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Wednesday Morning Quarterback: Fukudome
April 30th, 2008 by Dan

You’ve probably heard the saying that hindsight is 20/20 on Monday morning, so just imagine how well I can call ’em two days later on Wednesday. That’s right, it’s time for Wednesday Morning Quarterback, your weekly sports round-up.

It’s been a long while since I last posted due to homework, projects, and a general game overload (MGS3, MGO, Persona 3: FES, GTA IV, MKW), but I’m back in business today and we should be seeing a return to our regularly scheduled programming for the foreseeable future. So let’s get back to it!

There’s been quite a bit of buzz about one of the most interesting new baseball players to hit the MLB and my new favorite players, Kosuke Fukudome. While he’s not technically a rookie (Fukudome already had a productive career playing for the Chunichi Dragons of the NPB), this is his first year of stateside play and he’s already making quite a splash in the Cubs’ roster. You see, Fukudome comes to the states with a very interesting new philosophy that’s translating to one of the highest on base percentages in baseball for the Cubs.

Kosuke Fukudome brings patience to the batter’s box, a quality that’s not generally present among the current Western-bred baseball players. When he’s at the plate, Fukudome basically refuses to swing at anything that’s not clearly a strike and he’s getting amazing results. His batting average is somewhere in the high .300s and a very high, for someone who’s not a power hitter, walk count (13th in the leauge). You see, Fukudome subscribes to a Japanese philosophy of kotoshi koso, which translates to “It’s going to happen,” so as a result he’s got the highest pitch count of any batter in the MLB. He waits for his perfect pitch and he doesn’t swing recklessly, putting him in the bottom 15 of all MLB htiters for strikeouts.

The best part about his philosophy is that he’s positively influencing his teammates as well. At least two of the new players on the Cubbies are also actively drawing way more walks. The team as a whole has shifted to a brand new, for the Cubs, philosophy of patience that has pushed Chicago up to the top of the NL Central (tied with the surprisingly powerful Cardinals).

Enjoy some articles about the great Kosuke Fukudome along with this great embedded video of some of his NPB highlights (hopefully this makes up for my lack of a video yesterday)

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3363255
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080422&content_id=2569206&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb


5 Responses  
  • Eric writes:
    April 30th, 200813:04at

    Sounds like a pretty awesome strategy. If it gets wide adoption, I wonder how that would change pitching strategy.

  • Dan writes:
    April 30th, 200813:35at

    It’s really something I can get behind, since I love small ball more than the home run obsessed baseball of today.

  • Eric writes:
    May 1st, 20088:43at

    Of course, if that makes it less exciting for the fans, the owners may pressure them not to do that.

  • Eric writes:
    May 2nd, 20088:47at

    In an email with Dan, he presented me with the chant “FU! KO! DO! ME!” which I thought sounded funny and vaguely sexual. The funny thing is that when I read the name, I pronounced it in my head as Foo-koe-dome. But if I know my Japanese, it’s probably Foo-koe-doe-me.

    Dan, do you know the proper pronunciation?

  • Dan writes:
    May 2nd, 20088:52at

    Foo-Koo-Doh-Meh

    If I typed Fukodome, I spelled it wrong, it’s FuKUdome.


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