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Wednesday Morning Quarterback: Fukudome
Apr 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

Game Overview: GTAIV, Mario Kart Wii, MGS Online Beta
Apr 18th, 2008 by Dan

Insert another credit, because it’s time for your weekly video game news and you’ve just hit the Game Overview screen.

Tired of Metal Gear coverage on this site yet? Man I hope not, because we’ve got even more news. Thanks to my Insider subscription to IGN, I’m eligible for the Metal Gear Online beta (!). MGO is a standalone multiplayer title set to tie in with MGS4 once it launches. I don’t know much about the game other than that it features man-cannons, persistent character development, cardboard boxes (comic for the old MGO), and that it will most likely include body dragging that will inevitably degenerate into corpse-humping. I’ll have more details once the beta opens on Monday.

Mario Kart Wii has been in the hands of just about everyone but the Americans so far this year. While there remain some really tough detractors for the slightly more casual perception of the game :cough: IGN :cough:, just about everyone agrees that the online portion of MKWii is amazingly well done, as is the Mario Kart Channel. Personally, I’m not sure I’m gonna be a first day purchaser, I may wait until I graduate and get to my new apartment. With a pre-order on Persona 3: FES coming in next Wednesday, MGS3 to beat, the MGO beta, and needing to get enough work done to graduate, I just might have too much on my plate to handle MKWii. This also means one other important game will have to wait:

GTAIV comes out a few days after Mario Kart and the promise of at least a 100+ hour single-player experience seems quite daunting, to say the least. That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the game, as it apparently offers some kick-ass multiplayer modes to really keep you interested. I don’t know all of these modes, but one of them that I heard about, Cops and Crooks, has a lot of promise. One team spawns in cop cars and they’re the cops. The other team spawns throughout the map and their goal is to escort their team leader to an escape point (a helipad or a dock) without the slightly tougher than usual team leader crook dying. All of the franticly fun stories I’ve heard about this mode have more than made me interested in this game, so we’ll see how that goes. Rumors of the Xbox 360 exclusive DLC being a whole new city are also very intriguing.

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