Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Favorite Five

I present my MLB favorites:

5. Hideo Nomo

As far as my memory is concerned, this man paved the way for all of the Japanese players who have made it big in America. The first time I recall being excited about going to a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field was in the mid-90's when Nomo and the Dodgers came to play. I remember his pitching windup and the enormous thigh and butt that would rise up against his body before releasing the ball--aside from sumo wrestlers, Nomo might've been the first large Japanese person I'd ever seen.

4. Shinjo Tsuyoshi

Nevermind that Shinjo is not in MLB uniform in any of the photos above. I first came across Shinjo when the San Fransisco Giants were in the World Series back in 2002. I had no idea he was such a character. Last I saw him, he was on a Japanese TV show dedicated to animals, hanging out with young pandas. He was very affectionate towards them, and ended up helping an outcast baby panda socialize with the other "normal" pandas. He even built the panda a wooden slide! I'm not sure if the panda became more social later on, off-camera, but the segment ended with the lonesome panda hanging out with the other pandas for the first time in a long time. All thanks to Shinjo. I cried.

3. José Reyes

MILLION DOLLAR SMILE! MILLION DOLLAR STEALS! I know it's tough being a Mets fan. I live with one, and it can be sad to witness Mets Fandom. But it can't be that sad with that smile! The second time I recall being excited about going to a Cubs game was last spring (second picture above), when José came through with the Mets.

2. Bobby Jenks

Bobby Jenks never lets me down; I'm always confident he'll finish the game pumping his fists. I like how he has the body of a refrigerator but the face of an eight year old boy. In the photo above (redeye photoshopped by Mordecai), I appear with live Bobby on the field, pixelated on the scoreboard, and transmitted on the U.S. Cellular screen. 3 Bobbies and 1 Happy Kei!

1. Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez got me all riled up in 2003 when the Marlins won the World Series. It was Miguel Cabrera who won my baseball heart with his boyish, innocent face (see first photo above). The Marlins kept Miguel Cabrera and I rarely heard about him after 2003 except when the Marlins would come through Chicago (second photo above). He's gained a considerable amount of weight; Joe reassures me it's fat and not steroids. I had no idea the Tigers acquired him last year, but I'll blame my ignorance on my absence from the United States for most of last summer.

Coming soon: Dishonorable Mention, Nippon Professional Baseball Picks


  1. props to the jose reyes pick. i almost completely forgot about him. i think the downside to a pick like that is the fruity necklace thing he always has on (see josh beckett and others). but he does have that youthful appeal.

    but Bobby Jenks... I didn't think anyone outside chicagoland was even aware of this large, baby-faced bear-of-a-man... I was actually thinking about writing a separate post about how he is one of the best looking *fat* players in the majors, giving even CC Sabathia a run for his money.

  2. I think that Hot Fatties definitely deserves its own day. I've got some excellent candidates in mind. Sam, what do you think?