New York Times- When Hiroki Kuroda was a child in Japan, baseball was a chore, and he endured unspeakable punishment from coaches from his youth leagues through university level that ingrained in him the notion that playing the game was a job. The last time he remembered feeling baseball was a joy to play, he said, was when he played for his father’s Little League team.“To be honest with you, I never enjoyed playing baseball, I never enjoyed pitching, to be honest with you,” Kuroda said through his interpreter, Kenji Nimura. “Whether it’s a spring training game or a regular season game, I don’t like to put any added pressure on myself. I like to be as normal as I can in that atmosphere.” Kuroda explained that the responsibility that he carries with him to the mound, a responsibility to help the Yankees win, is so complete that he cannot afford to approach it with anything other than total commitment. “This is not just because it’s the Yankees,” he said. “This has been throughout my professional career. There has been a lot of responsibility on a starting pitcher. Rather than enjoy myself out there, I have to fulfill my responsibility, and that’s my top priority.”

Well, there goes my smile. Completely deflated. Started this morning riding the high of last night’s win, furiously combing Stub Hub for tickets, and now this? This is such a fucking Mets move. I don’t care if Hiroki was water boarded after every game when he was a kid. Leave that shit in Japan. This is America- the country where pitching is fun and not punishable by death. In case I’m not making myself clear, the guy starting the biggest game of the season for the Yankees just casually dropped a little fun fact on us. He flat out doesn’t enjoy pitching. Nope. He’d rather do taxes or get stuck in traffic tonight than take the mound for the most important start of his life.

This is why Ichiro is such a fucking genius having his translator. The guy speaks perfect English yet he ensures himself a built in protection against stupid shit like this by having that guy on his hip. They probably have little code words and seceret looks that they give each other when Ichiro says something questionable. Translator guy tugs on his ear and Ichiro rethinks the statement he just made about Teixeira being a sopping wet pussy. Translator takes the sign from Ichiro and spins it into “Playing for the Yankees is my heaven.”  Haven’t heard 1 word from Kuroda his entire career and he’s gonna pull this shit today of all days. BAFFLING! About as smart a move as Obama opening tonight’s debate with “My family is in America, but my heart is in Iran.”