Baseball First Impressions

As I write this, I'm watching baseball on television -- the debut of pitcher Masahiro Tanaka with the New York Yankees.  He joins the team after much hype and a dazzling number of seasons in Japan. I echo the hope of the Yanks that he can carry over that success here in the United States.  He gave up a home run in the first inning, but then quickly settled down. The Bronx Bombers are now leading the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3.

It's fun to watch a player for the first time when that athlete has such high expectations hanging on him. Some live up to the buzz, while others fizzle. Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui became one of my favorite players, but Hideki Irabu (may he rest in peace) struggled after his exciting first game at Yankee Stadium.

Someday I'll be able to tell my grandchildren about the first time I saw Tanaka pitch. Will it be the same as the first time I saw Don Mattingly or Derek Jeter?  Only time will tell. The baseball season is a marathon, so we'll see what the future holds.