For Japanese players coming to the Major Leagues, playing in the United States means learning a completely new way of life both inside and outside of the clubhouse. New York Mets reliever Ryota Igarashi balances his bullpen sessions and travel schedules with interviews and impromptu English lessons at Starbucks thanks to the help of friend and Japanese-English interpreter Mike Peters. Igarashi has quickly learned enough English to navigate American restaurants and grocery stores on his own, but Peters is never more than a text away -- just in case. (Wall Street Journal)
Jennifer Aniston, if you're reading this, Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland would like to formally request the pleasure of your company at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. (Twitter)
Lance Berkman is known around the league as a nice guy (Berkman's Bunch), but once he takes the field he becomes a ruthless hitting machine known as "The Big Puma."
"I'm sleek and fast and secretive," said Berkman, of his game-time puma persona. "I like the description, there's no doubt about it." (ESPN)
Do you think Yankees pitcher Luis Ayala's supersized glove came with more fries and a larger drink? (MLB)
In honor of the Little League World Series kicking off today in Williamsport, take a look back at how big leaguers Jason Varitek, Jason Bay, Jason Marquis, Colby Rasmus, Todd Frazier and Sean Burroughs fared in the tournament back when they were pint-sized stars. (ESPN)
Tweet of the Day: "Tha Newest memba 2 tha Plush Fam!!! I went 2 tha Humane Society & adopted a kitty!!! His name is Slick Willy!!! Twitpic.com/67ji7f" - Nyjer Morgan (@TheRealTPlush) (Twitter)
Quote of the Day: "[Satchel Paige] is my favorite player from that era. I love reading about it. Nobody knows how old he was, but they knew what a great pitcher he was and just what a character he was ... It was cool reading and hearing about all the stuff he could do. He would warm up with a gum wrapper on the ground, and he would hit the corners of it. He could throw every pitch there was ... It's such a cool place and I just want to continue to show my support and see all the history that enabled me to play baseball. I think it's something every minority player should see -- every player, really." - New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia, after visiting the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. (New York Times)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.