Konnichiwa. Twenty-four hours after departing our hotel in Tokyo, followed by 12 hours of sleep and some of the craziest bed head ever seen, Beerleaguer is back from his eight-day tour of the Japanese baseball league.
The trip included five stadiums in eight nights, about 30 trains, cabs, subways, trolleys, buses, whatnot and five separate hotel check-ins. We had an outstanding time and met many great people. It commands a larger cultural study, a piece worth submitting somewhere a little less bourgeois than Beerleaguer.
Since time is of the essence, I give you this official Japanball press release. I must now repack my bags for six-hour drive to Pittsburgh for a wedding. You can imagine my excitement at the prospect of more long-distance travel. I'll post a Mets thread momentarily.
Beerleaguer acquires Fernandez bobblehead figurine
SENDAI, Japan -- Jason Weitzel of Beerleaguer has acquired a Jose Fernandez Rakuten Golden Eagles bobblehead figurine in exchange for an assortment of American baseball cards, including ex-Giant Tsuyoshi Shinjo, former Mariner closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, current Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima and Yankees superstar Hideki Matsui.
“We’re excited to obtain a bobblehead of Fernandez’s caliber,” Weitzel said. “Along with Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels, we’ve built a fine nucleus of novelty baseball items.”
In five seasons in Japan, Fernandez, 32, is a .296 hitter with 119 homers and 366 RBIs. His last Major League at bat happened in 2001 with Anaheim. In parts of two seasons, he is 7-for-49 (.143).
Despite his strong numbers in Japan, his bobblehead didn’t sell. Rakuten's portion of the trade was handled by "Freddy," front office assistant to former Golden Eagles GM Marty Kuehnert, now head of marketing. The deal was finalized in a hotel lobby in Sendai, pictured above.
"It was tough parting with a player of Shinjo's quality," said Weitzel, "but you have to give in order to receive." Rakuten plans on adding the cards to their stadium display case.
Weitzel declined team doctor Martin Smith's offer to remove Fernandez from his packaging and perform a full MRI. In order to make room for Fernandez in his luggage, Weitzel has designated his old underwear for assignment.