Benevolance

Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

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On 15/03/2022 at 23:19, Kaninoyama said:

Since there are no reports or visible signs he is injured, he has nothing to lose by staying in and trying to grind out his 8 wins.

We've seen kadoban Ozeki get off to similarly terrible starts before and somehow manage to pull out a kachikoshi. So as grim as things look I'm not ready to give up on Shodai just yet. 

I owe Shodai an apology. WOW. He looked completely listless on the dohyo those first 5 days. I would have never guessed he would have made it to a match with Takakeisho, let alone win it this basho. 

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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

One more win by either of them drops the entire 8-4 cohort and leaves only the 9-3s (Mitakeumi, Kotonowaka) in contention. So honestly the 8-4 group might as well not be there barring a miracle.

Thing is, with three days to go and only 2 ōzeki to fight, Mitakeumi's likely last opponent is Kotonowaka. That knocks at least one of them out, and then they still need to stay perfect and pray for multiple drops by whoever is in the lead. Given the likely last opponent for Wakatakakage (see below), it's not immediately clear.

The other question is who Takayasu and Wakatakakage's last opponent will be - 2 ōzeki each, but a last gimme bout? I'm having difficulty seeing credible opponents for either of them. The last opponent picked should have something to play for still and be credible, otherwise the schedulers have as good as thrown the Cup one way or another. 

Takayasu has an easier time of it - Abi is probably his last opponent especially if he is still fighting for sanyaku survival on senshuraku, but if he goes MK by then then Ichinojō (not ideal, KK already, but maybe how high up the sanyaku he goes) or Endō may be suitable. But Endō is also Wakatakakage's only credible and highest ranking last opponent. If Endō secures his KK before then, it's not clear who would be a good matchup for Wakatakakage. Endō might just get shanghaied to fight the two yūshō leaders anyway since he is probably the best hope to stop them outside of the sanyaku, assuming they stay perfect all the way.

I believe that, as a Sekiwake in the yusho race, Wakatakakage will have to face all three the Ozeki. Tomorrow Mitakeumi, on Day 14 and 15 the one not fighting Mitakeumi himself. Shodai is now 7-5 and there is no reason to keep him away from his Ozeki duties. This also means that Takayasu and Kotonowaka will possibly stop facing Ozeki for the last two days. This would make things easier for Takayasu, but it's also true he's a Maegashira right now. Abi has a very good 7-2 record against Endo, so we should expect him to go 7-6 tomorrow and, as you said, he is their most natural match-up. Kotonowaka also has yet to face Hoshoryu this basho.

Supposing that the NSK will leave the best matches for senshuraku, Takayasu vs. Abi could be left on the last day (with Abi hopefully 7-7 or 8-6 but looking to give a first push for an Ozeki bid). Kotonowaka vs. Hoshoryu will make for the other pairing. This leaves Takayasu without opponent for Day 14 (Kotonowaka will probably get Abi if I am correct). Chances are they will pair him with his worst possible match. After considering all the upper joi (Daieisho, Ichinojo, Onosho, Endo, Kiribayama), I concluded it will be Ichinojo. Takayasu-Ichinojo is 7-6 with a ping-pong history as result. As Ichi seems on fire this basho, he will do.

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7 hours ago, Tigerboy1966 said:

Wakamotoharu has confounded my expectations. I thought his promotion would result in a classic "cup of coffee" stay in makuuchi but that's two kks now and he looks like he's going to stick around for afternoon tea.

Meisei has been painful to watch this time. He doesn't seem to have any strappings or bandages but something must be very wrong.

Long covid symptoms?

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7 hours ago, Tigerboy1966 said:

Wakamotoharu has confounded my expectations. I thought his promotion would result in a classic "cup of coffee" stay in makuuchi but that's two kks now and he looks like he's going to stick around for afternoon tea.

Lost this post while looking for this or that datum. To me, Wakamotoharu was a clear new Maakuchi habitué since his 9-6 last basho. But now he's surprisingly gearing further up at the not-so-young age of 28. Totally remarkable. I wonder whether his improvement is associated to his brother's current Chiyonofuji-like stint or what. It's too soon to see how far he can go, but the two brothers are clearly giving some Hanada vibes here.

