After taking a six month break, it’s well past time that Andy and Bruce come up with a genki report. So here is 30 minutes of us discussing the fighting state of the top rikishi, and handicapping the first few days of the tournament. Then we both step in it up to our waists as we tender our always regrettable predictions. Will there be any survivors?
- Terunofuji’s Condition
- Weakness in the Ozeki
- Strength in the Joi-jin
- The Geriatric Patrol: Okinoumi, Tochinoshin, Tamawashi, Aoiyama
- Match Preview – Day 1
- Match Preview – Day 2
- Regrettable Predictions
3 thoughts on “Tachiai Natsu Basho Podcast (Audio) – Basho Preview & Predictions”
I have a different take on Takakeisho and Shodai. Even though Takakeisho ended 8-7, I don’t think it’s fair to say that he “barely cleared kadoban.” He cleared it easily, on Day 11, when he beat Kotonowaka to go 8-3. At that point, as he wasn’t really in the yusho race, he very understandably took his foot off the gas to avoid risking injury, as is an Ozeki’s prerogative.
In Shodai’s case, there is no reason to look beyond the obvious explanation for his 1-5 start: it took him a while to fully recover from COVID, and he hadn’t been able to practice properly before the tournament. Once he got closer to full strength, got some bouts under his belt (pun intended), and had his back to the wall, he responded with an 8-1 finish, but his prolonged recovery answers the question, “where was that sumo at the start?”
I hope that this more optimistic view is correct and translates into some strong sumo by the pair in May!
“At that point, as he wasn’t really in the yusho race, he very understandably took his foot off the gas to avoid risking injury, as is an Ozeki’s prerogative.”
This pragmatism is what has truly messed with any model I’ve created so far. Want to give someone a 3:2 advantage today, Andy? Well, it’s nakabi with extra kensho-kin, and the opponent has 6 wins and an easy path to kachi-koshi in week 2 against opponents who tend to fade…nevermind he’s a Leo and the Kyokai’s fortune teller says it’s an 80% day! I’ll never get bored with trying to fix this, though.
“he responded with an 8-1 finish, but his prolonged recovery answers the question, “where was that sumo at the start?”
His prolonged recovery, yet at the same time sudden, turn on a dime recovery. If there’d been a week break there, or he’d taken a few days kyujo, that’s one thing…but it’s like he was crap for a week and then got reminded his Ozeki rank was on the line. I just want to see that second week Shodai more often.
I think a new metric should be set for the “always regrettable predictions”. We should be measuring how quickly a prediction becomes regrettable. Some become regrettable before the basho, but others might last until Day 2 or even Day 3 before clearly becoming regrettable.