Great Pitcher? Maybe. Great Marketing? For Sure

The buildup for Yankee flamethrower Irabu is phenomenal

Love George Steinbrenner or loathe him, you've got to say this for the New York Yankees' principal owner: He knows hype. Hideki Irabu's ultimate value to the Yankees will depend on how well the Japanese hurler performs on the field. But Irabu already has generated such extraordinary fan and media interest that Steinbrenner's decision to sign an unproven, out-of-shape foreign import to a $12.8 million contract looks shrewder with every passing day.

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