Thursday, May 12, 2005

Goodbye, Nori.

I know I'm awfully late in talking about this, but life's been busy -- so, hey, cut me some slack, a'ight?

Anyway, the other day the Dodgers dropped Norihiro Nakamura from the 40-man roster and outrighted him to Triple-A. I'm really sad to see him go because I was rooting so hard from him to make a go of it in America. After an impressive career in Japan, he turned his back a mega-money offer over there and took the MLB minimum salary in order to chase his dream of playing in the American major leagues. Unfortunately, that feel-good story was derailed by his .128 average and his absolute inability to hit anything. It's such a shame because he seems like such a great, humble guy and he did pretty good in Spring Training, so this sort of free-fall was unexpected. But I really like him and I hope he can get his swing straightened out in Las Vegas and find success somewhere, even if it's not with the Dodgers.

What makes this whole a thing doubly a shame is that, for the first time in quite a few years, it leaves the Dodgers without a Japanese player on their roster. You have to remember, this is the team that started the whole flood of Japanese major leaguers coming to America by signing Hideo Nomo in 1995. Since then, Los Angeles' Japanese-American community has rabidly supported the team and the Japanese media could always be seen closely following Nomo, Kaz Ishii, and even Dave Roberts. But no longer. At least Hee-Sop Choi is around to give the Korean community someone to idolize. (Did Choi steal Nori's mojo? How the hell would you explain that he would ever be hitting over .300?)

Other Dodger News: If you're like me, I know you've missed Tommy Lasorda's hyperbolic ramblings since he stopped managing. Well, you can stop being so wistful because now, thanks to's promotional juggernaut, the man himself has his own blog. Now his True Blue rants have taken on a cranky-old-man quality, but in true Tommy fashion, his sidebar is dedicated to links to his favorite Italian restaurants from across the country. Check it out. Just don't ask him what he thinks of Dave Kingman's performance. (How perfect is it that that clip is hosted by Kingman's official site? Does anyone know if an un-bleeped version exists anywhere online?)