Irabu Comeback in the Works
Hat tip to the unintentionally prophetic EWC: Nikkan Sports is reporting noted fat toad Hideki Irabu is working out in LA and aiming to resume his career in the US independent leagues some time this season. The article says that he’s played in amateur games and is hitting 90 mph on the gun in his workouts. There’s also a lengthy quote from someone associated with Irabu:
That he’s aiming for a comeback is true. Because he’s gotten back into shape*, he came to want play again. He’s playing with a cheerful demeanor. He wants to get tryouts and find a club he can play for. He’s looking to make a comeback in the independent leagues during the season. Looking to the future, the thinking is that if possible he wants to return to a high level, like MLB or NPB.
*the original Japanese translates more directly as “his condition has returned”, which I think is really more of an assertion that Irabu has recovered from the injuries that forced him to retire. Keep in mind that this is a guy who was known as “jellyfish” in Japan before he was ever called a toad. The jellyfish moniker was an affectionate one though.
I wonder if that’s Don Nomura talking.
Nikkan Sports provides us with a picture of him throwing, but I think that it was taken before the WBC, when Kyuji Fujikawa was working out in LA and happened to bump into Irabu in Compton. That sounds too ridiculous to be true, but it’s what was reported. Irabu is a US green card holder and returned to the US earlier in the year. Putting two and two together, I’d say he’s looking for a spot in the Golden League.