Friday, April 29, 2005


It's good to see Yabu get some love from my fellow A's fans. Wanna see this lovefest? Well just click here and here. This current lovefest was started by an article from today's Chronicle.

I remember during spring training that many A's fans were down on Yabu with many comments of "Beane paid $1 million for this?" It's understandable because Yabu didn't have that good of a spring and his velocity was down in the mid-80's. But one need to look at his track record in Japan. He had excellent stats in the Japanese leagues, he just didn't get alot of wins (which is an overrated stat, by the way) because he had little run support with the Hanshin Tigers.

I think his critics has been silenced in his first month in the big leagues, his velocity is back in the low 90's and has excellent stats. All of his outings were good, save the last one, and he is becoming one of the more reliable members of the bullpen, especially with Cruz struggling and Calero out with his possible bone spur.

But I digress, since the article is not just about Yabu, it's also about his interpreter, Andy Painter. I'll let Susan Slusser do the talking:
Painter, who is from San Mateo and now lives in Burlingame, is as much a fixture in the clubhouse as Yabu, and just as popular. He has jumped into the job with so much gusto that he warms up coaches before they throw batting practice and he shags flyballs, even diving on occasion. It's quite a sight, the graying 43-year-old anthropology professor (undergraduate degree from UC Santa Cruz; Ph.D. from Michigan) grinning from ear-to-ear as he bounces around the field.

The thing that strikes him most about his position is that, after spending the past 11 years in Japan as an academic, he has a completely different perspective on baseball than anyone else in the room.

"First of all, I'm not calm about it,'' Painter said. "Every time they lose, I freak out.''
I envy Andy. He looks like a baseball fan given the dream job of being paid to tag along a major league team. I mean, when have you heard of interpreters having this much fun on a job?

It's a shame that the stores at the Coliseum doesn't have Yabu shirts in stock. Yabumania is here to stay.


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