Gary Garland / the japanese insider
THE DEATH OF JAPANESE BASEBALL HAS BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED
By Gary Garland
According to the Jiji News Service, both the Pacific and Central Leagues have experienced a rise in attendance , even the Ichiro-less Orix Blue Wave, who are battling the Chiba Lotte Marines for last place. The Hanshin Tigers had the biggest fan surge at 36%, followed by the Hiroshima Catp at 11.5%, the Yakult Swallows with 8%, and the Yomiuri Giants with 0.1%.
Among Pacific League outfits, Orix was up 12.8%, Nippon Ham 5%, Daiei 0.2%. No figures were given for Seibu or Yokohama, but the Chiba Lotte Marines were down 16.5%.
As a whole, the Central League was up 5.6% while the Pacific League was up 1.8%.