizawa’s fiance.

Oh wow, he’s getting married? I couldn’t believe it. Here I was thinking this guy was the most prototypical lone-wolf on the planet, but no. He’s getting married and I had absolutely no idea. I listened in on their conversation.

“So…” Kobayashi began, “Toshiko, eh?”
Nishizawa turned his head to meet Kobayashi’s bated gaze.
“Yes. What about her?” he replied
“Give me the scoop, man! I’ve known you for almost like five years now, and I’ve legit never met her.”
“Okay.”
“...And, uh, well, you guys are getting married soon, aren't you?”
“Yes.”
“...what’s she like?”
“Amazing.”
“...uh, nice, man. That’s pretty sweet. I can’t imagine getting married, myself, honestly.”
“Why not?”
“Just seems like a kinda crazy thing to me, locking yourself to one person for the rest of your life. Hell, I dunno, finding someone I'd be willing to do that with in the first place… It’s just kind of crazy.”
“Really?” Nishizawa took a deep breath and shifted his body to face Kobayashi’s, “I don’t know if that’s totally true.”
“Oh yeah?” Kobayashi was as surprised as I was, surely, that Nishizawa gave him a legitimate response.
“Yeah,” Nishizawa began, “marriage is an incredible thing. A joining of two souls who have consciously made a decision to spend the rest of their days together. Now, that isn’t to say that it always necessarily lasts all those days, but just the thought of making a decision so long-standing is an incredible achievement all on its own.”
Kobayashi stared at Nishizawa for a moment. “No, yeah. That makes sense.” He managed.
“It does. But, to answer your earlier question: what is she like? She’s the most amazing person I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting. Someone who I can have an actual conversation with without wanting to tear my hair out. A woman who on her worst day is better than most anyone else. She’s someone I look forward to waking up next to every day for the rest of my life.”

Kobayashi was taken aback. I don’t think he was expecting such an earnest answer.
“Oh… Wow.” Was all he could squeeze out, “Damn.”
“Yeah.” Nishizawa turned his attention to the news once again.
Kobayashi followed in kind.
I looked back at my phone, awkwardly hoping they didn’t notice I was listening.

“So…” Kobayashi cut the silence once again, “when’s the wedding?”
Nishizawa responded without taking his eyes off the TV: “You’re not invited.”

0:22

I was the last one left. Everyone else said their goodbyes and left their respective messes in their respective spots for Kobayashi to take care of in the morning. I grabbed my coat from the entryway.

“Hey coach,” Kobayashi tapped my back, “Just wanted to say thanks for coming.”
“Yeah, yeah, of course. Hey, thanks for inviting.” That sentence really didn’t work…
“Haha. Hey, you want some tonkatsu? I think there still might be some left.”
“Uhh… sure, yeah. I’ll take some.”
“Okay! I’ll be right back.”
Kobayashi hurried down the hall and slunk into the kitchen.

This was a pretty amazing night, I think. I hope. I don’t know. I guess it was nice to get out of the house. I’m glad I got to see a little bit more of the players’ “out-of-the-office” personalities too. But… did I really talk to any of them, or was I more of a passive observer? Man. I gotta talk more.

I sat down to slip my shoes on.

Kobayashi returned with a plate of tonkatsu covered in plastic wrap.
“Sorry it’s a bit janky, but this is all I got right now.”
“All good, don’t worry about it.”
“Well,” Kobayashi helped me up, “don’t be a stranger, yeah? You’re much younger than Fukuhara so it’ll actually be nice to hang around with you, haha!”

He brought up his old manager, Fukuhara, who was fired for public intoxication midway through this season without so much as a second thought.

I wonder what they thought of him…
I considered bringing up that question, but thought better of it looking at the time. So instead, I just laughed a bit and that was that.

“Guess I’ll be seeing you then, Kobayashi.”
“See you around coach. Maybe someday we’ll actually be on TV this late into the year instead of watching it, haha!”
“Hah! Hopefully!”

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:19 pm 
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Powerprosfan31 wrote:
“So…” Kobayashi cut the silence once again, “when’s the wedding?”
Nishizawa responded without taking his eyes off the TV: “You’re not invited.”

Brutal.

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:10 pm 
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detroittigers15 wrote:
Powerprosfan31 wrote:
“So…” Kobayashi cut the silence once again, “when’s the wedding?”
Nishizawa responded without taking his eyes off the TV: “You’re not invited.”

