Worry not, teams with ridiculously shallow starting pitching depth. Former Montreal Expo star hurler Hideki Irabu has dropped the sake gut and gotten his 90 MPH speedball back, so he's planning his big league comeback. Well, more like an independent league comeback, which is how all washed-up former stars get a little slice of the spotlight back for a few weeks. Patrick at NPB Tracker follows the Japanese news wire and translates it for us because our grasp of the Asian languages is limited to 1980s Styx videos:
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.
Here's a picture of a slimmed-down Irabu working out. The last time Hideki was in the news, he was arrested on suspected assault of a bar manager, upset that his Centurion Card was not accepted. Irabu had consumed 20 jugs of beer to that point, which blows my mind in so many ways I cannot even begin to rationalize that. Last night I drank just one beer and felt light-headed.
Funny to think that when Irabu famously flopped for the Yankees back in the late nineties, his contract was just a mere $12 million over four years. That's barely Farnsworthian in today's numbers. But the Yanks got the last laugh when they sent him to Montreal in exchange for Ted Lilly, Christian Parker, and WoW favorite Jake Westbrook, still one of the most ridiculously unbalanced trade in recent memory.