Now that Jays fans have breathed something resembling a sigh of relief, following a series-tying win over the White Sox in a game where R.A. Dickey looked, for a second time (third, really) very much like exactly the ridiculous unhittable knuckleball machine that the team thought it was getting, it seems like maybe a good moment to note some of the other reasons why, despite some early disillusionment, this season is going to be a hell of a fun thing.

No, not in the “they have talent, they’ll be fine, asshole” kind of way that we’ve pretty much exhausted around here over the last three weeks. Not even in the jaws-dropped at R.A. Dickey GIFs (via gamereax) way, but in the “holy shit, Gibbers going full fuckin’ Al Bundy in the dugout, what a boss!” kind of way.

That is… just… spectacular. Hahahahaha.

But if there is character that needs to be highlighted in a mailed-in post on the awesomeness of the group– post Jose Reyes injury, of course– it’s Munenori Kawasaki.

Yes, we already knew this. Frankly, anyone with eyes already knew this, and we highlighted as much earlier in the week, with Scott Johnson’s excellent GIFfery in 7 Reasons To Love Munenori Kawasaki. Oh, but there’s more that the club’s new fan favourite shortstop has to give. Lots more.

John Lott wrote about Kawasaki in a piece for this morning’s National Post, and deepened– read: added a bunch more gold to– our understanding of him.

During batting practice Wednesday, Kawasaki did several headstands against the screen behind home plate, sat on his knees and bounced to the music from the stadium speakers, broke into raucous laughter in a conversation with Arencibia and exuberantly advised a TV interviewer, in English: “I can’t speak English because I am Japanese!”

Following his turn in the cage, he dropped his bat and batting gloves to the turf and sternly admonished them to stay put.


And then this afternoon there was more still from a similarly excellent piece from Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star:

Asked to define his style of play in his own words, he said he simply tries to have as much fun as possible on the field. He doesn’t worry much about what fans think of him.

“The only thing I hope the fans do is just enjoy it and shout, even bad things,” he said. “Just release their stress, just drink beer and watch the games. If I was a baseball fan I would just drink beers and shout during the game.”

Here he mimes chugging a beer with each hand while yelling at an imagined ballgame in front of him.

“Life is short, so why not just enjoy the game?”

Do I even need to comment on that? I mean, how do you not love this guy? And if the hits keep on coming, even better.

Fuck, maybe we can have fun this year after all, you guys.


Screencap via @Paul_Is_The_Toro.

Comments (117)

  1. ahhhhhhh…..that feels good.

  2. K-A-W-A-S-A-K-I_SWAGGER!!!!!!!

  3. Muneori Kawasaki: Hero of the Proletariat.

  4. Gibby’s right hand looks to be totally overwhelming his junk.

  5. #KawasakiIchiban

  6. “Life is short, so why not just enjoy the game?”

    This is a quote to live by, especially for the comment section.

    • Naaaaaaaaw!!! Dude you missed the best quote:

      “If I was a baseball fan I would just drink beers and shout during the game.”

      Does he know about DJF???????

      I nominate him for our “Titular” leader.

      Any seconds???

      • Get him on the next DJF Podcast!
        I dont even care if I could understand a word he says, I just feel like it’d be hilarious nonetheless

  7. I would love to have seen him tell the bat and gloves to stay put.

  8. Damnit…Kawasaki has a point!

  9. “I can’t speak English because I am Japanese!”

  10. So you’re saying he’s insane? Is it day-to-day or should he be on the DL?

    Nah I love him. Gibbons too.

    Any word on Bautista?

  11. I have said several times to various reactions that come what may…this is going to be an entertaining season. I am here for the beer. The score just tells me if I am drinking to celebrate or drinking to drown my sorrows. Perhaps this is why I was drawn to this site :)

  12. Did you guys see this Kawasaki and Lawrie dance?

  13. Love Gibby. Love Kawasaki.

    But that photo scares the shit out of me, because when I see a Jays manager with his hands tucked comfortably into his waistband, I don’t see Al Bundy, I see Jimy One-M Williams. If Gibby starts to rock the jacket with only the top button closed, I’ll know for sure we’re fucked.

    • Gibbons reminds me of Hank Hill in King of the Hill, but he speaks like Boomhauer from that show.

  14. EveryBudddddi the Best!

  15. I was at the game last night and I swear I saw someone wearing a Kawasaki jersey.

  16. The dance was the BIG BALLS dance from major league 2. I’m hoping this season plays out the same way

  17. so,
    as long as everyone’s learning to chill the fuck out and have fun, can we take a second to appreciate how cool it would be to be jorge posada right now? he’s the spokesperson for johnny walker black…. what a dream job

  18. Lott’s piece made me like Adam Lind for the first time. “That’s my favourite guy in the big leagues and he’s on my team now.” Love it.

  19. I, for one, would love to see them keep Kawasaki here when Reyes comes back.
    Release old man DeRosa, and when no other teams pick him up, sign him as a bench coach. We all know he was only brought here to add ‘clubhouse presence’, anyway.

    • No doubt the best clubhouse presents come from Kawasaki. I agree that he needs to stay with Toronto.

