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April 04, 2008

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Mitchell B.

That's a heck of a good baseball team, MD. DIdn't realize that there were so many Asian position players in MLB today.

We love going to Cards games as a family. Our youngest is 4 and she might be the biggest fan out of all of us. She even made us get her Cardinals pajamas. Cutest thing ever.

Lena

If I were ever going to cheat on my husband, I think it would be with Ichiro!

Mama Nabi

Aw... your baseball stories make me want to stop being a Yankees fan and become a Mets fan. In my defense, I am only a Yankees fan because George Kostanza (Seinfeld show) was a travel manager with the Yankees... so yeah, it's kind of a fictional fandom.
I remember going to baseball games in Busan when I was little... that was fun.

1969

That's a damned good line up.

I too am a fellow Mets fan, albeit one stuck here in Philly. I wear my Blue and Orange with pride.

LETS GO METS.

HapaMama

I didn't know Johnny Damon was a hapa. Now I love him even more!

jennifer g.

I agree with you, MD. There is nothing better than going to baseball games with your family.

My father had four daughters and no sons. As an avid baseball fan, he taught us all the game and shared his love for it with us. However, as my sisters got older, they became distracted by other pursuits and lost interest in the game.

Not me though. I always loved throwing a ball with my dad in the backyard. And while my older sisters were spending their weekends going to the mall, my dad and I would always go to the Cubs games.

These are some of the fondest memories of my childhood. Sitting with my dad, eating peanuts, and watching our beloved Cubs. It was a bond that strengthened our relationship. Not just because we were sitting there watching a game but because when we were at the ballpark together, we could always talk about anything---life, boys, school, the future.

My dad passed away three years ago. However, last summer, I was back in Chicago visiting family and I decided to take my 3-year-old daughter to a Cubs game. It was so surreal being there with my own child. I know somewhere in heaven, dad was looking down on us with a smile.

Driver B

Awesome post MD! I love seeing all those hot guys in one line up. :)

A little part of me wishes it weren't so heavily weighted towards Japan, only because I don't want 'people' to forget that Asians are not 'all look same'. Though I don't know how popular baseball is in other Asian countries. Plus, I gotta represent for my pilipino in-laws. Too bad Agbayani is not playing any more.

YAYAYAYAYAYAY baseball!

JDG

BossLady and my wife might have to do a head-to-head cotton candy battle. She ate three last year at Dodger Stadium. She claims she was sharing one of them with our son and that another didn't count because it fell on the ground. I don't know how people eat that stuff!

Angie in Texas

i loved jennifer g's story. (i bet he was watching with a smile, too!)

park was on the dodger's farm team here (the san antonio missions) back when i was in high school. my bf back then was a pitcher and played some ball at the same stadium park played. it was SO amazing to see him play ball - and he was such a nice guy. (the groundskeeper at st. mary's university where they practiced and played was also korean and between park, me and the groundskeeper, we must have looked like a crazy trio!

ahhhh, base-a-ball!

BossLady

What about Byung Hyun Kim?!

BossLady

OMG. You forgot Hideo Nomo!!!

Luke

How can you leave out So Taguchi? He was the Cardinals best pinch hitter during their run to a world series in 06. Plus I remember him knocking a Billy Wagner fastball for a tie breaking homer in one of those 06 NLCS games in Shea. You've gotta have the guch on the bench for your team.

MetroDad

jennifer g...that story about you and your dad practically had me in tears. Very touching. I'm sure your dad had a big smile on his face.

BossLady...Hideo is in the minor leagues and our man BH Kim just got cut by the Pirates. More importantly, you going to accept that cotton candy challenge from JDG's wife?

Luke...I actually like Taguchi a lot. He's a sparkplug and reminds me of an Asian Lenny Dykstra. He definitely makes the team as a bench player.

A.

Great post, MD. Reminds me of my father.

All I ever heard from him growing up was about how Italians are the best baseball players ever! DiMaggio, Rizzuto, Berra, Campanella, Ventura, Viola, Righetti, Piazza, Biggio.

Not sure there are even any Italians left playing anymore. I gotta look into that!

kittenpie

Wait a minute - are you allowed to put in there a guy who played 40 years ago?

And you know, it's not all emasculated Asian guys all the time in the media - there are Sumo wrestlers...

