Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Today's Daily SAll-Star is on of the best/worst pitchers in history: Hideki Irabu
Back in the day, Irabu was a stellar pitcher in the Japanese Leagues for the Chiba Lotte Marines. He stuck out a lot of hitters and once threw a pitch at 156 km/hr (those crazy Japanese with their metric system), which was the Japanese League record until 2005 (footage below).
But then Irabu was signed by the San Diego Padres. Refusing to play for any team other than the New York Yankees, Irabu forced a trade where the Padres sent the Japanese pitcher and Homer Bush to the Yankees for Rafael Medina and Ruben Rivera and $3 million. (Note: a ham sandwich was rumored to be involved but ultimately was left out due to contract unrest)
Once Irabu reached the Yankees, he was terrible...really, really terrible. Plus he got severely obese and was being overpaid. So in general, Yankee fans hated him. It was the same story in his brief stops Montreal and Texas.
So here's to you Hideki Irabu: proof that you usually can't be a fat baseball player.