      • Can he play second?

        Don’t we need a back up catcher? I bet he can do that.

        • did you know a few years ago johnny mac was our third string catcher?

        • According to Baseball Reference last year he played 39.2 innings with 4 starts at 2B for Seattle.

          He also compiled a .192 BA, .257 OBP, .202 SLG and .459 OPS over 104AB in 61 games.

          For sure, with his infectious personality, he’s been a breath of fresh air, fun to watch, and to quote Buck, “great for television.”

          But before we present him with the keys to the city, lets see where he is after 40 games. If he’s the same guy he is now, playing him at second base might very well become a viable option.

        • I second the second nomination!

  20. I caught a few Spring Training games, where managers watch the game from what are basically lawn chairs. We joked that if it was socially acceptable, Gibby would have had a cooler full of Bud Lights.

  21. This season already is, and will continue to be awesome…..

    Thing is, after years of not having an opportunity to have sustained hope in the team, most of us just don’t know how to enjoy it.

    Give it a few weeks/months. Once people realize that this team will not be obliterated by a lack of depth/talent, or by superior teams in the division/league, the symptoms of batter fan syndrome will dissipate.

  22. He reminds me of a young Jim Paek

  23. I also drink beer and shout durings baseball games.

    I am sure you noticed me.

  24. Isn’t it getting to the point though were Kawasaki is borderline becoming an ethnic mascot?

    • Yes, 100%

    • We mentioned this on one of the podcasts this week. It’s a little uncomfortable, yes. But it’s not like the attention isn’t derived from his personality. He’s fun, and could be from anywhere and got the same reaction, I think.

      But I understand where this is coming from too, a bit.

      • Re: “He’s fun, and could be from anywhere and got the same reaction, I think.”

        That is not true. I know that you wish it to be true, but it is not.

        For the few of us who appreciate the dose honour/respect and style of Japanese baseball that we are getting first hand look at, there are many, many more who are enjoying him as a pet.

        It very likely that a video montage of everyone bowing to the tune of The Vapors – Turning Japanese is only days away from gracing the big screen at the rogers centre.

      • ….. this reminds me of when Mookie Wilson came to town. Same type of admiration for the player.

        • Mookie was my first favourite Blue Jay! Mostly because 2 year old me loved saying Moooooooooooookie

          • 8 year old me felt the same.

            • Mazookie

            • Mookie’s slash line as a Jay .267/.297/.357

              I understand a child’s fascination with Mookie Wilson, however, even in an era where stolen bases, batting average, rbi and hr’s were all the rage, he wasn’t that good.

              BA. .267 as Jay
              SB 23 -1990
              RBI 51 -1990
              HR 3 -1990

              I know there are old timey stats, but we’re talking 1990 here.

              So why was he such a fan favourite?


              • as a kid I was a fan because he was the fastest guy down the first base line that I ever seen.

    • Couldn’t agree more.
      Case and point, a recent Sun headline:

    • In a way, yes. But I think a lot of the appeal of Kawasaki comes from the fact that he showed up after the most disheartening, deflating moment of the season, and has turned out to be as entertaining and charismatic as the guy he replaced. The way he plays, heart on his sleeve and the instant camaraderie with his teammates is just as endearing as his other antics. Just my 2 cents, anyway.

      • I honestly think this is completely accurate. Did we love Reyes because he was Dominican? No, it’s because he genuinely loves playing the game to such a degree that it is visible in his every move on the field. This is infectious; watching a person have fun is fun. Stop trying to make everything out to be your recognition of the evils of society that underscore our very existence and enjoy watching someone have fun for chrissakes. The fans bow to him because he bows at the fans, I don’t see you guys calling me a racist for enjoying Lo Viste just because I don’t speak Spanish.

  25. I bet Farrel is better groomed down there then Gibby is.

  26. Imagine this team once Lawrie starts hitting, Jose’s back in the lineup, Melky starts hitting, Reyes comes back, Edwin finds his groove and the SP’s shake off the rust..

  27. He’d need to be….even just to find it.

  28. John, pinch hit for Colby Rasmus.

  29. No Chad. *Flush*

  30. With Dickey only tossing 64 pitches through the 6th, did anyone else get the feeling he could have easily went the distance and continue to pitch equally awesome through the ninth? Fun season indeed.

    • no question he was looking at a CG

      • Sorry, OP should have mentioned were it not for the neck/back pain, obviously.

      • I thought the amazing part of his pitching line was he was averaging about 10 pitches an inning….. while striking out 7.
        thats some video game numbers if i ever saw them.

        • The 6th was especially awesome and efficient. 1 pitch to Flowers to get him to ground out, 3 straight strikes to K Wise, and 1 pitch to Keppinger to get him to fly out.

    • I believe I saw a quote where he said so himself. That shit was ON.

      • RA: “I had a knuckleball tonight where I would’ve thrown a complete game tonight with that.”

        Definitely agree, he had no-hitter stuff going. After all, the only two he gave up were a bloop-ish single (by Rios, who else) and a comebacker off Dickey’s foot that Viciedo beat out by a half-step.

