Cut comments, #2, Masao Kida
Another comment I wrote up on the M’s and didn’t submit for the BP2005 Mariners chapter. Remeber, there’s a reason this didn’t get in, and after the comment, I’ll comment on the comment–
Kida appeared in Seattle with little fanfare, a waiver claim from the Dodgers. On hearing him introduced in relief, a couple times I heard a fan say â€œwho?â€ followed by some variation of â€œhe must be pretty goodâ€. With the high-profile success of some Japanese imports (Hideki Matsui, Ichiro! for instance), the hype preceding and lack of follow up on the failures, thereâ€™s a predisposition to look to these guys as something exotic and valuable.
But itâ€™s the same with baseball players as anything else. Take a random Japanese musical act: it could be someone awesome and undiscovered here, like Shena Ringo, or it could just be the Japanese version of the Backstreet Boys, singing vapid lyrics over pop hooks, as ultimately unremarkable and valueless â€“ but in a different language! The probability, picking at random, is much higher that youâ€™re going to get a nondescript generic bad reliever.
That would be Masao Kida. Shena Ringo may be the Ichiro! of Japanese music, if youâ€™re wondering. The Mariners brought back Kida on a minor-league deal for 2005, showing that at least they are not dazzled by the import tag and know they’re shopping the bargain bin.
First, it’s way too many words to spend on Masao Kida. I’d much rather spend a lot more time talking about someone else.
Second, I did hear fans say that a couple of times, but I think the comment makes it seem like the import=good sentiment it’s a much larger feeling than it is.
Third, Shena Ringo is cool, but I don’t know if she even wants overseas success, and I wish there was a way to get cool world CDs without spending a fortune — “椎名林檎” (Shouso Strip) cost me $30 to buy a legitimate copy (and it was worth it, which is more than I can say about most CDs I buy for $15)(and the newer one maybe doesn’t rock as much but is also really good). And because there’s always problems doing Japanese names in English, there’s the question of [Shena/Shina/Shiina/Shiiana] Ringo or Ringo in front (I went with what’s on the CD).
I’ll stop gushing over her.
Okay, except — she can speak English and sing it too, she’s funny and smart, and I’ve seen her do the same song slow and kinda catchy-sing-songy and then almost as metal, and it was awesome both ways. I totally, totally dig her.
And at this point, I feel obligated to say that I understand that there’s this weird baseball writing-music thing I don’t get and don’t want to be a part of, where every article by Gammons has three or four random musical recommendations and many baseball discussion threads end up with people wondering if baseball fans are disproportionately into Wilco.
Anyway. I listen to anything good I can get my hands on, and I like Shena Ringo. That’s all.