UPDATED: Rockies Fans Hurl Racial Slurs at Takashi Saito

Following the US Women’s loss to the Japanese team in the Women’s World Cup, a sport I’m guessing that 90% of Rockies fans were not paying attention to before this week, a handful of a fans decided that they should taunt Brewers pitcher, Takashi Saito, with racial slurs. 

From Andy Tworischuk’s Twitter feed

“rockies fans are apparently yelling anti-japanese slurs at takashi saito which is pretty f-ing embarrassing…saito was in the middle of his windup and stopped, walked off the mound and started yelling "please stop” at fans"

Here is a clip captured by @Long_Drive of Saito pointing out the fans responsible: 

Baseball players receive plenty of abuse from visiting fans, so the fact that these comments were vicious and offensive enough to give Saito cause to interrupt the game can only hint at some of the awful slurs that were hurled his way. Saito should even be commended for his restraint as no one would blame him had he decided to confront the bigots who were safely hidden in the stands.

While this is surely the case of a few isolated fans, this remains a terrible embarrassment for everyone at the stadium and a horrid reminder that racism still exists in this country, just a few beers and a sporting event away from rearing its ugly head. 

I’ll update this post as I receive more information. 

UPDATE: Perhaps we were too quick to judge without enough information, though apparently the television announcers also thought there were some racist slurs being used. 

From the Journal-Sentinel

Two odd conferences took place in the bottom of the seventh inning involving Brewers reliever Takashi Saito, Saito’s interpreter, Kosuke Inaji, Roenicke and the umpires.

At issue was a fan down the third base line who, during the odd hitch in Saito’s delivery, was, well, making his presence known.

“There was a fan in the stands that kept repeating my name really fast,” Saito said, laughing, through Inaji after the game.

“The first batter, I was able to concentrate fine. From the second batter on, I started hearing it more and more, and it started bothering me.

"So I asked the umpires if there was anything they could do about it.”

Both times the umpires told Saito no, there was nothing they could do. So Saito went ahead and got Carlos Gonzalez to fly out to center before heading over toward third to ask the fan personally to quiet down.

Saito struck out Dexter Fowler to end the inning. That was followed by an emphatic gesture as Saito went back to the dugout.

“It was to the fan,” he said, laughing again. “It was to the person calling my name.”

It’s hard to believe that Saito would have such an issue with a man merely saying his name “really fast,” but I also don’t know why he would have any reason to lie after the game. Any chance someone from the game has a comment? 

Brewers have 4 ranked free agents

Every year Elias sports bureau ranks free agents to determine whether the club that is losing the player gets a supplemental draft pick or other compensation from the club that signs their free agent. They rank free agents Class A or B or no ranking. Teams are compensated with a first or second round pick from the team that signs the player and another post-first round supplemental pick for Class A free agents, if the former team offers them arbitration. For Class B free agents the team gets a supplemental pick after the first round if they offer them arbitration. 

This year Prince Fielder, Takashi Saito, and Francisco Rodriguez were all rated Class A free agents, while Yuniesky Betancourt is rated a Class B free agent. Craig Counsell, Jerry Hairston Jr, Mark Kotsay, and LaTroy Hawkins were all unranked.

According to Tom Haudricourt of JSOnline, the Brewers may choose to offer arbitration to 3 of the 4 ranked FAs. They will probably offer arbitration to Prince because he is looking to cash in on the free agent market anyway. The same with Francisco Rodriguez, he is a commodity that other teams want and he is looking for a payday. Takashi Saito’s contract stops the Brewers from offering him arbitration. Good move on his part, given his age a team would be less likely to sign him if they had to give up draft picks as well. 

The team’s lone Class B FA is Betancourt. GM Doug Melvin has already expressed an interest in resigning Yuni B to a lower salary than his $4 million tag this season. They may off him arbitration just to retain that supplemental draft pick should he sign with another team. That team wouldn’t actually be giving up the pick so it won’t deter them from signing Betancourt.

Also, the team has declined options on K-Rod and Yuni B. They have offered the buyout option in both cases, K-Rod’s buyout will mostly be paid by the New York Mets and Betancourt’s option will be paid mostly by the Kansas City Royals. In both deals the trading teams sent cash along with the player near equaling the buyout for each of them.

The Free Agents - Pitcher edition

I decided to start with the free agents for 2011 grades. I didn’t want to be grading guys that were already signed with other teams. I will start with the free agent pitchers.

Takashi Saito

If you take out the injury issues in the first half of the season, Takashi Saito pitched very well this season. He got off to a rough start, giving up his only two home runs of the season in a loss to the Braves. Immediately after that he went on the DL with a hamstring injury that turned into an oblique injury. He returned in early July and did nothing but pitch well. He was probably their most consistent pitcher (not named John Axford) during the second half of the year and the playoffs. He appeared in 6 games in the post-season and did not allow a run. He picked up the win in the Game 2 of the NLDS. Added bonus, he was a bargain at $1.75 million. Given his advanced age (he will be 42 by opening day!) I would be a bit hesitant to bring him back for any more money than he made this season. 

Final Grade: B  (He would have been an A, easy, if not for missing nearly 3 months.)

LaTroy Hawkins

Another relief pitcher for the crew who had a pretty solid year. Management brought him along slowly in the first third of the season, allowing him to fully recover from a 2010 shoulder injury that required surgery. He is another guy that is up there in age, but unlike Takashi Saito, he has been pretty inconsistent during his career. This past season was one of the better of his career. Also unlike Saito, Hawkins was not a bargain. His $4 million+ salary would have to come way down, in my opinion, to make him a viable resigning candidate. 

Final Grade: B  (Costing $4.25 million in 2011 brings his grade down a bit. He was good, but not 4.25 good.)

Francisco Rodriguez

K-Rod was a mid-season pickup for the Crew that worked out pretty well, overall. The addition of a quality set-up man solidified the bullpen rolls and made the use of the ‘pen near idiot proof. Ron Roenicke needed that. In the first half Roenicke was the anti-LaRussa, ignoring match-ups completely and going with Kameron Loe as his “8th inning guy”, to less-than-stellar results. The acquisition of K-Rod made the entire bullpen better, which obviously led to the NL Central win and a trip to the NLCS. Rodriguez himself pitched very well, too. He was erratic at times, but usually got the job done. He pitched as well in the second half of 2011 as he has in his whole career. The one knock I have on him is the way he whined near end of the season. If John Axford was struggling, or even not completely dominating, I may give him a pass. His bitching was completely unwarranted. The Brewers will not resign him. He wants way too much money and he wants to be a closer, two things the Brewers will not give him.

Final Grade: A-  (Downgraded for whining, upgraded for the way he improved the bullpen as a whole)


Seishun × ren'ai dorama CD series “Nakashou , koi no yu eigyouchu! ”

Aoba Taichi/ Maeno Tomoaki
Juujuu Masaki / Saito Souma
Munehara Kenta/ Masuda Toshiki
Kanagaki Sumire/ Kishio Daisuke
Sakou Atsushi/ Kondo Takashi
Yuzuzawa Kai/ Kaji Yuki

there will be 6 drama cd and cast will be duo combi in each cd, price 2000¥ each cd, but the release date still undecided but it will certainly released in 2015.

more info and detail :


This video is dedicated to Takashi Saito! It was a shame I got to see you play for real for one year (prior years he was injured). Thanks for contributing to a fabulous beastmode season! I will definitely miss hearing this song played when you came onto the field. Good luck in Arizona! Tell Ryan Roberts I say “hello” and I hope he got over the NLDS. :-P