Results tagged ‘ Ichiro Suzuki ’

The Talented Mr. Costas

bob costas.jpgTip back that beer, rip off those clothes and go runnin’ through the streets, dear readers!  The Winter Olympics are here!

Yes.

That was a lame attempt at fake excitement for an entire world of sports I could care less about it.  At least I know I’m not alone.  In fact, a very tiny minority of US Americans actually know anything about ice dancing, mogul jumping and figure skater beating (see Tonya Harding meets Nancy Kerrigan circa 1994).

Even NBC has a pretty good idea that the next two weeks are gonna just plain suck, which is why whoever inked Bob Costas to lead that whole Olympic thing ought to get a raise.

You have heard me rave about Costas before, so I won’t bore you with any more bromantic praises for my mental doppelganger (at least, not now anyway); but I would like to present just one example of why Bob Costas is the bomb.

We all saw Costas buzz McGwire and stick handle Dubya, but have you ever seen him prod a foreigner towards the Dark Side?  Then you will enjoy this:

Ichiro is, of course, hilarious in this clip, but Costas’ body blasting reaction at the 25-second mark is just priceless.

And you know I’m right so don’t hate me.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

The Filibuster

I recently took an interest in Japanese baseball, meaning I found the NPB website and checked it out.  Being the linguistically worldly fellas that you are, what are your thoughts on Japanese pro baseball?
 
Tanky,
 
John (aka Jonestein)
Foat Wuth, TX.
Baseball, Apple Pie & Lobster
____________________________________

Hiroshima toyo carp.jpgWhile still behind the modern US American game in terms of global appeal, Japanese baseball does have a special place in the universe of our national pastime.  Indeed it has evolved much beyond the infant and fundamentally challenged Chinese game and the linguistically worldly fella in me likes to think that even Japanese basebrawls tend to be a bit more aggressive than their Korean counterparts’ elusive yet intriguing pitcher’s mound chicken dance routine.  Still, there is more to it than that.

During my first year in China, I had a Japanese roommate named Hayashi Nobuhide.  Nobby — as we white devils called him because, well, it was easier to pronounce — was a rabid baseball fan.  In fact, our friendship, which was predestined to be rocky due to 60 years of bad history, was solidified by our matched passion for the game.

Some of my fondest memories revolve around us getting up at 5am to watch the 1999 World Series during which he vehemently professed his equally tired hatred of the New York Yankees — for they were, to Nobby and his Japanese brethren, holistically representative of “all that’s bad with America” (his words, not mine, though most probably true, especially when considering the likes of Roger Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch and Tony Tarasco). 

And that year, Nobby cheered on the Atlanta Braves just like any other rabid Japanese nationalist: while wearing a Seattle Mariners cap.

Ichiro!  Ichiro!  Ichiro!

“But what about Hideki Irabu?” I asked.

“**** that traitor! Go Ichiro!” he replied.

“But Ichiro’s not playing.”

“He should be! ICHIRO!!!”

To hear Nobby tell it, Ichiro Suzuki was more popular, more influential, more inspiring than Jesus Christ himself (not to mention having a better stylist).  Everything about Ichiro, from his odd pregame warmups to his ritualized on-deck routine to his classic power pose at the plate was unequivocally all-things Japanese: systematic, graceful and proud.

Consider the fact that this undying allegiance came during the height of the steroid era, and I gotta admit, Nobby had a damn good point:

Sensationalized as the above may be, the truth remains: Ichiro is powerful.

And now, that power has multiplied.  The Japanese gifts continue to grace diamonds all across US America.  From Ichiro Suzuki to Takashi Saito to Kaz Matsui Kosuke Fukudome Hiroki Kuroda, the game has plenty of room for Japanese imports.

If we’re lucky, maybe someday we can even borrow the Hiroshima Toyo mascot; ‘cuz nothin’ says powerhouse baseball like a wet, smelly Carp.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 67 other followers