It takes a certain kind of confidence to refer to your new boss as “extremely sexy and cool.” Which is to say, the newest member of the Oakland A’s, Hiroyuki Nakajima is a pretty confident guy.
During the press conference in which the Athletics introduced their new shortstop, a 30-year old former member of the Seibu Lions, the shortstop and middle infielder mentioned his desire to play in Oakland due in no small part to A’s general manager Billy Beane, who Nakajima referred to as “extremely sexy and cool.”
Nakajima says he wanted to sign with #Athletics because “Billy Beane is extremely sexy and cool.”
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) December 18, 2012
Big League Stew has the full story on the colorful press conference in which Nakajima, through his interpreter, filled the notebooks of the assembled press corps with numerous quotes and quips. “Through his interpreter” should not be overlooked, as a few people I saw on Twitter insisted that while Nakajima is clearly a fun-loving dude, there was a certain “poetic licence” taken by the interpreter.
As far as what kind of on-field impact Nakajima might make, your guess is as good as mine. Infielders making the transition from Japan to the big leagues have a spotty record at best. Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs gets deep inside the newest A’s Pacific League numbers, noting a pronounced drop in his power numbers over the last two years – with good reason.
Sullivan offers one more one reason to believe Nakajima wasn’t just flustered and misquoted at his presser. From his twitter feed (and via Notgraphs head wizard Cistulli beyond that) comes this exciting gif of Nakajima flipping his bat after what we can only assume was a home run. That is not an entry-level bat flip, friends. This man has done this before.
That is the bat flip of a man who is confident enough to come to America and tell Billy Beane he’s a stone cold fox right to his face – and mean it. The A’s had great success with an international man of mystery known for his bat flipping prowess last season. Once again, Billy Beane taps into the new market inefficiency.
And the rest
The Giants handed a three-year extension to reliever slash former fill-in closer Santiago Casilla. Hrm. The flags currently flying forever over AT&T Park better flap extra loud to drown out the sound of wringing hands as many people wonder what on Earth Brian Sabean is doing in his bullpen. [McCovey Chronicles]
What do you get for the baseball fan who has everything except good taste? A hideous baseball sweater, of course. [Ebay]
Just a hunch – that might not get it done.
“Sure you spent four years with the most recognizable baseball team on Earth but here’s your name & face on OUR scoreboard. Ready to sign?”
Might the Toronto Blue Jays outfit their concrete toilet bowl with a grass field on day? A somewhat informed source says – probably not but kinda sorta maybe! [DJF]
How the Mariners failed Ichiro! [U.S.S. Mariner]