Kaz Matsui – 2009 Topps Allen & Ginter

December 5, 2010

U-G-L-Y…You Ain’t Got No Alibi…

Sometimes, those A & G paintings can look really bad.

See above.

Kazuo’s career in the States seems to be over. He was heralded as a great compliment to Jose Reyes and right in his prime as well. However, he never really got on track, the Mets bungled the usage of Matsui and Reyes (well, they’ve bungled a lot in the past decade so that’s not surprising) and while had some OK seasons over here he never really paid off his investment.

And now, he’s going back to Japan to play for the Tohuku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Aren’t they cute?

Importing Japanese players are a big crapshoot. Of course, drafting and signing amateur players are a big crapshoot. Signing veterans can be a big crapshoot, especially ‘proven veterans’.

Basically there are no guarantees in baseball. Well, except that it mirrors life a bit too closely.

Matsui was fragile and streaky, and overpaid. But Houston did a smart thing. He was due $5.5 million in 2010, and some teams would have made him earn that money on the field. But the Astros were off to a heinous start and decided that they could lose with or without their high paid second baseman with a -1 OPS+ (yes, a negative OPS+, fresh!) so they cut him. His last start was May 18. After that the Astros installed Jeff Keppinger as the defacto second baseman. At that point, the Astros were 13-26. They finished 76-86. It was a good move.

Now Matsui is back in Japan, where he should feel more at home. There may be pressure, but there should be some distractions to the pressure that weren’t available in NYC, Denver, or Houston.

Um…

 

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