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Yes, a full 1 and a half months before the Japanese Central League gets underway,  and in honour of my visit to Japan, I bring you the first Hanshin Tigers news bulletin of 2009!

Here is the 2009 Team Logo:


And here is the 2009 Team Slogan:


Not much to analyse here. The team logo features a rather stern looking Torakki, pointing the way with his baseball bat in an Ichiro-esque pose. Hopefully it symbolises the serious way in which the team will work to avenge last seasons defeat at the hands of the Yomiuri Giants. The 2008 logo-


was possibly cooler though. As for the team slogan, “be the best for the fans” has been replaced by “focus on this play, this moment!!”, a more definite step down with the incorrect use of two exclamation marks. If you’re going to come up with a ridiculous English slogan, why not make it more crazy? It reminds me of my time at Shonan, when we used “One For All, All For One” and “All Our Hearts Beat As One”- nice, bold, meaningless slogans. “Focus on this play, this moment!!” would be better as “Never Surrender”, “Take No Prisoners” or “We Are Hanshin”, or why not just borrow from Birmingham City and pick “Keep Right On”? Or you could have “Towards Victory”, “Pride of Kansai”, or “We Hate Kyojin”- all of which would be better. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter- the only rule is that schools/companies/teams pick an English slogan, not that anyone actually cares what it is or that it makes any sense.

Good news if you’ve read this far- my Hanshin Tigers Guide 2009 is nearing completion, and will be available at the start of March!