Japan, U.S. fight over Fukudome for WBC
The Japanese swear they have never heard of Kosuke Fukudome. The U.S. won’t let him play because he’s not an American. The struggling Cubs’ outfielder has taken the role of the last kid picked at recess as teams finalize their World Baseball Classic rosters. Neither side is willing to give in and take him on. Both nations agree it would be best if he’s traded to Italy, who have said they won’t accept him despite a lack of one recognizable pro on their roster.

Piniella plans to bat Fukudome 10th in 2009
Cubs skipper Lou Piniella shocked fans when he moved a struggling Fukudome up to the No. 2 slot for last year’s playoffs. Piniella was left with egg on his face as L.A. swept the series, while Fukudome was left in a cloud of dust after countless spinning whiffs at the plate. Piniella vowed never again.

“Look, I gave Kosuke a shot and he made me look like a fool,” said Piniella. “I don’t believe in second chances. Just ask Felix Pie and Rich Hill. You can expect to see Big Fuk batting in the No. 10 hole a lot this season.”

heckler editorial staff