Building Mounds in Japan (Continued)
We started the mound and plate renovations in Osaka for the Japan All-star tour this morning and got quiet a bit completed before the end of the day. There was an event that would’nt allow us to start the main mound until tomorrow. Fukuoka mounds were completed yesterday so the stadiums are about ready for the final 2 games. We approach the japan stadiums and there ground crews with a message that there mounds are different from what we have in the states…not bad …just different.
Building relationships with Japanese nationals while tearing down there mounds can be tough. All of that aside, Its been great to be so well received this year over previous years. I believe it has a lot to do with the fact more and more Japanese players are playing for teams in the US and when they return to Japan they try to relay field conditions to management. They are requesting the "western" style mound over the "Asian" style. ( One is dry and beachy and the other moist and pliable)
Today in Osaka was one of those occasions where the ground crew was very eager to try new clay installations for there mounds. That makes this job so much fun! Basically we were able to locate a brick factory in Nagoya that pulled bricks off the belt before they are baked. We use this product over there existing clays. The product is pretty good and far better than the loose soils the local guys currently throw off of. The tools they use for mounds are pretty cool. Many things different than what we use in the states. I wish we could play in an outdoor stadium in Japan. Maybe in 2008 you never know. There are only three natural turf stadiums in Japan.
We start the main mound in the early AM at Osaka…which is an off day for the team.