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Godzilla Takes the Bronx: The Inside Story of Hideki Matsui

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Godzilla Takes the Bronx: The Inside Story of Hideki Matsui
I just finished reading this book by Jerry Beach, and I have to say in all honesty, that this is one of the most poorly researched books I've ever read in my life.

Basically, this book covers everything that happened to Matsui in the 2003 season with the Yankees. There's the usual game-by-game detail and the usual quotes from the Yankees praising Matsui. The author also talked to Warren Cromartie and Darrell May, so they are quoted a couple of times throughout the book.

My problem with the book is that it didn't offer any new insight into Matsui. If you read the newspaper or watched the sports news at all in 2003 you basically know the whole story before you read the book.

Not only that, but there were numerous errors throughout the book that showed that the author has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to Japanese baseball. For example, on page 2, the author claims that "Matsui used to receive standing ovations in Japan even when he struck out." Say what? When did that ever happen?!

On page 27, the author claims that in Japan, "if two teams are deadlocked after nine innings, the game was over." Say what again?

On page 40, it says that Darrell May went 10-8 for the Royals in 2002. As a Royals fan, I can say with confidence without looking it up that he didn't come close to that in 2002. He was something like 4-11 that year.

Darrell May's quote about Shinjo appears on page 44 - and the same quote appears verbatim on page 131. It's deja vu all over again!

This is the best one: on page 98, it says, "Matsui and (Ichiro) Suzuki played against each other in Japan just once, during an exhibition called the Nippon Series in 1996." I guess the Nippon Series must be the equivalent of the exhibition World Series in MLB!

On page 166, it says that Matsui batted .333 with 4 RBI in leading the Giants to a four-game sweep of the 2003 Japan Series. Hello! This book covers Matsui's 2003 MLB debut season! Could it be a typo? Apparently not. On page 173, the author writes the same thing! Unbelievable!

On page 194, the author writes that Cromartie started a fight in 1987 against the "Junichi Dragons." I was fully exasperated by this point in the book.

Finally, the author made several condescending remarks regarding Matsui's interpreter, Roger Kahlon. He harps on the fact that Kahlon's translations of Matsui's comments are brief. He mentions this about three times throughout the book. As a friend of Kahlon's I did not appreciate this. Interpreting is not easy, but the author gets off on the fact that Kahlon may have liberally interpreted some of Matsui's comments. I'd like to see the author try to interpret for someone day in and day out.

This book is for kids aged 9-15. This is not a book for adults. I don't recommend this book to anyone.

The author should've used a good proofreader to save himself some embarrassment.
Re: Godzilla Takes the Bronx: The Inside Story of Hideki Matsui
[ Author: japfan | Posted: Dec 6, 2004 6:20 PM ]

I am currently reading the book and I absolutely agree that this is one of the worst sports books ever: Everything is a rewriting of other stories. There are too many errors and too many thoughts taken from other books: How many times there are pieces taken from "You gotta have Wa"?

Don't waste your money on this book!
Re: Godzilla Takes the Bronx: The Inside Story of Hideki Matsui
[ Author: Guest: null | Posted: Dec 7, 2004 11:30 PM ]

That's a good point. This author is indebted to Robert Whiting for his liberal usuage of quotes and anecdotes from "You Gotta Have Wa" in this book. If it wasn't for "You Gotta Have Wa," Darrell May (whom the author talked to and whom the author quotes quite frequently), and Warren Cromartie (another often-quoted person throughout the book), this book would never have even resembled an actual book.

This book is a piece of garbage. The author is supposedly an "award-winning author." You could've fooled me.
Re: Godzilla Takes the Bronx: The Inside Story of Hideki Matsui
[ Author: Sara B | Posted: Dec 8, 2004 11:46 PM | HT Fan ]

When Matsui first came to New York, I remember seeing piles of this and other similarly-titled books (in both English and Japanese) on the browsing tables by the entrance to Kinokuniya Bookstore in Rockefeller Center. Such quick-written and hastily-printed books are mass-produced to capitalize on effusive trends, of course, and usually disappear quickly. I think there are many books of this type about Matsui, Ichiro, maybe even Kazuo Matsui and others available in both the U.S. and Japan -- but they are not to be confused with real books of serious content.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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