Before the start of the new MLB season, I predicted that new Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda would win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. After one start, my prediction looks good.
There's a great story about Kuroda in the Sunday LA Times written by Dylan Hernandez, the Dodger beat writer who speaks Japanese. After Kuroda gave up that Friday night homer to Brian Giles, catcher Russell Martin tried to tell him to calm down in Japanese, but apparently screwed it up. The correct word is "ochitsuite," but it took Hiroki awhile to figure out what Martin was trying to say.
Hernandez joined me on The Steve Mason Show Friday to talk about his unique heritage, his relationship with Takashi Saito and Hiroki Kuroda and his thoughts on how good this 2008 Dodger team can be. Kuroda looked spectacular Friday night. He keeps the ball down, has a very level demeanor and should thrive in the pitcher-friendly parks in the NL West (Dodger Stadium, Petco Park and AT&T Park in San Francisco).