What are these bums in Hollywood doing? It's been months since Delmon Young threw his bat, since Elijah Dukes went haywire (again and again), or since the two along with B.J. Upton stirred nationwide controversy with their comments in a USA Today article, and yet here we sit with no news about a new Bull Durham movie?
Let's consider this, we take the events throw in some dramatization (Delmon, or Frankie as his character's name would be, has severe bouts of depression, hence the bat flip.) Throw in a few fake events, the team actually winning, and a bum manager....well actually Tamargo could probably play himself in this movie without a raise in actually managing talent, and boom you have millions on opening weekend. Heck for old times sake have Kevin Costner drop by, Jeff Blauser could make a surprise entrance and instantly you have street cred.
Well enough about movies, or at least Bull Durham 2 : Back to the Minors (copyright pending), I found myself watching a rerun of an old Japanese sci-fi flick on television this past weekend. Of course it was set in space, or at least par. Have you noticed that `in space' is a MUST for a long running horror franchise, Jason had 9 `earth' movies until Jason X ...in space, the Leprechaun ... in space. Which is intriguing since the Leprechaun series also took place in `Da Hood', and for me that is a modern day must for any movie franchise...'Batman Begins...in Da Hood, The Da Vinci Code....in Da Hood (extra bonus for working `Da' twice into one title) Brokeback Mou....you get the point.
The thing that gets me is how the hero (or villain in some cases) always seems to come from Japan. Even in American-ized franchises like Godzilla (is he a hero or villain...when do we find that out exactly?) It turns out for the Rays sake that our hero, strong word, so let's say. Savior? Na...messiah? Nope, how about `answer'.
I'm speaking of course of the answer to the dilemma of a pair of problems. First off he's a gold glove third baseman who has played the OF (and presumably could move to 1b), and secondly he's a left handed bat whose capable of 30 or more homers. Only negative is well...there are a few problems.
To begin with, Akinori Iwamura has never played a game in the major leagues. You see Iwamura is currently a 3b on the Yakult Swallows, however it appears the 27 year old
will be posted by the Swallows, allowing the Rays (and the other 29 teams) to bid for a chance to negotiate with Iwamura.
Akinori has been a homerun machine, producing a .300 + average 4 of the last 5 years, and in that span hit 109 homers, in fairness to Akinori the lone season in which he did not hit .300 or hit at least 20 homeruns was in 2003 when he only played in 60, since he's averaged nearly 140 games a season.
The problems become apparent to why we may have a better chance of landing Iwamura than a team more in need of a 3b / OF / 1b say....the Phillies, when you look at his BB:K ratios, 146:63. Needless to say he would have to improve on the K rate, which would ultimately lead to 150+ Ks more likely than not, but it's intriguing when you consider he's posted OBPs near .400 even with the large sums of Ks.
Year Ks OBP
2002 114 .390
2003 excluded (only 60 GP)
2004 173 .383
2005 146 .388
Considering the K rates, those OBPs are simply amazing to me. A .380 + OBP player, with a good glove, and a bat that can hit 30+ homers, very enticing to a team that could use a 1b, not to mention we could platoon him and Ty Wigginton if we chose.
It's doubtful we will land Akinori, not impossible it`s just we haven`t been mentioned as even scouting the 27 year old. Of course at this point last year few saw us outbidding the Red Sox to land Shinji Mori...not the best of results (so far), but there had to be a Tsuyoshi Shinjo before there was an Ichiro Suzuki, and no matter what movie your in, those are odds worth taking.