This is a tasty fish head on a chopping block outside a little fish shop down the street from where I live. I should get some sashimi here sometime. The old guy that runs it told me that he gets his fish fresh each day from the Tsukiji market.
Cleveland Indians prospect Kazuhito Tadano is used to getting the cold shoulder over appearing in a gay porn video three years ago while a student at Tokyo's Rikkyo University.
When the news was made public prior to Japan's fall draft in 2002, the blue-chip pitcher was ignored by Japan's 12 clubs, as well as the New York Mets.
"(Mets) owner Fred Wilpon refused to sign him because he was worried about the trouble it might cause," a source within the team said by phone Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Tadano met with the press in Cleveland, Ohio, to ask forgiveness for what he called a one-time mistake, according to AP.
"All of us have made mistakes in our lives," Tadano read a statement in English to the press at Jacobs Field. "Hopefully, you learn from them and move on."
The Indians are hopeful that Tadano can make it in the American League this season, but it is not the future Tadano had in mind two summers ago.
In July 2002, one major league scout inquired indirectly whether the youngster would be interested in skipping the pros here and going straight to the States.
Tadano's response was that he preferred to make a name for himself in Japan before moving to the majors.
Unfortunately, his mistake caught up with him a month before the 2002 draft when a sports newspaper exposed his movie career.
The AP report quoted Alan Nero, Tadano's agent, as saying that the Japanese commissioner got involved by telling teams not to draft him.
Hideki Ikeda, an official with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, says no such order went out.
"The teams just decided not to draft him by themselves," said Ikeda.
Instead of heading to the Yokohama BayStars as a premium pre-draft signing, Tadano found himself out of baseball when his university career ended in 2003.
According to Nero, Tadano was also coming off an elbow injury that prevented him from pitching well enough in tryouts last spring in Arizona for most teams to overlook the baggage he brought with him.
The Indians, however, were more concerned with Tadano's future than his past and signed him last March.
"We thought the upside was well worth the risk, energy and time to support him," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro was quoted as saying.
Tadano gave few details of the homosexual act he took part in on film as a university sophomore.
"I did participate in a video and I regret it very much," he said. "It was a one-time incident that showed bad judgement and will never be repeated. I was young, playing baseball and going to college and I needed money.
"Frankly, if I were more mature and had really thought about the implications of what I did, it never would have happened."
Tadano asserted he was not gay.
"I'm not gay," he said through an interpreter. "I'd like to clear up that fact right now."
Last season, Tadano twice went before teammates in the minor leagues to confess his involvement in the video, according to the AP report.
In both cases he was well received by players at Kinston, N.C., and later at Akron, Ohio.
"I don't think it changed anyone's opinion of him," said outfielder Grady Sizemore. "He's a great guy and a great pitcher."
Tadano spent most of the season at Double-A Akron and had a 1.56 ERA in 98 innings.
The 1.80-meter right-hander who struck out 112 batters while walking just 22 is expected to start the season at Triple-A Buffalo before making the jump to the majors, where he is sure to face his share of heckling.
"I don't understand English, so it doesn't really matter," said Tadano.
In other baseball news:
--Daiei Hawks infielder Nobuhiko Matsunaka, who won the Pacific League RBI title last season, turned down an offer of a 310 million yen annual salary after a second round of talks with team officials on Wednesday.
From Japan Today: Cleveland minor leaguer Tadano admits being in gay porn video
Wednesday, January 28, 2004 at 15:00 JST
CLEVELAND ? Indians minor leaguer Kazuhito Tadano is asking for forgiveness for what he called a one-time mistake ? his appearance in a gay porn video in which he engaged in a homosexual act.
Tadano took part in the video three years ago when he was a college student. Sitting in the Cleveland clubhouse Tuesday, the pitcher said he hoped to put his actions in the past.
The Good Thief: The latest from Neil Jordan is an entertaining heist flick; set in southern France and Monaco. Nick Nolte is a gambling junky, who tries to pull it together to make one last big score. Great location shots. Surprisingly entertaining.
Tadpole: This film is a sort of Graduate meets Hannah And Her Sisters. The filmmaker owes a lot to the upper Eastside drawing room comedies of Woody Allen. It is evocative of Hannah with the Voltaire aphorisms that are used like the chapter titles in Woody Allen's film. This appealing comedy has John Ritter, Bebe Neuwirth, and AJ from The Sopranos.
Goodfellas: I haven't seen this in years, and it still rates as one of my favorite all-time movies. Just brilliant. It seems more familiar, since I think The Sopranos borrow a lot from it, including several of the actors as well. The music, sets, and cinematography are perfect. I love the scene where Henry brings his date to the club and they go through the kictchen into the lounge where a special table in the front is setup for them and it?s a single take-awesome.
Big Trouble In Little China: This movie also stands the test of time well, save the very 80s music, hair, and clothes. It?s very tongue in cheek and action packed. Surprisingly the special effects still look pretty good.
This is inside Iidabashi station on the newest subway line, the Oedo line. It is much deeper underground, so it's a pain to get to. Furthermore, it has two seperate routes that are impossible to access unless you transfer via Shinjuku, so I made a mistake getting on at this particular station last week.
This is a yatai (food stall), near Edogawabashi station, selling takoyaki, which is basically pieces of octopus cooked in batter with scallions, pickled ginger and mayonaise. An aquired taste, but I think it tastes good with beer.