Do Your Homework, Unidentifiable Brewer Guy

brewers chinese tattoo.jpg
That’s Casey McGehee on the left.  Who’s that you ask?  No clue.  Never heard of him myself.  Doesn’t matter.  Let us instead focus on the Chinese character strategically tattooed on the anonymous forearm to the right.

zi.jpgFor those dear readers who are unfamiliar with the Chinese language, that is the character for “child”.  Pronounced zi, in certain contexts it could be understood as “son” or “seed” or for those extremely esoteric folks with a penchant for ancient Chinese time-keeping methods, it could also be interpreted as the first of the twelve earthly branches.

In other words, it’s not really something you get tattooed on your arm.

Yet trendy wannabe-hip US Americans continue to find Chinese characters in tattoo shops around the country, discovering them to be viable testaments to who they are, even if they have no idea what the hell they mean.

Seems silly to me.  I have tattoos.  You know, you can’t just scrub ‘em off.  I put a lot of thought into them before I went off and had my skin permanently inked. 

And I like to think that other people have the common sense to do a little research before putting a foreign language on their body for eternity.  But what do I know?  I ain’t no professional baseball player; I’m just a lowly Fulbright Scholar. 

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

(Image courtesy of the Associated Press)

22 Comments

Well – maybe he likes the Turkish meaning – rat!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Being tattooed on many occasions myself, I think Chinese letters like the one above that people continually choose to get when they walk into a tattoo shop and look at the flash art are horrendous. I can’t stand seeing them on skin and I can’t help to think about, ‘what if it’s not the correct meaning?’ You on the other hand know what you’re talking about and probably know the meaning right away. With me, it remains a game with the mystery. It’s all good.

– Donnie
http://donnieanks.mlblogs.com/

If I ever get a chinese character tattoo I will ask you what first Jeff. haha I don’t think that will ever happen though.
Melissa
http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com

The game needs more characters.

http://diamondhacks.blogspot.com/

“I am a child who wants to be a man (reason for tattoo) and make it to the major leagues like other Brewers like Casey McGehee. Wait a minute, I don’t know if he will make the MLB roster yet. Stay tuned”….unknown player (probably minor leaguer)

Aaron
http;//mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

I remember once talking to Josh Hamilton a few years ago on why he had so many tats, and he said that at the time, it was just something to do.
I am not a huge fan of the body art, but some that I have seen could be on a canvas with no problem. It is a personal choice, but sometimes I think they need a 3-hour waiting period to either sober up, or even take a second look at what your grandkids are going to see on grand ma’s body. I would hate to be 75 years old and have a “Born to Boogie” tats on my arm. I would have hated it in 1980, much less today.
Great point of view……as usual.that is why you are in the triad of bloggers.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Is there more than one written form of Chinese? I’m just curious because I know that there are several regional dialects, and I was just wondering if there was a sort of universal written version. And this is precisely why I have never gotten anything written in a language I don’t understand permanently etched into my flesh. I’m always afraid it means something entirely different from what the tattoo shop guy is telling me!
-Erin
http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

I know that you are big fan of David Beckham and he also has Chinese character tattoos. Although I expect he is pretty fluent in Mandarin so did the translation himself.

再見

http://arizonaviaslough.blogspot.com/

Took me 5 years to decide on the 1st tat; working on like 10 years deciding on the 2nd one :O) You are correct; These things should not be taken lightly ;O)

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

I have Chief Wahoo on my leg. Shortly after I got it, I heard the Indians were trying to phase out that logo with the Indians ‘I’…so I bet a decade from now it won’t even be their logo anymore. Figures.

Jason
http://jmays.mlblogs.com

I have no tat, because as you say they are permanent and I am fickle. And, sometimes they don’t age well, especially on women. I knew a woman once that got a tat on her tummy and went on to have kids. Gave a whole new meaning to stretch marks. However, occasionally I look longingly at the little bird on the bat or the STL monogram and think, “Hmmm maybe someday.”
-Kathy
http://redbirdchatter.mlblogs.com

My sister in law has Chinese character tattoos and I always look at them and wonder if they mean what she thinks they mean. haha I should try to get a picture to show you.

~Katie
http://tigerfan22.mlblogs.com

I really enjoyed reading your blog. We have a large and rapidly growing network of Sports blogs; http://www.myteamrivals.com . We cover several MLB teams but are always looking for talented new writers to join our network. If interested, you could of course still write here as well as on our network. The benefits; 1) it is free, 2) we do all the work as far as tech support, marketing, advertising, etc, 3) there is the possibility of you earning revenue for your writing, 4) increased readership due to our very high google rankings. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Bill at info@myteamrivals.com . We hope to hear from you soon!

