Friday, April 06, 2007

A Gyro isn't just a Greek Sandwich

So Dice-K looked positively King Felix-like in his debut against the Royals, except a lot skinnier. Naysayers will point out that he has yet to do that against a major league team, but then again, they could probably say that again about his next opponent, your Seattle Mariners. The highlight of that game, in Boston, will doubtless be the bum rush of 10,000 Japanese reporters trying to get a pre-game, in-game and post-game take on the first matchup of Itchy-Itchy and the master of the Demon Miracle Pitch since they met up in 1999 and Ich Bin ein Japaner struck out thrice.

What will happen this time? Who knows? The Seattle papers sure don't, since their only coverage of Daisuke's first start was an AP story they picked up off the wire, with no mention of Ichi. Had to turn to the NYT to discover that
Matsuzaka said that he was “very much looking forward” to pitching to Suzuki, but he is unlikely to be unnerved by the attention.
Here at the Rag, we think that nobody knows the ins and outs of the old ballgame better than one of our closest companions of all time. This little guy has been crawling all over us for millions of years, can jump 80 times his height, pull 160,000 times his weight and he did it without the Clear or the Cream. If anybody has a sense of the game, its him: Johnny Siphonaptera, aka the Flea. So, with less than a week to go before this historic matchup, we've assembled a committee of expert Fleas to discuss the upcoming matchup.

Our panelists:

In order from top left, proceding to the right, then down a line and etc: Flea, Jimmy "the Flying Flea" Johnstone, Freddie "Flea" Patek, Lionel "Pulga" Messi (Pulga means Flea), Jesper "Flea" Olsen, Flea Clifton

(Note: we invited Flea. He declined the invitation.)
(Note also: we are not graphic designers. This frickin frackin thing won't put the fonts in the size we need. Sorry.)
(Note: F = Flea; FJ = Flea Johnstone; FP= Flea Patek; PM = Pulga Messi; JO = Flea Olsen; FC = Flea Clifton)

With no further ado, let's get this conversation going. Poony Poon (PP) will moderate:

PP: Ichiro is just 1,642 hits away from 3,000. Matsuzaka is just 2,990 Ks away from 3,000. Both speak Japanese. Flea Olsen, any thoughts?

FO: I like Ichiro's Zen-like calm at the plate. He hit a pitch the other day off Rich Harden, a sinker in the dirt, almost a spitter, really, for a single. Harden later said that nobody had ever made contact with that pitch. You just can't put that in a can and sell it at Wal-Mart.

FJ: Begorah and sure, but ye can't underestimate Daisuke's trrrruly incredible varriety of pitches. I mean, the man is a walking munitions dump, isn't he? So many looks. So many arm angles. Just nasty, nasty stooff. PS: I'm deed.

FP: Well, my best year was 158 hits, and let me tell you, that day in and day out consistency ain't easy. Ichiro has, what, like at least 150 hits, and so, you know, he can really zing 'em like Hostess.

PP: I'm sorry, I didn't understand that. Pulga?

PM: Pues, la verdad, no tengo ni puta idea de lo que dicen. Aca en Barcelona, se come bastante bien el sushi. Bueno, asi me dijo Eto'o. Yo no como sushi, viste, no me gusta el marisco y todo esto. Un sabalo, un poco de mero, bien, pero sushi suhi, no. Que se yo....yo diria que Ichiro meta un cabesazo en la segunda y que Daisuke da la remate cuanto antes. 1-1. Asi va a terminar.

FC: I am also no longer living. However, I'd have to build off of what Lionel here is saying and add that you can't overestimate the role of the press here. I mean, those Japanese cameramen are nasty. When I made my debut with the Tigers in 1934, there must have been 100 NKK cameramen all over the place. Big ole Hank Greenberg had to swat a few away with his lumber. Now I reckon that for this Fenway matchup, at least 10 to 15 camera types will show up. And if that's the case, I gotta give the upper hand to the more experienced ballplayer, Ichiro. Plus, he speaks Japanese, which I think will be a huge advantage.

PP: Thought provoking. Like the interplay of tonal harmonics and dissonance in later Stravinsky...So, guys, let's get down to nuts and bolts. Dice-K is going to bean Ichiro right on the noggin, right?

F: Frankly, I think that's an insulting postulation. Daisuke is a student of the game and knows all too well the Jackie Robinson-esque struggle his predecessor went through. His agent, Scott Boras, plays bridge with Ichiro's agent, Tony Attanasio. Both have season subscriptions to the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Matsuzaka recently scored tickets for the pair to see Michael Schumaker's last race. Also, Ichiro's blood is type B and Matsuzaka's is O. That's warrior versus hunter. Matsuzaka might be a fierce fighter, but Ichiro's Mizuno bat is a like a 34 ounce spear, carefully balanced and ready to cleave Daisuke's chest plate and leave him to die, suffocated by the weight of his own blood. There is no possibility but Wa.

FO: I read the biography of Sadaharu Oh and there's a really cool flip book thingy in it where you flip through the pages and you get like a little movie about Sadaharu swinging. I think he hit a homerun or something. Samurai! Chop! My point is this: neither of 'em could cut it back with the A's were in Kansas City. Roger Maris would have had none of it, the racist bastard.

FP: I think what's getting lost in this otherwise riveting conversation is the fact that you shouldn't underestimate the power of Coco Crisp. Not only is he a switch hitter, but he tastes great with Nestle Quik. I like to use the powdered kind and then put in the Coco Crisp and then the milk and then just take a few heaping teaspoonfuls of the Quik powder, right? and I just dust them all over the place. What's neat about that is that as you eat, the milk gets gradually more chocolaty. It starts out just plain old milk, but that dust keeps working its magic and pretty soon, you've got yourself a sweet treat. Turns breakfast into a two course meal. I sometimes put an egg on top and then you've got yourself breakfast, lunch and dinner all rolled up in one.

PM: Que decis? Quien invito al loco esto? Cuando se acaba la entrevista, porque Ronaldinho me espera afuera.

There you have it, ladies and gents. Mariners verus BoSox. Next Wednesday.

"Makyuu no Shoutai"

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