Brutal.

QFT.

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PEDs wrote:
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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:58 pm 
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Character Mentions, whoa now

Kenma Azuma, age: 39

The middle Azuma child. Kenma has always been the black sheep of the Azuma family, a soul troubled by anger and resentment at his station in life. He “fell in with the wrong crowd,” in his teenage years. This led to him getting poor grades and creating an even poorer relationship with his parents. Kenma was kicked out of the Azuma family home the day after his 18th birthday. Due to this, Kenma lived on the streets for months, a period of time that he has never told anyone about. This was… not taken well by the other two Azuma children, leading to a family fallout and a cessation of contact between the children and their parents.

Reika Arakawa, age: 37

Ryu’s realtor. She’s the reason Ryu is living in as nice an apartment as he is. But she’s so much more than that. She is a woman unrivaled in drive and Ryu is completely floored when he meets her. After showing Ryu his (eventual) apartment for the first time, she invites him out to lunch, on a date. Maybe? Who can say? But one thing is for certain, she may or may not currently be casually ”visiting” Ryu once a week… He doesn’t talk about it much, though. So… maybe not.

Mayumi Tominaga, age: 35

Perhaps better known by her former stage name, ”May-chan” was one of Japan’s top idols in the 2020s. She enjoyed hit after hit, her most famous work no doubt being her subversive ballad, “Never.” After her singing career had run its course, she shifted her focus to reporting and scored a job with Kyoto Shimbun News. Long story short, she and Laisei Matsubara happened to be attending the same party one summer night, hit it off, and the rest is… well, the relationship that bloomed that night is still going strong.

Miyuki Azuma, age: 40

The eldest Azuma. Miyuki was the Azuma’s golden child, one covered with expectations of excellence. She lived up to these expectations, graduating top of her class in high school and scoring a high paying job at ROHM, some sort of electronics company. Overburdened by her parents’ wishes, Miyuki occasionally feels that she was never given the chance to be a child and enjoy herself. She always maintains a professional public facade, hiding her melancholy disposition below. She and Ryu never had much to talk about when they were young, on account of being 9 years apart, but they managed to reconnect in 2030, after Miyuki’s rough divorce.

---

November 15, 2036
3L Apartment Complex, Unit 318, Kobe (Azuma Residence)
8:43


My first award ceremony…
I looked at myself in the fogged mirror after stepping out of the shower. It showed that it was a balmy 4°C and sunny.
“Might I add, you look…” The mirror began its morning compliment routine, “quite professional today.” The voice it had was that of a soft-spoken woman.
“Thank you.” I replied.
“Might I help you with anything this morning?” the voice asked.
“No, thank you.”
“Have a wonderful day.”
“Thanks.”

Award ceremony… Echoed in my mind as I stared at my unimpressive morning reflection. Water dripped from the tips of my hair down my face.
“Man,” I wiped off some of the mirror’s steam, “an award ceremony… That’s crazy!”

This was my first “real” NPB event. The first signal to me that I’d actually, truly, made it to the NPB. Only NPB players and managers, their significant others, and some other team personnel are allowed into the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa for the ceremony.

“And now I’m one of them…”

I looked at myself in the mirror.

Continual eye contact with yourself is kind of a crazy thing… Like, before mirrors were a thing, people must’ve gone nuts when they saw themselves reflected in something… Or maybe they knew there were reflections and it wasn’t a big deal--

“Gah!” I slapped my cheeks, “What the hell am I thinking about?”

I began my journey to my bedroom, where my clothes were waiting in their hiding spot--the closet.
“God, what the hell is going on with me…?”

9:13

Of course, it didn’t take me too long to figure out “what the hell was going on.”

As I stood waiting for my rice to finish cooking, the feeling that was nagging at me about the award ceremony tugged harder.

I couldn’t…

“I can’t just show up alone…”

I said to my empty apartment.

-ding- replied the rice cooker, its finish chiming at a remarkably appropriate time.
I scooped some rice into a bowl, cracked an egg into it, and trundled over to the small, two-seated table in the corner of my living room. Small flakes of dust floated in the beams of sunlight peeking through my gray curtains; the Saturday sun shone brightly, unobstructed outside of them.

I sat down; the bowl clinked as it hit the table.

“Shit.”

I forgot my chopsticks.

