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if_we_cant_get_tazawa_are_there_any_other_countries_we_can_scout | November | 2008 Articles

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If We Can't Get Tazawa, Are There Any Other Countries We Can Scout?

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So, apparently people who can read Japanese say that Junichi Tazawa is going to sign with the Red Sox, depriving the Braves of the first Japanese player in their franchise history. The Braves are clearly going to need to start thinking outside the box a little bit more.

Currently, the outside-the-boxest major league team is (you guessed it) the Pittsburgh Pirates, who just signed two young Indian javelin throwers who won a reality show and have never pitched a baseball game in their lives, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. As the AP says, "Neither pitcher has taken the mound in a game situation, no doubt a first for a Pirates prospect. They have pitched in scrimmages against junior college competition."

The response on Honest Wagner, my favorite Pirates blog:
Gravatar "Neither pitcher has taken the mound in a game situation, no doubt a first for a Pirates prospect."

um, are any of us sure about that?

Of course, these guys are basically guaranteed a major league career no worse than that of Bryan Bullington and John Van Benschoten, so it's basically a zero-risk move for the Pirates, and one that could pay off in spades if an Indian player actually pans out and the Pirates get first dibs on the fan base and athletic promise of an entire billion-strong subcontinent. It turns out the Braves tried out a Czech gold medal javelin thrower twelve years ago, but he doesn't seem to have made the team out of spring training, even though he was able to heave the ball over the center field fence from the foul line.

Anyway, are there any other massively huge countries we might be able to make inroads into? This is the new colonialism, after all: the Red Sox and Mariners (and White Sox and a couple other teams) have effectively staked out Japan, so we'll just have to move on. How about mainland China? Brazil? Nigeria? Anyone know of anyone who can throw the ball 90 mph with movement who might take a minor league contract?

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