Nicole

Great team! Only one gripe...Iguchi left the White Sox half way through last season. Phillies and now the Padres, I believe.

Rattling the Kettle

Who are you going to put at first when Matsui goes on the DL in the third week of the season?

Rumor was that Bobby V. strongly lobbied Wilpon to bid high for Ichiro, but Steve Phillips argued against, just because he hated Bobby and didn't want the manager intruding on his turf.

Kris T

Hey MD,

Displaced Red Sox fan here in Las Vegas. I can vouch for Okajima. I'm looking for both him and D-Mat to have a better season and become studs in the MLB to match their rock star status in Japan.

Two things about watching baseball from Las Vegas:

Good: 7:00 games start at 4 here and I'm a housewife who takes care of a house, a husband, 4 pugs and 2 elderly cats. 4:00 games rock!

Bad: MLB seems to think that if you live in Nevada that we watch California tv stations and have access to California games so they blackout all CA games on the Direct TV MLB package. We Don't! There are rare mentions of pro baseball here it's all college and Las Vegas 51's.

Hey Selig stopping blacking out games to Nevada! (Sorry I'll get off my soapbox now)

Eric

Fukudome will be the saviour of my beloved Cubbies this year. Long live Asian baseball players!

BossLady

MD/JDG: I feel that it would be unfair to take on a challenge with JDG's wife since I go to games primarily to eat. I start with a foot-long, then an italian sausage hero with peppers and onions, half a sub from mama mia's, one bag of dale & thomas kettlecorn popcorn (original flavor), a small serving of carvel's ice cream dots (cookies & cream), ending with cotton candy, washing it all down with diet pepsis (i prefer diet coke though). also, it's a well-known fact that in the past, i have missed HALF a mets game because i was looking for a cotton candy vendor all throughout the stadium, and when i found her, i bought 4 cotton candy bags. but since i have now fully disclosed everything, i'll take on any challenger who feels up to it. bring it.

Matthew @ Childsplayx2

Tad Iguchi is a San Diego Padre! He's taking us all the way this year, baby!

(Of course, as I write this Kuroda is picking the Padres apart. He looks awesome.)

thaistyx

And watch out for the up and coming Kurt Suzuki, starting catcher for the A's....who hails from Hawaii.

David Wescott

Here's the real question - what Asian players are coming up through the minors or will come over to the MLB from other leagues? Where's the talent pipeline? It's great to have lists like these; I want to know who the NEXT great players are.

Then I want the Red Sox to go get 'em.

Joe

Love the team. But I would've put Tad over at first. KazMat is too talented of a middle infielder to be left over there.

Hopefully the Giants' minor league 1B Travis Ishikawa improves and gets called up this year. The kid's got some pop and would give the lineup some nice power.

Chag

I think you should field a National League team and get rid of Damon. I wouldn't want him as the DH on my team. While his OBP is still decent, he's hit .285 ('06), .270 ('07), and .111 ('07) since he cut his hair and joined the Yankees. Like Samson, he's lost all his power.

Other than that, nice team.

Go Yanks!

Ernie

Great article although I think you were trying to refer to Hideo Nomo in your article (not Chan Ho).

The number of Asian baseball players have definitely grown the past 10 years. I'd like to list some more Asian pioneers below:

Hiroki Kuroda!! (He should be on your list!)
Hideo Nomo
Shigetoshi Hasegawa
Bruce Chen
Kazuhiro Sasaki
Masato Yoshii
Tsuyoshi Shinjo
Kurt Suzuki
Ideki Irabu
Masahide Kobayashi

and there's even more..

melissa

re chasing immortality, your pee was probably that way from the water soluble vitamins especially the b complexes. Nothing to worry about.

JW

I can't believe you're not sure of Okajima!!! The guy was practically unhittable last year and was an Allstar.

JW

Oh, you meant the combination of Okajima, Park and Baek. Yes, that's very true

Wandering Chopsticks

Hey Metrodad,

You left out Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Danny Graves, only Vietnamese-American in the MLB.

Wandering Chopsticks

PS I dined at Chan Ho Park's favorite Korean BBQ recently too. But as I'm not a sports fan, I didn't know who he was. :)

xian

Nice piece. I enjoyed it a lot.

Otsuka's a reliever, but he's hurt this season...He has been very good over the last few years, but has been hurt since early last year.