Through the drawer, I swept. Looking, desperately, for my monogramed “AZUMA” chopsticks, a gift from my brother Kenma for my 20th birthday. They were a beautiful pair, substantial without being unwieldy, and capped with pink gold. They must have cost Kenma a fortune, and those years ago, that was surely a fortune he did not have.

Oh, come on… Where did they go?

I continued my sweep.

“Come on! Whe-- Oh.”

They were on the counter.
“Of course.”

I meandered back to my bowl of rice, sitting beautifully in the morning sun. Illuminated by the flittering light, it sat without company on a dark, faux-wood table.
It made me quite sad. The egg’s translucent glow pierced my soul.

I couldn’t go alone.

“How pathetic would it be if I showed up without a date to this thing?”
The egg continued to glisten.
“Pretty *(censored)* pathetic.”

I sat down with a grunt and ate my breakfast in silence. Despite my poor mood, it was pretty decent. Intrusive thoughts kept racing through my head.

There’s no one.

What about Ms. Arakawa?


“Haha!”

No way she’d ever agree to that. She seems ashamed of public intimacy, so that’s not gonna happen. But who else is there…?

May-chan?? Now that’d be something.

Oh yikes, I could bring Miyuki. But…


“No… Going with my sister would be even more pathetic than going alone.”

Tsuzumi?

“Wha--” I took another bite of my rice, “No way, hahaha.” The thought surprised me. A few pieces of rice flew out of my mouth. They landed on the other side of the table, the empty chair’s visage bore into my mind.

Who then? I’ve got… I’ve got no one…

The bowl was empty.

I got up to finish getting ready.

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:46 pm 
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Lots and lots of characters, huh…

Hideo Nomoto, age: 50s

The current manager of the Kyoto Knights. Nomoto served, however briefly, as Azuma’s on-field mentor during his time in the Knights organization. Nomoto was a revered presence in the Knights clubhouse during his playing days, essentially taking the role of player-manager. It was clear, then, that the job would eventually become his. He worked the Knights through their thin years with grace (they had 4 consecutive losing seasons in the mid-2020s), and is revered for his “firm but fair” style of managing, particularly when it comes to the development of young players.

---

November 15, 2036
Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa
18:43


AZUMA RYU

My name was proudly displayed at the back of the “Managers’ Table,” an invention by the new commissioner to encourage “inter-team conversations!” and “make the league more social!” I have no idea if that worked as planned, but it had certainly created an awkward air for all managers involved.

I took my seat.

To my left was the Bears manager, Shinya Imai, a man of 68 years and shrouded in an aura of importance. He lorded, successfully, over the upstart Bears for all 10 of their years, leading them to the playoffs seven times and to one Pennant, in 2029. Word on the street is that he will be retiring later this month. They finished this season disappointingly, at 67-73-4, though I’m sure Imai was still proud to have been a part of the team for so long regardless. A woman dressed smartly, His wife?, sat next to him. She sipped her wine gracefully.

And to my right was an empty chair for my plus one. The chair remained unfulfilled that night. Alone. Like me.

To the right of that chair, however, was the manager of the Rakuten Eagles, Yuichi Kitajima. This was a man that I knew basically nothing about, other than his age (he was in his mid-40s) and that he was, at the moment, clean shaven. Nonetheless, he led the Eagles to a 77-63-4 record, placing them squarely in second place, surprising pretty much everyone. Though they finished 19.5 games behind the indomitable Knights, there was much to look forward to in Sendai. His partner, a man I would guess to also be in his mid-40s, was there as well. He looked on with anticipation at the stage.

The rest of the round table was filled out by the managers of the other three teams in the Pacific League and whomever they decided to bring along. Notably, my plus one’s chair was the only one left empty…

I took some solace in the fact that Hideo Nomoto was sat across from me. Although… he wasn’t there for long, as he was in charge of the announcements of the awards themselves. We exchanged pleasantries and he hurried for the stage.

After that, there were no words exchanged between us at the “Manager’s Table.”

Thankfully, because of the silence, no one seemed to care I was flying solo.

Well, no one aside from this one.

---

Foxes awards:

Best Nine (Best at each position)
C: Yoshi Imanami
SS: Tomochika Kobayashi
OF: Masaya Nishizawa

Well damn, our boys took home three of the best nine awards! That’s honestly pretty amazing. I’ll have to give them all a call soon to congratulate them.

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