17-Year-Old Girl Makes Japan Pro Baseball Debut

Back in November, we brought you the news that a professional baseball team in Japan had signed a 16-year-old pitcher. Which may not sound like much…until you learn it was a girl. Well, now she’s made her pro debut.

Eri Yoshida

Eri Yoshida faced two batters and struck out one of them in her debut with the Kobe 9 Cruise of the new Kansai Independent League. She entered in the ninth inning of her teams 5-0 win over Osaka in front of a crowd of more than 11,000 at the Osaka Dome. Yoshida, a five-footer who relies on her knuckleball, walked the first batter she faced but then settled in.

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Yeah, Brett, We Get It - You Like Shooting Things

• What’s more hilarious than showing up at practice and noticing that Brett Favre has put a dead animal in your locker? Reportedly it was a wild turkey, but usually when dead things end up stuffed in lockers in New Jersey, it’s not something to laugh about.

Brett Favre hunting

Ozzie Guillen is in love with a certain team on the south side…of the country.

Misty May-Treanor can win gold medals running around on a beach, but she can’t physically keep up in a competition that still includes Cloris Leachman. So now the well-endowed lawyer’s daughter is back in.

Vladimir Putin released a DVD to teach you about Judo. Next in the series of world leader instructional DVDs: Robert Mugabe’s ground-breaking series of curling lessons.

• Even Frank Caliendo has had enough of the Frank TV ads. And he’s the star of the show.

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Japan Baseball Exports Face Ban If They Return

In a move designed to discourage a flood of young Japanese baseball players from shunning their domestic leagues and moving to the U.S., baseball execs over on the islands have enacted a three-year ban on amateur players who leave Japan should they decide to return and attempt to play professionally.

Japanese baseball fan girl

The ban doesn’t cover major-league players who choose to relocate in the middle of their career, like Ichiro Suzuki or the wildly popular (at least in Los Angeles) Kosuke Fukudome. But it does cover players like 22-year-old Junichi Tazawa, who was considered to be one of the top players available in this fall’s Japanese baseball draft. Tazawa has decided to forgo Japanese baseball altogether to come play in the states.

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Is Bobby Valentine Next Mets Japanese Import?

The NY BASEBALL DIGEST says that Bobby Valentine would be interested in the New York Mets’ manager position if it was offered to him. Which might come as a surprise to Jerry Manuel, the current interim manager of the team who is currently negotiating with Mets’ GM Omar Mineya for a full-time position. However, there have reportedly been snags in getting the deal done, specifically over a third year.

Bobby Valentine

Normally I would think that Valentine is being pretty underhanded to talk about his interest in a job that currently is not really open. But perhaps Valentine was put up to this by the Mets’ executives in order to crank up the heat on Manuel to sign - with the understanding that Valentine would be in line for the gig if it falls through. Or perhaps they just miss having someone sitting around the dugout in a fake mustache and glasses. (Versus the Metsm who were disguised as a playoff team for about four months before the make-up wore off.)

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Blog Jam: Cowboys Fans Curse Overdone Anthem

• SI’s Arash Markazi wasn’t so thrilled with Kat DeLuna’s National Anthem performance Monday night - and neither were the fans at Texas Stadium.

Kat DeLuna

• And YOU BEEN BLINDED shudders to think what Josh Howard’s reaction might have been, since he’s black and “don’t celebrate that sh*t“.

• DEADSPIN hears Mike Greenberg lamenting the low-watt brain power of radio co-host Mike Golic: “It is impossible to have a conversation on a high, intellectual level with a man whose idea of fine literature begins with Doctor and ends with Seuss.”

• THE SPORTS DOLLAR drinks in some comparisons between your favorite sports blog & your favorite alcoholic refreshment.

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First Pitches: Mariah Carey Throws Like Carl Lewis

Turns out Carl Lewis wasn’t the only celebrity to recently suffer a sorrowful ceremonial first pitch.

Mariah Carey first pitch Yomiuri Giants

BIG LEAGUE STEW tosses us news that Mariah Carey was asked to do the honors for the Yomiuri Giants of Japan. The songstress showed good from - however, we’re not talking about her hurling prowess.

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Bosox’s Dustin Pedroia Wants Japan to ‘Shut Up!’

Americans have earned a certain reputation abroad as miserable guests while on vacation. (Miserable guests but lucrative ones, even with the falling dollar.) We travel thousands of miles to enjoy McDonald’s with funky new menus or gussied up local fare with an American twist. (”Of course you can have ketchup with your couscous. I’ll get right on that, son of a jackal.”)

Dustin Pedroia

(Next up: karaoke! Do you have Aerosmith?)

Worse yet, we come stomping into local traditions and demand them to bend to our will. Dustin Pedroia, raised in California and semi-matriculated at Arizona State, certainly would have preferred a little cooperation from the Japanese during the Red Sox’s exhibition game against the Hanshin Tigers. You see, the Japanese are too loud when they watch baseball. Poor kid.

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