  31. As i am not a tweeter
    have the posted the Jays line up for tonight? Are we short 1 or 2 Joses?

  32. Is Gibbers staring at the lineup card?

    Looks like DJF posters aren’t the only ones engaged in uncontrollable rosterbation

  33. One of the best Kawaski moments I’ve seen yet was in the second game of the White Sox series. After Arencibia hit a homerun in the 6th, after he came back to the dugout, Kawaski just appeared to scream and hold his head for like 10 seconds, even as Arencibia walked past… Haven’t seen a GIF of that one yet. This dude is straight crazy though and I dig it.

  34. He is awesome. Kawasaki is just what the Jays and their fans needed this week.

  35. If and when the Jays start doing really well, I hope there isnt a whole bunch of “I told ya so’s” going on in here.

    • hard to say, but im sure there will be a lot more traffic and at least 3 awesome new handles for use to joke or wonder about

  36. I love Kawasaki too and immediately appreciated his patient approach and ability to battle. The 20 or so pitches he sees a game are a nice contribution and his defence seems solid (loved that diving catch on the liner up the middle). He’s also good at executing small ball plays as he demonstrated with his sac fly and RBI yesterday on a key play.

    Not an annoyance, but something I’ve noticed is how after every pitch, he backs out of the box and goes into a full crouch for a few seconds. I guess it’s part of his plate routine and is no different than guys who redo their batting gloves and elbow braces or whatnot, but I don’t recall seeing that before and find it peculiar.

    (please no flaming responses telling me he can do whatever the fuck he wants – I have no problem with it, just found it noteworthy)

    • didn’t Ichiro do it?

      • Hrm, if my memory serves me right, Ichiro dis (does?) a quick bounce in the batters box before pointing his bat towards the outfield and pulling up his sleeve or something like that. I guess it’s similar, just not the full 3 second crouch.

      • Kawasaki supposedly idolized Ichiro early in his career so it fits that he’d have a similar routine.

      • Ichiro is his hero and that’s part of his routine. I havent noticed him do the ” tug-on- the sleeves- thing” yet, though.

    • I like it, slows the pitcher down. Will be good vers Pet tonight

  37. I was at the game last night with the wife. We had a blast, too bad more people weren’t out to see the game. I don’t think I’ve ever been at the Rogers Centre when it was so empty.

    There were definitely a few guys taking Kawasaki’s advice to drink beer and yell, they were giving it to Rios pretty well.
    Dicky the best!

    • ” I don’t think I’ve ever been at the Rogers Centre when it was so empty.”

      Did you not go to any games between 2009 and 2011?

  38. Bautista back in the lineup as DH tonight, per the team’s twitter feed.

  39. Went to the game yesterday and saw two Kawasaki jerseys! The Japanese Johnny Mac, The Asian Elvis, whatever you call him this guy is awesome.

  40. Wow. Stoeten could do an “Anatomy of a PTS talk” just on the guy who called in just now. Preview: Jose Bautista is a bum, not just because he’s a “watermelon” but because he’s also mediocre at baseball…

    How is that person even termed a “fan”?

  41. Anyone else impressed with how dope Wilner and Hayhurst were as a tandem in the radio booth this past week? Either Wilner has stepped his game up, or Hayhurst makes him that much better.

    • wilner is def much improved in the booth than when he first started. He doesnt yell when something good happens for the jays and he is much better at word painting the action that is going on. There were times last year when it sounded like a guy hit a homer at first only to have wilner then change the direction of the play by play where it ended up being a fould ball behind the dug out

      • Agreed… He’s good enough in the booth that I no longer want to punch my radio when I hear his voice. In fact, I can feel my Wilner hate gradually dissipating. I think Stoeten nailed it a couple of days ago in his rant about dumb comments. If I had to deal with what Wilner had to deal with after every game, my head would explode. I’m not fully in board yet, but I definitely prefer him and Hayhurst to Jack Morris.

    • Totally agree. I listen to more games on the Radio than watch on TV and Wilner and Hayhurst are fantastics. Wilner is definitely most improved on the team this year. Hayhurst has a few moments where he starts to wax a little too poet, and he should save that for the writing. It seems out of place when he starts dropping metaphors and speaking in perfect prose on Jerry.

      Terrified that Jack is back on the Radio tonight. Fuck, the tandem of him, Buck and Pat was like listening to three old men in a bar trying to understand what these kids are up to these days.

  42. “If you say to a person, ‘I like you,’ generally that person will not respond by saying ‘I hate you,’ ” he said. “I suppose it could happen, but that hasn’t been my experience.”

    lol so true but for some reason funny.

  43. When Reyes comes back can we justify dropping DeRosa and keeping Kawasaki? If DeRosa is mainly there for clubhouse presence, isn’t Kawasaki doing more? (Albiet, in a different way).

    Anyway, I’m going to stop worrying and enjoy the time we get with him. I need a Kawasaki Jersey to go with my Brett Cecil goggles. Most unexpected favourite players … ever.

  44. I’ll raise an Asahi to Kawasaki

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