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Thursday, January 19, 2012


Two days ago an Iranian woman, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, was shot and killed in Texas.  A mystery on why.  This past October, Manssor Arbabsiar, an Iranian, who is now a naturalized American living in Texas,  linked with Gholam Shakuri, a member of Iranian Quds Force, was arrested for plotting the assassination  of Saudi Arabian Ambassador Adel Al-Jubier.

Yesterday, the Texas Rangers signed Yu Darvish, a part Iranian baseball pitcher from Japan, to a $60 million, 6 year contract.  He is 6 ft 5 in and 216 pounds.  Actually, there is zero connection among these three Texas-Iran stories.  

I only want to report on Darvishsefad Yu (in Japan, the family name, Yu, is placed at the front).  He is the top baseball pitcher in Japan.  Darvish's mother (Japanese) and father (Iranian) met in Florida and settled in Japan, where he was born.

He is not perfect, as while a high schooler he was caught smoking and gambling (not legally of age for both).  He was reported to to have had a shotgun wedding to a Japanese actress Saeko (right).  She won the past vote for Japan Baseball's Hottest Wives.

Last year Yu made $6 million pitching for the Nippon Ham Fighters of Sapporo.  No, not Ham Fighters, (whatever that may be), for Nippon Ham sponsors this team.  He will thus now get $10 million/year from the Rangers, plus, this Texas team needs to pay the Fighters $52 million just for the right to sign Darvish.

Why?  The Rangers made it to the World Series for the second straight year, but lost again.  Two of their top pitchers, Cliff Lee (on to the Philadelphia Phillies the previous year) and C.J. Wilson (to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim--yes, this can get confusion when there is also the Los Angeles Dodgers team--which also got Albert Pujols, from past WS Champs St Louis Cardinals).  I've tried to make this sound as confusing as possible.

Anyway, Darvish strikes out more batters than innings, and has a career Earned Run Average below 2.0.  He has six different pitches, and can challenge with a fastball clocked close to 100 MPH. Joel Zumaya was measured at 104.8 MPH in 2006 and Aroldis Chapman 103.9 MPH in 2010.  It is, thus, more how you can control your pitch and fool batters with different speeds and breaks.  Maybe I'll field a fantasy baseball team or two this year.  I'll definitely pick Darvish.

The Dow Jones Industrials increased 45 to 12,623, while major world markets also all rose.  Gold dropped two bucks to $1658/toz, with the WTI crude at $100/barrel and Brent Spot at $111/barrel.

Forty years ago when I spent three years with the U.S. Senate in DC, I promised myself that when I returned to Honolulu, I would spend a day a week at the beach with a bento lunch.  Today was, actually, my first this year.  To Magic Island, I brought a cold ginger chicken with roasted duck and chow fun, had a bottle of beer and enjoyed the views:

Then at twilight, the sunset had the eerie shape of a nuclear explosion:

The Indian Ocean has two tropical cyclones, both at 50 MPH, with Ethel predicted to move towards Reunion and Mauritius, attain hurricane force, but, not quite get there, with Funso scheduled to become a Category 2 storm, moving towards Mozambique:



Anonymous said...

Pat, You wrote "To Magic Island, I brought a cold ginger chicken with roasted duck and chow fun, had a bottle of beer and enjoyed the views..."

Well, someone has hard evidence to fine you now, unless you revise your Blog and delete my comment.

Happy New Year!


Oh, I should have said root beer.