Did I mention I have a tattoo of a guy getting a tattoo of a guy getting a tattoo of a guy getting a tattoo of a guy getting a tattoo of a guy getting a tattoo…. whoa. I blow my own mind.
–Jeff

(LOL about Kathy’s friend and the stretch marks.) I’m too chicken to get a tat. I hate needles and I’d probably change my mind about my choice – like 10 minutes after I did it.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

According to the original AP Images caption, that’s a photo of McGehee celebrating his two-run shot off the Dodgers in the 5th inning of a game on March 25, 2009. That photo is clearly not in the dugout, which leaves three areas that it could have been taken: First base, third base, and home plate.

If it’s at first or third base, then it must obviously be a base coach. If at home plate, it stands to reason that it’s either one of the two guys McGehee knocked in, or the on-deck hitter. Without having a scorecard from the game – using just the box score – I’ve reduced the options to players who may have been on base when McGehee hit the shot (anyone with a run, batting within 4 spots of McGehee, since at most there could have been two outs), plus the on-deck hitters and base coaches, ruling out anyone who isn’t white, as the owner of the arm obviously is.

This knocked Mike Cameron, Ricky Weeks, and Tony Gwynn, Jr., leaving our possibilities as Jason Kendall, Mike Lamb, Corey Hart, Brad Fischer, and Ed Sedar. Hart has a tattoo in roughly the same location that has been photographed before, and unless it disappeared and was replaced with the Chinese letter, it’s not him.

It doesn’t appear to be Sedar, either. That takes us down to Kendall (who my money is on), Lamb, and Fischer.

http://dodgerlove.mlblogs.com

According to the original AP Images caption, that’s a photo of McGehee celebrating his two-run shot off the Dodgers in the 5th inning of a game on March 25, 2009. That photo is clearly not in the dugout, which leaves three areas that it could have been taken: First base, third base, and home plate.

If it’s at first or third base, then it must obviously be a base coach. If at home plate, it stands to reason that it’s either one of the two guys McGehee knocked in, or the on-deck hitter. Without having a scorecard from the game – using just the box score (http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/boxscore.jsp?gid=2009_03_25_lanmlb_milmlb_1) – I’ve reduced the options to players who may have been on base when McGehee hit the shot (anyone with a run, batting within 4 spots of McGehee, since at most there could have been two outs), plus the on-deck hitters and base coaches, ruling out anyone who isn’t white, as the owner of the arm obviously is.

This knocked Mike Cameron, Ricky Weeks, and Tony Gwynn, Jr., leaving our possibilities as Jason Kendall, Mike Lamb, Corey Hart, Brad Fischer, and Ed Sedar. Hart has a tattoo in roughly the same location that has been photographed before (http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/77289/HR_congrats.jpg), and unless it disappeared and was replaced with the Chinese letter, it’s not him.

It doesn’t appear to be Sedar (http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0eQyedncWI8JH/610x.jpg), either. That takes us down to Kendall (who my money is on), Lamb, and Fischer.

http://dodgerlove.mlblogs.com

Whoa, dodgerlove, you just blew my mind. Great work! Now, if you can score me an interview with whoever it is (Kendall, Lamb or Fisher), I owe you a fifth of whatever your favorite drink is (Jack? Captain? Cuervo?)
–Jeff

I saw this Mcgahee kid hit in Spring and I was blown away by his power. Maybe it was just one game, but he had some serious pop!!!

http://kmcleod.mlblogs.com/

I know I’m late on replying to this specific post, but it is Jason Kendall. Just uder his cut-off sleeve you can see the corner of another Chinese character. That character is Fu – meaning Father. I live in China right now and asked a friend to explain it to me. He said that the Chinese understanding of the relationship between a father and son is way different than the American way of understanding it, and Fu Zi (as it is more commonly written) is actually pretty meaningful.

Kendall’s motives… who knows, he may still be a tool, but I love the way he handles Brewers pitchers.

But there’s a little more than meets the eye in this picture.

‘Boam

Its Jason Kendall. Catcher. stud.

Thanks, ‘Boam for the info. Considering it’s part of a larger character combination, it makes sense. Still, I had to jump on it. As a Chinese scholar of sorts, it bothers me when people tatt themselves up w/ characters not knowing the bigger picture and I’ve seen so many errant Chinese character tatts on people (some really, really embarrassing ones) that I had to say something. And yes, jlannert, catcher, stud. Word. I feel ya.
–Jeff

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