(Pictured: Not Kei Igawa. Courtesy of The AP)
Normally I leave the guys at The Post alone when it comes to their Yankee coverage. I've found that they don't usually get swept up in the MSM nonsense that good old Wally and friends over at ESPN NY thrive on. That's not the case today for Kevin Kernan, whose piece on Hiroki Kuroda's first Spring Training start reeks of "screw it, I've got nothing good to write about. Might as well try to create false panic amongst the Yankee fanbase for no reason." Come on, Kev. That's not right.
"In the first inning, new Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda was Hideo Nomo."
Actually, he was Hiroki Kuroda. And I don't think comparing him to a guy with a 4.24/4.23/.4.67 career tripleslash is a good way to express how well he pitched in the first inning.
"The second inning he was Kei Igawa."
No, he was Hiroki Kuroda. And that comparison is even worse. They don't even pitch with the same hand!
"Welcome to the AL East."
Or at least the watered down early-March version of it where you face a Rays lineup comprised of only about a third of their everyday players. Gotta watch out for the Jeff Keppingers and Jesus Felicianos of the world.
"Japanese pitchers have had their troubles pitching in the major leagues, but going from the Far East to the AL East is the most difficult transition of them all."
It's East meets East!
"Never forget the purpose of spring training is to work on your stuff and not get hurt."
Which is exactly what Kuroda did yesterday in his two innings of work, thus making everything else written before that sentence completely meaningless.
"In that respect Kuroda came up aces, ... "
Then what the fuck are you talking about comparing him to Kei Igawa?!?
"... but he is going to have [to have] everything working to come up big in the AL East. There is no room for error in this division."
None. Never mind the fact that Kuroda, and every other pitcher, has 8 guys on the field with him at all times playing defense to help make up for errors he might make in location or pitch selection. If you make one error in the AL East, you DIE!!!
"Kuroda is one of those pitchers who needs all of spring training to get his act together ... "
Him and most every other pitcher who participates in his team's ST activities. That's kind of why Spring Training exists.
“'It’s always important to leave with good results, but at the same time I wanted to work on my pitches and I wanted to make sure I had all my pitches, and I was able to accomplish that today,' Kuroda said."
Good. That's all that matters.
"At this point, all Hiroki Kuroda has to prove is that he’s not Kei Igawa."
NO HE DOESN'T, YOU FUCKING IDIOT!!! Hiroki Kuroda has never been compared to Kei Igawa by anybody and he never should be. He's already proven that he's not with what he's done in his career and there's no reason to expect him to regress to Igawa's level of ineffectiveness now. The Yankees never would have signed him if they thought he was going to be another Kei Igawa. Stop using flawed logic and shoddy comparisons to create controversy that doesn't exist!
The only thing Hiroki Kuroda had to do yesterday was go out on the mound and work on his stuff, and that's what he did. He was happy with how he pitched, Russell Martin was happy with how he pitched, and Joe was happy with how he pitched. That's all that matters in Spring Training, and to try to stir the pot by playing off the Yankees' recent failure with another Japanese pitcher is lazy and irresponsible journalism.