Tribe signs Japanese Closer; Somewhere, Joe Borowski Punches Hole in Living Room Wall

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Kobayashi, the Indians' new closer, can't eat as many hot dogs as this dude.
The Indians signed Japanese reliever Masahide Kobayashi (no relation to this maniac) yesterday, to take the setup role leading to closer Joe Borowski. Asked at the press conference about what he knew of the city of Cleveland, Kobayashi replied through his translator, “Beautiful lake, and the city has the Indians.” One out of two ain’t bad. On the subject, C-Notes queried as to whether Kobayashi was hoping to elevate our standing with Japanese players, after Ichiro’s infamous “Cleveland makes me want to punch myself in the face” declaration. GM Mark Shapiro jumped in front of our speeding bullet of irrelevance, saying the quote has been forever taken out of context. C-Notes spent the rest of the press conference sulking. Kobayashi is one of three Japanese pitchers to record over 200 saves. Borowski, meanwhile, last year became the first pitcher to ever lead his league in saves with an ERA over 5.00. By our math, the free agent pick-up officially ends Borowski’s tenure as closer eight months from now, when Borowski blows two ninth-inning leads in a row in June, and CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona jump him in the clubhouse hallway. After the press conference, C-Notes cornered Kobayashi and asked if he wanted to close games in the United States. Kobayashi replied, “If you ask, I will say yes, sometime in the near future.” Near future. Either that’s a death challenge to Borowski, or it’s the words of an honest guy and a translator who both have to learn some empty cliches, stat. -- Gus Garcia-Roberts

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