Hideki Irabu was found dead yesterday afternoon near Los Angeles. If you're waiting for a punch line, you're reading the wrong wise-ass blog.
I loved Hideki Irabu. His arrival and debut with the Yankees was unlike anything I'd seen around that time, and I was going to shitloads of games in the mid/late '90s. This was before the mysterious sensations/disasters of El Duque, Ichiro, Hideki Matsui, Contreras, Wang, Dice-K, and anyone else that simply appeared out of nowhere. And once the Irabu photos and stories started making the rounds, we were gripped with a double standard: he had to be great, and there was absolutely no way he could be great.
Funny thing is, this is exactly what he was for most of his tenure in the Bronx. I'd guess I saw Irabu pitch around ten times at Yankee Stadium, although I only have six ticket stubs as proof. I saw him pitch in the first Interleague games at Shea, which was a hoot and a half. Hideki looked like a dad wearing his kid's batting helmet, and got a no-decision in the Yankees' win. I saw him toss a shutout against the Tigers in July of 1999, and generally saw decent starts from the guy. Don't remember details, but Heath Bieferman and I rooted our asses off for Irabu one time and assembled our own "K" signs out of ripped up pizza boxes in the old Loge section. It was always a good time to watch Irabu pitch.
I'll be wearing my #35 jersey this Saturday, not that I expect the Yanks to do anything cool for the poor guy. Rest assured that at least one Yankee fan will be thinking about Hideki Irabu as Bartolo Colon jiggles around on the mound.
Oh yeah, I just imported a bunch of CDs by artists beginning with the letter "I"... Not a whole lot here, excepting the spectacular Isley Brothers and Ice Cube singles/EPs. I'm fond of Under the Skin by Ice, although I haven't listened to it in ages. What happened to my Ivy record?
Grenache for one / WED 4-26-17 / Hostility in British slang / Cuneiform discovery site / Extinct relative of kiwi / Second-largest Arabic speaking city after Cairo / Degree of expertise in martial arts / Fifth-century invaders of England / US president who becomes president of future earth on Futurama / SIster chain of Marshalls / Candy often used in science fair volcanoes
14 hours ago