Let’s check in on Kenta Maeda’s offseason, shall we?
In his native Japan, Maeda decided to play a practical joke on his proteges during a game show. Maeda dresses as an old man and adopts all the stereotypical traits, including a lackadaisical walk, poor posture and an impressively on-point mask.
— Joseph Kim (@blackwings2011) December 18, 2016
Maeda took the mound as his alter ego, and to the surprise of the children, demonstrated a dominant performance that would’ve made Clayton Kershaw blush. Apparently Maeda’s delivery wasn’t a giveaway.
The 28-year-old eventually undisguised himself to the roar of cheers.
Coming off an overall impressive rookie season, the Dodgers expect Maeda to improve his stamina in 2017. The right-hander made 32 starts, and despite the team’s efforts to implement a system similar to what Maeda followed in Japan, he faded down the stretch. The deterioration was especially felt in the playoffs, when Maeda was tagged for eight runs in 10.2 innings (three starts). He is expected to be the team’s No. 3 starter behind Kershaw and Rich Hill.
The entire prank, along with a behind-the-scenes look, can be viewed here.