Rumour has it — rumour with an authoritative “u,” no less — that Andruw Rudolf Jones will be taking his talents, and his unwieldy collection of Gold Gloves, to Japan. More specifically, what rumour has is that he’ll be taking his talents to lovely, bustling Sendai, City of Trees, and of beef tongue, where the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League make their home. While fans of Todd “Moose” Linden, Darrell “Showstopper” Rasner, and Byung-Hyun “Mr. Not-tober” Kim will no doubt be intimately familiar with the Eagles, others of you may appreciate the opportunity to learn more.
Called simply “Rakuten” after their corporate sponsor, one of the largest e-commerce businesses in the world, the Eagles first suited up in 2005. Though they’ve only broken .500 twice, their pride is undimmed, as demonstrated by their four official cheer songs:
…and their two mascots, Clutch and Clutchyna:
The Eagles will surely welcome Jones’ bat, as their 52 dingers this season ranked dead last in all of NPB. Curiously, there seems to be no announcement on their official website just yet. Judging from the warm welcome bestowed upon the seven young gentlemen above, however, Druw can look forward to an exceptionally friendly atmosphere. Here are some excerpts from their introductory press conference (tip of the cap to Google Translate):
Was carried out “press conference announcing the new players joined” at a hotel in Sendai on Thursday, December 13. While still in wear a nervous in front of the camera and press a bunch of line of sight of about 200 fan club members is poured, seven rookie players, showing off that magnificent comeback. I have taken the first step into the world of professional baseball. 7 to rookie players who joined to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, thank you cheering warm hot.
…President Yozo Tachibana: Today, our fans, our media representative, Thank you for taking the time. Looking back on this season, I was unfortunately result in # 4. However, the coming season mainly Hoshino, I have already started off. Also, I would be today, excellent player who joined Seven. Have a lot of practice firmly in the future, we are in the hope that it will be a pillar of players like Rakuten Eagles. In addition, seven players, including this, thank you fans next season, with hot cheer if the Rakuten Eagles.
…Reporter: How do you want to heat up and Hoshino, Hoshino impression?
Mori: I have an image that is very strict person, there is a further image of incredibly hot. I think leading his team to victory in the spirit of his pitching in, and I should let a hot director.
?: I think that those who very dashing. I think leading his team to victory in the pitching in spirit, and you want to hot Hoshino too.
Otsuka: I think those who are very presence. I think I’ll leave the scene, which is hot and you want to be kept securely.
Shimotsuma: I think I think you’re hot and very strict supervision, because their larger body, and I get hot in the play such a large scale.
Shimai: I think that I am very hot. I think we would like to hot to play the best.
Kakizawa: I think the director has thrown the entire surface of the soul, I think I want to sprint like best-play not to lose it.
Miyagawa: I think that I am hot. But I would like to pitching overflowing spirit, and want to hot.
…Reporter: What you come to the Northeast, where I want to say, and what I want to eat, is that you have to look forward to other than baseball?
?: I think Sendai beef tongue is very famous since it with, I think I want to eat a lot, four high school students so they sync, and want to go off somewhere together on the day of the Forest.
?: I think though I will be the same as the players forest, and that beef tongue is very famous, and I want to eat a full stomach beef tongue.
Otsuka: I think I also want to eat beef tongue.
Shimotsuma: I also want to eat a cup of beef tongue. After that, but I went on a school trip to Matsushima in the days of elementary school before, I’d like to go again Matsushima landscape was so beautiful.
Shimai: I want to learn it’s Date Masamune.
Kakizawa: I think I also want to eat beef tongue. I think I want to walk with you and the rest of the day off Otsuka.
Miyagawa: I want to eat a full stomach I also beef tongue.
Needless to say, I’ll be keeping close tabs on the site, and will pass along a full account of Mr. Jones’ introduction, as well as his feelings on hotness and beef tongue, as soon as they are published.