(Source photo here.)
Daisuke Miura is staying with the Yokohama Baystars!
It's not like I have as much emotionally invested in the Baystars like I do with the Fighters, but I did go to 14 Baystars games last year (and cheered for them at 11), and saw them play in every CL stadium in Japan. But after such a lousy season, and after they pretty much threw my favorite player Takuro Ishii out in the trash, and the idea of Miura leaving, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever come back to Yokohama to cheer. I like the stadium, and I'd miss Sign Guy and Westbay and Matt and all, but... no Takuro and no Bancho make Deanna something something.
But now, instead, I'm almost considering getting one of those newfangled Baystars jerseys with D. Miura 18 on the back, to replace my Takuro jersey.
I used to think Miura was just some wannabe ace who used way too much hair gel, but then I found out about all of the community service he does -- last year he even got a special service award for his work with sick kids in hospitals. There was one boy they showed on TV who was in a wheelchair and suffering from some terminal condition -- I forget what -- but Miura visited the boy many times in the hospital, even inviting him to come to Yokohama Stadium and play catch on the field before a game. He even went to the funeral when the boy died a few months later. Talk about a tearjerker.
And then seeing him work so hard this year despite how awful the Baystars were, you had to just feel for the guy.
He's always seemed to be so nice to fans, too. It's pretty much the exact opposite of what I expected the first time I saw him. Supposedly the main reason he stayed with Yokohama was the fan support, after spending all of the Fan Appreciation Day signing and chatting and taking photos and playing catch with the fans.
Besides, who else would post photos of the Baystars pitching staff in yukata on their blog? Just sayin'.
It's great that he'll finish out his career in Yokohama, or at least the next four years. They BETTER not just throw him away afterwards, though.