Baseball Toaster The Griddle
A place where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure, but he has to keep his watch on Pacific Time.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
The Griddle

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  10  07 
06  05  04  03 
Suggestions, comments, ring the catcher's interference alarm?

Email me at

The stuff I keep track of
Random Game Callbacks

Select a date:

Personal favorites that I wrote
Mariners name new manager, wire service story brings up irrelevant fact
2008-11-19 11:26
by Bob Timmermann

Don Wakamatsu, formerly the bench coach for the Oakland A's, was formally named as the new manager of the Seattle Mariners. Wakamatsu is the first Asian-American to be named as a manager.

This is not the irrelevant fact that I allude to in my headline.

Rather it's this:

Wakamatsu, who was born in Hood River, Ore., says he knows only a little Japanese — always a consideration in Seattle, where All-Star Ichiro Suzuki is the franchise cornerstone — though it has improved recently with the A’s and Rangers.

So did Lou Piniella, Mike Hargrove, John McLaren, and Jim Riggleman all take intensive Japanese language immersion classes? Did they all sit through extensive interviews with the Japanese media that follows Ichiro and give the interviews in Japanese?

Did the writer realize that a Japanese-American has about as much in common culturally with someone from Japan as I do with Torsten Frings?

Now, if the Mariners had gone and hired Seibu Lions manager Hisanobu Watanabe (his team won the Japan Series), then it would be a little different.

Sports Ticker handles the issue more sensibly in its article:

Wakamatsu, 45, is the first Asian-American skipper in major league history and will be managing in a city with a large Asian population.

According to the last linked article, the favorite candidate of the fans was actually Joey Cora.

2008-11-19 11:56:02
1.   Eric Stephen
All these articles look the same to me.
2008-11-19 12:00:23
2.   old dodger fan
I wonder what the deffinition of "Asian-American" is?
Does having an Asian born parent qualify you?
How about a grandparent plus an Asian sounding name?
If you had grandparents from 4 different continents what would they call you?

I don't mean to sound sarcastic but I long for the day when the labels are gone.

2008-11-19 12:29:19
3.   bhsportsguy
Let me say this on labels, first off, its relevant in this case because not only is Don Wakamatsu the first Asian-American to become a MLB manager, he is also the first Asian-American to manage or coach one of the big 3 professional sports (MLB, NFL, and NBA) in history.

I understand the issue about going away with labels but this is fairly recent occurence in modern American society. And it is certainly not universally accepted even within those communities.

And to answer 2 , while there is not litmus test as far as qualifying for said label, generally it is accepted that if someone in your family history is from said Asian origin, then you could be considered Asian-American.

2008-11-19 12:39:48
4.   godvls
Contrats to the former Sun Devil catcher.
2008-11-19 12:40:01
5.   David Arnott
3 That's not true. Erik Spoelstra, coach of the Miami Heat, proudly claims his half-Filipino heritage.
2008-11-19 12:49:09
6.   El Lay Dave
Why do I never see the Asian-American label applied to the most famous athlete with an Asian parent, Tiger Woods?
2008-11-19 12:55:33
7.   John Hale
My Hapa (Half Asian, Half Gringo) Kids struggled with this announcement.

Their mom is fourth generation American from Hawaii of 96.875 % asian descent.
My kids said they had not considered themselves as Asian-American until I mentioned Wakamatsu was called that.

We usually just call them Poi Dogs the Hawaiian pidgen term for Mutt.

If he can get the M's to .500 I will call Wakamatsu anything he wants.

2008-11-19 13:06:33
8.   Saburo
Here in Hawaii we'd call Wakamatsu "katonk."
2008-11-19 14:12:17
9.   yankee23
0 Hooray for the Torsten Frings reference!
2008-11-19 14:42:56
10.   bhsportsguy
6 Mainly because Tiger took that off the table, though he has never backed away from his mother's ancestry.

5 I stand corrected though the whole Filipino/Asian label thing is a much discussed topic in those circles.

2008-11-19 15:02:30
11.   Zak
You might have more in common with Torsten Frings than you think. Although I always think of Bastian Schweinsteiger when I see your posts.
2008-11-19 15:05:21
12.   El Lay Dave
10 I think I left off from 6 the " :P ".

8 Wa-katonk, be-donka-donk? (Sorry....)

I am "hapa" myself; my mom was born in mainland China, but having lived in L.A. my whole life and speaking no Chinese, I am culturally a full-blown westerner.

2008-11-19 15:18:39
13.   68elcamino427
Wakamatsu - Lover of Nintendo?
2008-11-19 17:01:36
14.   MC Safety
Bob is just tormenting all the Arsenal fans on the Griddle.

I love Torsten Frings. What a fit he would be for Arsenal. He's just the type of player we need.

Do you follow/root for any teams in the Bundesliga, Bob?

2008-11-19 17:18:38
15.   Bob Timmermann
I have some very distant relatives who are big fans of Borussia Dortmund.

But I'm not a big Budesliga fan.

2008-11-19 18:32:21
16.   KG16
I'm a fan of the good old fashioned American mutt. Probably because I am one, half Cuban with a Welsh surname, family tree stretching across four continents.

But I've never been one to "get" labels, I'm me, isn't that enough? I had a row with a "counselor" in high school who told me I should use my mom's maiden name so I would sound more "Hispanic" in my college applications. My response was, "what, 3.7 GPA, varsity letter in two sports, 1260 on my SATs, and all the other stuff isn't enough to get me in?"

But I do agree with Bob about the irrelevant fact of the day.

2008-11-19 18:51:27
17.   das411
3 , don't you dare mention the "Big 3 professional sports" around that KingKopitar guy...
2008-11-19 18:52:21
18.   Bob Timmermann
1260? Now, I will scoff at you...

I love the American standardized testing system. Primarily because it made me look smart!

2008-11-19 18:56:09
19.   Bob Timmermann
I don't believe there's been an Asian-American coach in the NHL.

Or the MLS.

There has been at least one Asian-American player in the NHL and at least one Korean and one Japanese. All of them have played for the Kings at one point.

2008-11-19 22:35:23
20.   KG16
18 - I did no prep, I went out the night before, and really didn't try.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.