In Chicago, Kosuke Fukudome was the most talked-about Japanese import since the Nintendo Wii. You couldn't go a few blocks without seeing somebody wearing a Fukudome jersey, be it for his presumed dominance in right field or his "suggestive" last name.
The myth became a legend on Mar. 31. An opening day three-run home run off Eric Gagne created a fan favorite quicker than Michael Barrett's right hook to A.J. Pierzynski's jaw. The fans couldn't get enough.
Vendors sold Fukudome karate headbands, Japanese-style hats, and various t-shirts. (My favorite says, "Fukudome is my homie.") Fukudome appeared to deserve his spot on the pedestal on which the fans had placed him. He batted .305 in April and .293 in May.
Then the buzz wore off, opposing pitchers "sobered" up, and the Spin-O-Rama strikeout was born. Inside breaking balls and outside fastballs, the riddle was solved.
What followed was the fastest fall from grace since Heidi spread rumors about L.C. The damage was done. Fukudome hasn't batted over .250 since June, including a .193 batting average in August. Fukudome is turning in performances reminiscent of Scotty Smalls in the beginning of The Sandlot.
More often than not, Fukudome looks as if he couldn't get a hit with a 10-foot rowing oar.
But, really, I am an optimist. At the end of the day, the Cubs still have the best $12 million-a-year, eighth inning, right field defensive replacement in Major League Baseball. So this is what Jason Alexander must have felt when he married the then-super hot and not crazy Britney Spears.
I mean, this could work...Right?