Things that caught my attention
- The Los Angeles Dodgers would love to have Masahiro Tanaka but there are reports that they are not going to overspend to get him. With Tanaka having many suitors, the chances of him donning Dodger blue are slim. Having lived in places like Tomakomai, a mid-sized city in the northernmost island of Hokkaido, and played in the Tohoku region, playing for a mid-market team in middle America would not be a problem per se. Tanaka wants to play for a winner and a top-of-mind team like the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers. The latter being the most important. For the Japanese public, Tanaka going to a team no one in Japan heard of would be somewhat depressing. Ichiro, despite his greatness, is not as beloved as Tanaka, who won fame and glory in Japan’s national baseball tournament, the Koshien. There is no reason to suppose, despite over one-third of MLB clubs trying to sign him, the only teams in contention are the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers.
- The AP reported that Andruw Jones resigned with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. With the recent signings of Kevin Youklis and Brian Falkenborg, the Eagles are well stacked with named foreign ballplayers. With Jones and Youklis in the middle lineup, opposing pitchers are going to have sore arms from all the pitches they have to throw. I expect the Eagles to have another fine season, even without ace Masahiro Tanaka.
- Nippon Series MVP Manabu Mima recently married Anna Santos, a former member and vocalist for the Japanese group Bon-Bon-Blanco. Santos, an U.S. citizen, comes from a culturally mixed background. Surely, Anna is going to convince Mima to bring his enormous talents to MLB.