Masahiro Tanaka throws out first pitch at AKB48 pop music concert

David Brown
Big League Stew

Wherever Masahiro Tanaka goes on his way to Major League Baseball, so goes The Stew. Most recently, he appeared wearing a tuxedo at a pop music concert in Japan to answer a few questions and throw out a ceremonial first pitch into the audience. It seems like utter chaos in the video, but that's actually one band, apparently — AKB48 — performing. They have 89 members and their single "Sayonara Crawl" sold 1.87 million copies.

Well, they'll all be bidding "sayonara" to Tanaka as he goes through the posting process to join MLB. Get it??? Perhaps this is just ignorance of Japanese popular culture, but it looks like he's appearing in a Hello Kitty nightmare of epic proportions. Of course, "American Idol" probably scares foreigners — those that don't co-opt the idea, anyway.

Tanaka continues to be a good sport when asked to do silly tasks to entertain the public in Japan. That bodes well when he comes west to play baseball (possibly for the Angels?) A pitcher with a sense of humor is better than a sourpuss.

Thanks to @Kazuto_Yamazaki on Twitter for spotting this event and helping to explain what AKB48 is.

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David Brown edits Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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