Manager Ron Washington turned 60 today, and the Japanese media was ready.
A 60th birthday is a big deal in Japan, and the folks covering Yu Darvish presented Washington with a cake and also a traditional celebration called Kanreki, the donning of a red vest and a red hat that looks like a flat chef's hat. Washington played along, and later was incredible grateful.
"That was awesome," Washington said. "I guess they like me, huh? I can't put into words how I feel about what they just did. I've never gotten a cake."
Washington said that his wife, Gerry, has made him simple cakes in the past, but he can't recall receiving a cake that was as done-up as the one he received today. It had white frosting with red icing, and was decorated with "Happy Birthday, Ron."
"If you reach 60 years old, we celebrate with a red hat and red jacket," said Masashi "Carlos" Yamazaki of Tokyo Sports Press. "That's it. It's simple. One of the big deals is 60. Also 77 and 88. We have a lot of traditions."
-- Jeff Wilson