It has been a super five days for the Japanese baseball fans of Toronto.
First, the mighty Ichiro was in over the weekend. I had to help school some kid sitting behind me on Friday night on Ichiro. He was maybe 14 and he was like "Ichiro...psssh. He's only fast." I turned around and gave him a face, and his friend said, "Don't you realize he's going to be in the Hall of Fame in Japan and in the States?" and I said, "He is way more than just fast. Listen to your friend."
And I've posted this before, but I should really post it everyday (and twice on Sunday.) Wolf cub!!!
ICHIRO - The Tenth Inning from David Cieri on Vimeo.
And now that Ichiro has left town, there is room for Yu Darvish and the massive hype machine that follows that guy around.
Some Jays fans were vocally displeased when the Jays didn't land this guy, and AA has remained coy about whether or not the Jays put up a bid on Darvish and if they did, how much. The Jays are now focused on trying to figure out how to attack him.
Michael Grange wrote a pretty comprehensive piece on this boy wonder coming into town.
He's got a 3-0 record with a 2.45 ERA in four starts and has an ERA of 1.08 through his last 25 innings.
I also did a little more research on this guy. I knew he was famous, but didn't realize he was this famous.
Darvish was caught smoking and gambling as a 18 year old (both of which are illegal if you are under 20 in Japan), faced a suspension and did community service. This made the newspapers.
He is a fixture in the Japanese tabloids for his relationship, marriage and subsequent divorce from Japanese actress Saeko, with whom he has two kids. He announced their relationship and her first pregnancy during a post game presser. People went insane.
His reps ordered this guy, to cease and desist making the "Yu is my Homeboy" shirts, despite the fact that Mike Napoli had worn one in a media scrum.
He is a sex symbol in Japan for his height and blondish hair. He does things like this:
Only true stars can artfully conceal their junk like this.
It is sometimes suggested that when one is nervous, it helps to picture the audience naked. Hitters, I hope this is useful.