I didn't fault him for being upset after being taken off the 40-man roster. It's hard to fault a guy for actually wanting to play and wanting to be a useful member of the team. I agreed with that decision at the time because Oki was struggling and he wasn't helping anyone, but I've always liked the guy.
He was the throw-in. He was the guy they brought in to be BFF's with Dice-K, who wasn't expected to be spectacular but would still get outs. Well, he was spectacular, and when he would come out of the bullpen, you knew that the game was in good hands. A good portion of the time, his speed didn't crack the 90's, but he kept the hitters confused. Not many would argue that he ended up being a valuable part of the team longer than Dice-K did... though Dice is still technically part of the team and may once again prove valuable (not holding my breath).
Okajima once signed a baseball for my mom in spring training, and that was all she could talk about for the rest of vacation. That baseball is proudly displayed in her living room (next to two signed Jason Varitek baseballs), and it makes both her and I happy whenever we see it. Also, the Okajima song is the finest piece of music ever written. Perhaps I'm being a tad hyperbolic, but I love that entrance theme. I can't hear it and not sing along. I just can't.
But now Oki is a Yankee... at least a minor one... and I just have to thank him for all he's done and boo the hell out of him if he ever pitches against us. Sigh.