Big in Japan

30 07 2011

Originally Published: May 15, 2008

Big in Japan in New York City. Sell out crowds and T-Shirt sales. Today I think it’s safe to say that Ichiro is familiar with Inoki, and Matsuzaka and Matsui surely pay their respects to Nomo. From Soriano to Shinjo, the influence and marketability of Japanese players has only grown. In fact, even the flops are good business.

Fans salute the Ks

Fans salute the Ks

Remember Me?
I’m 6 foot 4 inches. I weigh 240lb strong.

My nickname is Japan was Kurage – Japanese for ‘Jellyfish’

In 1997 I signed for 4 years, $12.8 Million to play in MLB

I have something up my sleeve…literally. I request 30 tiny magnets be attached to my right arm while I pitch – for blood circulation of course.

I carry around Nike bags in spring training, despite the $95 Million deal I signed with Adidas before throwing 1 major league pitch.

I sold out every seat in Yankee Stadium in my MLB debut; that’s 51,901 fans. In retrospect, the hype was only comparable to Mickey Mantle’s debut in 1951.

On the night of my first start I generated a $1M increase in on-site Stadium revenue.

Irabu tips his cap to the crowd in the Bronx

Irabu tips his cap to the crowd in the Bronx

My 1st game was broadcast to 35 million homes and 38 large public outdoor screens in urban areas of Japan.

My name used to be ‘ERA-boo’ in Japan – but it quickly became ‘ir-RAH-boo’ in the states. Typhoon Irabu – as the T-Shirts said.

He is now fondly known in baseball circles as simply ‘The Toad’

Braylon or Plaxico?

29 07 2011

Both are big, tall, fast wide receivers.  Both were top-10 draft picks, and both wear Jersey #17.   Braylen Edwards went to Michigan, Plaxico Burress starred at Michigan State.   Braylon went to Cleveland, Plax in Pittsburgh.  Both found their way to New York.  Plax is out of jail, Braylon is on Twitter – @officialbraylon

And now, both are free agents.  Who would you sign?

Plax has had a more storied career, performed in the big moments, and brought the NY Giants a Superbowl in 2007.  He’s also been in jail for the past 2 years and will be 34 at the start of the NFL season.

Braylon has dropped balls, in some big moments, his whole career.   His 2007 season, with 16 touchdowns and 1,289, was Pro-Bowl worthy.  Thats almost a Jerry Rice season… almost.  He has been dedicated on the field and he’s 28 years young.

Right now, I love Plax, but…. I’d sign B Easy!

The Ca$h Man

28 07 2011

Long Island-born, 44-yr old New York Yankees General Manager Brian McGuire Ca$hman makes about $2 million per year and oversees a payroll of over 200 million dollars.   He’s negotiated deals with some of the sports most notable players, including Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez and captain Derek Sanderson Jeter.

Still, the most powerful baseball executive finds the time to scale 22-ft buildings …

Serve up pitchers…as a guest bartender to raise funds for Prostate Cancer

and he recently sat atop a dunk tank during a fund-raiser for the Special Olympics.

HOF Requirements: Be The Best for a few or Above Average for..ever

27 07 2011

Netherlands-born pitcher Bert Blyleven was a model teammate and has been a great ambassador for baseball.

But, does astonishing longevity now qualify you as a Hall Of Fame pitcher?

Things done changed!

Bert won 20 games once (20-17), never won a CY Young, and averaged 34 starts and 12 losses per year, but had an incredibly long 24-year career.  Koufax is interesting from the other side, as he was mythically, historically, the definition of dominant for a few years, and the “just” the best pitcher in baseball for almost a decade, but then because of arthritis he was out of of baseball in 12 seasons.   So who’s a HOFer?

Here’s a look Hall of Famer, Brooklyn’s own Sandy Koufax.   Koufax, a Jewish left-hander, won the Cy Young and pitching triple crown in 3 of his final 4 seasons, and pitched 4 no-hitters in his short career.

1963: 25-5 with 306 strike-outs, 1.88 ERA, and 11 shutouts in 311 innings
1964: 19-5 with 223 strike-outs, 1.74 ERA, and 7 shutouts in 223 innings
1965: 26- 8 with 382 strike-outs, 2.04 ERA, and 27 complete games in 335.2 innings
1966: 27- 9 with 317 stike-outs, 1.73 ERA and 27 complete games in 323 innings

I guess I’ll go with both.

No Hay Amigo! Jose Reyes talks Autotune

26 07 2011

After the season, some guys go fishing… I go to the studio!

The above video is an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW for LATINO SPORTS TV by Gemini Keez.  José talks about his new MUSIC VIDEO, “No Hay Amigos, and his career as a recording artist.

28- yr old New York Mets 4-time All Star shortstop Jose Reyes is one of the best players in baseball this year.  He leads major league baseball with a .353 batting average, and leads the NL in runs scored (73 ), hits (134),, and triples (16).   In fact, only 15 TEAMS in the league have more triples than Reyes!

Reyes is a free agent after the season and his next contract is the subject of much speculation.  WFAN Mike Francesca says that a person with extensive knowledge of the Reyes group told him that “If the Mets offered him 6 years, $120 million. I think he’d take it” .

In my opinion, that would actually be a fair contract, given not only his unmatched ability on the field, but also his energy and connection with the fans, and the fact he gave them a hometown break on his last contract – which averaged 6.75 mil/ year.


25 07 2011

“Streets!”  [2:09 mark]

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“Vlade – You need to go where people know your name!” – Shaq

25 07 2011


Interesting observation from this video… Read the rest of this entry »