Sorry to bust in with a little baseball talk this morning, but the Mariners signed the first big-name free-agent of the off-season, thereby pushing the team hopefully that much closer to a .500 record next year. They signed the Japanese catcher, Kenji Johjima, who won seven straight Gold Gloves in Japan and has averaged a .305 batting average and 30 homers each of the past 5 years. The Mariners have been essentially playing without a catcher for three seasons now, so this should really help. How he gets aong with Ichiro is another story, altogether, as the word is Japanese superstars don't like sharing the spotlight.
But I digress... That's not really why I'm bothering to post this news here. I just needed an excuse to quote the team's GM, Bill Bavasi. When asked about Johjima having to learn the English language, Bavasi replied, "We're talking about [learning] enough to get the next hitter out, not to split the atom." It's nice to hear someone within the organization put things in perspective, but isn't it funny that despite the seemingly lack of importance of the task, guys are paid far more to catch fastballs than to, say, perform nuclear physics? If only 35,000 wanted to watch them do their jobs, things would be different for sure.
Anyway, I thought that was pretty funny. And on the sub-nucleic chance that Johjima's translator is reading this, make sure he learns to call for the title of this post. It's pronounced "high and inside", and it's a place Mariners pitchers have been scared to go for the past few seasons.