Thursday, January 15, 2009

Quick Hits

by Matthew Taylor

Tomato, Tomatoh, Potato, Potatoh, Way-a-hara, Oo-eh-ara

The O's introduced Uehara at the Warehouse on Wednesday, which offered fans and the media an opportunity to get a feel for the pitcher's personality and start to formulate an answer to the question, "Who is this guy?" It seems the team and the city could use all the help they can get with their response.

On Jan. 9, Dan Connolly of The Sun wrote the following (emphasis added):

"Uehara (pronounced "Way-a-hara") instead joined the Yomiuri Giants, Japan's version of the
New York Yankees, and won two Sawamura Awards as the country's best pitcher. In 2007, he was moved to the bullpen and became an all-star closer, but his 2008 was marred by ineffectiveness, injury and a brief minor league demotion.

Prior to Wednesday's press conference, Jeff Zrebiec of The Sun offered a contrary pronunciation for the pitcher's surname (emphasis added):
"At this point of the offseason, Uehara, whose name is pronounced oo-eh-ara, is penciled in as the Orioles' No.2 starter, behind right-hander Jeremy Guthrie."
Who better to clear up the confusion than Roch Kubatko?

"Upon further review (and a few of you already knew this), the Orioles have discovered that Uehara pronounces his name 'oo-eh-ara.'

And just when I had it memorized the other way."

This much we can agree on: no matter how Uehara's name is supposed to sound, Rick Dempsey will create his own pronunciation during the MASN postgame show.

Picture This

Forgive The Sun for its pronunciation problems. After all, it was the team's error. When it comes to mixing up pictures of Japanese pitchers, though, the mistake is all their own.

From the Jan. 10 edition of The Sun: "A caption on a sports page yesterday incorrectly identified a photo of Kyuji Fujikawa as Koji Uehara, who is expected to sign with the Orioles."

Whoops! Looks like it's going to be fun having Uehara in town.

Beer Barons

Prior to the 2008 baseball season I compared Baltimore and Pittsburgh's respective baseball fortunes under the headline "Just Don't Compare Natty Boh to Iron City City." Turns out that Rob Kasper has done just that.

With the Ravens set to face the Steelers on Sunday in the AFC Championship, Kasper made the Boh-Iron City comparison this week on his Sun blog, "Kasper on Tap."

I think it's a safe bet that Heath of Dempsey's Army hasn't gone down that path on his Bottles of Barley blog.

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