From Your Friendly Neighborhood Sports Desk: 2009 as we'd like to see it
Seriously, this article completely and totally nails the silliness of the Japanese sports scene and media. Go read it. A few highlights:
"A much-heralded Japanese high school baseball phenom effectively states, "It's been a dream of mine to play for the Rakuten Eagles--I really hope the Yomiuri Giants don't draft me."
The next sports phenom in Japan does not get hung with the "Prince" moniker. We've had the "Handkerchief Prince" (pitcher Yuki Saito) and the "Shy Prince" (golfer Ryo Ishikawa). Time to come up with a new silly obsession.
Speaking of Buffed sluggers, we'd like to see the recently retired Kazuhiro Kiyohara stay retired. Athletes these days seem to be a little confused on the whole concept of retirement, with the likes of NFL quarterback Brett Favre announcing they are quitting, only to "un-retire" when overcome by the urge to strap on the pads again. Anyway, we think Kiyohara is well past his sell-by date and should have retired four or five years ago--those that read the daily box scores probably think he did.
I have to say, as an aside, that I've been really delighted with the way the English newspapers in Japan covered Japanese baseball this past year. The writers are a really nice group of guys, too.