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Hisashi Iwakuma Signs With Seattle Mariners, Japanophile St. Louis Sports Editor Foiled Again

Anyone who's read enough Viva El Birdos will have noticed, by now, that I am a recovering Japanophile—what the internet has inexplicably termed a weeaboo—and that, as a result, I die a little with every vaguely interesting NPB player another team signs. The Brewers' shrewd decision to pick up Norichika Aoki, Japan's post-Ichiro slap-hitting god, as outfield depth was painful enough, even though Jon Jay renders him almost completely redundant in St. Louis. But the Seattle Mariners signing (ex-Athletics posting victim) Hisashi Iwakuma to a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.5 million? Well, that stings.

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For a team that's currently dependent on a bounce-back season from Jake Westbrook—no longer in the warm glow of Dave Duncan's contact-pitching philosophy—an incentive-heavy short-term deal sounds pretty nice, right? I'm not just saying this because I loved Magic Knight Rayearth when I was 13?

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Of course, the Mariners' geography and ownership make them particularly suited to grab players like Iwakuma on the cheap, so the Cardinals probably wouldn't have been a contender even if they wanted to be. I guess I'll just have to look longingly at NPB Tracker and rewatch The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya a little while longer.

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