Kintamayama on today's video joked about an upcoming Waka-Waka era. I like it. But I want it to be called the Shakira Era. Far more catchy.

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On 22/05/2021 at 12:05, hakutorizakura said:

Shodai: OK bro, I'll let you win this time just to make things interesting. Just don't make me look stupid okay?

Tak: Fine, is walking on all fours good enough for you?

(Wearingapaperbag...)

Takakeisho pays it back to Shodai to help him out of kadoban-land (Sigh...)

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Hankegami said:
8 hours ago, Tigerboy1966 said:

Wakamotoharu has confounded my expectations. I thought his promotion would result in a classic "cup of coffee" stay in makuuchi but that's two kks now and he looks like he's going to stick around for afternoon tea.

Lost this post while looking for this or that datum. To me, Wakamotoharu was a clear new Maakuchi habitué since his 9-6 last basho. But now he's surprisingly gearing further up at the not-so-young age of 28. Totally remarkable. I wonder whether his improvement is associated to his brother's current Chiyonofuji-like stint or what. It's too soon to see how far he can go, but the two brothers are clearly giving some Hanada vibes here.

Not unlikely. Sumō history is replete with duos or rivals who spurred each other up the banzuke. Takakeishō - Takanoshō, the Tatsunami trio, Ishiura - Enhō, Takayasu - Kisenosato, Harumafuji - Terunofuji; and those are just the ones in recent memory.

Sōkokurai seems to have done something at Arashio also. Kōtokuzan is having a decent time climbing as well. It's a pity Wakatakamoto isn't doing too well in the makushita joi, but one can't expect all hits.

Edited by Seiyashi

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Rocks said:

No need for a conspiracy...

You do realise all that logical explanation would be lost on a genuine conspiracy theorist, don't you?

 

Edited by RabidJohn
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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

Sōkokurai seems to have done something at Arashio also. Kōtokuzan is having a decent time climbing as well. It's a pity Wakatakamoto isn't doing too well in the makushita joi, but one can't expect all hits.

Either that or he took over at just the right time.

I feel for Wakatakamoto. He's the eldest of the brothers, isn't he?

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1 hour ago, RabidJohn said:

I feel for Wakatakamoto. He's the eldest of the brothers, isn't he?

Wakatakamoto 30, Wakamotoharu 28, Wakatakakage 27.

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10 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Shouuuuuuudai! (Am I using the 'u' correctly?)

Depends if you are a gyoji or not... ;-)

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15 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

Wakatakamoto 30, Wakamotoharu 28, Wakatakakage 27.

Waka-Waka-Waka! It's the Fozzie Bear brothers!

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3 hours ago, RabidJohn said:

Either that or he took over at just the right time.

I feel for Wakatakamoto. He's the eldest of the brothers, isn't he?

I read somewhere that he had problems to gain weight, but no idea if that's the main reason he's still in Makushita. Would be nice if he could join his brothers in the paid ranks. 

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Those three final days will be really intriguing. Wakatakakage looks like a world beater right now, Takayasu bounced back... I hope, both can stay on track. 

I am rarely one to suspect stuff, but Takakeisho was nowhere near his usual self today. I see a hat on my plate... 

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57 minutes ago, Thorbjarn said:

Those three final days will be really intriguing. Wakatakakage looks like a world beater right now, Takayasu bounced back... I hope, both can stay on track. 

I am rarely one to suspect stuff, but Takakeisho was nowhere near his usual self today. I see a hat on my plate... 

I'm a bit esceptical too about Takakeisho's effort today. But he was still in contention for the yusho, so I don't want to think in ozeki backscratching

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39 minutes ago, Seregost said:

I'm a bit esceptical too about Takakeisho's effort today. But he was still in contention for the yusho, so I don't want to think in ozeki backscratching

No way in hell. Takakeisho wants to win as badly as anyone. But the book on him is out now. If he can "do his own sumo," he's likely to win. But if his opponent gets a grip on his belt or can keep the match going into Takayasu territory, he's basically toast.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Kaninoyama said:

No way in hell. Takakeisho wants to win as badly as anyone. But the book on him is out now. If he can "do his own sumo," he's likely to win. But if his opponent gets a grip on his belt or can keep the match going into Takayasu territory, he's basically toast.

