Muni Kawasaki hit a HR, flipped his bat and got the silent treatment while fans chanted his name
Who is your favorite baseball player and why is it Munenori Kawasaki?
The correct answer to that question is that Muni has the best dance moves, tells the funniest buffalo jokes and gives the most passionate interviews. But the shorter rationale is that he's just fun. And perhaps never more so than during the penultimate game of the Cubs' Cactus League season on Tuesday afternoon.
Kawasaki -- along with Shane Victorino and Manny Parra -- was released by the Cubs on Tuesday morning, and then immediately signed to a Minor League deal to remain in the team's farm system. And Cubs manager Joe Maddon told MLB.com's Carrie Muskat exactly how excited he was to keep Muni in the system:
"He's a good baseball player," manager Joe Maddon said of Kawasaki. "He gets a lot of publicity based on his personality, but this guy is also a very good player."
"He'll be one of the most popular athletes to play in Chicago when he arrives," Maddon said.
Just hours after the announcement that he'd be staying with the Cubbies for 2016, Muni stepped to the plate at Sloan Park in Mesa, Ariz., and the fans celebrated by chanting his name throughout his at-bat.
In turn, Muni thanked the fans by belting a home run to right-center field, and busting out a majestic bat flip in exuberance:
With all that fun flyin' around, Muni's teammates just had to get in on the action, so they gave him the silent treatment when he returned to the Cubs dugout:
Name: Chanted. Home run: Mashed. Bat: Flipped. Silence: Deafening. Never in the history of Spring Training have more wonderful influences conspired to create a moment of baseball bliss.
"Live every day like the fans chanted your name, you homered and flipped your bat, and your teammates greeted you with loving silence," is the new "Carpe diem."