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Monday, April 27, 2009

Hello, Hideki

Hope you speak Japanese!  The flame-throwing Hideki Irabu will take the mound for the Armada in 2009.  With a pitching staff that already includes Jose Lima, this is sure be a great season.  Here is the official release on Irabu's signing...

Hideki Irabu Launches Comeback and Signs with the Long Beach Armada
Ex-Yankee and Japanese Great To Showcase His Return to Top Form in Golden Baseball League

LONG BEACH, Calif. -– The Long Beach Armada of the independent professional Golden Baseball League (GBL) have announced that they have agreed to terms with former Major League pitcher and Japan Professional Baseball (NPB) League superstar Hideki Irabu on a player contract for the 2009 season. Irabu became the greatest power pitcher in professional baseball history in Japan before coming to the U.S. in the mid 90s and winning two World Series titles with the New York Yankees.

"Hideki Irabu is a tremendous addition to our pitching staff," said Long Beach Armada Manager Garry Templeton. "I'm looking forward to the skill, experience, and professionalism that a player of his caliber will bring to the club and believe that this will be a great place for him to demonstrate that he is ready to return to the top levels of the game here or in Japan."

Irabu, 39, broke into professional baseball in Japan with the Lotte Orions in 1988 and became known as the hardest thrower and one of the most dominant pitchers in the league over the next eight seasons. His 98 mph fastball is still the fastest ever by a Japanese pitcher. After the 1996 season, he became one of the early pitchers to move from the NPB to the Major Leagues in the U.S. as he joined the New York Yankees and won World Series rings in 1998 and 1999. He went on to pitch for the Montreal Expos and Texas Rangers during six seasons in the U.S. before returning to Japan where he joined the Hanshin Tigers and helped them to their first pennant in 20 years. Knee surgery finally sidelined him and he has spent the last two years re-habbing and getting back into pitching shape. Now healthy and with a fastball clocked at 92+ already this month he is determined to show that he can once again contribute to the success of an MLB or NPB team.

"What a treat for our fans," said Long Beach Armada General Manager Tony Soares. "Jet balloons, hachimakis, and sushi will all be available at Blair Field this year along with a chance to watch a true baseball superstar perform!"


Anonymous said...

yea just what we need more washed up major leaugers,what have they done for long beach in the past,

Josh said...

Well, let's think about that briefly...

Adam Pettyjohn pitched for the Armada and returned to the big leagues at the end of the '07 season.

Jerome Williams was the opening day starter in 2008, and was picked up by the Dodgers, reaching Triple-A.

Nick Bierbrodt was an all-star selection last season and became one of the Armada's most reliable long-relievers out of the bullpen.

Anonymous said...

again wtf did they do for the armada, not a thing,

Joe Caca said...

I agree with you Josh.
Mr "Anonymous" here obviously has noooooo clue about baseball. Maybe they have not done anything for the Armada yet because this will be the first season with the Armada you moron. Before you go posting your opinions on this or any other your homework. a man, or woman and give us your name so I can look you up at the ballgame and give you some insight on the worlds greatest game. I will sign you up for "Joe Caca's baseball 101" aka...."Baseball for morons".

Josh said...


You don't actually attend Armada games, do you?

Perhaps if you had seen just a handful of games last year, you would have seen that Jerome Williams, our opening day starter, pitched 40.0 innings for us in just 6 starts before getting picked up. In that time, not only did he win 3 games, he also had one game that he pitched 11 innings, giving up just 5 hits and 0 earned runs en route to an Armada win. That's probably why he advance to Triple-A last season and isn't back with us again this season.

Bierbrodt finished the '08 season as one of the GBL's top pitchers in innings (99.1) and strike outs (101), and he helped teach the younger guys from his experience as a former MLB pitcher.

To answer another question of yours, "what have they done for long beach", well let me give you an idea of some of the things or players do in the community and for the community:

- this spring, we have visited more than 20 different Little Leagues, Pony Leagues and other Youth Baseball organizations with our players and mascot, having players not just take pictures and sign autographs, but also speak to the kids about hard work and dedication, teamwork, the importance of education, and much more. We've also helped set up fundraisers for many of these organizations so they can continue to grow and have a place where local kids can participate in baseball - or some form of extracirricular activity. We have also visited schools, church carnivals/festivals, and so many other things. Our entire purpose this season has been to rededicate our organization to community outreach. It's why our manager Garry Templeton spent time last month speaking to kids from Weaver Elementary School one morning, and why Sean Buller will be at the Champions Run For Life Torch Run 2009 for a second straight year, because they loved having him out last year.

Not only do these guys bust their asses on the field every day, they are out there in the community - your community - making a difference whether you choose to recognize it or not.

I hope that you take the time to actually come to an Armada game this season, talk to the players before the game starts (they are always available for our fans, with the exception of the starting pitcher, for pictures, autographs or just to talk with), watch a game, and see just exactly what the Armada experience is all about. If you'd like to spend a night watching MLB players in their prime, be my guest to drive Dodger Stadium, pay $15 to park, $30 for your ticket, $7.50 for a hot dog, and $9 for a beer. But if you and your kid if you have one want a fun and affordable night out watching guys play for the love of the game, hussling, doing it right, I think you'd have a great time spending an evening at Blair Field.

Anonymous said...

hahaha @ joe caca the internet hardass...

Anonymous said...

post my comments josh,not just the ones you think you got answers to ,you still dont have a answer , regarding washed up big leaugers none of those guys have done anything for the armada, O CHAMPIONSHIPS

Josh said...

Wow, you just don't get it do you.