 

 

Agreed. But somehow he managed to run into Shodai's arms. And usually he's really good keeping the distance, at least in the first seconds.

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6 minutes ago, Seregost said:

Agreed. But somehow he managed to run into Shodai's arms. And usually he's really good keeping the distance, at least in the first seconds.

Shodai has morphed into an unstoppable force of nature. Not even Takakeisho can hope to contain him.  

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It's been fascinating to observe the effect of desperation/self-belief in real-time with Shōdai. 

During his run that led to his promotion it was like a switch had been flicked; he realised that he was as good as anyone and if he gave a match his all he would usually win. 

Post-promotion, it appears as though the pressure may have gotten to him, which led to a couple of poor results, which led to a loss of that confidence, which led to "Shōdai B". The switch was set back to off.

Then this tournament, after the first third we saw desperation set in, and Shōdai giving it his all again -- winning was now essential. A couple of wins followed, confidence appears to be returning, and here we are with a good shot of clearing kadoban. 

Has the switch been put back to 'on'? Too early to tell still, I believe. But it's so interesting to watch an athlete who clearly has all the skills, but just struggles to believe he can do it.

I wonder sometimes when watching him during a slump of form, does he just think if a match is difficult, that's because he's inferior? Because on the contrary, when we see him give it everything he has in those difficult matches, he's a beast. 

He needs to reconcile that even the very best practitioner of something may still find that thing difficult, at least on occasion. I do believe if he could keep the switch on the sky's the limit for him, but I'm dubious as to whether that will happen. Rooting for it though, I love "Shōdai A".

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20 minutes ago, Kaninoyama said:

Shodai has morphed into an unstoppable force of nature. Not even Takakeisho can hope to contain him.  

I can't decide whether Shodai is the Zelig of Sumo or the Chance the Gardener of Sumo.  He is doing near-heroic feats over the last few days, and will probably clear kadoban by the end of the basho.  And by the start of Natsu people will absentmindedly refer to the two Ozeki, Takakeisho and Mitakeumi.

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Given how enthusiastic Ichinojo has looked this basho, I am inclined to reiterate my past theory that his espresso machine only works some of the time. We've seen Caffeinojo almost the whole basho, with very few appearances by Sleepinojo.

Open a Starbucks next door to Minato stable and he'll be Ozeki in no time.

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42 minutes ago, just_some_guy said:

Given how enthusiastic Ichinojo has looked this basho, I am inclined to reiterate my past theory that his espresso machine only works some of the time. We've seen Caffeinojo almost the whole basho, with very few appearances by Sleepinojo.

Open a Starbucks next door to Minato stable and he'll be Ozeki in no time.

Ichi no JOE =  "coffee makes you young" [ouch]

His lower back seems to hurt him off and on, but lately he does look "hasty" (well relatively).  I started watching Sumo just after he made his initial charge through the ranks, so I missed the fresh, exciting Ichinojo sumo.  One advantage he has is the unchanging poker face on the dohyo; you never know whether he's placid or charged up before the tachiai.

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Re: Takakeisho, I think it's been discussed on this forum ad nauseam that once an Ozeki is kachikoshi and is out of the yusho race, his motivation to put up much resistance against more motivated opponents and risk injury is very low. I'm sure Takakeisho realises that based on his performance so far his yusho chances are purely theoretical. Hence the non-effort vs Shoudai. 

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4 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

people will absentmindedly refer to the two Ozeki, Takakeisho and Mitakeumi.

I'm still not used to ozeki Mita. Still think that he is the usual suckywake, but why does he show up quite late each day in this basho (Laughing...)

But he's doing fine, good for him.

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Kinbouzan, a well-deserved makushita yuushou. Gives a much stronger impression than his rival Oushouma so far. Going to go far. Can anyone give an estimation on where he will be on the May banzuke?

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