Archive for November 18th, 2008

Knucklegirl

Cool! Although I’d be happier if she were inspired by Phil Niekro…

The knuckleball – the fluttering, hard-to-hit pitch that’s rare in the major leagues – is propelling a 16-year-old girl to the pros in Japan.

Eri Yoshida was inspired to learn how to throw the knuckler after seeing a video of Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield. On Monday, she broke the gender barrier by being drafted for an independent league team as Japan’s first female professional baseball player.

The high schooler was chosen by the Kobe 9 Cruise in the Japanese League, which starts its inaugural season in April.

The Cruise are a far cry from the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants. Making the squad is more like earning a tentative slot on a farm team than warming up in the bullpen for the Red Sox.

Even so, the 5-foot, 114-pound Yoshida has smashed the glass ceiling with her unorthodox, sidearm pitch in baseball-crazy Japan, where women normally are relegated to amateur, company-sponsored teams or to the sport of softball.

“I’m really happy I stuck with baseball,” Yoshida said in a news conference after she was chosen with 32 other players in the new league’s draft. “I want to pitch against men.”

(…)

Yoshida started playing baseball when she was in the second grade, tagging along with her elder brother, now 19, and played first base on a boy’s team in junior high school. She also joined her high school baseball club, but quit because the training was too tough. Then she joined a private club.

According to media reports, Yoshida was inspired to throw knuckleballs when her father, Isamu, showed her a video of Wakefield pitching. She thought that she could do it, too.

“She must be doing something right,” said Dave DeFrietas, a scout in Japan for the Cleveland Indians. “She got signed. I hope it’s because of the way she plays, and I wish her success.”

Her manager agrees. “Her sidearm knuckleballs dip and sway, and could be an effective weapon for us,” said Yoshihiro Nakata.

(…)

Baseball history in the United States has occasional examples of women taking the field with men. While pitching for the Class AA Chattanooga Lookouts in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, Virne Beatrice “Jackie” Mitchell Gilbert struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in succession. In the last couple of decades, at least three women have pitched in independent minor leagues.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a sidearm knuckleballer.  Since the knuckleball hardly spins at all, I suppose it shouldn’t make much difference.

November 18th, 2008 at 05:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports

It’s Official.

The Democrats have no brains, no courage, no pride, and no honor.

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-independent from Connecticut, was allowed to keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday despite his support for Senator John McCain in the presidential campaign.

Democratic senators voted instead to strip Mr. Lieberman of a subcommittee chairmanship on the Environment and Public Works Committee, a slap on the wrist compared with the prospect of losing the homeland security leadership post.

“He’s part of this caucus,” the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, said after the Democratic caucus voted behind closed doors. “We are not looking back. We are looking forward.”

Mr. Lieberman, who had angered many Democrats by campaigning for Mr. McCain, his longtime friend, emerged from the private session looking pleased. He called the result “fair and forward-looking” and one of “reconciliation and not retribution.”

(…)

Before the meeting, Mr. Lieberman said he was optimistic. “I’m going into a roomful of friends,” he told The Associated Press.

(…)

Many Democrats were infuriated that Mr. Lieberman… ardently supported Senator McCain of Arizona. Mr. Lieberman actively campaigned against Mr. Obama, and harshly criticized him in his speech at the Republican convention.

But Mr. Obama signaled that he did not want Mr. Lieberman thrown out of the Democratic caucus, since expelling the senator could prompt him to align himself with the Republicans. Mr. Lieberman had also signaled that losing the chairmanship of the homeland security panel would be unacceptable to him.

Lieberman “aligning himself with the Republicans” would be nothing more than cosmetic – he’s already aligned with them in every way but name.  Yet the Democrats still act as if he’s one of them, that his support of McCain (and Coleman, and Collins, and Shays, and war, and torture, and wiretapping) was some kind of momentary and forgivable lapse of reason, rather than a continuation of the backstabbing he’s been practicing for at least the last ten years.

“A roomful of friends”?  More like a roomful of suckers.  My expectations for the next four years just got a whole lot lower.  The Democrats have demonstrated once again that words like “consequences” and “accountability” hold as little meaning for them as they do for the Republicans.

7 comments November 18th, 2008 at 12:47pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Lieberman,Politics,Wankers

Architectural Philly Photoblogging

Buildings! …And stuff.

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3 comments November 18th, 2008 at 10:34am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging


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