Derek

I know it's early in the season but Fukudome looks awesome. He's been amazingly clutch and is quickly becoming my favorite Cubbie. You see him tonight?

Sarah

Here's hoping that one day there will be some talented Asian American Major leaguers to add to the team too!

Linda

Hey MD: how about adding Kuo Hong-chih to your bullpen? When he's healthy, he's really good! Anyway, LOVE this post!

Julia

What an awesome idea for a post, MD. I showed it to my husband and he loved it too. We're diehard Padres fans and we're totally psyched to have Tad Iguchi on our team. Go Pads!

Jeremy Neal

I agree that Ishikawa looks to have a lot of promise. Cool post! -Jeremy @ Discovering Dad

L.

Okajima's all right. Should be fine.

My Japanese husband was in hog-heaven when he lived here, and could see so many of his countrymen play. In fact, even though he never reads blogs in English, I'm going to email him this post and ask him what he thinks.

Whit

That would be a good squad, not as good as my all Arizona NBA team that you mocked, but good.

emily

MD, as you can tell by my email address, I love ichiro. check out my ichiro video on my blog if you have a chance.

mikeymike

Never ever include BK Kim. Only because he's the biggest jerk I've ever met.

Deanna

As a loyal Mariners fan of Japanese descent, I sure do love cheering for Ichiro and Johjima at games. In Japanese. Because I can. :)

Baek is off to a rough start in the bullpen for the M's (actually, the WHOLE bullpen is off to a rough start), but here's hoping his good stuff comes back quickly.

My grandfather's name was Hideo. He loved baseball, and he never knew about Hideo Nomo. If I have another son someday, his middle name will be Hideo. For my Ojiichan, and for baseball.

L's husband

Good article!
Here is my dream team Japan for WBC 2009.

SS Tsuyoshi Nishioka (Chiba Lotte Marines)
2B Kaz Matsui (Houston Astros)
RF Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle Mariners)
LF Hideki Matsui (NY Yankees)
3B Takahiro Arai (Hanshin Tigers)
DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks)
CF Kosuke Fukudome (Chicago Cubs)
C Kenji Johjima (Seattle Mariners)
1B Michihiro Ogasawara (Tokyo Yomiuri Giants)

SP Yu Darvish (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters)
SP Daisuke Matsuzaka (Boston Redsox)
SP Kazumi Saito (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks)
SP Yoshihisa Naruse (Chiba Lotte Marines)
SP Hiroki Kuroda (Los Angeles Dodgers)

RP Kenshin Kawakami (Nagoya Chunichi Dragons)
RP Shunsuke Watanabe (Chiba Lotte Marines)
RP Hitoki Iwase (Nagoya Chunichi Dragons)
RP Koji Uehara (Tokyo Yomiuri Giants)
RP Kyuji Fujikawa (Hanshin Tigers)
RP Takashi Saito (Los Angeles Dodgers)

You should check Japan vs Korea game of Beijing Olympic Qualifier. The game was so tense. Korea was very good team even without slugger Seung Yeop Lee (Tokyo Yomiuri Giants).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dpPq26rQlM&feature=related

The Real Kato

Great post. I had many of the same thoughts about seeing Ichiro make the cover of GQ.

Your comment on Damon reminds me that the best golfer in the world is also Asian. (Tiger Woods is one-quarter Chinese, one quarter Thai, one quarter African American, one-eighth Native American, and one-eighth Dutch.)

kevin

I loved this post, MD. I only wish that there were more Koreans on it. I think there will be in a few years. I'm really glad to see that guys like Ichiro and Matsui have had such great success here. For a while, I was worried that the only Asian players here were going to be pitchers.

Jack E. Chan

Love it!

Gwen

Count me as one more vote for The So Man. We miss him here in The Lou!

michael p.

Lifelong Dodgers fan here, MD. Kuroda looks awesome. He's got so many different pitches, it's like he's got an arsenal of weapons. I can't wait until the rest of the league starts learning about him.

Sara

Found you via angry asian man. Loved this post and sent it to all my asian-american guy friends who are obsessed with baseball.

Sal

My oldest daughter's constant question these days is: did you get the tickets yet? did you get the tickets yet? And we're talking about the Giants!
Same here, one of my best memories of her childhood already is when she was screaming top of her lungs "Let's go Giants", and also her confused grin when she heard Mom rooting for and Dad booing Barry Bonds!

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